A tweet like “my new e-book comes out next month” counts as marketing because it hints at a product we want people to acquire. Building a thread off that tweet can also be part of our marketing strategy. But just because every post can be marketing, doesn’t mean every post will work toward our goals.
Marketing is every communication intended to generate interest in a business or product and, ultimately, revenue. They can be short term goals (50 email subscribers in 1 month) or long term ($100K in profits this year). Whatever your goals, the ultimate purpose of your marketing strategy is to share information that convinces people to choose your business.
Your marketing strategy can’t just be random tweets. You need clearly defined goals, a consistent promotion schedule, and a way to measure what’s working and what isn’t.
Your marketing plan starts with identifying your goals. Your marketing goals needs two specific dimensions:
1) All of your marketing starts with a numbered goal. First, your goals need to be quantifiable. As in they need to have a number. For example, do you want 50 email subscribers? Do you want 100? Maybe you want to sell 30 sweatshirts, or book 25 hair appointments.
2) Always set your goals within a time frame. Second, your marketing goals should have a set time frame to give your promotional activities structure, and let you measure progress. Ex: 50 emails in one month, or 30 sweatshirts sold in 3 months.
DO THE MATH.
Once you’ve defined your goals (and time frame), it’s time to do the math. Divide your numbered goal by the amount of days in your time frame.
50 emails in 30 days comes out to 1.6 emails per day. So we’d need at least 2 sign-ups a day in order to guarantee our goal. With a goal of 30 sweatshirts in 3 months (90 days), the math would be 30 divided by 90 (days), and we’d have to make a sale every 3 days to reach goal.
Doing the math let’s us split our goal into smaller, daily goals and gives us a basis for our marketing content schedule.
So, how do we set up our marketing to increase the odds of hitting our goals? Start with a centerpiece product, and make a schedule that relentlessly promotes the fuck out of it.
CHOOSE YOUR CENTERPIECE.
Your centerpiece product is an ideal combination of three things:
1) Extremely easy for you to produce/deliver quickly AND well.
2) Extremely popular with your target buyer, and fairly popular with a general audience.
3) Priced high enough for you to consistently grow your revenue with it.
Remember, the ultimate goal of your marketing is to create buyers, and the ultimate goal of your business is to create sales/revenue and growth. You need to connect your promotions to the business’ ultimate goals.
Your marketing should focus on what buyers need and want. You must deliver those products consistently and well for buyers to return – and recommend you to new buyers. You should have at least ONE higher priced item that you can rely on for the bulk of your sales. This is your centerpiece product, and it will be the core of your first few marketing campaigns.
After you set a goal and time frame, do the math, and choose your centerpiece product, it’s time to figure out your target buyer. This is who you want engage with your marketing content.
Demographics – age, gender, location, etc. – are quickest ways to broadly identify your buyers. Online start-ups can find their ideal buyers by being specific, and focusing on their product benefits. Ask yourself who would gain THE MOST from purchasing your centerpiece product.
Detailed product development helps pin-point your buyers. The more you know about your products – and their benefits – the easier it is to identify buyers who a perfect fit for your brand.
For example, my centerpiece product is Custom E-commerce web design (with hosting). The benefit of this package is that it gives start-ups a ready-made shop – with web hosting, email, custom design, payment set-up, email subscriber form, plus MailChimp account set-up.
It’s a comprehensive package with all the features people to get online and begin selling immediately. The people who would most benefit from the package are those who have products ready to sell, but don’t have the time or knowledge to create a website. It’s for people who want to promote and sell their products NOW.
Create a buyer profile. A buyer profile is all the information you can safely guess about your buyer which also matches your product’s benefit. This is a key part of your marketing strategy
Start by guessing, then narrow down your guesses and add details. Create the clearest possible picture of your buyer to ensure your marketing efforts connect with them.
Say our centerpiece product is a sweatshirt with the word “LOVE” printed on the front, and we want to sell 30 in 3 months.
First, who would benefit from this sweatshirt? Who would wear this shirt? People who like clothes with messaging on them, and who also like to portray a positive image. People who love love.
Who would absolutely LOVE it the most?
Parents and grandparents of pre-teens and teenagers?
Maybe religious people?
Maybe the LGBTQ+ community?
The ideal buyer for this sweatshirt is someone who agrees with its messaging. A romantic, idealistic, positive person who also values comfortable clothing. Maybe someone who likes to experiment with sporty and casual fashion.
YOUR BUYER’S VALUES & TASTES.
When you make a buyer profile, list as many possible traits, behaviors, and identifiers as you can think of. Then, narrow down your list of traits to match it closer to your brand mission and identity.
Would religious people be likely to buy your other products as well? Would grandparents respond to your brand’s mission? Are you more or less likely to appeal to teens or their parents?
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of traits, it’s time to consider your ideal buyer’s personal tastes. What kind of media and entertainment do they like? Which celebrities do they admire? How do those celebrities speak?
What values do your buyers hold? What matters to them? What do they believe about themselves? How do they want others to see them? How do they see themselves? Who do they want to show up as in the world? What are their goals and dreams?
Your marketing content must reflect their beliefs and tastes back to them, while at the same time showcasing your centerpiece product. The idea is for your marketing content to merge your product with your ideal buyer’s vision of themselves – so that they can CLEARLY see how your product benefits them.
