Every business is different, and even those within the same segments can have wildly different marketing strategies. Finding a marketing strategy that works for your business is equal parts science and art. Those that run successful campaigns across multiple platforms are businesses that have mastered the arts of combining these tactics to create a rabid fanbase of loyal customers that can’t wait to purchase your product or service offering.
Finding the right mix, however, is where many businesses struggle. With nearly unlimited options, it’s often hard to drill down the correct platform, strategy, or tactic that will lead you to the promised land of untold internet riches. In reality, most never find it at all.
Today, I want to talk about how those that are successful at identifying the right marketing mix go about putting all of the pieces into place. Hopefully you can apply this roadmap to your business and improve the results of your next online marketing campaign.
Start With Your Competition
For a business who has yet to find the sweet spot in terms of marketing mix, starting with your competitors is often a good start.
What are they doing well? What are they doing poorly? Are there things that you like, but feel you could do better?
After you identify what your competitors are doing that works, it’s often quite simple to replicate the parts of their plan that work, while completely discounting the others. This saves you time, effort, and money while you’re attempting to put together the pieces that make up the overall marketing puzzle.
Identify Your Ideal Customer
With the rise of content marketing, so saw the rise in creating personas in which to cater this content to. As content marketing got more data driven, it was no longer enough throwing darts at a wall while wearing a blindfold, and hoping that something stuck. Now, companies know exactly who they are trying to reach, and they cater this content to a very specific audience in hopes of attracting new leads.
For any business to succeed, they have to identify who needs their product or service, and what attracts them to it in the first place. From this, we can reverse engineer personas with remarkable levels of detail – down to their favorite foods, where they work, and how much income they earn – in order to better understand our target audience.
Create Specific Goals
After you know who you’re marketing to, you need to start creating goals. These goals could be monetary, or data-driven (“x” amount of clicks on the site, newsletter signups, return visits, etc.), but the goal is the same, you have to attract a specific type of customer, and you have to be able to measure the results. Attraction is just one piece of the puzzle, and without knowing if this is the correct piece – through measurement – you’ll never really know if the pieces are going in the right places.
Optimize Your Acquisition Strategy
Now that you have a specific set of goals, and data that aligns with what your ideal customer looks like, it’s all a matter of aligning these into a usable strategy. For example, if you sell soap, and you notice that data points to your audience being female, 28–34, from the midwest, and married, you know that you need to target a platform that reaches this audience.
Facebook, for example offers an unlimited amount of customized targeting options, and this specific product also appears to be an ideal candidate for organic growth through a Pinterest page.
It’s all about finding out who your customer is, and reaching them on the platforms they’re already using. Through careful customization of targeting options, or just finding sites that they’re likely to visit and growing your brand organically, you’ll need to optimize your plan for customer acquisition through use of the data we collected in previous steps.
Determine Budgetary Limits
After you have the initial roadmap for your marketing efforts, and an idea of what your ideal customer looks like, you’ll need to outline how much you’re willing to spend on each platform in order to reach them. There are a lot of ways you can go from here, such as splitting the spend equally amongst several platforms and testing the results (raising the spend on the best performing platforms over time), or choosing to spend a bulk of your spend in the platforms you deem “best” from the get go.
There’s no wrong answer here as long as you follow the advice in the next step.
Test, Tweak and Analyze the Results
No matter how good, or bad your results are from your initial testing, you need to be adaptive, and willing to lose a bit of money in order to gain data. Over time, you can start to paint a clear picture of what success looks like through the results of your initial testing.
Don’t be afraid to cut non-starters. In addition, you should always be prepared to increase the budget on your best campaigns. Remember, success depends on how well you test variations of your campaign all the while using different platforms, targeting options, and being willing to scrap the whole thing at a moment’s notice.