For many small businesses, 2020 was a year of stagnancy, business upsets, and loss, if not failure and bankruptcy. But, that horrible year of unprecedented challenge is behind us and 2021 looms large in our future if we have the best marketing strategies in place to capitalize on the opportunity presented as the world begins to open up again.
Without a best-in-class marketing strategy, you’ll struggle to achieve your goals, no matter how great the rest of your business operation. That’s because marketing drives the business; bringing in revenue and building for the future by developing relationships with customers.
For small businesses, owners might find building the best marketing team difficult with a limited budget. Yet, your team is one of the biggest challenges to building the best marketing strategies to move your business forward. The solution isn’t to hire average marketers but to outsource some or all of your marketing efforts to professionals who have the skills and talent to get the job done. That way, you pay a fraction of what it would cost to hire skilled marketing professionals while achieving stellar results. Check out the graphic below to see how outsourcing marketing offers the best marketing strategies at the best price since you share the cost of top talent and software across multiple firms.
Building the best marketing strategies
Recognize there’s isn’t one best marketing strategy. Instead, you must build the right strategies for your business, which means first building a marketing strategy based on your goals then backfilling marketing positions where you need new talent.
In today’s world, where digital marketing drives much of your marketing budget, you may find you need to hire marketing folks with an entirely different skill set to achieve your goals. Today, we’ll talk about 4 of these new digital positions you should consider for 2021.
A marketing strategist builds the overall strategy driving your marketing efforts. Strategic thinking requires a good deal of experience, so you want someone with a history of crafting successful marketing strategies. You also need someone intimately familiar with your customers and your market. Thus, promoting someone who proved themselves by running successful marketing campaigns over the years might fit this bill. Unfortunately, outsourcing good strategy folks isn’t an optimal solution, as this person needs focused attention on your business.
In addition to strategic thinking, marketing strategists should possess expertise in social media, advertising (both digital and traditional), relationship building, branding, analytics, and, depending on your specific operation, they might need expertise in new product development, merchandising, e-commerce, supply chain management, pricing, and other marketing areas.
The marketing strategies often leads the rest of the marketing team and performs a role as a senior manager in the company. More companies add a CMO (chief marketing officer) to their C-suite every year.
A web host isn’t a person of a strategy in and of itself but a website allows you to plant a flag in digital space to represent your brand, interact with customers and prospects to drive them toward purchases, acts as an e-commerce site, delivers customer service, and many other things. WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify are some of the most famous web hosts, whether you are looking to create a blog, an e-commerce website, or a portfolio. However, there’s a huge cost to choosing these web hosting options in terms of low SEO (search engine optimization), poor opportunities to customize (especially for mobile), challenges moving to self-hosting, and, with free plans, you’re stuck with their branding.
Hence, choose a self-hosted plan from any number of low-cost hosting options to get more from your digital presence. Most plans offer monthly payments. Finding web hosting with monthly payments is every newbies’ go-to, but unless your business fails halfway through the year, or you step down from the challenges, you’ll actually save money by purchasing an annual plan.
With a web host chosen, you can hire expert web designers and developers or customize one of the templates available for purchase or free from reputable sites like WordPress, so you feel comfortable that your website accurately captures your company, does the things you need it to do, and effectively portrays your brand. A web designer will work with the marketing strategist to make sure both the website and the social media line up with one another.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can even create your own website from scratch without writing a line of code using my ebook with step-by-step instructions. You can develop a nice website for about $150, including hosting, domain registration, theme, and everything else you need.
Social media strategies
It’s hard to ignore the opportunity offered by social media in building the best marketing strategies to move your business forward. Among the newest strategies to consider is TikTok, which is taking younger consumers by storm. If you haven’t given it a try yet, it’s really not that hard to do with a smartphone and a ring light. Here’s something to get you started with using TikTok for business.
Email marketing remains one of the best marketing strategies in terms of ROI, as you can see below.
Of course, email marketing is a chain of related strategies involving both strategies for driving subscription signups and sending email messages that convert.
In terms of gaining new subscribers, one of the keys is developing a good lead magnet, such as an ebook, private video, report, or some other element subscribers will find valuable. Most email companies, even low-cost options, like MailChimp, offer an option to send a broadcast message, which is a great vehicle to deliver your lead magnet. Once you stored your lead magnet as private on YouTube or uploaded a text or image to cloud storage, such as Google Drive, you simply send the link in a welcome message sent to new subscribers. A landing page sending visitors to the subscription form and building up the value of the lead magnet is also needed.
Once you have a list of subscribers, your next task is to send broadcast emails periodically. For some audiences, that means sending a broadcast once a day, or every week, or once a month. You can read a lot of advice across the internet with advice on elements of a great email marketing campaign such as headlines, best times to send, and the length of an email. Since a large number of emails are opened on a mobile device, that means optimizing your email for mobile. Hence, I can’t do justice to email marketing in a short post like this.
As you can see, developing the best marketing strategies is a team sport, each with its own set of skills and needed experience. Developing a team to build the best marketing strategies keeps you on track to an unimagined success!
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.