You’re at an exciting stage of your business. You understand who your audience is (your Brand Soulmates), you’ve identified messaging and positioning that powerfully communicates why you started your business (your Brand Story) and you’re getting noticed.
Even better, you’re getting sales.
You’re converting strangers into leads, and leads into customers. But, while you are growing, you aren’t growing at the rate you’d like, and you’re ready to get serious about this little thing called success.
In order to do this, you need to get really clear on your business’ marketing strategy.
A successful marketing strategy does two things -
- It powerfully communicates your brand story to the individuals who will care most (your Brand Soulmates)
- It streamlines and automates the journey from stranger to customer, so that you can focus your time on other more exciting things - like your mission to have a real impact on your community!
So how do you develop and implement a marketing strategy like this? With a focused and organized marketing system.
Foundational Elements You Can’t Skip if You Aim to Be Successful
There are TWO critical pieces of information you need to understand before you build out your marketing system. If you’re successfully selling, there is a good chance you’ve already identified this information, but let’s refresh our memories.
1. What problem are you solving?
What is the challenge or pain point you solve for your Brand Soulmates? Or, what is the goal you help your Brand Soulmates accomplish with your offering? If defined correctly, your Brand Story, or your ‘why’, should be at the root of this - and the real driver behind why your Brand Soulmates want to do business with you. The specifics in phrasing and prioritizing is something you uncover during the development of your Brand Soulmates through quantitative and qualitative research including online keyword research and soulmate interviews. Use this information to drive ALL of your content - on your website, blog, social media channels, email copy and more.
2. What are the key demographics, interests and characteristics that define your Brand Soulmate?
Does your audience like jazz music? Do they make pet product purchases online? Does your product only appeal to people within a certain age range or of a certain gender? Are they within a certain geographical area? Write it all down! This information will be used to create and refine your social media advertising campaign targeting (in the next phase).
Now that you’ve nailed the toughest part of any business, it’s time to rock and roll with a marketing system that works for you.
In order for this system to work, and ensure you’re successfully taking people from stranger status to satisfied customer status, your marketing system needs to contain 6 essential ingredients.
Ingredient #1: Website
The cardinal rule of your website: don't overcomplicate things. Keep your website super simple for both search engines and your visitors. Use a content management system (CMS) that makes your site easily crawl-able and optimized for search. Furthermore, provide only the details that your Brand Soulmates need in order to see your value, create a connection and take action.
Recommended Tool: Wordpress
Ingredient #2: Website Content
The content of your website needs to be powerful enough to convert visitors into leads. To be powerful, you need to make sure you’ve identified and clearly defined the foundational elements listed above. Once you’ve done this, the content will pour out of you! It will feel natural, as it is deeply aligned with your values and beliefs, and it will drive your Brand Soulmates to action. Your content can be solely the content on your website itself, but we strongly encourage you to utilize a blog to produce fresh, new content to publish to your website each month.
Ingredient #3: Social Media
No matter what type of business you’re in, Facebook is still the place to be. That’s not to say this won’t eventually change, but it isn’t changing tomorrow! So, we have some time, and there’s no better time than now to get things rolling. While we definitely don’t recommend putting ALL of your eggs in the Facebook basket (hence the website and content recommendations above), it is an essential ingredient to a successful marketing system - primarily for the advertising available to you as a small business.
So, setup and optimize your page with descriptions, photos, services/products, and all of the details your audience needs to understand who you are and how you help solve their problem (again with the powerful content here!).
Recommended Social Channel: Facebook
Ingredient #4: Online Advertising
It was only a matter of time before advertising trumped organic when it came to social media. That time came some time back now for Facebook. While it may seem frustrating to have to pay for people to see your posts, it isn’t the end of the world, and it doesn’t have to be crazy expensive. For this reason, we highly recommend setting up a Facebook page for your business, and leveraging the advertising on this platform. If you’ve nailed your targeting (from the previous steps), and you have all 6 essential ingredients of your system in place, you can have a significant impact with Facebook advertising.
Recommended Ad Channel: Facebook Advertising (if your audience is on Instagram, you can also leverage Facebook’s advertising features to push your ads out through Instagram)
Ingredient #5: Online Forms
When executed correctly, your Facebook page and your website content should be playing a role in the first step of your marketing process - moving strangers into visitors. Through the power of a strategic search strategy and inbound marketing, your content will be showing up in Google search results and driving visitors to your website.
The Facebook advertising will help to accelerate this awareness and website traffic. With the stranger to visitor piece taken care of, now we want to focus on moving those visitors to ‘lead’ status.
Creating and utilizing forms to capture visitor information and take them to the next step of the buyer’s journey is critical in beginning to see a return on your digital marketing investment. This piece will look different for every business depending on your specific buyer’s journey and your business’ offerings, but a few examples would be getting your visitors to:
- Subscribe to your blog
- Download a lead magnet (eBook, Guide, Checklist, etc)
- Watch a video or demo
- Request a consultation, strategy call or meeting
In any case, what remains the same across all businesses is that this is the step where you are collecting your visitor’s information and converting them from visitors to contacts in your database.
Recommended Tool: HubSpot Starter or Pro (depending on your budget), Contact Form 7 or Ninja Forms for Wordpress, MailChimp for Wordpress and Typeform for a design-focused and fully-customizable option.
Ingredient #6: Email Marketing
You’ve successfully converted strangers into visitors and now visitors into leads...but they aren’t yet customers. So our job isn’t quite done yet! Depending on how you converted your lead, and what the sales process and buyers journey looks like for you, the next steps will be different. What will be the same in nearly all situations, is that some nurturing will need to take place, and additional value communicated. Whether you’re collecting subscribers are getting people to watch a demo, you want to continue to keep them engaged, to drive them to the final step - purchase. One of the most effective, and easiest, ways to maintain this engagement is through email marketing. Setup your marketing system to include a certain level of automation that keeps you in communication with your new and existing contacts. A few ways to leverage your email marketing include:
- Setting up a monthly e-newsletter with blog to educate and communicate value
- Create an automated sequence of emails to inspire your readers and drive your leads to take action
- Create rules to segment your audience and refine your messaging
And there you have it! The six essential ingredients to creating a marketing system that works for you - converting strangers to visitors, visitors to leads, and leads to customers. All while you sleep...or eat...or are out inspiring others or doing whatever it is you love most! No, it isn’t magic - it’s marketing - and it CAN be effective and fun!
To see this process in action, check out the below graphic outlining each step of the system.