Lesson Three:

Select Your #1 Marketing Strategy

There are many marketing strategies that are easy to implement at a low cost. As a result, many small businesses and entrepreneurs try to do them all at once, or at least a good handful of them. What ends up happening is that their efforts are spread out and they’re bogged down with distractions. Then few, if any, of the strategies end up being very successful.

Now that you have a single clearly-defined goal, you should choose just one marketing strategy that will help you reach that goal. Focusing on just one strategy at a time makes all your marketing efforts easier, more efficient and successful, and less stressful. When it comes to marketing strategies, this is where you’ll find yourself most bogged down by multitasking.

Also, remember that this is just for three months. Many small business owners and entrepreneurs find ways to automate, outsource, or delegate strategies once they’re up and running. You can simply implement the strategy and delegate it to others, then start your next.

Choosing Your Marketing Strategy

The first step in choosing your marketing strategy is to consider costs. Decide how much you’re willing to spend on marketing over the next three months and create a budget.

The best way to make this decision is to first consider your current earnings and decide on a percentage to spend on marketing. Make it a flat amount that you can afford to lose since you can’t guarantee that you’ll necessarily get a return on the investment, unless you’ve used the strategy before and you know that it will produce the desired result.

Start by asking yourself questions such as the following:

  • What’s the easiest strategy you can implement right now that doesn’t require a great deal of extra resources, training, funding, or people?
  • What has worked best in the past to achieve the same or a similar goal?
  • Is there anything that you already know you need to do more of to achieve your goal?
  • What’s on your “most wanted” list of strategies?
  • If what you’re doing now is successful, what is the next step or next level?

When considering marketing strategies, one key factor is the current size of your audience and where you have a following. The right marketing strategy is different for a small business just starting out with no customer base versus a solo entrepreneur with a large social media following.

Here are some ideas for specific strategies depending on the status of your business.

If you’re just starting out with few customers:

  • Reach out to affiliates or influential people in your market who have a similar audience and need products or services to promote
  • Attend networking events and meetups where you can make contacts
  • Approach blogs whose readership might be interested in your products or services and offer to write guest posts
  • Create social media profiles and spend some time each day interacting and posting in groups where people can see your profile
  • Create a high-value piece of content and related lead magnet that you can then drive traffic to and build a list of prospects

If you already have a customer base:

  • Try Facebook Ads targeted at current customers or website visitors
  • Run an email campaign with your current customers to tell them about new or related products
  • Set up automated follow-up emails telling customers about new or related products after they’ve made a purchase with you
  • Offer coupons or special deals that are only for customers
  • Send out surveys to gather feedback about what other products or services your customers could use, current problems your customers are facing, or feedback on how satisfied they are with your service
  • Run live product or service creation broadcasts in real-time, based on direct feedback from customers through requests or surveys
  • Create or streamline the customer onboarding process in order to ensure customers are getting their needs met

If you already have an active social media or blog following:

  • Blog three or four times per week and add content upgrades with related offers in your posts, and then promote them across social media using long-tail keywords to identify topics
  • Conduct a giveaway event through social media or your blog with a related offer
  • Run a seven-day challenge that relates to one of your products
  • Set up a newsfeed or alerts so that you’re notified of trending topics that relate to your business, and post daily commenting on what’s hot right now
  • Schedule posts for a month ahead of time and check daily, adding time-sensitive news manually. Mix it up between informational content and promotional content so that there’s a nice balance of mostly informational content

If you already have a landing page or website that is getting a great deal of traffic:

  • Run a split test to optimize conversions
  • Identify your main sources of traffic and look for ways you can increase it. An example would be to increase a landing page’s traffic by offering more content or a higher-value product
  • Add visuals and make other improvements to calls-to-action
  • Retarget traffic with related offers. These can be either free or paid

If you have an email list (even a small one):

  • If you haven’t been sending emails for a while, run a re-engagement campaign
  • Send out a survey to find out your subscribers’ main needs and requests
  • Review your email campaign metrics. Look at metrics such as open rates and clicks and try to find ways to optimize subject lines and calls-to-action
  • Segment your list for each product, service, or category to make your content more targeted and relevant
  • Create exclusive offers for different segments of your list depending on their preferences and needs
  • Send coupons to loyal customers as a way of saying thanks
  • Create additional content with helpful tips and high-value promotional offers
  • Create or optimize your customer onboarding to make sure that customers get the results they’re expecting

If you already have a tactic that’s working well:

  • Look for ways to expand or add on to that tactic. For example, if your Facebook group is impacting your sales, consider doing the same thing with a LinkedIn group or running a campaign that will increase the size and engagement of your group.
  • Find ways to better optimize the results of the tactic. If you’re getting a great deal of your business through website visitors, employ methods to optimize your top landing pages.
  • Figure out ways to diversify. If you’re heavily dependent on referrals for new sales, consider another method such as doing a series of guest blog posts that send people to your lead magnet.

You’ve been exposed to many different ideas here. Now, with your goal in mind and having considered your current situation, choose one strategy that you will use for the next three months.

As with your goal, you can take a big strategy and break it down into something smaller and more manageable. Also like your goal, devise some way to measure the results of your efforts. You’ll need to look at your progress in three months and be able to determine whether the strategy is paying off or not.

Brainstorm a few options and narrow them down until you’ve found the best one. Before you start implementing it, review your foundations and the answers you gave to the questions in this module to make sure it’s the right one.

Learning Activity:

  1. Determine how much you are willing to spend on marketing in the next three months.
  2. Answer the questions listed in the module.
  3. Note which of the other factors listed in the module apply to your business.
  4. Fill in the next section of the Rapid Results Marketing Cheat Sheet, making sure it’s in line with the first two sections – your foundation and your #1 marketing goal.
  5. Pick one marketing strategy or one step in a larger strategy for the next three months.