Before setting up your business you need to know who you are, what you are, what makes you different and who your target audience which sets the wheels in motion for creating your brand and identity.
Next you need to do some research on where your potential customers are hanging out – is it Facebook, YouTube, TV, Radio? How are you going to reach that audience? This starts the basis for creating your marketing strategy.
7-step plan when starting a new business
- Create your brand and identity
- Purchase a domain name for your website
- Claim usernames for social media channels before someone else does!
- Purchase hosting where you can set up your website and emails
- Create your marketing plan including your digital marketing plan
- Create your website
- Create content and promotional material for marketing your business – blogs, images, video, email, printed materials etc
TOP TIP: When deciding on a name for your company it is a good idea to look at what domains are available at the same time.
A website is not something to just throw together on a free website builder, you need to think about the long term strategy and how you can make your website work for you and enhance your marketing efforts (see our presentation below for pros and cons of using a free website builder vs having your own website on your own hosting – applies to blogs as well).
- Choose the right set up: is your website going to be more of a blog site or an e-commerce site? The way these are set up is very different and so should be planned accordingly from the start
- A good starting guide for what to have on your homepage includes: what you offer; benefits; calls to action; features and services; testimonials; clear navigation menu; visuals or video; added value (offers, resources) – see visual in presentation below
- Make your website responsive: as more people are accessing the web on tablets and mobile
- Make sure you website delivers: people can find what they are looking for; it is easy to navigate; it loads quickly and it is optimised for search engines
Creating your marketing plan
- Create an editorial calendar
- Keyword strategy for what you want to be found for
- Know your target audience
- Research where your customers hang out
- Choose the right channels to gain access to that audience
- Tailor content for each marketing channel
- Set up goals and put measurements in place
- Engage and interact and connect
- Manage your time wisely – only do what you have the resources to do
- Be consistent
Why use social media?
- Improve chances of being found
- Control of online real estate in search results and more access to your content
- Social proof – peer to peer recommendation
- Show industry expertise
- Awareness and reach
- Cost may be less than advertising
- Brand consistency – claim username on social channels
- Access to new audiences – people change career, move, make new friends
Quick overview on some of the main social sites
- Facebook – fun, visual, relationships, huge audience, B2C (business to consumer), build brand loyalty, engage with prospects
- Twitter – news, real time, networking, awareness, no barriers, customer service
- LinkedIn –targeted groups to generate leads, B2B, professional, networking, show expertise, connect with decision makers, company pages to showcase products or services
- Google+ and Google Places – local marketing / SEO, free video hangouts, segmented targeting, niche communities
- Pinterest – visual, driving traffic to website or blog, people looking for inspiration to buy, predominantly women audience
- YouTube – search engine in itself, humanise, inform, educate, entertain, great conversion if good call to action
- Slideshare – presentations, primarily B2B, integrates with LinkedIn, generate traffic, search for great content
- Instagram – photo sharing, B2C, great for local business, fun, visual
Take a look at our Simple 7 Step Social Media Strategy