Marketing Strategy

What Is a Marketing Strategy and Should You Want One?

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Today I want to talk about marketing strategy and why you should want one.

I was talking with a client. I do a lot of one-on-one coaching and somebody contacted me and wanted to learn how to market themselves better. So during the discussion, she said, “Hey, I’ve got about 100 followers on Instagram, and I really want to grow my Instagram following because I think I can create great influence there.” I said, “Okay, let’s talk about that a little bit. Who is your audience?”

We came to find out that her audience is around 40 to 60 years old and what she’s trying to do is harvest them on Instagram, but that is a younger person’s game. Most of the people on Instagram tend to be millennials, Gen Y, Gen Z, all younger than her target audience. Therefore it probably wasn’t the right place for her to focus her attention. The second problem with Instagram is it does not really link anywhere. So you can share all these great posts, get great connections, but it’s not going to draw people back to your website. Generating web traffic is not one of the strengths of Instagram, let’s put it that way.

When you are trying to direct them to your website, where are you taking them back to? That’s part of the strategy.

A strategy is a plan of action or a policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. The big idea here is to aim. What are you aiming for? What do you want people to do?

Ready, Fire, Aim

One of the strategies, the way that I work in my own business, and how I teach people to strategize is what I call ready, fire, aim. I’m sure you’ve heard that before.

  1. Ready: Plan the work.
  2. Fire: Work the plan.
  3. Aim: Measure the results.

Learn what’s working from what you’ve done and then go back and lather, rinse, repeat. So when somebody says they want to create a strategy, the question I always ask is “What do you want them to do?”

Now I’ve mentioned before the importance of owning your own website. Many people try to focus on building an audience on social media. It can produce great results, and you can get a lot of attention and a lot of kudos. But it’s more like a sugar high. The problem is that anytime, A) the platform can change. or B) the platform can decide you no longer have access, and block you for no apparent reason.

Let’s take a look at Facebook pages. So, Facebook got everybody on a sugar high saying, “Hey, start a business page, get all these followers and likes and all this great stuff.” So people spent months and months trying to build up a following. Thousands of people are following you, and then one day, Facebook flips the switch and says, “Okay, great. Now we’re not gonna show your business in the newsfeed anymore. If you want your people to see your stuff, guess what? You gotta pay for it.” That’s right, it happens — and it did happen. So you could spend all of that time on a platform and suddenly, nobody sees your stuff unless you pay for it.

Then there’s the “Oh No… I’m blocked on Facebook?” situation. You have no idea how or why a simple little post can put you in Facebook jail or get you completely kicked off the platform. Could that happen on Instagram? Heck yeah. Guess who owns Instagram? Facebook. You think their policies are very different between the two platforms? Not really.

To combat this you need a strategy… Ready, Fire, Aim. Plan the work, work the plan, measure the results.

Traffic Strategy

I often say that there are only two ways for you to get traffic. When I’m talking about traffic, I’m talking about getting people off of other websites or platforms and onto your own platform, your own website.

Number one is to earn traffic through content marketing — that is the strategy that I use. Generate content that is served up from your own website and use social media as a catalyst to drive people from social media to that website. Social media traffic is getting harder to come by because they want you to pay for it.

That’s the second part. You can pay for ads, right? You can pay for ads on Facebook, Instagram, Google, wherever. The biggest problem with people paying for ads is they can drive a lot of website traffic but do they have a plan of what to do once they get them there? They don’t have a strategy.

So, what are you expecting when people show up to your website? Let’s say you’re successful at getting ’em off of social media and getting them to your website. People generally ask three questions when they do get there…

  1. Why am I here?
  2. What should I do?
  3. Why should I do it?

Having a strategy helps you answer those questions for them.

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Where Do You Want Them To Go?

So their first question: why am I here? And the question you have to ask yourself is, where do you want them to go?

One of the biggest mistakes people make is they send them right to the home page and say, “Okay, you decide where you want to go from here.” When people have to choose, they get confused, so they often do nothing. The key question you have to ask BEFORE you get them to your website (say, when you’re using social media) is, where do you want to drive them?

If you’re driving them to a blog page or a podcast page, is there a call to action there?

Where Do You Want Them To Do?

So the second thing they ask: what should I do? You should be asking yourself, what do you want them to do? Obviously, subscribing to a podcast or your blog is great. Getting them on an email list is even better, and keeping them there is a win because people take a long time to make a buying decision. I have clients that come to me two years after I gave a speech, and maybe they’re listening to my podcast or even reading my blogs all the time. So it takes time.

What do you want them to do? Ultimately, I think you want to get them on an email list where you can keep repeatedly communicating with them and keep feeding them great information that you’re creating.

Why Should They Do Something?

Thirdly they ask: why should I do it? And that’s the question. Why should they? Usually, it means that you’re giving them something in return. It could be a special report, it could be insider status, it could be access to a Facebook group. Whatever it is, the bottom line is that it should be part of your strategy. It should also have a short-term goal and a long-term goal.

A short-term goal could be quick sales or maybe coming to a webinar. A long-term goal should be creating and maintaining relationships and continuing to have the opportunity to create influence.

When you employ general advertising, a 1 to 2% return is really good. That means for every 1000 people that you communicate with, about 20 of those people will take action. And if you drill down with that 20, you’re only gonna get about a half percent to take of real action which is buy something or take an action beyond just getting to know, like, and trust you.

So that, my friends, is the cornerstone of the strategy. Number one: identify who your audience is. Number two: get them on your website, listening to your podcasts, reading your blogs. Number three: get them on your email list so you can continue to communicate with them on your own turf and hopefully get them to take some action (like buy something from you).

Final Thoughts: Wantrepreneur vs Entrepreneur

That’s the big difference between somebody who is trying to be a wantrepreneur and an entrepreneur. A wantrepreneur is somebody that hopes and wants that someday, their efforts will balloon into something.

The person that I first talked with about Instagram was talking about growing her influence by giving speeches nationally. So I asked the question, “Do you know how much it costs to go to L.A. to give a speech?” She said, “No, I have no idea.” I said, “It’s $3000. So, how many of those can you do before you run out of money?” She couldn’t answer that question.

An entrepreneur is somebody that takes action. They enter the fight. Entré is French for enter. So if you want to be successful in business, you need to enter into a marketing strategy.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?

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