If you run a small business, you already know the importance of marketing. But there’s a chance that you don’t quite understand how to make this a reality. The key to any successful marketing strategy is cohesion. This means looking at your strategy as wider entity rather than just as several different constituent parts.
So, the big question is: how do you go about creating a cohesive marketing strategy? And what benefits can it have for your business?
What is cohesive marketing?
The underlying principle of cohesive marketing is the need to bring all the platforms you use to promote yourself together into one overall strategy. Not only does this allow you to focus your messaging and marketing direction but it can also lead to a better return on investment.
It might be tempting to try and spread your net and cover a wide range of areas, trying out new marketing tools and hacks that you’ve read about. But without an overall plan, this can quickly get out of hand and you can find yourself spinning plates with increasing urgency.
There are new trends emerging in marketing all the time. Some of these can be very successful (others aren’t, of course) but you can’t just abandon your strategy to jump on the latest bandwagon. You need to take the time to appreciate how these new marketing trends fit in with your plan – and not the other way around.
It can also be the case that what works for one business is not as successful for another. So, beware believing all the hype and hyperbole you hear online and from other businesses.
How to stay cohesive
Consistency is the key. This applies across all areas of your strategy. You need to first understand who your target market is. This may involve doing some customer research or carrying out a marketing audit.
Once you know who you want to hear your message, you have a much better chance of creating one that resonates. It will also inform you better as to where is the best place to market. For example, if your demographic is young and more digital leaning, you should aim for a bigger social media presence. You might find that business customers respond better to a direct email campaign.
You might think that you have a good understanding of how to market your business but until you’ve done the hard yards to gather the data, you might be aiming your strategy in the wrong direction.
Choosing your platforms
Once you’ve worked out your market and messaging, the key is to try and keep it consistent over all platforms. This will help you to build your brand messaging and establish you as a presence in the relevant field.
We mentioned above that social media was a platform better suited to a younger market but in reality, these days it’s more about how you use social media rather than choosing whether or not it’s a suitable platform.
What this means is that if you don’t have a Facebook page or Twitter presence, then you need to get them as soon as possible. It’s all about how you use social media to connect with the right people and the kind of content you put up there to promote your business.
Keep your messaging on brand and try to establish yourself as an authority or provider of interesting and stimulating content, and this will have positive effects.
Email marketing is another core platform for promotion. But it is also one that can be very hit and miss. The less you understand how it works, the bigger the chance of missing the target. Your messaging needs to be consistent, both in terms of the content and style, but also when and where you send it.
Try to do it at the same time each week or month so that customers come to expect it. Being regular is the key. Always offer something of value to the customer and give them a reason to click through to your site.
We’ve already talked at length about consistency and this is again key when it comes to your branding elements. You need to think carefully about the elements that identify you as a brand. That includes both the physical elements such as colour scheme and font choices that allow customers to identify you. But it is equally important in terms of tone of voice – such as headlines, writing style and imagery.
Content is king
It’s an overused saying in the world of digital marketing but it’s still true. The quality of your content defines you as a business. Create a visually exciting, funny or interesting blog, image or video and people will click on it. You know this from your own experience. Some things just seem to leap out of the screen at you; some written content captures your imagination and resonates.
That’s why it is worth spending the time, energy and even money on creating content that really works. Build your reputation on content that has some value or worth and it will have a big impact on your business.
You don’t have to aim for viral content that’s going to take social media by storm (although that would be nice). You just need content that’s going to strike a chord with your audience.
Of course, all this cohesion starts with understanding both what your market wants and how you can best deliver this to them. Which is why it’s always a good idea to start with a marketing audit. If you would like to know more about this process or to discuss your options, then get in touch with a member of our team.
We’re always happy to help with marketing strategy and cover all areas of digital marketing in a cohesive and strategic way, leaving you free to do what you do best: running your business.