Marketing can be a confusing field. There are so many terms that people toss around and so many ideas to familiarize yourself with that it can be quite daunting. At the same time, you can’t let yourself be beaten because a company without marketing is not really a company, as word of mouth really isn’t enough without the right marketing push behind it.
For that reason, we’re going to look at 12 of the vital elements every beginner should know.
Read the experts
First and foremost, realize that a lot of the information you’re going to find online is absolute junk. For that reason, always make certain that you know if the person who you’re reading actually knows what they’re talking about. Do they have experience? Are they writing for a reputable site? Have you heard this advice many times before?
Only if you can answer ‘yes’ to at least one of these questions should you listen to what they have to say. Otherwise, you might well end up being led down the garden path. You’re actually in a good position, as you haven’t picked up any bad habits or horrible ideas yet. Some people out there could really benefit if they would be willing to let some of the bad ideas they’ve got go.
Know your Customers
You can’t market if you don’t know who your customers are. For that reason, it is vital to always be doing research on them. Marketing is a two-way street. The customers tell you who they are and what they want and then you find some way to strengthen their identity and give them what they want.
What is the target market? It’s such an important question. The better defined your target market is and the more you know about them, the better off you’ll be to craft your message so that it appeals to them. And that can make the difference between a lackluster response to a marketing campaign and something that goes viral. So always know who your target market is.
The ideal customer
In fact, take it a step further. Figure out who your ideal customer is and market to them exclusively. The ideal customer is a part of your target market that benefits most from using your product. By marketing solely to them, you’re far more likely to get them excited (as we like it when people speak directly to us) and when they’re excited they’re going to talk about your brand.
Now if you’re talking about your brand that’s good. If other people are talking about your brand that is so much better! For that reason, always be striving to get positive reviews and good word of mouth going. In fact, focus more on the than building your fan base. Because if people are talking about you, then that will grow your fan base.
The product is what a company makes and the brand is what the customer buys. Do your branding correctly and your company is the first thing that they’ll think of when they think of your particular niche – a bit like pampers, or band aids.
Differentiate yourself from the competition
This is not the open savanna. You don’t want to be in the middle of the pack because then nobody will notice you. Instead, you have to stand out, you have to be special. And to do that you always need to know what your competitors are doing so that you can differentiate yourself.
You are a brand
If you’re starting a new company, then it isn’t just a product that you’re selling, you’re also selling yourself. For that reason always make certain that you’re being presented in the best light as well. This is doubly important, because though your business might fold, what you put out there about you will never go away again.
So make sure it’s flattering and always make sure you’re engaging in understanding yourself better by engaging in self-directed learning! Because you can’t market what you don’t understand.
The story matters
People like a good story, for that reason, give them one before they make their own. This is one of the big reasons why content marketing has taken off in such a big way in these years past. It allows people to help shape the story about themselves (as well as draw audiences to their website without needing to constantly be advertising). Because if you’re not shaping it somebody else will.
Balance real and digital
The digital world holds a lot of promise, but it shouldn’t be the end all and be all of your market. If you do that you’re going to miss real world opportunities. Why care about that? Well, you never know how things are going to develop and where opportunities are going to present themselves.
And the more fishing lines you have out, the more likely you’ll get a bite. That way, if the online marketplace slows, you’ll still have the real world, and vice versa.
You have to spend money to make money
Marketing costs money. It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, but it costs money. You have to build a website, you have to create content for that website, and then you have to market it.
If you’re not willing to put any money into that marketing, then don’t expect the hordes to come bearing down on you! You have to spend money to make money and if you don’t, well then it’s going to be a hard slog!
It takes time
And finally, it takes time. The less you spend, the more time it takes, but even if you’re willing to spend millions it will still take a while. There are the ropes to learn and a market to understand. In fact, if you want to market your own stuff, then it’s important that you start slowly. You can learn how to market, but it might take longer than you might think. So be patient. Don’t quit your day job and try to at least get a good grasp of the basics before you commit yourself to the marketing arena. Because it’s a blood sport!