As a young entrepreneur, you must dedicate a significant part of your time and budget towards marketing. A marketing campaign is something that has to be well thought out – you cannot just think of one as you go along. The best marketing campaigns are very well researched, highly detailed with a specific focus on execution. A marketing campaign does not have to be a one big idea.
To plan your marketing campaign, first understand your position in the marketplace. Whatever you decide to do with your marketing, no matter in which direction you want to take it, be sure to leave room for changes. This is important because no marketing campaign is perfect – they require several iterations and modifications along the way.
Keeping this in mind, let’s look at how you can make a success of your marketing through a step-by-step process.
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1.Goal setting, Research and Ideas
Step #1: Ideas – From Idea Formation to Execution
As a small business owner, you’ve probably got a lot of ideas in your mind, but may not realize it as yet. Now, identify those ideas and organize them in a way that will allow you to make the most of your opportunities.
To start off, get a Trello board, which is a web based collaboration tool which allows you to organize your ideas on a board-like setting. Write down your ideas on a card and drop each card into the “ideas” column.
Once you have enough ideas out there, identify the scope of each idea – how long will it take, what about the resources that it would require and what are the results expected?
Now, as your marketing campaign gets started, move the ideas cards through different stages of the planning process. Validate each idea as you go along and organize everything in a way that you are accountable for the execution of each idea from start to finish.
Step #2: Do Your Research
Do your research on your audience, find out what moves them and what excites them. Here are some of the things you will need to find out…
- What does your audience like?
- What sort of content or campaign would get your audience’s attention?
- Which part of the marketing funnel do you want to target first?
Is there a need in the marketplace for something specific which you are able to fulfill?
Focus on delivering as much value as possible to your prospects. Always remember, the customer knows what they want – give it to them, no questions asked.
Step #3: Goal Setting
So once you’ve identified a marketing opportunity, it’s time to set very specific goals. The whole idea of marketing is to generate more sales for your business. So any goals set by you should keep that in mind. For example, when we launched a new marketing campaign at Liverix.com, was goal was to get 1,000 new members to sign up each month, and we have largely succeeded at that, as today Liverix.com has a network of over 92,000 members from over 120 different countries. So, zero down on specific performance indicators which are important to your business and be realistic and yet ambitious about your goal setting.
2. Building Your Campaign
Next, start taking action with your marketing campaign; build it up into something significant. Your goal in this stage should be to ensure a smooth marketing experience for your customers. You can start by creating a dedicated landing page for your marketing campaign. The landing page created by you should direct your intended audience towards the call-to-action, or towards completing the action required of them which would result in a sale for you, in a seamless manner.
So how to design a great landing page? A landing page should answer the question – what’s in it for me. This means it should talk about the benefits, and not necessarily about the features. Make sure that your prospects are given all the information they need to help them arrive at the right decision.
When we created a landing page for our marketing campaign at Liverix.com, our focus was on getting 5 essential elements of landing page design right. They are…
- A UVP (or Unique value proposition)
- Mention of Benefits
- A Hero shot
- Reviews, Testimonials and other Social proof
- An effective Call to action
Once you’ve designed a landing page for your campaign using the design elements listed here, it’s time to test it relentlessly.
Use A/B testing or Split Testing. This means putting out two or three different versions of the landing page design to a select audience and deciding on which one to use for the larger campaign targeted at a much bigger audience based on their reaction. It sure takes time, but testing ensures that you are not taken by surprise at any stage once the campaign is underway and are prepared for all eventualities.
3. Tracking the Campaign
Now that the campaign is underway, you will want to know how it’s performing at every stage. Google Analytics is one of the best analytics tools available to you and it’s free. It allows you to track your marketing campaign and monitor your conversions. However, some marketers feel that Google Analytics doesn’t give them all the answers they want. In that case you can use other analytics tools such as KISSmetrics, which tracks the progress of your campaign through all parts of the marketing funnel.
So what defines a conversion for your campaign? It can be different things for different businesses. But for our marketing campaign at Liverix.com, we have a simple conversion strategy…
- To attract prospects to our landing page
- To get them to sign up for the trial offer
- To get them to use our services. You can design your own marketing funnel and create a conversion strategy based on that.
- Promotions and Distribution
Next, let’s focus on promotions. How to take your message to your chosen audience? To as many people as possible within a short time. Some of the tools used for promotions are email marketing, social media marketing, press releases, creation of contests on social media channels such as Instagram and so on. Promotions are the most important part of a marketing campaign, so this should not be taken lightly.
What about distribution? The social media is one of the biggest assets you can have for the distribution of your campaign. You should be sure to create a business profile on all major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. You should use your social assets to distribute content to as many people as possible.
Schedule your promotional messages well in advance and distribute them on various social media channels. The social media allows you to keep your ears close to the ground and know exactly what’s happening in the marketplace and identify the latest trends well before they become popular.
Email marketing is a great technique to distribute your content as well. Email marketing works only if you have an engaged list with you already, if so, announcing your campaign to your subscribers is as easy as it is effective. People who have subscribed to your email lists already know what they are in for and they are the early adopters of your new products and services.
Then there are other popular techniques for getting your message across, such as PPC (paid-per-click) advertising. Running a PPC campaign on Google AdWords is a powerful way to promote your business and cost-effective strategy. It is a highly targeted way of marketing and gives you the most bang for your buck, compared to other marketing techniques.
4. Developing Leads
Your work is not finished as yet. Now that you have got leads, you will need to continue your relationship with them and convert leads into customers. And once you’ve got customers, your goal should be to convert them into repeat customers. This is what we mean by developing leads. The only way to make this happen is to consistently deliver high value and offer a great customer service. There is no substitute for this.
Remember… there is no such thing as perfect marketing campaign. Every marketing campaign will teach you something. You must be quick on your feet and learn as you go with each and every marketing campaign. Break down your larger goals into smaller, easily achievable targets. Treat every marketing activity as a distinct campaign by its own right.
Always leave room for improvement and iterate constantly. We wish you all the success with your marketing. Meanwhile, keep using Liverix.com as your #1 source for finding business partners and investors.