The simple way to jumpstart your marketing
A key mistake that many businesses make is to get too complicated right off the bat with digital marketing. There are so many tools out there today, and so many companies seem to be making use of all of them, all the time.
But that’s not actually the case, and it’s certainly something you don’t need to mirror in your own marketing efforts. The key for the vast majority of businesses out there is to keep things as simple as possible, especially early on.
The importance of scalability
One word you hear all the time these days in the digital word is “scalable” – business models, pieces of software, and even marketing efforts all need to be optimized for growth.
A scalable method is one that works when you have 10 clients as well as 100 clients. One of they keys to achieving a scalable marketing strategy is using a simple, pared down approach at the beginning.
Identify 1 or 2 things that work really well, and then work to increase the volume of those things, instead of trying a little bit of everything. If you do that, you’re going to wind up spinning your wheels and ramping up things that don’t work and aren’t crucial to your success.
The pitfalls of “cafeteria marketing”
There are a lot of options out there for digital marketing – many of them seem promising and cutting edge, but aren’t right for you and your business.
Much like a cafeteria with many delicious looking foods to choose from, people will walk around and take a small amount of everything because it all looks so good. This isn’t the right approach.
You want to carefully look at the menu and figure out exactly which dish is going to taste best, and then put a heaping pile of it on your plate, leaving room for nothing else.
As Adam Erhart mentions in his YouTube video, The Minimalists Guide To Marketing , people who try a little bit of everything in their marketing efforts encounter two problems:
The more marketing tactics you use, the harder it is to determine which ones are succeeding. For instance, if you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Google Plus, how do you know where your best customers are coming from?
It’s not impossible to find this out, but it takes a decent amount of work. Why not build up one audience at a time and really take an in-depth look at how things are working?
These businesses also spread budgets and human-hours way too thin. It’s really hard to develop a marketing channel when you need to work on reaching an audience on four different platforms at once.
And if you’re paying for advertising or promotion, forget it – of the five social media networks you have a presence on, chances are one of them is going to be far better than the others – when you’re spending on all five, you’re likely wasting your money on four of them.
Three easy steps
Keep your marketing approach focused and lean – simplify your approach by using the following three steps:
Define your audience: In today’s digital world, you can get really granular in who you approach with your marketing propositions, and that’s a good thing. Gather your team for a brainstorming session and think about your ideal customer.
What kind of person spends the most money over their lifetime at your business? You likely already have an idea of this in your head – flesh it out on some paper and write down everything know about this type of person. Every detail helps.
Create a 360-degree view of this person – commonly called a customer avatar, and distribute it throughout your organization. Hang up a bio of the person near your desk – constantly remind your business that this is the person you’re trying to attract.
Craft your pitch: Now that you know who you’re targeting, you need to come up with the right message to hit them with. Good businesses frame themselves as problem solvers – what problem does your customer avatar face that your business solves?
This is where knowing your ideal customer inside and out can really come in handy – the more you know about them, the better you can understand how to communicate your value to them effectively.
Make sure to keep other businesses in mind here – your competitors will also be doing this, and differentiating yourself from them is key.
Find your audience: Now that you know who you’re targeting and you’re armed with the perfect message to deliver to them, you need to locate those people. Just like physical advertisements, digital advertisements need to be placed properly.
Different people hang out in different digital spaces. Professionals are most active on LinkedIn; older demographics spend a lot of their internet time on Facebook; younger generations are flooding Instagram and SnapChat.
The point is, you need to be familiar with the ever-changing digital landscape of the internet. Audiences are always moving around, and it’s in your best interest to follow them.
In one simple sentence: Determine your ideal customer, decide exactly how you want to communicate your value to them, and find out where they hang out. That’s it – no need to get overly fancy or confused in the beginning.
Start out with this one single approach and make sure to measure its effectiveness. Don’t be afraid to test new things, but only after you’ve already established one solid method of attracting customers. Keep things simple, lean and scalable.