You have a killer product or service and you’re all set to launch your new business and brand. Before you go any further it is imperative you ask yourself two very important questions.
- Who are you selling to?
- How are you going to market to them?
Having a great product or service isn’t enough to be successful. People have to know you exist. If you don’t have an answer to these questions, it’s vital to put in the time to figure it out. You will save yourself countless dollars and hours if you put in the energy in the beginning to determine your target demographic and strategy to reach them.
Market Research – Who Will Buy?
The first thing to do before jumping into the daily operation of your business is to spend time researching your niche. Identify at least one solid group of people who will have a need for your product. Without targeting a specific market your brand will lack focus and miss the opportunity to build a strong connection with the people your business really matters to.
These questions (and many more) are just a few examples of ways to discern what common characteristics your optimal target audience may have. It’s important to intrinsically know your niche’s interests and habits, which will help your business better connect with them in the long run. By doing this initial market research, you might even discover that the group who you initially intended on marketing to isn’t the best group to focus on.
A great way to pinpoint your demographic is by looking at potential competitors who sell similar products or services and determine the customers they’re marketing to. Look at their advertising campaigns. If they have a brick-and-mortar shop, visit it. Watch who comes in the door. Take note of any commonalities. Another great way is to Google your competitors and look at their website or social media. Think through who they are targeting and why it may or may not be successful.
Once you have settled on your demographic, it’s time to develop a plan to reach them.
Marketing Strategy – Reaching Your Best Customers
The first and one of the most important steps to developing a marketing strategy is to figure out exactly how much you can afford to spend per month, quarter, or year. Whatever amount it may be, you need an exact number. Having this number will aid in determining exactly what your ROI (return on investment) is through different marketing mediums.
Look at your potential competitors and take note of the emotions/mood they portray, color schemes they use, and the language used to advertise their product(s). Look at local business websites in a parallel niche to see what strategies they employ. Let’s say you own a gym. Talk to someone who owns/manages a supplement or vitamin shop. If you own a local coffee shop, talk to other business in your area who are working to draw in foot traffic to see what they do to bring in new customers. Chances are you’ll be able to glean some great insight into how you should approach the marketing process.
Marketing Ideas to Get You Started
- Have a responsive website designed that caters to your target market. Make sure the website is user-friendly and intuitive and includes lead generation funnels by adding simple forms that encourage a viewer to submit their info to receive information.
- Create social media profiles for your business on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Begin posting daily content and let your current/previous customers know your business is online. Make sure to take time to carefully craft each post and respond anytime a customer comments or engages with you.
- Run an advertising campaign through Facebook, Google AdWords, Twitter, etc. for a specific promotion, product, or service. Each of these platforms offer extremely refined targeting for ads to the point where you can select specific zip codes, ages, etc. to reach with your campaign.
- Run a giveaway(s) for your product or service through your social media or through your website.
- Start a loyalty or membership program. Some POS (point of sale) systems offer this out of the box (e.g. Square). There are also other 3rd party programs you can sign up to use including Belly, LevelUp, and Punchtab.
- Give out freebies featuring your logo design and website. Stickers, pens, sunglasses, koozies, t-shirts, and other print design are a great way to get your brand out in front of potential customers.
- Pass out flyers to customers walking by your business.
- Place posters in high traffic areas near your local business.
- Start a referral program and offer a discount or commission to other business or individuals that interact with your target market.
- Add an email signup form to your site and begin building an email list. Send out weekly, monthly newsletters to notify your customers of ongoing promotions.
- Launch a discount or sale on your product or service.
- Gather customer addresses and send monthly mailers featuring a sale or discount.
- Do some research and find an area in your niche that lacks tools or research. Write a short, helpful eBook on this area and give it away in exchange for a reader’s email or for sharing about the eBook online.
- Launch a webinar to teach other business owners in your niche or your target audience a useful skill.
There are thousands of ways to market your business, so it will take time to figure out where you’ll get the best bang for your buck. Always make sure to track spending and ROI to see what’s working and adjust as needed.