You can have the world’s greatest product or service, but your business won’t make a dollar without a strong marketing strategy and execution. If you’re confident that your offer is valuable and viable, it’s time to shift your focus to marketing and get the word out about your brand.
As it turns out, marketing requires more than ten minutes in an online logo maker and a Google Ads campaign. Those things will come into play, but the fundamentals come first!
Let’s go back to basics and run through marketing 101 for modern businesses, whether you’re starting from scratch or needing a refresh.
Set Your Value Proposition
As the founder of your business, you know exactly what you bring to the table and why others should care. But even with that 20/20 vision, that value will go untapped if you don’t create a strong value proposition for the world to see.
A value proposition should be short, sweet, and easy to digest for anyone who comes across it. Ideally, it will consist of one or two sentences explaining exactly what you offer and why it can’t be ignored.
For example, the Swedish outdoor brand Fjällräven says they “craft products for a lifetime of memories,” while Uber claims they are “the smartest way to get around.” Keep it snappy, drive the point home, and aim to make a bold statement with your value proposition! You’ve worked hard to build your business, so don’t hold back.
Establish Your Brand Position
With a value proposition set in stone, brand positioning is your next task. This process is more involved, requiring self-awareness, market research, and a deeper understanding of how you help customers and clients.
To get the most from this exercise, remember that brand position can only be understood in reference to other points on the map, or pieces on the game board. In this case, you’re positioning yourself in front of the right customers, with the right service, for the right reasons, and with the approach that maximizes satisfaction and results.
A positioning statement is longer and more detailed than a value proposition, and it tends to be for internal use instead of as a marketing slogan. However, when done correctly, this statement will help clarify all aspects of your branding and marketing, and will guide your business in the right direction moving forward.
Aim to compose one or two substantive sentences that outline your product or service, who you’re targeting, what sets you apart, and a deeper commitment or value statement behind your business.
Remember, positioning isn’t about pleasing everyone all the time–that’s impossible for any brand! Focus on what you do best and exactly how your target audience can benefit from your offer.
Once this is accomplished, you’ll find it easier to navigate more straightforward branding to-dos like using a logo maker or setting up social media ads.
Start Producing Content and Assets
The idea of content marketing has been dressed up to seem new and unique, but businesses have been attracting customers with content for centuries. The difference in today’s world is that content rules the web, and takes up way more of our attention in the form of information, entertainment, advertisements, and more.
The distinction here is between outbound vs. inbound marketing, and how much effort and cash you wish to allocate to each. Outbound includes things like ads and outreach, while inbound assets are designed to bring customers into your orbit by offering value upfront.
The most successful brands balance these categories seamlessly, making customers feel comfortable giving their time and attention without getting annoyed.
For new businesses, it may be tempting to focus on ads first, neglecting original content production in favor of quick traffic hits. However, that custom content is your source of authority and audience trust for years to come, so be sure to build the foundation before the skyscraper goes up!
With that in mind, you’ve got so many content options to choose from, and several platforms will billions of daily users to impress. Here are some content marketing favorites at the moment:
- Social media posts (images, videos, text)
- Blogs and articles, how-to guides, FAQs
- Short and long-form video assets
- Podcasts, Q&As, Webinars
- Case studies and white papers
- User-generated content (by a third party)
You can create content in-house, outsource to freelancers or agencies, or do a mix of each. The key is to keep the content flowing, and make sure ads don’t dominate your budget in the initial stretch.
This is also an opportune time to establish your brand colors, typeface, tone of voice, and sense of identity. Test your design skills with a logo maker and be ready to collaborate on your quest to create the perfect brand.
Master the Art and Science of Marketing
Even as technology marches forward and changes the business landscape, the fundamentals of strong marketing remain the same.
With confidence, consistency, and some creative ingenuity, you can put your brand in the spotlight and reap rewards beyond the limits of your imagination.