Marketing mistake 5: not having a long-term digital marketing strategy
Hello, welcome to another Your Digital Marketing Journey blog this season. I’m talking about the mistakes I made as a starting entrepreneur and we’re down to five. I’m going to start this blog with the quote you may have heard, which is “Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint”. I think that quote really makes a lot of sense as an entrepreneur. When you market your product or service and talk about it constantly, you expect to see results. But if you keep in mind that marketing is a long term thing, then you will be working according to a defined digital marketing strategy. You have to understand that it takes time for people to really start to trust you and want to do business with you. Without this understanding, you could become incompatible with your marketing.
Why do you need a long term digital marketing strategy?
Let me give you a simple example of social media. When you start with your social media, obviously you don’t have any followers, but you start posting and you start posting consistently. You set a schedule for your week and start creating content and posting it regularly for your followers to see. And of course, you will see a growth in followers. The growth of subscribers may differ from person to person, but you will see that your subscribers are starting to grow.
Now imagine that you are unable to post for about a month. Will your followers continue to grow? May be! But will they believe at the same rate as before? Definitely not. When you stop marketing, people forget about you and growth slows down.
Take Coca Cola, for example. They are around 100 years old and have been selling their drinks around the world since that time. Yet, they always come out with new campaigns like putting your name on the bottle. Why would they do this if they had already established themselves? It’s because people change. Audiences change, their preferences change. So they have to keep marketing and they have to stay relevant. When you start marketing your goal is to get people to know you and as you continue to market to the same group of people they will convert into buyers.
How to be consistent with your marketing?
Now that you know that being inconsistent with your marketing is a mistake, what can you do to stay consistent? I’ll give you some tips from my experience.
Marketing plan: The first thing is to have a plan. Have a clear marketing strategy for a specific duration. Something like three months is a good idea when you are just starting out. As you improve, you can start planning a year in advance. Your marketing strategy should take into account your goal for that time, the channels you want to be on, and the message on those channels.
Budget: Once you have decided on the plan, the next step is to decide on a budget and what resources you need. With small businesses, it becomes a challenge because you don’t have the budgets of a big business. This is why it is important to plan your budget in advance. You know what you need to market, and then your budget may be a limiting factor or it may help you achieve it. So having a clear budget in mind will help you allocate that amount to marketing and not worry about it affecting different aspects of your business. Also, be clear about the resources you need. For example, if you need graphic design resources, do you even have them in your business or will you need to hire someone? If you need to hire someone, of course that’s within your budget. So, aligning your budget and resources with your strategy will help you have a very clear plan of where you want to be over the next three months.
Group your content: The third thing (and I really recommend it!) Is to create content for your campaign in batches. For example, if you’re running a social media campaign, create all of that content in one go. Don’t think that you would be able to do it at the last minute because I guarantee you won’t be able to do it. And also, when working on a group of content, it feels consistent because you created it all in one go. This applies to everything, be it videos, blogs, or anything else that is part of your campaign for that length of time.
Keep Track: When you have a long-term plan, it’s important to keep track of all of your dates for all of your actions. And if you have a team it becomes even more important because you have to know who does what and when will they deliver it. Whether it’s yourself or your team, know what needs to be delivered when to achieve what you set out to do. With a team, it’s important to go with a productivity tool like Asana, where everyone also has visibility into who’s doing what.
These four steps should help you stay consistent with your marketing. Marketing is an important part of your business, and you can’t afford to stop your efforts while you are busy doing other things. So, creating a plan every three months and describing what you need to do will help you stay on top of all your marketing activities. A long-term digital marketing strategy will help your business grow slowly and steadily.