What is a good online marketing strategy? And what's it exactly for anyway? What happens if you don't have one? Don't worry, no cute bunnies will die in the distance and your company might not go bankrupt next year. But it's certain that without planning, you'll waste a lot of money on marketing and you won't even come close to taking advantage of opportunities to increase revenue.
The basic premise is that a marketing strategy should always be part of your business strategy, as it helps you achieve your business goals, so it's a good idea to dig into your business plan before you go wild with your marketing strategy. If you don't already have one, I recommend you get started, because at the very least you'll need well-defined goals, a financial plan (or at least a medium-term cash flow plan), and an operational plan to make marketing planning make any sense at all. Don't overcomplicate it, you can also find countless planning guides on the internet. The key is to be clear about your business objectives and the steps to achieve them and to be able to communicate this simply and quickly to the right colleagues, management, and investors.
Once you have your business plan for the coming year, get out your pencil and paper, take a few hours, and develop your online marketing strategy: write it down, structure it, and probably already have it in your head in detail.
Until you know what your exact goals are, it will be difficult to meet them. Set your goals using the SMART method:
Example of an awesome clever objective:
In 2024, I will acquire 6 new clients for my marketing agency in the travel agency sector, for complex marketing execution.
Specific, quantified, time-boxed, measurable, relevant, and achievable target.
Goals like "I will be more successful in the future, I will earn more money and I will be less stressed" are not appropriate here because they do not meet any of the above criteria.
The biggest mistake you can make when setting goals is not being realistic about the outcomes you want to achieve. If you have a monthly turnover of HUF 1 million in your webshop, it is not realistic to aim for a turnover of HUF 12 million without changing the product structure, and prices or investing several times the current expenditure in marketing.
It's also a mistake to leave too short a timeframe for development: we often get requests that someone who wants to increase their revenue three or four times in 1 month but is not willing to spend more on marketing or change their product or pricing policy. In such a case, you can't work miracles (and if someone does promise to do so, I would be quick to run away because they probably don't have enough experience or are simply projecting).
Never lose sight of who you are trying to sell to. Set up your buyer persona: with common sense, think about whom you are giving the most value to with your products and services. There is no such thing as something for everyone. Be very specific: think about the main characteristics of your typical customer (and better still, ask them!)
All this is important, not for the sake of being naughty, but to help you decide which marketing channels will be most valuable and useful to you.
The most common pricing models:
If you have been running your business for many years, you hopefully have an established pricing strategy, but it is never too late to revisit and modernize it. It is important to be clear about your break-even point: when it becomes worthwhile to sell a product. Why is this important? If you make 100 cents on a product, it's not worth it to have a Facebook ad that brings you, customers, for 150 cents. If you run your business alone and have the capacity for 40 units of your service per month, then it is unnecessary to bring in online marketing resources that will increase the number of orders to 80, as you will not be able to service those customers (unless you hire new people, but that is not part of your online marketing strategy).
Work at prices that leave you money for marketing (hiring professionals, advertising costs, product development, promotions).
It is good to be aware of exactly who you are competing with and know what is going on in your market.
First, list the companies that offer the same (or very similar) products/services to your target group. Then narrow this down to those whose operations have an impact on you.
Once you have the 5-8 companies whose operations affect you, then look at their case studies:
Once you have all the information, make a spreadsheet where you can sort the information side by side. And what to do with the table? Simple! See where you need to improve. What you can learn from your competitors and see where they are making mistakes. Your task is this: be better than them!
If you've done the above steps honestly, you've probably already found the message (or rather messages associated with buyer personas) that best describes your product or service and best highlights the solution to your target audience's problems.
Never start with yourself! It doesn't matter what you like, what sounds good to you You are biased towards your company, you are already immersed in the topic, you have a thorough knowledge of the subject. What matters is what your target audience needs. It is useless to communicate that your luxury product is the cheapest in its category if your customers buy it precisely to use it as a status symbol. In such cases, a misguided message can cost you wholesale, even if you have the perfect product, good pricing, and good advertising.
Be concise, pithy, and easy to understand. A good message is no more than 10 words (which is all the brain can comfortably take in while reading) and it's never about you. No one cares that your company is 10 years old and that you are a top-quality company (everyone says the same thing about themselves). What matters is what your product does for me! Will my new phone make me cooler? Can I cook healthier meals for my family? Can I get to my business meetings faster? Does your perfume make women/men turn around after me on the street?
Tip: Try not to communicate a product feature but a benefit.
I do not recommend starting any online marketing activity without planning, as you are likely to end up disappointed. Plan what you want to achieve, how much money you have, what exactly you want to market, and to whom, so that if you have set realistic goals and have done your planning homework honestly and consistently followed through, you are almost certain to succeed in your online marketing.