Build and Measure a Small Business Marketing Campaign
Some Tools you may use:
- Your existing business plan or marketing plan
- Social Media Networks (any of: Google plus, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Reddit, Foursquare and a social media management tool like HootSuite)
- A CMS such as WordPress or Drupal, with social media and content analysis plugins
- Email Marketing platform such as MailChimp
- Analytics tools: web analytics such as google analytics, email marketing platform analytics, facebook analytics, pinterest analytics, call tracking analytics or other sales analytics such as Salesforce
Step 1: Gather Data for your Action Plan
Using your business plan, create your marketing plan, or if you already have your marketing plan, use this guide to review or revise it. Your marketing plan should define your customers and competitors and identify a plan to overcome business weaknesses or challenges in the Situation Analysis. Your Marketing Strategy should identify at least an annual, measurable business goal and the 4 P’s (Product, Price, Place and Promotion), to identify the 5 W’s of targeted marketing (Who, What, When, Where, How). You may ask, what about ‘Why?’. The Situation Analysis already addressed this. Using the 4P/5W, your action plain contains your Marketing Tactics.
Example: You identified your target customers as educated middle class working couples in the tri-county area who value longevity, family and simplicity. These target customers are on Google Plus because they are experts in their fields, perhaps engineering or technology, and/or they are on Facebook to maintain family connections. Your product or service can be expensive in the home upgrade and remodeling industry, which requires thought and reflection from consumers during the decision making process. Your best marketing approach is through brand awareness with information, focusing on value and quality to appeal to your potential customers’ intelligence and values. Now we are going to plan the message and the method.
Step 2: Connect
First, you will need to be where the customers are. Recent research shows that consumers expect businesses to have a social presence for providing customer service, information, and connecting with the customer on their grounds. You will need to establish a social presence, a social media policy, engage with your customers and monitor your social metrics. Many small businesses may prefer to hire a social media manager to ensure that the social messages and content are appropriately formatted and support business marketing, sales and customer service initiatives, as well as having the responsibility for monitoring, engaging, responding and reporting to the business owner.
Second, you will need multimedia to quickly gain attention and deliver the main part of your message in a matter of seconds. This means to write headlines or titles that answer search queries creatively, meaningfully and sensibly. You will need to provide more content types than just text; information can be quickly absorbed through images as well as video. Create sharable content to develop your reputation.
Third, your message must be cohesive – you are not selling a product, you are forming an emotional connection by developing a company identity and sharing your passion. Your tone and message should deliver your company story through content and interaction, after all, you are a human with a personality, and you run your business; your goal is to gain trust. You will be building awareness and reinforcing brand loyalty as well as maintaining reputation.
Establish message cohesion through planning:
- daily social messages should support your current business initiatives,
- weekly website updates should be posted to your social platforms,
- monthly newsletter should lead to your website and your popular social content,
- seasonal or annual traditional marketing methods (print, radio, trade show) should be measurable and lead to your website or otherwise broadcast on social media platforms,
- videos should be cross linked and broadcast on your social media platforms
- search and online/website marketing campaigns should also follow all of the above.
Step 3: Follow a Timeline
Establish a plan and use a calendar of events according to your budget. Many marketing campaigns often run in 90-day cycles, but to build your increasingly important brand reputation and business personality, you must monitor your online reputation and social data and your messages must have meaning. Brands gain their power through users (online) and customers (offline) who share their passion for your product or service with others; and you gain advocates through interaction. Your messages will reach farther and wider through identity optimization – online, this digital personality trail particularly effects Google ranking and the future semantic web.
Once you establish your marketing timeline and launch the campaign, your analysis should focus on the conversions from each lead source. Measuring ROI from social media messages may not be clearly identifiable in an old-fashioned, reportable manner, but new social metric tools can identify which messages are the most engaging, or garnish the highest click-through rates.
The most important part of marketing is measuring: metrics reveal whether marketing tactics are successful in reaching goals. Monitoring the digital analytics weekly and monthly determine whether the campaign is on track toward success.