For example, if the ideal buyer for our sweatshirt is college-age women who live active lifestyles, and enjoy modern fashion, we’re probably going to use more sophisticated language than if we were marketing to middle school girls. We’d want to use chic fonts, as opposed to frilly ones. We’d want color tones that weren’t distracting, as opposed to neon or glitter accents in our content.
But if neon is part of brand aesthetic then we would use it in ways that highlight our brand. As you can see, preparing our marketing content is a thoughtful process. You want to give your marketing strategy ample time and consideration so that you have content you can believe in and be proud of.
Also, making the effort to craft your content to your buyer enables you to re-use and re-purpose it for multiple campaigns. When you know your buyer, and can connect them to your centerpiece product, and your brand mission, you only need to make marketing content from scratch once. Every campaign builds off the first.
The last part of your marketing strategy is the actual execution: creating and posting content. We’ve gotten ready, defined our goals, done the math, and made our buyer profile. Now we pull the trigger and start promoting.
The smartest way to run your marketing strategy online is to set it and forget it. First, create your content in bulk. Then, schedule it across channels. Channels are where you’ll share your marketing; e-mail, video, social media, and even your own website.
At the most basic level your marketing content should SHOW & TELL future buyers WHY they should choose your product. Your graphics should either include the product itself, or a visual representation of the feeling you want your product to give people.
Tell people something that touches them. Your captions/copy should have a clear main point. The point is exactly WHY buyers NEED your product. Always address the benefits.
There’s no cheat code for creating content.
START WITH THE HARD PART.
Write your captions FIRST. Decide on the MAIN message for your content. The main message is one idea that you want to give people whenever they see your content. Start with 30 captions about your centerpiece.
If we’re making content for the LOVE sweatshirt, we’d probably start with the word itself.
What inspired you to sell this sweatshirt? What does LOVE means to you? Write 30 different ideas about the word LOVE, about the sweatshirt, and about your buyers (based on the buyer profile). Bring LOVE together with your buyer. Don’t write 30 sentences about 100% cotton. Don’t write boring, generic details. Save the details for the product page.
Write 30 ideas and feelings about what the sweatshirt represents. If you find yourself struggling to write feelings about what your products represent, you’re thinking too hard. Circle back to your product development and remember why YOU choose these products. Just put down whatever pops into your head. You can refine and revise it after you get it out.
Then, add one sentence to each of the 30 ideas. Switch out words. You can write the same exact idea 5 times by changing out words with similar meaning. Play around here. Use dictionary dot com if you have to. Just hit your 30.
DON’T WASTE TIME agonizing over captions.
Keep the core brand messaging in mind, and focus on what your products GIVE to your ideal buyer. Then say the same thing over and over again in as many different ways as you can.
Now you have 30 captions. That was the hardest part of creating content.
KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS AND STAY THERE.
Next, log-in to Canva and start making content. If graphic design isn’t your strength don’t waste hours trying to be clever because Canva made you feel confident.
Your goal is to make a lot of content that reflects your brand. Your content is supposed to highlight your product. It’s supposed to represent your brand mission and appeal to your buyers.
Your content should be simple, not busy. If you’re not a graphic designer and you have 3 or more elements in your Canva graphic you’ve done too much.
The fastest way to make imagery is to use a product image (or symbolic image), and a background color/image.
If you get tempted to put words on your graphics, use only ONE VERY SHORT SENTENCE.
Create different combinations of product images / symbolic imagery against different background, with different combinations of VERY SHORT SENTENCES (brand messaging).
When you have 30 graphics and 30 captions, mix and match them and pick your favorites.
MARKETING CONTENT BLUEPRINT.
Aside from your main idea, every single piece of your social marketing content should include a direct link to your website, or to the centerpiece/goal of your marketing campaign. That means every post for the LOVE sweatshirt should link DIRECTLY to the sweatshirt’s product page – not to your homepage, not to the full catalog. Directly to the LOVE sweatshirt.
If you make a tweet that says “subscribe to my newsletter” then link DIRECTLY to the sign up form. General instructions like “Visit my website” or “Check out the new drop” aren’t enough. Show people something they want and need, tell them exactly how it helps them, and LEAD THEM DIRECTLY to the place where they buy. Period. Every time.
SCHEDULE & MONITOR.
When you know what you’re posting, saying, and where you’re linking to, you can start scheduling content.
For Facebook & Instagram you can schedule content with Creator Studio. Create a Twitter Ads account to schedule your tweets and save your media. You can also use Hootesuite to schedule content across different social accounts.
Start your content schedule with multiple posts every day. Maybe every other hour, or every 6 hours. You can recycle content. At the beginning it’s about frequency and figuring out which pieces land. After two weeks, most scheduling platforms have enough data to show your best times to posts, and how posts were engaged.
If you have Google Analytics (or JetPack on WordPress) on your website, you can site traffic social media. and compare post times to site visits. Use this information to schedule future content when it’s most likely to be seen and interacted with on social media.
Keep your marketing goals simple: Quantity in Time Frame.
Focus your content on the BUYER.
Stick to you strengths. Don’t get carried away with elaborate marketing ideas unless you know what you’re doing and can commit fully.
Consistency is key. Keep the schedule.
I know websites, writing, and heavy promotion. I also know you need to stop doubting yourself and book your call with me.