Running a business in the 21st century means dealing with an interesting paradox: on the one hand, there are countless resources, data measuring tools, and platforms available that, when used correctly, can help your business thrive. On the other, there is more competition in digital spaces than ever before, and just one quick search provides consumers with multiple options for the same service. How can modern business owners navigate the high-stakes digital world, managing not only to survive, but to thrive? The answer is in coming up with a dynamic and adaptive strategy that’s rooted in real data and consumer behavior. How does one create such a thing? Keep reading to find out!
Create a Budget
With the seemingly endless marketing opportunities in the modern digital world, it’s absolutely critical not to bite off more than you can chew. That’s why the first step in creating any marketing strategy is to outline a budget that works for your business, allowing you to reach new customers and expand without spreading your bank account too thin.
It is recommended that start-ups and small businesses spend between 2% and 3% of their gross revenue on marketing endeavors. That being said, it’s important not to take this statistic at face value: look to your immediate competitors’ expenditures and, if possible, try to match them. In order to reach as many people as they are, you’ll need to be spending similar amounts of money on advertising.
Data is Everything
It’s crucial to take a look at what the numbers are saying about any and every marketing strategy you release. This means measuring your analytics on a weekly basis in order to quickly identify trends in what is or is not working. Successful marketing is rooted in giving your audience what they want to see, when they want to see it, in order to build a trust-based relationship that pays off in the long term. It’s impossible to know what’s working for your audience without tracking their engagement with your content.
Start with Google Analytics, and set up a UTM code for each of your initiatives in order to see what tactics are bringing in the highest-quality traffic. Social media channels also offer plenty of analytics tools, and it’s important that you take advantage of them. Tools like Facebook Audience Insights and Sprout Social are excellent for taking data from social media. And if your budget allows, HubSpot is a great comprehensive solution for learning how leads engage over time.
Give it Time
It’s hard to find the balance between making necessary adjustments fast enough and waiting too long to update your strategy, which is precisely why we recommend the three-month rule. A quarter is a good amount of time during which to measure the performance of an initiative. If after 12 weeks a campaign or initiative hasn’t performed as well as intended, it’s time to make adjustments.
This is particularly important if you’re working with a digital agency. It’s normal to be concerned if you’re not seeing results right away, but it’s also crucial to understand that building out well-crafted campaigns takes time – and patience is well worth it when considered alongside the long-term revenue that a new campaign can bring. If after three months your agency hasn’t performed the way you’ve expected it to, it’s time to re-evaluate.
Coming up with a marketing strategy that works is about so much more than having a plan; it means being adaptive, always ready to pivot and update your initiatives in order to better reach your customers. Luckily, there are countless tools at your disposal to help you do just that. To learn more about creating a beautiful marketing strategy that works, reach out to us.
Read Kelly’s full article, Don’t ‘Set and Forget’ Your Marketing Plan. Here’s How to Make it Agile, on Business2Community.com.