Your business may have reached a crossroad where you need to expand your operation for larger market share or take the other path and focus on maintaining a smaller operation with steady, albeit, restricted income. Whichever path you take, you should think about your growth strategy before committing. One key question to remind yourself whichever path you take is, how can marketing help you drive business growth?
In regards to today’s digital age, Marketing focuses on the web site content: text, images, video. Everything starts with a web site with these fundamentals: loads in under 3 seconds, smartphone ready, UX-friendly pages, working Google Analytics and Webmaster tools, and has multiple calls to action on all pages. Consumers and professionals are buying your product or service with the whole brand experience and the web site is the first step to marketing yourself. Your web site look and feel is a key determinant of branding and customer perception.
Your marketing plan should include objective, budgets, and deadlines. Get a merchant loan for your start up business to invest in marketing costs. Budget your time and money to set out how you are going to put your marketing strategy into practice. Create a marketing plan layout to ensure that everyone in the business knows what you are trying to do and how to achieve those objectives. Most importantly, when you are planning your marketing be sure to create specific objectives on achieving these goals such as focusing on your target customers, # of conversions, and how to create a presence in your market.
Market research is important to running a successful business – knowledge about your customers, your competitors, your own operation and your business market. A SWOT analysis will help you make a proper assessment of what to focus on in your business. SWOT analysis is a tool to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of your operation and in your market. A simple chart listing out the categories can help you see a clear picture of your business’ finance, staffing, operations, and marketing areas. You can then use the SWOT analysis to compare yourself with key competitors and review what can be done to gain a competitive edge.
Branding is one of your greatest assets. Your brand should tell the customers exactly what product or services are expected from you. You should have developed a brand identity to what your core business values are, and what your business mission is and how you differ from the competition. Make sure what you tell your customers about your business matches what your target customers want. This will lead to better page rankings and web searches to your site.
These days, SEO rankings are primarily a combination of creating and sharing great content, building a web site that is user-friendly, and with SEO best practice pages. Gone are the days of backlinks, page keyword stuffing, duplicate content development, etc.
Great content builds lasting impressions and one should use the Content Marketing Cycle to incorporate all steps of the process:
1. Identify Topics
2. Create Content
4. Publish on Several Sources
6. Measure & Refine.
Start slow as content marketing is a marathon process that takes time to tweak and optimize your marketing campaign.
Building a strong marketing foundation will be a key factor in steady business growth. Focus on what you can control such as web site content and social media presence to attract customers. With a clear marketing plan and budget you can guarantee that all objectives are being met without wasting time and money.
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