If when you look at the endless options for marketing your business and feel overwhelmed, you are certainly not alone. Take the traditional marketing venues--newspaper, radio, TV, direct mail--and combine them with the almost limitless opportunities presented on the Internet today, and the task of identifying a marketing mix that can produce the best results for your business can seem near impossible.
How do you choose the right opportunities? How do you manage the opportunities you pursue? How much do you spend? How do you know if what you're doing is effective for your business?
The first step in any marketing adventure is understanding your customers.
- Who are they?
- Where are they?
- What are their interests?
- Where do they go for information and advice?
Steve Blank provides excellent information for helping start ups answer these questions through Kauffman Founders School’s Customer Acquisition and Archetypes module.
Once you’ve answered those questions, marketing expert Anita Newton offers some “Mandatories” to help you get your marketing off the ground:
Anita’s Marketing Mandatory #1: You must have a website. Here are some steps to get you started.
- Write the copy for your website first. While you write, think about the tone of your writing. Talk with customers on your website as you would talk with them in a coffee shop—warm, informal, welcoming. Watch for spelling and grammar errors! Having someone proofread your copy, ensuring you don’t turn off or even lose customers because of copy errors.
- Move on to web design. Remember that less is always more. Anita warns against cluttering up your web presence with too many unnecessary images and gimmicks. Keep your design clean, simple and easy to navigate. Wix.com and Weebly.com both offer attractive, easy-to-use, free templates for designing your website.
- Focus on keyword development and SEO. Adding keywords to your website ensures that when customers search a topic using Google, Bing or any other search engine, they find your business listed higher in the search results. WordStream is a free option that will help you get started on these tasks.
- Keep your content fresh and relevant so that customers have a reason to return to your site. A website is a commitment that once started, must be managed in an ongoing fashion. Outdated copy, expired sales, and broken links can turn customers off and reflect poorly on your business.
- Make sure your website is responsive. More and more, people are using tablets and smart phones to access the internet. Make sure your website looks good on these platforms as well as a PC or laptop.
- Keep your website looking good to media. Media professionals are busy people whose attention you want. Make it easy for them to find what they are looking for on your website. In fact, it is best to have a section on your site specifically for the media’s use.
To see Anita’s Mandatory #2, watch the video below (3:49):
As you get started with your marketing, don’t overlook the importance of regularly measuring your outcomes. Your website and social media channels provide you with easy-to-understand back-end analytics that will help you see how your content is engaging your customers.
When it comes to making your business successfully, the old adage “if you build it, they will come” is no longer true. Starting with Anita’s Mandatories can help you market your business, grow your revenue and ensure your venture is successful.