Over the past few years, the number of small and medium businesses has continued to rise. With such intense competition, it can be challenging to stand out. One way to increase brand recognition and discoverability is through marketing. However, with so many methods, strategies, and marketing types – you must be wondering how to get into marketing.
In this article, you’ll learn different types of marketing and the steps to choose the right strategy for your business.
5 Types of Marketing
With so many marketing types available, it’s important to understand how they differ from one another.
This section will briefly cover both offline and online marketing types to help you build a solid understanding of the concepts.
Traditional marketing refers to advertising and promotion through offline channels. This includes print ads such as billboards and brochures, as well as broadcasts like television commercials or radio.
Digital marketing, also referred to as online or internet marketing, is the opposite of traditional marketing.
It encompasses all marketing efforts that use online channels, such as brand promotions through email blasts and social media posts.
Content marketing is a part of digital marketing where marketers create, publish, and distribute content such as blog posts, videos, eBooks, and other consumable material on online platforms.
The purpose of content marketing isn’t to explicitly promote a brand. Instead, it aims to prompt interest and build brand credibility by answering questions that potential customers might have about a product, brand, or industry.
Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a form of digital marketing to increase website or web page visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).
With SEM, marketers pay for ads to appear on the top of search results for a specific keyword. So when a user searches those terms, they will see an ad for your brand, increasing the chance for clicks.
Email marketing is the act of sending promotional messages to your email list – a group of customers who have consented to receive updates and promotions from you.
Among others, email marketing can be used to promote new products and generate sales, or to send out surveys to connect with your audience.
How to Choose the Right Marketing Strategy
Choosing the right marketing strategy depends on your business goals, budget, and target audience.
Follow the steps below to find out which ones are the most effective for your business.
1. Determine Your Business Goals
To choose the right marketing strategy, you need to understand your business goals.
Consider your marketing objectives – the measurable goals that outline the end results of your strategy. The main purpose is to guide your marketing efforts toward set milestones.
For instance, is it to increase sales by building relationships with customers on social media? To attain a certain number of orders for a new product launch using an email marketing campaign? Or to increase customer acquisition by implementing search engine optimization to your content marketing efforts?
To create a successful marketing strategy, it’s crucial to clearly define your business objectives. Additionally, follow the SMART framework to help guide your plan, which outlines that marketing goals must be:
- Specific. Clearly define your goal by understanding what you want to achieve, what needs to change or improve, and which marketing strategy will be the most effective.
Example: Increase engagement rate on social media
- Measurable. Make sure you can track your progress by setting a clear metric and benchmark to achieve your objective.
Example: Increase engagement rate on social media by 50%
- Attainable. Keep your goals feasible and realistic to stay committed and accountable. Observe whether you have the required resources, budget, and time to achieve the goal.
Example: Increase engagement rate on social media by 25%
- Relevant. Assess whether this objective is in line with your overall business goal. If not, it can be a waste of time and effort.
Example: Increase engagement rate on social media by 25% to improve brand awareness and become the go-to source of information
- Time-bound. Set a deadline or a specific time frame to achieve your goal.
Example: Increase engagement rate on social media by 25% by the end of the year to improve brand awareness and become the go-to source of information
2. Understand Your Target Audience
Understanding your target audience influences the marketing channel and strategy you choose.
For instance, if you’re targeting a younger audience, a trending platform like TikTok can give your brand the most exposure. But if you’re targeting millennials, email marketing and social media channels like YouTube or Facebook can be great options.
Having a clear understanding of your target audience also helps set the tone of voice in your marketing campaigns. If you’re targeting kids, it’s best to be playful and easygoing. Meanwhile, sounding friendly and knowledgeable can be an excellent approach for a slightly older audience.
Consider following this guide to identify your target audience:
- Analyze the current customer base. Look at the people who are already buying your product. Send out surveys or engage through social media to gain information about their age, location, and interests.
- Analyze competitors. If you’re just starting out, learning from more established competitors can give a lot of insight into successful marketing channels and strategies.
- Use an analytics tool. Consider using Google Analytics to gain insight on the channels your audience prefers and the type of content they are engaging with the most.
3. Research Competitors
Conducting competitive research includes identifying competitors and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.
When done right, it can provide insight into what’s trending in the market, which can help your business scale and grow by understanding which marketing strategy to use.
Competitive analysis also helps to reveal why specific competitors are preferable to customers. For example, maybe it’s because of how they communicate their product’s benefits or use the right channel to reach the target audience.
You can even use these findings to tap into a segment of underserved customers and find a unique market position.
Here are several steps to help you get started:
- Identify key competitors in the industry.
- Analyze competitors’ online presence.
Look at their websites, social channels, and the type of content they publish. From there, analyze the topics they talk about most frequently and the platform where they are most active.
- Gather information.
Gather information by becoming a customer. This can give significant insight into how they treat consumers and the best practices your brand can learn from.
- Track your findings.
Organize and track your findings. Create a comprehensive list of their pros and cons, unique selling points, and marketing channels.
- Check online reviews.
This is a great shortcut to gain insight into customer satisfaction. Look for positive and negative reviews, and use the feedback to help identify factors where your own brand leads or falls behind.
- Identify areas for improvement.
After performing the steps above, brainstorm and develop at least one area your business can improve in.
From there, continue to monitor and observe competitors to stay relevant in the market.
4. Plan Your Marketing Budget
A solid marketing budget can help you stay on track financially and set realistic benchmarks for your business. Understanding how much you’re willing to allocate will also help determine the right strategies that work with your budget.
Different strategies vary in cost. For example, television advertising is known to be the most expensive form of marketing. Meanwhile, you can leverage digital marketing strategies such as content or social media marketing for free or with a minimum budget.
5. Evaluate Your Marketing Strategy
Choosing the right marketing strategy is not one-and-done. If you want to grow, scale, and keep your business relevant in the long run, then consistent monitoring and evaluation are critical.
This practice will provide data-based insight into the strategies that work and those that need to change or improve.
Consider the following metrics to measure whether your marketing strategy is successful:
- Return on investment (ROI). Determine whether your marketing strategy is profitable.
- Sales number. Check whether you’re making more sales than the previous quarter or year.
- Customer response and reactions. Consider using a social listening tool to gain insight into what customers say about your brand or product.
- Competitor action. If competitors monitor your marketing tactics and strategies, they may have observed your efforts and seen success in them.
Having a marketing strategy is essential when running a business. It creates a roadmap for your operation and acts as a guideline on how to grow your venture.
As there are various marketing types, make sure to pick ones that are in line with your vision. Here’s a recap of the steps on how to choose the right marketing strategy for your business:
- Determine business goals
- Understand target audience
- Research competitors
- Plan marketing budget
- Evaluate marketing strategy
Take these measures to set up a solid marketing strategy for your business and start achieving your desired outcome.