Every piece of your marketing strategy – your digital presence, your collateral pieces or your customer management system – dictates the “style" of your business. But, if you are like a lot of small business owners, you created a marketing strategy when your company was a startup and then left it untouched, year after year, like an old moth-ridden coat in your closet. Once in a while – at least, annually – you should take your marketing strategy out, dust it off, look it over and tailor it to meet current needs. Here are five tips and tricks to take your marketing from outdated to outstanding.
1. Move toward integrated marketing communications. Your marketing efforts do not exist in a vacuum, and more and more businesses are realizing the importance of coordinating all elements of their marketing plans to support a unified brand message.
An easy way to do an initial assessment of your own materials is to gather all of your visual marketing elements together and compare them. Grab a business card, a brochure, a website screenshot, a photo of your trade show booth, a press release and even your product packaging. Spread them out on a table and ask yourself, “Do these elements look like they go together?"
Also take a look at your communications style. You can leverage everything from signage to social media to the voice mail message on your phone to tell a consistent brand story.
2. Focus on content marketing. Feed the content-hungry masses of the digital age using a variety of platforms to narrate your value proposition.
Customers want to do business with the authority. They want to buy from someone who not only knows about what he or she is selling, but also how it fits into the larger landscape of products and what’s on the horizon in the industry. A good way to establish authority is by participating in industry panels, trade shows and publications. This will, in turn, create authoritative content for your business.
You also can generate content with a blog or podcast; if you’re really savvy, video is where it’s at. Utilize industry intelligence to help guide your content, and apply this philosophy to your social media posts too. Canned posts about your product or service are out; thought-provoking, interactive and timely posts with personality are in.