“I want social…,” so many people are saying these days.
“Social” is the new buzzword – for good reasons. Social media is of course one of the most powerful ways to reach people. But I’m finding, and I hear this over and over, that many businesses don’t really know how to use it or when it’s right to prioritize in their marketing plans.
A strong marketing plan defines the best actions to reach your clients at any specific stage of your business depending on your goals.
You can’t assume you need a particular kind of marketing activity because its successful or it’s the happening thing. You may need some form of social media presence but you shouldn’t assume you have to make it a priority because your competitors use it or you think it’s the right thing to do.
The bottom line of marketing today is no different than what it’s always been – building and nurturing relationships with your clients.
It’s more complex today because the digital world has opened a lot more options. But when it comes down to it, online marketing is just another way to reach out, give value to your clients, and learn about them.
I suggest that before looking at data and how to best reach your target market, you take stock of what you and your team does best, what’s organic to you. It’s important to know where your marketing strengths are and to use them. And then get support in areas where you have less experience and ease.
The most effective marketing strategy combines a mix of online and offline platforms. Online marketing consists of your website and email list, social media (Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn), and marketing through other websites and online partners. Offline marketing includes: in person conversations (talks, meetings, conferences, networking events), print marketing, and direct mail (which is making a comeback).
When developing your marketing strategy ask yourself: what kind of marketing am I best at? If you’re a social media maven, put that at the top of your list. If you’re a great networker, make sure to get out to as many networking events as you can. And then decide if you need help from your team or consultants in areas that you’re less familiar with.
Make your marketing strategy personal to you. Then build it into a whole plan. You’ll feel more tuned in to your clients. You’ll be able to create strong relationships and your clients will feel it. And it will also be easier to define what kind of help you need and how best to utilize that support.