It’s often assumed that business owners understand the importance of marketing. But according to Fundera, 10% of small businesses don’t invest in marketing at all. And while costs are often a barrier, a lack of knowledge and resources can frequently hold these organizations back from reaching new customers and growing their business.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about marketing your business, you certainly aren’t alone. It’s easy to become confused or frustrated when you’re trying to DIY your business marketing — particularly if you’re getting caught up in the small details.
When figuring out how to market your business, it will benefit you to focus on the big picture first. This holistic approach will provide you with the guidance you need to move from step to step. Rather than beginning with specific techniques, you need to ground yourself in something more substantial. Here’s a brief overlook of a more integrated approach to marketing that will translate to long-term success.
Define Your Business Goals
Before you do anything else, you need to zero in on your business goals. These goals should support your overall purpose and will provide a general direction for your organization. Your business goals might be short-term or long-term, but they should clearly tell everyone within your organization what you want to accomplish.
Examples of business goals could include increasing your prices or sales by a certain percentage, hiring a set number of new employees or opening new offices, partnering with a charitable organization or hosting an annual event, or launching a specific number of new products or services during a set period. These goals will be personal to your business and how your brand measures success.
Determine Your Marketing Goals
Once you define those business goals, you can set business objectives — which inform how you’ll go about achieving those larger aims. At this point, you’ll want to take a closer look at more specific goals for your marketing, as marketing plays a crucial role in how those business goals will be obtained.
Marketing goals often include a lot of metrics. Because metrics are clearly measurable, you’ll have the data you need to know whether your goals have been achieved. That said, not every marketing goal will be strictly data-driven. You might establish a marketing goal of building brand awareness for your business or creating a clearer brand identity. But you might also have a goal of generating a set number of qualified leads every month, increasing social media engagement, or connecting your marketing work to an increase in organic web traffic.
Your marketing goals should be chosen based on their ability to align with your overall business goals. After you discern what your marketing goals should be, you can figure out how your strategy will support them.
Devise Your SEO Strategy
One mistake that many business owners make is to focus solely on digital marketing tactics. While SEO deliverables are important, they should really come into play only once you’ve clearly identified your business and marketing goals. Otherwise, you might be inclined to focus on metrics that really don’t matter in terms of your ultimate aims.
Of course, SEO is just one piece of the puzzle here. In order to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy, you need to have a well-designed website and use other techniques like paid ads. And if you want to create a truly effective SEO campaign, you need to do more than throw a bunch of keywords on a page. You need valuable content (both written and visual!) that can make a difference for your customers.
When you don’t have a lot of SEO experience, it’s easy to get caught up in individual techniques. What you should really do is ask yourself, “how can SEO help me to achieve my goals?” That way, you won’t be throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. Rather, you’ll be able to make more informed choices about the aspects of your SEO strategy that will be most likely to support those business goals.
No matter what, you’ll want to diversify your SEO strategy in a way that makes sense for your business. That doesn’t mean you have to do exactly what your competitors are doing, but it does mean that you won’t want to focus on just one or two tactics. When you’re trying to adopt a holistic approach, it’s important to remember that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Figuring out how these techniques work together will strengthen your strategy and set you up for overall success.
Now that you have a clear understanding of the big picture of marketing, you can apply these concepts to your own business. As you prepare to promote your products or services in 2021, a holistic approach will keep your eyes on the prize and ensure every step is taken with your greater purpose in mind.