You’ve started a business, now what? Whether you’re a solopreneur or a small to mid-sized business owner, one of the most difficult challenges you will face is how to market your services or products to the right audience, at the right time, using the right tactical marketing mix.
First off, having an in-depth understanding of your audience’s needs can help you create a multichannel marketing strategy that informs, educates, and motivates your customers—potential and actual—to ultimately buy your product or service. Beyond demographics, you should be insanely curious about your targeted audience: Who’s your tribe? What do they need? What are their daily challenges, fears and frustrations? Where do they connect? What significant life events are they facing? (E.g., new parents, divorced, single mom, cancer, passions, etc.) And how can your product or service help solve their problems?
Here are five ideas and resources to jump-start your business.
- Blog – Regardless of your industry, every business should have a website. But if you’re going to start a blog, consistency is key. Create an editorial calendar to help you develop a strategy that includes your target audience, blog post ideas, holidays and special events. Give your audience a reason to keep coming back. Interview experts, influencers, or thought leaders, and publish content that solves problems. WordPress, Squarespace, and Tumblr are three of the top blogging platforms.
- Produce YouTube or Periscope videos – Considering the fact that Periscope signed up 10 million users within the first four months of its launch, it’s an app that should not be overlooked. Producing videos can not only help you get the word out about your business, it can also help you develop strategic partnerships with like-minded brands and businesses. Create videos highlighting product launches, tutorials, behind the scenes action, and live Q&As. Check out “Periscope: Winning at Disrupting Social Media Advertising.“
- Create an email marketing campaign – Email marketing is a powerful tool to build an audience and generate sales. MailChimp is a great way to set up lists, run campaigns, and track responses. Take a look at “How to Get Your Email Marketing Noticed.“
- Pitch your service or product launch to an online, print, or broadcast media publication. Make sure you’re familiar with the publication—How does the story fit with the publication’s audience? Why should the reader care? Does it solve a problem? Does it fit a current event, trending news, or holiday? Unsure what the publication is looking for? Send an email to the editor and ask them what sorts of stories they’re looking for.
- Turn your message into a movement with a social media campaign – Recently, both large and small businesses have found great success turning messages into movements. Hashtag-ify your message and share it across social media channels. For instance, The Limited, a clothing retailer, created A New Look of Leadership Campaign for everyday women to embrace empowerment.
Do you have any marketing ideas that you’ve used to grow your business? Share them in the comments section below.