How to Write an Effective Marketing Strategy 

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If you want to get your brand noticed in a crowded market, you should write a detailed marketing strategy and follow it diligently.

Writing a strategy sounds like a challenging task for many entrepreneurs and marketing newbies. However, this task is much simpler than it seems. 

No matter whether you have a background in marketing or not, you can build an outstanding strategy in six simple steps.

Let’s discuss each of these steps in more detail.

Define your target audience

The better you know your target audience, the more effective marketing strategy you will design. 

So, the first thing you should do is to define the demographics of your target audience:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Family size
  • Religion
  • Education
  • Income level
  • Location 
  • Consumption habits

After that, you should analyze the psychographics of your target audience:

  • Habits
  • Hobbies
  • Spending habits
  • Values, attitudes, and beliefs
  • Lifestyle

What tactics can you use to learn more about your target audience?

  • Analyze your website statistics.
  • Monitor who follows, likes, shares, and comments on your posts on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media websites. 
  • Run a survey (if you already have a customer base).

Once you understand who your target audience is, you can move to the next steps and decide how you will promote your product. 

Know your product

No matter which niche you work in, you should understand that your product is not 100% unique. If you want to achieve success, you should explain to your target audience how your product differs from other products and why this difference matters.

Basically, you don’t need to describe your product’s features. Instead, you should try to explain how your product meets your customers’ wants and needs.

Let’s consider one simple example to clarify this idea.

Marlies Dekkers is a brand that sells high-quality swimwear. Its target audience is women, 30-40 years old, living in Europe, with a bachelor’s degree, and a monthly income of €3,000 – €6,000. 

What buying motive do these women have? They want to look stunning and feel beautiful. 

Marlies Dekkers understands that and presents its products in the most appealing way. Instead of writing that their swimwear “is made of high-quality materials and designed by a world-famous designer,” they try to convince women that a chosen piece of swimwear will “accentuate the curves in the right way” and help to create “an irresistible look.”

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In other words, Marlies Dekkers doesn’t try to focus customers’ attention on the features of its products. Instead, it addresses customers’ needs. And we highly recommend you do the same.

At this stage, you should take a look at your product from a critical point of view and ask yourself the following questions:

  • How can my product benefit my target audience? What specific needs does it satisfy?
  • Which features of my product do matter to my customers the most? High quality, unique design, eco-friendliness, etc.
  • How does my product differ from other items available in the market? 

Answers to these questions will help you to choose the right marketing tactics and boost your efforts.

Analyze your competitors’ marketing strategies

Your business doesn’t operate in a vacuum. You have competitors, and you should be aware of the marketing strategies they are using. 

Your task is to choose from three to seven of your biggest competitors and analyze the following aspects of their marketing strategies:

  • Website design
  • Social media profile design
  • Content quality and quantity
  • Design of ad copies
  • Content of newsletters
  • Lead magnets, if any
  • Pricing strategy
  • Range of product available
  • Availability of coupons, discounts, etc.

Once you get an idea of what tactics help your competitors win the target audience’s attention, you will be able to design an effective marketing strategy for your brand. If you follow their best practices and avoid their mistakes, you will significantly improve your marketing efforts.

Set long-term and short-term goals

The effectiveness of your marketing strategy will depend on how accurately you will set your goal. So make sure that all your goals are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, rational, and time-bound. 

What goals do you expect to achieve with the help of your marketing strategy? Do you want to increase sales, raise brand awareness, or improve brand loyalty? Write SMART objectives this way:

  • Increase sales of a product B by 20% by December 2020. 
  • Gain 20,000 new Instagram followers within six months.
  • Increase average order value from $60 to $75 in November.

Depending on your long-term and short-term goals, you will choose different marketing methods and create various types of content. 

Set a marketing budget

Marketing strategy implementation requires financial resources. So the next step you should take is to set a marketing budget. 

The size of your marketing budget should depend on three factors:

  • The niche you work in and the size of your business. If you work in a highly-competitive, profitable market, you should set a high marketing budget to keep your company afloat.
  • Your goals. Naturally, if you want to increase sales by 20%, not 10%, you should double your marketing budget.
  • Marketing budgets of your competitors. If you have two big competitors who spend on marketing $10,000 and $12,000, respectively, your marketing budget should be around $11,000. 

Create a marketing budget framework, and you will gain control over your investments. You will be able to choose the most suitable marketing methods, use your funds wisely, and achieve the goals set.

Choose suitable marketing tactics 

Now it’s time to choose marketing tactics that will help you to implement your strategic plan. Depending on your goals and funds available, you can use a mix of different marketing methods. Let’s consider a few of them.

Content marketing 

Content marketing helps increase the volume of quality traffic to a website, generate brand awareness, acquire quality leads, and boost sales. 

You don’t need to have a degree in marketing to understand how this tactic works. Everything is simple: you create quality content that adds value to your customers – and your customers reward you with loyalty and sales.

Basically, you don’t even need to hire a content creator. You can collaborate with a freelance expert or use online writing services. Check the review of GrabMyEssay and find writers who will help you create quality content for your website and your blog.

SEO

SEO optimization allows your business to get found online by potential customers and, eventually, increases qualified traffic to your website. The main difference between content marketing and SEO is that SEO is more technical and has to do with the website design, structure, and behavior.

If you want to optimize your website for SEO, you should focus your efforts on finding and using relevant keywords, gaining backlinks, and writing proper meta descriptions and title tags. Do you want to get quick results but have no time to learn SEO basics? Use trustworthy SEO services and get expert help.

Content marketing and SEO help achieve high results in the long run but not always work in the short run. Therefore, if you want to get the results right here and right now, you should leverage paid advertising.

Pay Per Click (PPC) is the most common pricing model of paid advertising.  It allows you to manage your marketing budget wisely and pay only when a person clicks your ad and visit your website. You can launch your first PPC campaign right now and instantly drive traffic to your website.

Let’s consider an example to see the main difference between using content marketing and paid advertising. 

Imagine you offer plant-based meal delivery in New York. Competition in your niche is high. The only way to get more orders is to get your website to the top of the search engine results page. 

Naturally, if you focus on content marketing, it will take you weeks, or maybe even months, to fill up your website with content and make Google trust you. But if you launch a PPC campaign, you will not have to wait that long. Your website will get to the top of the search results immediately. 

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As you can see from this example, PPC is the perfect marketing tactic for achieving fast results. If you set your PPC campaign the right way, you will drive qualified traffic to your website in no time.

Write an effective marketing strategy in five simple steps today

An effective marketing strategy will increase the worth of your business. 

If designed and applied the right way, a marketing strategy will help your brand stand out and skyrocket your sales.

Now you know what steps you should take to build your marketing strategy from scratch. Firstly, do the prep work: define your target audience, analyze the key benefits of your product, take a look at your competitors. After that, set goals, define the budget, and choose the most suitable marketing tactics.  

Remember that you should revise your marketing strategy from time to time and adjust it if necessary. It will allow you to meet your long-term goals even if market conditions change.

An effective marketing strategy defines the success of your business. Write your strategy in six steps: define your target audience, know your product, analyze your competitors’ marketing strategies, set goals, plan a marketing budget, and choose suitable marketing tactics.

About the author

Alex Thomas

I've been involved in digital marketing for over 10 years and have worked with global and local companies on large scale SEO and PR campaigns. In my current role at Breakline, I'm responsible for winning new business, creating, implementing and overseeing SEO campaigns, social communications, online and offline media relations.

By Alex Thomas
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