If you are an entrepreneur you need to market.
In particular, you need a basic understanding of the digital marketing landscape in order to see consistent growth.
A part of this is learning to adapt (digital) marketing strategies that can ebb and flow with both the purpose and operations of their business.
But instead of marketing becoming a nagging burden on your to-do list, here’s a 5-step system for using digital marketing to leverage growth and become more efficient.
1. Start with goals
The biggest challenge with digital marketing (web sites, online advertising, emails, and social media) is that it is always evolving. As an example, by the time a new book on digital marketing is published, it’s likely already out of date!
Entrepreneurs are best to grow and scale their digital marketing strategy by hiring the right people and focussing on the right data.
A key ingredient in your marketing strategy will be a mindset of discovery, experiment, and rapid application – and never stop optimizing.
For most entrepreneurs, the good news is that unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing is more about strategy and data, rather than budget.
Some of your strategy goals need to include:
- Using competitor analysis tools
- Maintaining a bold online presence
- Having a purpose-driven brand
- Learning how to easily reach customers online (specifically via mobile)
- Building reliable systems for data collection and tracking
- Converting customers digitally into a sales funnel, beginning with a mailing list
Because it’s a global game (unless you have a place-specific product or service), successful marketing for entrepreneurs requires them to strike a balance between staying consistent and adaptable.
For this, creativity and innovation are key.
2. Create a Purpose Statement
In order to develop a sustainable, long term business, you’ll want to get clear on your purpose.
A purpose statement is a short, pithy statement (aim for five words or less) that will permeate all of your business activities, drive your mission, vision, and values, and act as an anchor for operational decisions, marketing activities, and company culture.
For instance, it will help you:
- Communicate with clarity to your customers and employees
- Have a core vision across your organization
- Stay agile
- Keep everyone focused
- Differentiate your business
- Attract and retain amazing talent
- Establish customer loyalty
3. Get to Know Your Customers
In some ways, marketing for entrepreneurs hasn’t changed much over the years: you still need to get to know your customers, well, and have a consistent strategy for engagement.
And one of the best parts is that you can gather information from them much more easily than you could in the past.
Creating a customer avatar and clarifying your customer journey are essential parts of this.
Here are some other tips:
- Employ the AIDA principle (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action)
- Use a customer-centric framework
- Engage personally when possible (eg: through video)
- Make it easy to collect stories from customers
- Collect and share social proof regularly
- Take complaints or negative reviews seriously and be transparent about how you solve them.
You’ll want to always keep the evolving and changing nature of digital marketing at the forefront, offering new opportunities to both customers and employees to keep things fresh and interesting.
4. Build a Sustainable Website
Marketing for entrepreneurs starts with visibility, and that starts with a solid website that’s sustainable…
If you’re on a tight budget and just starting out, you can create your own website easily via Wix or WordPress. Start by researching which platform and plan are best, as well as establish a great domain name. You’ll also need a web host.
This is not the time to enlist your favorite nephew to hack together something that might function but looks amateurish.
If you can, hire a trusted developer/team who can get to know your business, and build a business-specific website that will last as your business changes and grows.
Either way, ensure that your website is:
- Easy to update
- Compatible with your preferred CRM (customer relationship management) software
5. Distribute Content and Collect Data
How well are your system and business set up to not only collect data but distribute stellar content?
Marketing for entrepreneurs in the digital sphere is highly dependent on how well you are able to communicate online.
To do this, you’ll need to:
- Choose no more than two social channel(s) which best align with your brand and customers
- Have a solid content plan and strategy in place — you don’t have to do all the writing yourself, but you do want to make sure it’s on point and on-brand.
- Understand the “how and why” behind your data collection, and how you will use this to drive your marketing activities.
- Build a mailing list for direct marketing.
Plan for Long-Term Success
Marketing for entrepreneurs who want to stay competitive in digital form isn’t rocket science. In fact, you’ll want to use the same principles you may have already learned in your business training.
One challenge is staying on top of changing and evolving trends — technological, cultural, political, and so on. The other challenge entrepreneurs often face is they tend to try to do everything themselves.
The savvy marketer knows how and when to look for help.
The Brand Marketing Booster Program can help you meet your goals