If you're a small to midsize local business, it's easy to push marketing aside when your bandwidth is occupied by so many other things. But when your only focus is on retaining your current customers and hoping they give referrals, you're not necessarily creating a name for yourself in the market. This is especially important if you're a local business in a fast-paced, affluent and highly competitive environment like the Bay Area.
To meet the high cost of running a business here, it is imperative to market your product/services in optimized campaigns that attract new customers and keep your business top-of-mind.
What is a marketing campaign?
Creating a successful marketing campaign takes more than distributing flyers around town, creating a company Facebook page or sending out sporadic emails to your contact list. A strategic and optimized campaign has a specific goal, start and end dates, has one consistent message and is integrated across specific, well-thought-out channels. This can sound intimidating if you're new to marketing, so let's break it down.
Step 1: Determine your goals
Are you trying to attract more foot traffic? Increase revenue with an upcoming promotion? Sell out an event? Increase the number of website visitors or people who schedule a service/buy a product online? Choose one goal and make it as specific as possible.
Step 2: Define your target audience
Understanding who you're trying to reach with your marketing efforts is vital to creating effective messaging. Effective messaging is what compels a customer to take the action you desire. Your audience can be defined by their location, age, gender, income, education level, job, interests and/or daily habits, to name a few.
Step 3: Choose your distribution
The channels you choose will be largely based on your budget but your goals and audience are just as important to consider. Where can you reach your target audience? Will it be easy or hard for them to take action and meet your goal from this channel? Some channels to consider will be email (your lists or emailing from another local, trusted source, like ours), direct mail/print ads, social media, TV, events, online ads, sponsored content, search engines and trade shows.
Step 4: Design your ads
This part can be tricky if you don't have a graphic designer on hand. You'll want to design the ads with best practice in mind for each channel. For example, focus on your call to action (CTA), main message and maybe one super compelling image in a small online ad. Too much text and busyness will confuse the viewer. If you have a larger print ad (in a newspaper, glossy magazine, billboard, etc.), you have a bit more room to play with when it comes to your content and imagery. However, the same underlying rule applies. Focus on one main message that amplifies the benefits of your service/product and a CTA that convinces the viewer to meet your end goal (sign up for an event, buy your service/product, etc.).
If you don't have a graphic designer you can use some handy online tools like Canva.com. If you work with us, we have professional designers in house to create effective ads for you.
Step 5: Analyze results
You successfully launched your campaign! Now's the fun part, determining if you met your goal and which components of the campaign yielded the greatest results. You may also want to consider reviewing how difficult/simple it was to implement, what it told you about your prospects/customers and, ultimately, if you would repeat a campaign like this again.
So you may not be a marketer, we get it, and we want to help. That's why when you advertise with us, we give you access to our marketing experts and design team to ensure your campaigns run seamlessly across all our channels.