Smart marketing is often referred to when you find clever ways to make your marketing…
The Truth About Marketing Strategy
Have you ever heard the saying “Don’t try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and frustrates the pig”?
I feel exactly the same way when I have business owners throw content out into the universe without any kind of strategy … Don’t do it! You waste your time and energy, you run the risk of blowing significant amounts of cash along the way, and in the end, all you do is frustrate and confuse your clients.
Savvy business owners understand they need to invest time and money into marketing their business, which is great, but far too many have no strategy for why they are putting their content out there. They just kind of ‘hope’ that adding blogs and posting on social media is going to do something for their business because that’s what they’ve heard they need to do.
In my opinion, the missing piece (and it’s a huge chunk to be missing) from people spouting the need for content is the strategy bit. Without knowing ‘why’ you’re putting content into the world and ‘what’ you want to achieve, you’re basically trying to teach your pig to sing.
A marketing and communication strategy needs to be a fluid thing.
You should be checking all of your content against it before you release anything, and, you should be (in my opinion) reviewing it monthly (at the very least quarterly) to make sure you are still on track, nothing has fundamentally changed in the business, and your desired outcomes have not changed.
Now more than ever, things can change within your business in a heartbeat. A new piece of software could be released that reduces your delivery time, a competitor could enter the market that forces you to review your direction, or any number of unseen, unplanned challenges could come at you from left field that means your business needs to take stock of where it is.
If you’re blindly trudging along releasing content for months on end without thinking and applying strategy, your paths could be getting further and further apart causing significantly more workload (and potentially more money) for you to bring the paths back together and pointing in the right direction.
The other thing I see all the time is the constant creation of content. This only happens when you have no strategy. If you’re mapping your marketing and content to your strategy, you know exactly what you’ve put out, when it was put out and what platform it was shared to. This allows you to repurpose and leverage existing content across other platforms and through different mediums allowing you to get smarter about the content you’re putting out.
Our customers know what they are looking for in a supplier. They have a list (conscious or subconscious) of problems they are looking for a supplier to solve for them. Understanding and identifying with the market you serve best allows you to create, place and leverage the types of content your customers want to hear about. Knowing whether they enjoy written communications (such as emails and blogs) or whether they’d prefer to listen to a podcast or watch a video, all of this information is what connects you to your clients. They know you identify with their problems and provide meaningful solutions in a way and at a time that works for them.
You can only tick their boxes if you have spent the time putting your strategy in place first.
So, what needs to go into your strategy?
- You need to clearly identify the market you are trying to reach.
- Understand their problems; what are they looking for and what are they trying to solve?
- What are your solutions, and how do they differ to anything else on the market?
- How do they like being communicated with? When do they want to hear from you, how often and through what mediums?
- What types of topics or questions are your clients searching for?
- What does the customer journey look like from the moment they identify their problem, to finding you, to becoming a client?
- What does your business want to achieve through your marketing and communications?
- How are you going to define success?
- What marketing and communication assets do you already have (e.g. website, brochures, social media, etc.) and how do they stack up?
If you pull your team together around a whiteboard for a few hours and pose those questions, with the aim to look at them through the eyes of your clients, you will create a very handy little working strategy document.
Trust me; this document will then ensure that you and your content creators will be providing your customers with the highest quality marketing and communications experience possible.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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