You can have the best product or service in the world, but your business will never be a success if no-one knows about it. That is why marketing should be an essential part of every business plan.

But marketing is such a vast field, where on earth do you possibly start? Don’t panic, we are going to cover the basics off for you right here in our quick guide to marketing.


The five essentials to marketing

1: Ideal Client

No matter what form of marketing you choose, there is one vital thing that you need to know…

Who your ideal client is.

Without this vital information, you could easily waste a lot of time, effort, and money on marketing that is ineffective. Imagine it this way, your ideal client is desperate for a beach umbrella. But because you aren’t aware of their needs, you are presenting snowshoes to them. It is incredibly unlikely you will make a sale as you are not serving up the right offering.

So, who is your ideal client?

It is the kind of client that you want to work with in your business. Someone you can really help with your products or services and has the funds available to pay for them.

Once you understand who your ideal client is, you can then target your marketing material towards them for the most impact.


2: Have A Strategy

Have you heard the quote “a goal without a plan is just a wish”?

That quote is so relevant when it comes to marketing. There will always be things that you want to achieve in your business. Even if you don’t have formal goals set, you will have an idea of the direction you want to head in. Having a clear marketing strategy will help you to get there.

You could boost a Facebook post, or send an email, or even run an ad in your local paper. But what are you trying to achieve when using each of these marketing methods?

Without a plan, your marketing efforts will be scattered and unlikely to get you the results that you want. So, every piece of marketing that you do for your business should fit into your overall plan by having an objective. Knowing what you want to achieve from each will help you spend your advertising dollars wisely.

Read our post on blue ocean strategy

Want to learn more about creating a successful E-commerce strategy?

3: Where To Market

You can shout to a room as loud as you like, but no one will ever hear you if the room is empty. That is the same with your marketing. If you aren’t putting your advertising and content in the right place, then the right people will not see it.

For example, there is no point running LinkedIn ads if your audience is tweeting away on Twitter. Knowing where to market your services will significantly increase the effectiveness of your campaigns.


4: What Your Clients Respond To

Magazine advertising used to be one of the best ways to reach people. You merely left your spleen on deposit for the ad cost, gave some generic text, and hoped that the right people saw it.

Today, you can take a far more targeted approach to your marketing. By using online methods like social media, or Google Adwords, you can ensure the right kind of people sees your content. You can target by interest, demographics, keywords, if someone has visited your website before, or if they have engaged with your content. This allows you to weed out the tyre kickers and put your message in front of the people who want to see it.

You can also use a whole range of methods to reach your audience depending on their interests. There is written content, images, animation, GIFs, audio, video, email, chatbots, and even good old face to face networking. Not everyone will respond to each method, so test a few to see which ones work best for your business.


5: Not All Marketing Costs A Fee

Often when you think about marketing, you automatically jump to paying for advertising. But not all marketing methods have a cost attached to them. There are lots of things you can do for little or no cost.

Try these ideas out…

  • Content marketing with a blog
  • Organic social media content that encourages engagement
  • Email newsletters
  • Testimonials
  • Short videos and tutorials
  • Cross promotion with complementary businesses
  • Network both online and in person
  • Lead magnet with a follow-up sales funnel
  • Guest blogging for other companies or on sites like Medium
  • Customer referrals
  • Run a giveaway

Bonus Tip: Use your marketing to drive traffic back to your website where you can collect email address for your database and potentially make a sale!

Your website is the hub where all the action happens for your business, so you want to make sure it is an excellent representation of your brand.

About the author:

Angus Allan

Managing Director of Hello Digital

Angus is an experienced and passionate digital entrepreneur who has worked with clients around the world on a wide range of E-commerce and retail projects. Angus is excited about technology, change, and transformation, and has spoken about these topics, and more, at various events, workshops, and classes in New Zealand. As Hello Digital's Managing Director he oversees the day-to-day operations of the company and is the primary point of contact for our consulting clients and international partners.

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