Vanilla…such a small part of any baking project, but when it’s absent, it’s evident. My daughter loves to bake and has been baking a ton since quarantine started, because there isn’t a lot to do (hence the extra 15 pounds I talked about in a recent post 😩 ) and I started to notice the difference between when we had vanilla in the cupboard and when we ran out of it.
When I started brainstorming this blog, it reminded me of baking because I always refer to digital marketing as a pie because there are so many slices to the metaphorical pie. For example, SEO would be a slice, social media would be a slice, email marketing a slice…you get the idea 🙂 Those are the obvious slices, much like flour, sugar and eggs would be for a yummy pie. But, what about vanilla? What about your marketing foundation? This critical aspect is often overlooked and passed over for the sexy marketing activities like search engine optimization, social media and networking, but when it’s absent, it’s evident.
So, what is your marketing foundation? It’s your S.M.A.R.T goals, your buyer persona (ideal customer) and your branding and messaging. It’s hard (almost impossible) to effectively market your business without this foundation in place. Why? Because you have no road map (goals), you don’t know who you’re trying to reach and where (buyer persona) and you’re likely not connecting and resonating with them (branding & messaging).
Let’s start with the first part, your S.M.A.R.T goals.
Take a minute and ask yourself what you’re trying to achieve. This will help determine where you spend your marketing time. Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? Does your conversion rate need to improve? Are you wanting to create a brand awareness campaign?
Knowing what you’re trying to accomplish will dictate your marketing strategy. This saves you time because you now have an end goal! Now you can work backwards and map out how you’re going to achieve that goal. It also keeps you on track when things go awry because they will. #entrepreneurlife
Here’s how to make them:
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Relevant
T = Timely
Next, who is your buyer persona? This is sometimes referred to as your avatar or ideal customer. Who do you want to work with? Who are you wanting to attract to your business? What are their hobbies? How old are they? Kids? Location? Income? There are so many indicators that will help you start to zero in on who you want to target.
Connection. Ah, such a buzz word these days, but it really is kind of a big deal because if people don’t connect with you, they won’t buy from you. When I talk to business owners about messaging and branding, they assure me that they have a great logo and tagline…um, that’s only the very tippy top of the iceberg.
While those are great and necessary, it’s not enough anymore. People really want to connect with a brand or business before they even THINK about buying from them.
86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support.
That’s a lot! So, what message are you sending? If you went to your website and social media platforms, would you say, “Yes, that’s perfect and my business is connecting with our ideal customers!” or do you know your messaging and branding need some work?
Here is a fun exercise, (after you work through steps 1 and 2 😉 ) head over to Pinterest or start a folder in Google Drive and create a board to start pinning all the images, fonts, colors, filters, words and other things that you want your business/brand to convey to your buyer persona. Think about how you want them to FEEL when they land on your website or social media profile for the first time.
Do they resonate with your buyer persona? Say you’re targeting professional men aged 45+ with $150,000 income- are you grabbing images, filters, fonts and colors that would 1. catch their attention and 2. make them want to learn more and engage with you and your business? Maybe you like a certain color, but would it attract them? Would Professional Pete (you give your buyer persona a fictional name!) really like an image with soft, pastel colors? Likely not. Of course, you want your messaging and branding to align with you and your business, but you also have to think about your ideal customer, too!
Doing this foundational work will make your marketing more efficient because you know your goals and won’t waste time on activities/platforms/etc. that don’t help you achieve them! And, you’ll know where your ideal customers are hanging out and what their struggles are so you can address them, making your marketing way more effective!
So, the moral of the story, don’t forget the vanilla- it makes a HUGE difference!
If you need any help and want to dive deeper, grab my free 15+ page workbook here!