Free marketing outlets are great and all, but let’s face it: eventually, you’re going to be handing over some hard-earned cash to get real leads.
When that time comes, you need a plan.
That plan shouldn’t focus on what “everyone else is doing.” You shouldn’t just go with the latest technology or the smoothest salesman in the room. Nah. You’re smarter than that. You need a plan that focuses on attracting your ideal customer, showing them your value, making meaningful relationships that better your business. Getting your marketing plan ready involves taking a serious look at your true goals and developing a strategy. “In the No BS Guide to Digital Marketing on a Budget,” we are here to help you do just that.
In Chapter 2 of our “No BS Guide to Digital Marketing on a Budget,” we walk you through the four questions you NEED to answer before moving any further. We’ll also cover some important marketing concepts, including:
- How to develop a killer “elevator pitch” that sells
- What buyer personas can do for your business
- The real value of a competitive analysis
- How to figure out your marketing budget
What’s my “value proposition”?
“Value proposition” is a business school buzzword if I’ve ever seen one, so let’s break it down: You need to figure out what you do for people. You need to figure out why they care. And you need to figure out what makes you different from competitors.
The first step to doing this is coming up with a quick statement about what you do and why is it awesome. This “elevator pitch” (so called because it’s quick enough to close a sale during a short elevator ride) is the key to unlocking your messaging.
Here are some starters:
“I help ____________ do ______________ so they can ___________________,”
“I work with ________________________ to ___________________________ allowing them to ____________________,”
“My expertise/product in ___________________ helps _____________________ to ________________.”
“I give __________________ an opportunity to _______________ so they can _______________.”
Fill in those blanks? Great. Then you’re ready for the next question.
Who is my ideal customer?
Yikes, this is a big one. So big, in fact, that I recently wrote a huge article on the topic. Understanding your ideal customer is a HUGE part of deciding what route to take for your marketing plan (why advertise on the radio if your audience isn’t tuned in?). While I highly recommend reading the full article on creating buyer personas, here are a few basic things you should figure out before moving forward:
- What kind of media does your ideal customer consume? Are they social media users, newspaper readers, Google searchers?
- What do they care about?
- Why are you the best choice for them?
- What kind of inquiries do you not want to attract (this is a big one! Why advertise to people who don’t actually want your product?)
To move forward with a successful marketing plan, you should be able to describe at least a few different “ideal customer” personas for your business.
What are my competitors doing?
Actually, the real question is – what is working for your competitors?
Is their social media killin’ it? Are their reviews on fire? Do you see them creeping into your market share thanks to their price point, reputation, increased advertising, or other factors? Pay attention. And if they’re doing something that works, don’t be afraid to step up to their level. Many people make the mistake of thinking they need to do something totally different to beat the competition. While being the first one to come up with a great strategy is ideal, ignoring what is working for others in your field could leave you even further behind.
What resources do I have?
Now that you know who you’re targeting, what you can offer them, and how you can compete with other businesses, it’s time to get to the real question: What can you truly afford to invest in your marketing?