So, you’ve just started a new business. Firstly, we here at Strawberry Forge want to offer you our sincerest congratulations. As a company now in our fourth year, we understand that this is an exciting time.
Having said that, it’s also a scary time. And you know the old saying, “If you fail to prepare then you prepare to fail.”
Did you know that 20% of businesses fail within their first year, and 60% will go bust within three? This is why effective marketing should form a crucial part of your ongoing plans.
Let’s take a look at how to create your strategy. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves; let’s first discuss your goals and buyers.
What Are Your Business Goals?
Every single business is different. Yes, the end result is to make money, but what are the steps that lead up to that? You need to identify these goals before anything else so your marketing has the biggest effect.
For example, property developers seek to educate potential clients, as it builds trust. This requires content marketing (such as blogs and downloadable guides), but it also means patience is needed. Content takes time to rank on Google and is considered the best long-term solution.
However, if your goals are to increase sales by X% in the next three months, you’ll probably be more interested in PPC advertising (Pay-Per-Click). Theoretically, that should boost sales if your campaign is run properly, but there’s no longevity to that plan and it requires constant payment to work.
The worst thing you can do during the initial stages of running your business is to focus on immediate ROI over your future ROI. You should be setting short, medium and long-term goals as part of your strategy to ensure you always have marketing material going out.
Who Are Your Buyers?
This might seem obvious on the surface, but your target buyers don’t all have the same motivations.
Let’s say you’re an estate agent who needs more properties on the books. In a nutshell, your target client is someone who wants to sell their house. On the flipside of that, you’re also looking for motivated buyers. But life isn’t black and white, so you need to know what’s actually compelling individuals to buy or sell.
Some people want to move because they need more space to start a family; others are searching for a smaller property because their kids have flown the nest. This affects your tactics.
If the couple looking to start a family are on the fence about moving, you could do some research into the area they’re living in now and point out the lack of schools or parks. Then, you can highlight how another property you’ve been instructed to sell has all the amenities needed for raising a family.
And just like that, you’re on track to get one client selling and making a purchase in one go.
If you build a marketing strategy around the wrong points, it will fail. This is why you need to understand the key demographics you’re targeting, and the best way to do that is by developing buyer personas.
In short, a buyer persona is a representation of your target buyers. They’re put together based on real-life interviews with your current customer base, giving you a deeper understanding of why they wanted to make a purchase — and in some cases, what would stop them from buying from you.
Building Your Strategy
To make a real impact online, you need a decent website. After all, it’s where most of your digital traffic will come from. Most businesses at this early stage would rather make do with cheap brochure sites, but these quick jobs don’t do your business any justice. Plus, they’re often replaced in a year or two at great expense. So, what exactly is a “decent” website?
If your website looks bland, boring or downright unprofessional, you’ll lose custom. You have to grab people’s attention immediately and make sure you don’t lose it.
As part of our web design services, we put together:
- Colour palettes
- Unified branding for social media platforms
- And anything else you require
This ensures your site reflects the quality of your services. And as part of our own service, you’ll receive documented brand guidelines to keep all your marketing materials in uniform from that point on.
User Experience (UX)
No one wants to spend an eternity clicking around a website trying to find the information they need. Take a look at the Strawberry Forge website as an example on how to get the layout right. You’ll notice how easy it is to navigate with all the steps you need to take clearly signposted.
The right web design actually has a huge impact on sales.
UK-based psychologist and researcher Dr. Elizabeth Sillence carried out an experiment on the correlation between web design and hypertension.
94% of respondents said poor web design made them feel uneasy, which made them trust the website significantly less. If your site isn’t up to scratch , it will have a huge, negative impact when it comes to lead generation.
Your Web Content
In our experience, the earlier stage search terms are what drive sales. For example, let’s say you have a blog entitled “What is a Divorce?”
I know — it’s not a cheery subject, and it’s borderlining on the obvious. But this is what we call an Awareness stage blog, meaning all your potential client wants at this stage is to be educated.
The next step is called the Consideration stage. An example of this could be “How to Get Full Custody of Your Children.” At this point, the reader is aware of what divorce is and wants to know what the wider implications are.
The final stage is called the Decision stage — your reader has now reached a conclusion and is actively looking for the right company to help. A blog at this stage could be “Choosing the Right Divorce Lawyer.”
It’s important to keep content clear and concise; nothing alienates a potential client or customer more than jargon. Keep in mind who you are writing for, and spell out anything that you think is obvious, as it might not be obvious to a total novice. If you hit the nail on the head, you build trust, which increases the chances of a sale.
And of course, if you plan each blog with SEO in mind, they stand a much greater chance of being picked up by search engines, opening up your site to a wider audience.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This means tailoring your content so the likes of Google and Bing will pick them up and place your content in a prime position.
This can be done through:
- Keyword research
- Structuring your content with headings and paragraphs
- Internal and external linking
There’s a lot more to SEO than we’ve written here, but you can always check out our SEO Expertise page to learn more.
Your Social Media Channels
Web content gives you the means to speak with your customer base, but you also want to create more methods so they can speak to you. Social media is great for keeping communication open.
It allows you to connect with clients on a more personal level. They may have questions for a member of your team, or they may want to express thanks if your service has helped them.
And if they do get in touch to say thanks, you can then ask for a testimonial. This is social proof that your company delivers on the needs of its customers. These testimonials can then be showcased on your website for added credibility.
Naturally, not every social media channel will be right for your company. For the divorce lawyer example above, we definitely wouldn’t recommend TikTok.
Not only will we help you find the right channels to use, we’ll create branded assets to use across all your social media platforms, giving a uniformed, company-wide look.
Start Your Business on the Right Foot
The success we’ve had so far isn’t down to luck; it’s been down to planning. We have clear goals in mind and we know who we want to advertise our services to.
Ensure your company sees the same — if not greater — success by contacting the team at Strawberry Forge for your comprehensive digital marketing needs.