Marketing is such a cumbersome and well, intimidating concept that some startups don’t even bother with it until later on.
That’s a huge mistake though.
Marketing is not only simpler than you think, but it’s actually also crucial to the growth of your business.
Here’s what you need to know;
If you’re wondering what on earth branding is. You’re not alone, there are tons of people who are intimidated by the word but really it’s a simple concept, I promise.
Branding is the differentiation of a specific product or company by means of a specific design as well as certain non-tangible attributes.
Let me give you an example; when you see a device, laptop, phone or otherwise, with an apple icon on it, you immediately know that it’s a MacBook, iPhone, iPad, or iSomething.
However, it is also much more than a specific look, when people think iPhone they immediately link that to quality, the latest technology etc.
Because that’s what Apple is.
That’s proper branding.
Now I’m not saying that you need to put a fruit badge on everything you sell, I’m saying your branding needs to be distinctive.
It is, however, perfectly normal to experiment with the look and colors of your company logo and branding but it is important that you lock those in as soon as possible.
That’s because the sooner you know what your brand is, the sooner everyone else will.
Branding doesn’t just extend to product packaging, things like your letterhead design, website, documentation, email signatures, and social media marketing all need to be branded as well.
Now onto the deeper stuff.
Branding is a sum total of every interaction that your company has with consumers, whether it be by email or in the way your receptionist answers the phone.
Every interaction matters.
Your customer’s experience with your company and/or product is what your branding is.
That means that your level of quality, customer service, and after-sale service must be so exemplary that your brand cannot be anything but legendary.
There are many ways to define what a target market is, basically it’s the majority of your customers and the people at who you should aim your marketing efforts.
If you thought about your business model a lot t then it’s likely but you already know what your target market is.
Finding your target market is a little tricky sometimes but the best place to start is to ask yourself what problem does your product solve.
And then you can go one step further and ask yourself who is more likely to have such a problem.
For instance, if you sell quality budget-friendly makeup, the problem your solving is that not everyone can afford brand name makeup.
And who is more likely not be able to afford expensive makeup? College students, single mothers, and teenagers.
So that’s a fair list but which of these are more likely to buy makeup.
That’s the real question.
A single mother may need makeup desperately but the fact of the matter is that she would rather fill another hole with any resemblance of extra money that she has than buy herself makeup. teenagers sure but not as likely to spend a ton of money on makeup as a college student who is constantly at social gatherings and trying to find partners.
So you see it isn’t that difficult to lock down your target market and it will make things a lot easier moving forward.
Blogging is a terrific tool to add value to your potential customers and existing client base.
If you don’t know what blogging is, it’s having a website and writing relevant articles about the same or related topics to your product and/or company mission.
For example, if you sell seeds you could blog about gardening tips, and how to keep your plants healthy, or even which sorts of tools are essential to a vegetable garden.
Now many people shy away from blogging because they feel like they don’t have the technical knowledge to be able to have a website and write a blog.
But the good news is you don’t need it, how many drag and drop website builders and tons of options for hosting, all you need to do is figure out which one suits your budget and determine the level of effort required for each one.
Finding a blogging platform is really your biggest challenge, apart from sticking to a regular publishing schedule, of course.
Email marketing is a great way to keep in touch with potential clients because only need to do is to collect email addresses of your prospective clients and send them a cold email in which he market your idea, product or services.
The crucial part, however, is to include information that will help him out. Remember the problem that’s your idea or product solves? Why not include a link or article that you’ve written on your blog (see that’s important) in order to facilitate a helpful professional relationship.
You never want to shove marketing down a potential clients throat with emailing them tons of ads and marketing your product non-stop because that is the fastest way to repel anyone who wants to do business with you. Which is exactly the opposite of what you want.
You can also include a link to your sign-up page on your blog so that they can easily subscribe to your newsletter.
Social Media Marketing
If there was ever a limitless tool for marketing it’s social media.
You don’t necessarily need to pay for advertising in order to reach your target market on social media, although that is definitely a great option if you have the budget for it.
There are so many ways you can use social media to promote your product or business.
Of course, you can and should create a Facebook business page (remember to brand it though ) So that people can easily connect with you on social media.
A page is also a great way to interact with past and potential clients.
Next you can join relevant groups and pages where you can offer advice or recommend your own services to anyone who asks.
For example, if you do superhero inspired children’s photography, then joining a bunch of mom groups and following them for anyone who could seek out your services, is bound to bring in a bunch of clients.
You can also promote your services by sharing pictures and blog posts if the group allows you to do that.
Facebook is only one social media platform though, it’s important to find the platforms that will work for you and your brand in order for your social media marketing to be successful.