About 10% of small businesses don’t invest in marketing at all.
A lack of marketing from a small business might be caused by the owners feeling overwhelmed with how to create a promotional strategy. With no marketing or promotional strategy in place, how is a business supposed to draw in new customers?
Some businesses forgoing marketing might be why 80% of entrepreneurs who start a business fail in the first 18 months. If you’re running a business, much of its success or failure is riding on you.
Do you have a promotional strategy in place? If not, keep reading to find out tips for how to create a successful strategy that’ll boost your sales and new customer leads.
What Is a Promotional Strategy?
For many business owners, they think that promotional marketing and promotional strategies are one and the same. They’re not. They’re similar but different.
Promotional marketing deals with the specific tactics which you use to spread knowledge about your product or service. The purpose of marketing is to spur a customer to take some form of action.
The action you want your customers to take can vary. Maybe you want the customer to sign up for your site’s newsletter, or perhaps you want them to purchase a product that’s on sale.
A promotional strategy is the greater whole. It is the larger picture. A strategy deals with defining all the important aspects of your business and customer base. It also includes mapping out different tactics you’ll try in your marketing campaign.
4 Tips for Making a Promotional Strategy
It’s important to create a strategy before you start marketing. Without a strategy to guide your efforts, marketing campaigns can become disorganized. If you don’t have a coherent strategy in place, it’ll be impossible to track your KPI’s as well.
Here are four tips for making a promotional strategy:
1. Define Your Buyer Persona
The first step to making a successful promotional strategy is knowing the type of person you want to promote your product or service to. If you don’t know who your target audience is, how are you supposed to market to them?
Creating a buyer persona is similar to creating a social media profile. You should map out several key characteristics of your buyer persona, such as:
- their age range
- personality traits
- sites they frequent
- pain points
- and more
This buyer persona profile can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. Some profiles go deep, analyzing the potential customer’s lifestyle. Others keep it brief and focus on the core data.
The upside to creating an in-depth buyer persona is that it will give you ideas on how and where to better market to them. If you know a potential customer demographic frequents Facebook and that 72% of them are looking for social content that includes discounts and sales, then you can make a personalized ad targeting that group.
2. Budget Out Your Strategy
Another key aspect of creating a successful promotional strategy is determining what your overall budget is. You need to know how much you have in resources before you can begin allocating any of it. Your budget will also dictate the types of marketing you can and can’t do.
Once you’ve decided what the overall budget number is, the next step is to allocate those funds to different core aspects. You will no doubt run multiple campaigns under a single strategy.
One campaign might revolve around tracking the introduction of a new product. Maybe you spend money on advertisements spread across multiple platforms like social media, television, classifieds. Releasing a new product is a big deal, and you wanted to invest more in making a big splash.
Another campaign might involve selling year-old products at 15% off. You’re looking to get rid of old wares and don’t want to spend as much, so you designate a smaller portion for a few paid ads. You’re looking for a high-yield return on a small investment.
It’s once you have a defined budget laid out for the promotional strategy that will better enable you to know what your true ROI is.
3. Go to Your Audience
A huge mistake some entrepreneurs make is expecting customers to come to them. The world is a huge place, and there are thousands of other businesses competing with you. Your job is to make the customer’s journey as easy as possible and provide something meaningful to them.
If you want to promote your product or service to your target audience, you need to know where they are. Research where your target audience frequents online. These places might be:
- Niche Websites
- Niche Forums
One of the worst mistakes a business can make is spend all that money and time on advertising and their target audience not even see it. So long as you create a buyer persona for your product or service, you’ll know where your target audience is located.
4. Four Marketing Pillars
Once you have completed the above three steps, the last important task is to create campaigns utilizing the four marketing pillars.
The four pillars are:
Product is either the tangible item or intangible service you sell.
The price encapsulates the entire amount the customer will pay for the product. The price is also linked to the perceived value and is not limited to the objective cost of production.
Place refers to how a product is provided. If you’re selling a tangible good, the distribution of that product falls under this category. Do customers come into your brick-and-mortar store to purchase goods, or are your items all shipped? These are questions you must answer.
Promotion covers the marketing campaigns you run. This might include advertising, special offers, sales promotions, promotional products, and more. If it helps, think of promotions as how you are choosing to communicate with your customers. Content marketing is a form of promotion.
Promote Your Business the Right Way
There’s no one way to promote your business, but there is one way to do it the correct way: planning out a promotional strategy. Without a plan to help guide your marketing efforts, you are setting yourself up for mistakes you might’ve avoided otherwise.