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Written by
Katy Ratican
1 Dec 2021
4 minutes

Use these 6 steps to create a small business marketing plan

How small businesses and startups can create an effective marketing plan that will help them find customers
Business marketing plan for startups

One of the most crucial elements of a small business plan is its marketing strategy. That will determine how easily and effectively you’re able to find and influence your target audience. With a small business marketing plan, you’ll have a blueprint for your revenue and business growth.

The importance of a small business marketing plan

With a small business marketing plan, you will know who your business has to talk to and how to reach them. This will help optimise your marketing budget. Without a marketing plan, you might end up trying to reach everyone, which will needlessly increase your expenses.

A small business marketing plan will also show you the easiest path to build a distinct brand identity. You may identify the right marketing channels that will suit your product or service and the market you cater to. This will save you time and money.

You will also know where your competitors stand. This will show you how you can differentiate your business and stand out from the rest. That’s why you should spend some time and effort on your small business marketing plan when launching your startup.

6 steps to create an effective small business marketing plan

1. Define your brand

Your brand is the rational and emotional response it will create in a customer’s mind. This should be rooted in the problem you’re trying to solve or the value you’re trying to create. Your name, logo, other visual elements, language, and tone of your communication are the important aspects of your brand.

Before finalising a name or other features of your brand identity, you should test it with your friends, family members, or colleagues. Remember that launching a brand is easier than changing an existing brand.

2. Know your target audience

Be specific about who you’re trying to reach. You should know your ideal customer, what drives them, what problems they’re trying to solve, what options they currently have, what their interests are and how much they would be willing to spend on your product or service.

To make this process easy, you can look at your competitors’ social media pages and study their followers. In all likelihood, they’re the same people you’re trying to acquire.

3. List your objectives

Are you looking at creating brand awareness? Do you want to drive users to your website? Do you want to add subscribers to your newsletter? Or, are you looking for early adopters who will drive word-of-mouth for your brand?

Define your marketing objectives and list them in priority. Importantly, ensure that you have a timeframe for your goals.

4. Identify the right marketing tactic

Read case studies and best practices to figure out the marketing tactics that will work specifically for your brand. Your only objective should be to reach your audience in the most cost-effective manner.

If you have a specific solution for a problem, how about pay-per-click ads for keywords relating to it? If you have to create brand awareness for a visually interesting or distinct product, maybe Instagram advertising will work for you.

5. Set your marketing budget

Once you know the marketing tactic and the platform you’ll focus on, you should set aside a budget for it. You should also give it some flexibility as you may have to scale up or down your marketing efforts.

Remember that your budget should be for a specific period, after which you should review your performance. This will tell you whether you’re getting the right return on investment and whether you need to change your tactics.

6. Think like a newcomer

Finally, remember that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. The smartest brands in the world not only disrupted markets with their products and services but also through their marketing tactics.

Maybe a social media influencer can do the job for you. Or, you could try your hand at video marketing that can give you greater reach.

In short

The strength, focus and creativity of your small business marketing plan will determine the pace at which you find customers. With the right tactics, you won’t have to spend much to find audiences who will be interested in your product or service.

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