An Effective Marketing Strategy Doesn’t Have to Be Spooky
When it comes to trick-or-treating, who wants to pick just one? In the world of marketing, when you’re creating a marketing plan, you want to have your Halloween candy and eat it too. When you create a solid marketing plan, even the most haunting competitors will be trembling. One of the biggest hurdles in creating a marketing plan starts at the planning stage. Check out these tricks and treats to help you and make marketing a little less spooky.
Trick: Set some ghostly goals
You might feel overwhelmed with options. It might even take you back to those days when you would set out to trick-or-treat with your friends and you were so excited you didn’t know which neighborhood to hit first. So much candy, so little time! The good news is that you have much longer than one night to achieve your sweetest dreams—unlike the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus. Once you do, you’ll have more treats (and revenue) to keep you busy past All Hallows Eve.
These goals are “ghostly” because, at this point, it is not necessary to have exact numbers or ROIs laid out for your business. Don’t worry -- we will get to that later, but before you can address your business’s problems, it is important to understand what they are. You will want to think “big picture” before you dive into the specifics, especially if you are just beginning to address your marketing goals. After all, you don’t buy your costume pieces before you even know what you want to be, do you?
Treat: Gain a better understanding of your business needs
Take your time and think about what you want to achieve with your marketing plan. If you aren’t sure where to start, think about some spooky problems your business has been hiding from. One of the most common goals that businesses set to achieve through marketing is attaining more clients. Perhaps you want to enhance your social media presence, increase brand awareness, or trump one of your competitors. At the end of the day, no matter what kind of business you are running, your customers are the backbone, and a marketing plan can be a great way to reach even more of them.
Trick: Find the “sweet spot” of your business
Now that you have an idea of your goals, you need to understand your target demographic. You can set as many goals as you’d like, but a solid understanding of your target market will help you reach the customers that will help your business thrive. When it comes to your target market, focusing your marketing efforts on a more specific demographic will help you earn and keep your best clients. For example, although a Halloween retailer knows that adults and kids are both looking for costumes, they also know that their target demographic is children under the age of 12, and the most successful ones have adjusted their marketing efforts accordingly.
Treat: Reach the audience that matters most to your business
Imagine trying to set up a haunted house and having no idea who was going to be walking through it. You would have no clue how scary to make your costumes, and you might as well throw any scare jumps right out the window. Now imagine if you knew that those who dared to enter were high school kids who wouldn’t be satisfied until their bones were rattling. That’s what it feels like to go from having a little understanding of your target demographic to understanding them fully.
Think of the way those high school kids eagerly turn the corner, waiting for the next moaning mummy or cackling witch to give them the nightmares they came for. That is the level of excitement your customers can feel about your business when you truly understand their needs. However, unlike the kids at the haunted house, they won’t be running away.
When you clearly identify your target demographic and the mediums that they use, you will be able to capture your audience’s attention. You can have the most grabbing ads and a hauntingly beautiful website, but if they are reaching clients who are uninterested in your products or services, it won’t take your business very far.
Trick: Get your data points down to the bare bones
After you have decided on the best medium to meet your target audience, you can begin analyzing your data. For some people, even the word “data” can feel like a big, scary monster! It doesn’t have to be this way. On a basic level, data is the best way to understand your clients’ habits and preferences so you can reach even more of them in the future. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t sit on your front porch all day on Halloween, having no idea what time the trick-or-treaters were coming. Instead, you might ask around the neighborhood so you can know when peak treat time is for you. This takes a bit more effort up front, but it saves you a lot of time in the long run. The same goes for your marketing efforts.
Treat: Focused marketing efforts that create stronger relationships and brand loyalty
When you have clear data, you can understand what worked and what didn’t, and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly. On a basic level, getting your data points down to the “bare bones” means understanding the “who, what, when, and why” of your clients and potential clients. One of the easiest ways to understand your data points is by glancing at your social media activity. Facebook analytics offers useful information like how many people your post reached (both paid and organic). By monitoring the engagement of each post along with what time you posted it, you can also start to understand when your audience is most active. Marketing is a long game, and adjusting your marketing strategy will help ensure lasting results.
Trick: Decide if you want to use a marketing team and determine your budget
If you have taken the basic steps above to step up your marketing game, you might reach a place where you feel like you need some extra help. After all, not just one house can fill all the pillowcases of all the trick-or-treaters on the block. It literally takes a village! You are busy running a business, and marketing it on top of that can be stressful. If you are feeling overwhelmed with all the marketing options out there, you might be ready to work with an outside marketing company.
Treat: Say “boo” to your competition and stand out from the crowd
If you are ready to give your competition a true fright, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd, and that means increasing your visibility. Lurking in the shadows like a vampire or coming to life occasionally like a werewolf will not cut it anymore. In a digital world, your customers have endless options. If you are ready to live in the spirit of Halloween and give your competitors a real scare, step up your marketing efforts with these tactics, and remember -- there is nothing spooky about asking professionals for some help.
When you are taking your marketing to the next level, it can feel a bit scary at first. The truth is that some very basic efforts can go a long way in promoting your business, especially if you haven’t dipped your toes in the marketing world very much yet. However, taking steps to meet your marketing goals shouldn’t feel like bobbing for apples. Most importantly, your marketing plan should be authentic to your business. Costumes are great for Halloween night, but you never want to feel like an imposter when you’re promoting your own business.
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