basic marketing strategy

How to Create a Basic Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business

If you are just getting started with your small business, you need a basic marketing strategy that is straightforward and avoids all the bells and whistles. There’s plenty of time for fancy strategy down the road. Right now, you just need to get on the road and start driving.

And that’s why a basic marketing strategy looks like a map. The entire purpose of a marketing strategy is to coordinate your efforts so you can reach your business goals. Therefore, your marketing strategy should read like driving directions: you are starting at Point A and here’s how to get to Point B.

Of course, when you’re traveling from Point A to Point B, there will be lots of diversions (other roads, historic sites, cute towns, wineries, yard sales, farm stands). Stay focused, or it’ll take you a lot longer to get to Point B. If you keep veering off into different directions, you might never even arrive, and that would suck.

Anyway, enough with my driving analogy. Here’s how to create a basic marketing strategy for your small business:

Website: Five pages

First things first, you need a website. One, it acts as validation after people hear about you. Two, it lets people who never heard of you find you. Three, it encourages people to take the next step, whether that’s contacting you or buying from you.

A basic website looks like this:

Home page: Your value proposition should be the first thing people read, followed by your top services or products, some testimonials, and a call-to-action (to buy or contact you).

About page: Pull back the curtain so people can get to know you. Who are you, why do you exist, and why do you do what you do? Include a call-to-action that directs people to your service or product page.

Services or products page: Make sure you keep this completely focused on your clients and what they care about. What do you sell and how will it benefit them? Include a call-to-action to buy or contact you.

Testimonials: What clients say about you can absolutely influence a potential client.  You’ll definitely want to devote a page to testimonials, but it’s also good to include one on each page.

Contact page: A form that captures name, email address, and message is perfectly fine, but I also like to include a reminder about why they should contact you.

Email marketing: Monthly newsletter

Email is hands-down the best way to keep in touch with people. At the very least, send out a monthly email that keeps you top of mind. It can be short but it must be valuable.

Include an intro and link to your latest blog post(s), tips or tricks, upcoming events, and sales or promotions. Spend time writing a great subject line so people open it!

Social media marketing: One channel, used daily

Your target market is on at least one social media channel, so focus your efforts on the one that will have the biggest impact. Ignore the others for now.

Every day, set aside time to share original content (like blog posts, quick tips and testimonials) and respond to comments. Look at trending topics and join conversations that are taking place around hashtags (Instagram and Twitter) or in Groups (Facebook and LinkedIn). Go through your news feeds and emails you receive, and curate content that is of interest to your target market.

Above all else – be social!

Blogging: One blog post per month

As I wrote in this blog post, blogging is essential to your marketing because it demonstrates your expertise and keeps your website updated (search engines love love LOVE active websites). All you have to do is write one blog post per month based on a burning question you are frequently asked. Keep a running list of FAQs so you are never at a loss for ideas.

Marketing collateral: Business card

We may be living in a digital world, but people still love holding a nice business card in their hand. Invest in a high-quality design and heavy stock so your card stands out. It should include:

  • Name
  • Title
  • Company Name
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Website
  • List of services or products – make sure it is clear what your company does!

Traditional marketing: One event per month

I don’t care what industry you’re in, there really is no substitute for meeting people in person. Make it a habit of attending one event per month in person. Get to know other local business owners and companies in your industry, who can become a great source of referrals.

Need more help getting started with a basic marketing strategy?

Our free online resources can help! Check out our blogging ebook, social media marketing ebook, and newsletter checklist!

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