If you decided to start your own business, then you’ve done the hardest part. You made your first step. Now you need to show the world your skills and products. But often, this is easier said than done. Most things you have to know about the business you started with are clear to you and you made a basic business plan.

Somewhere in that business plan of yours, you’ll eventually find that you also need a marketing plan. But how does one dive into this deep marketing world if you don’t have any previous knowledge?

These tips will help you to organize your business and make your business more accessible to your customers. You’ll see that it can be easy-peasy-lemon-squeeze once you learn the basic tips.

1. Be digitally involved in the market.

The same way you own a physical store or an office where your business operates, you need to have a digital equivalent.

With millennials and generation Z around, who were born into the world of internet, you need to digitize your business.

Start with making a website where you’ll offer your service and/or products. Support it with social media channels where you’ll grow your brand awareness and customer loyalty.

2. Make a partnership with another brand suitable for your business.

Make sure you understand your business niche properly. Find other brands that may be involved in the same niche as you, and make a collaboration. If you’re selling wedding dresses, for example, why not pair up with an event agency for hen parties? You’ll be able to make a strong brand presence together and support each other in this confusing world of digital marketing.

You can also use referrals to promote your business; they will tell a story about you and make your closer to your clients.

3. Learn what niche and target audience is relevant to your business

We get it — you want to reach out to as many people as possible. But are you sure that all those people are your ideal customers?

Trying to reach people outside your target audience and niche takes both time and a lot of effort. And it usually doesn’t bring the results you were hoping for.

Have in mind that this is a marathon, not a sprint race. Take your time to get to know your customers online and the way they behave.

The most expensive resource in marketing is the customer’s attention. So talking to the right people about the relevant thing could be the best tip for entrepreneurs.

4. Understand the changes in customers’ expectations.

As mentioned above, you will need to focus more on the new digital generations of your customers.

The young people born in the 2000’s — generation Z even replace millennials in consumerism.

The way they consume content is completely different from the way other generations do. You need to focus on quality content in various forms — video, text, images.

5. Follow the trends in marketing.

In addition to the previous tip — get away from the olden ways of marketing. Spend some time learning what is attractive to customers and people who consume your content. You can find a lot of great marketing advice from marketing blogs online. If you spend more time learning about the marketing techniques, you’ll spend less time correcting mistakes.

Learn new digital tactics by reading the forums and blogs about marketing.

Test and try new approaches, change and combine them from time to time. You can use live-streaming videos, mobile video content, Chabot’s, geofencing, AI, machine learning.

Follow the trends in marketing.
Follow the trends in marketing.

6. Marketing funnels should not be created for you, but for the client.

Back in the old days of marketing, marketing funnels were tailored to keep the reader’s attention for as long as possible. Today users intuitively know this and find this approach boring. They “know the catch” and simply leave the site if it’s boring to them. You’ll have to try harder than just dividing a blog post into seven parts.

In 2018, it’s crucial that you actually provide value to your reader. If they have a problem, you must identify it and offer a solution. Often, readers don’t even know what their problems are. But you, as a skilled entrepreneur, should be there to guide them.

7. Learn to recycle!

We all know how recycling is important in real life, but that could be used for your digital marketing strategy. You can take an existing piece of content and find a new topic for it. Some topics never get old, and you’ll need just a news headline and a few tweaks. Try searching for trending topics from your niche and see if there’s any existing content on other websites you can use for your own.

8. Use social networks.

One of the biggest marketing myths for entrepreneurs is that you need to be present on all the social networks.

Take time to research your target audience and which social network they use and focus on building your online presence there.

Presence on the social network does not mean just sharing the photos and witty statuses. You’ll need to learn about focus group targeting and learn about which social networks are best to use in your niche.

If you’re a coffee shop — then you should focus on Instagram as that’s the place for sharing images of a perfect latte.

9. Today marketing becomes more interactive.

Reading the articles and watching videos is not enough anymore. People love to be entertained and learn through playing. More and more websites and blogs offer small interactive games or live-streaming that amuse site visitors. But through this engaging content, you actually provide value to the reader.

Not just the value for them, but also for your brand — as you’re positioning yourself a thought leader in your field.

10. Consumerism actually becomes more personal.

It is not hard to predict what the new era of shopping will look like. People have less time for visiting large shopping malls. That’s why online shopping is more popular every day. If you’re selling goods — make sure that your website has a good e-commerce platform. Customers love to feel that they’re important to you — that’s why you may want to think about having a chat support on your website.

By tracking your customers’ online behavior, you’ll be able to give them a more personal experience. You can suggest them products/services, based on their previous purchases.

Consumerism actually becomes more personal.
Consumerism actually becomes more personal.
Consumerism actually becomes more personal.
Consumerism actually becomes more personal.

11. Focusing on privacy and safety is very important for digital marketing today.

After all the scandals regarding the unauthorized use of data on the internet, people are particularly worried about their online safety.

Sensitive data like credit card numbers, name and address must be protected according to the law, at all times.

Make sure that you done everything needed to protect your customers from frauds, stealing and sharing data to the third parties.

12. Maintain the relationship with your customers

Suggesting a subscribe or “sign-up” option on your blog is a great way to keep track of who’s interested in what you have to offer.

By keeping track of your online visitors, you can analyze their online behavior, especially on your website.

That way, you can send them information about new blog posts, but also new products, actions, and sales.

You should also include a call-to-action part in your blog posts, which can persuade the visitor to take a certain action on your website (shopping, subscribing to your blog, etc.)

13. Maintaining the relationship with clients means that you understand their needs

An FAQ is a great thing to have on your website, as well as a 24/7 chat. Some chat supports are even automatized, thanks to amazing AI technology nowadays.

14. However, your employers are an important link in the marketing chain.

Teach them to be communicative, reliable and kind to your clients, whether they work in a physical store or on the Internet.

If you have an employee in charge of answering clients questions, they must know what they’re dealing with. Investing in your employees’ education and knowledge regarding the business is essential for the brand.

Presenting your team to the customers will make your brand more personal. That way, your customers won’t have the impression of talking to an abstract company, but rather a team of devoted individuals.

15. Do not hesitate to ask your clients for feedback.

There’s no need to explain how important is to have customers’ testimonials about your products or services.

Sometimes, even the most satisfied customers forget to leave a review. A polite call-to-action to write a review if satisfied can make a significant difference from having none to having a lot of good reviews on your website and social media.

Author Bio: Ana Vernot is A Marketing Executive at Play Media. In charge of managing, executing, analyzing and reporting on the creative process as a whole. Operates in the fields of Social Media Optimization and Social Media Marketing.

Originally posted at RuhaniRabin.com
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Ruhani Rabin being a tech and product evangelist for almost 20 years. He was VP, CPO for various digital companies. Plays with Drones in his free time.