Hi, welcome back to another blog of Your Digital Marketing Journey in this season. I’m talking about the mistakes that I made as a first time entrepreneur and we are up to mistake five. I’m going to start off this blog with the quote that you may have heard, which is “Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint”. I think that this quote really makes a lot of sense as an entrepreneur. When you’re marketing your product or your service and you’re constantly talking about it, you do expect to see results. But if you keep it in mind that marketing is a long term thing, then you will work according to a defined digital marketing strategy. You need to understand that it takes time for people to really start trusting you and wanting to do business with you. Without this understanding, you may become inconsistent with your marketing.
Why do you need a long-term digital marketing strategy?
Let me give you a simple example of social media. When you start with your social media, obviously you have zero followers, but you start posting and you start posting consistently. You figure out a schedule for your week and you start creating content and posting it regularly for your followers to see. And of course, you’ll see a follower growth. The follower growth may differ from person to person, but you will see that your followers start growing.
Now, imagine that you’re not able to post for a month or so. Will your followers continue to grow? Maybe! But will they grow at the same rate as they were growing before? Definitely not. As you stop marketing, people forget about you and the growth slows down.
Take Coca Cola, for example. They’re about 100 years old and they’ve been selling their drinks across the world during that time. Yet they’re still coming out with new campaigns like putting your name on the bottle. Why would they do that if they had already established themselves? It is because people change. Audiences change, their preferences change. So they have to keep marketing and they have to keep being relevant. When you start marketing, your goal is to get people to know about you and as you continue marketing to the same set of people, they will convert into buyers.
How to be consistent with your marketing?
Now that you know that not being consistent with your marketing is a mistake, what can you do to stay consistent? I’ll give you a few tips from my experience.
Marketing plan: The first thing is to have a plan. Have a clear marketing strategy for a specific duration. Something like three months is a good idea, when you’re starting out. As you get better at it, you can start planning for a year in advance. Your marketing strategy should take into account what your objective is for that duration, what channels you want to have a presence on, and what is the messaging on those channels.
Budget: Once you’ve decided the plan, the next step is to decide a budget and the resources that you need. With small businesses this does become a challenge because you do not have the budgets of a big company. That’s why it is important to plan your budget in advance. You know what you need to market, and then your budget can either be a limiting factor or it can help you achieve that. So having a clear budget in mind will help you allocate that much amount to marketing and not worry about it affecting different aspects of your business. Also, be clear about the resources that you need. For instance, if you need graphic design resources, do you even have them in your company, or will you need to hire someone? If you need to hire someone, of course, that goes into your budget. So aligning your budget and your resources to your strategy will help you have a very clear plan of where you want to be in the next three months.
Batch your content: The third thing (and I really advise this!) is to create content for your campaign in batches. For example, if you are running a campaign on social media, then create all that content in one go. Don’t think that you would be able to do it at the last minute because I guarantee you that you won’t be able to do it. And also when you’re working on a group of content, it does look consistent because you created it in one go. This applies to anything whether it is video, blogs or anything else that is part of your campaign for that duration.
Keeping track: When you have a long term plan, it is important to keep track of all your dates for all your actions. And if you have a team, this becomes even more important because you need to know who is doing what and when will they deliver it by. Whether it’s just yourself or your team, know what needs to be delivered when in order to achieve what you have planned. With a team, it is important to go in for a productivity tool like Asana, where everyone else also has the visibility of who’s doing what.
These four steps should help you to stay consistent with your marketing. Marketing is an important aspect of your business, and you cannot afford to stop your efforts as you get busy with other things. So creating a plan every three months and outlining what all you need to do will help you to stay on top of all of your marketing activities. A long-term digital marketing strategy will help your business to grow slowly and steadily.
Pallavi provides consultancy services for startups, small businesses and NGOs in the field of digital marketing. Her aim is to get small companies to think about their marketing strategically, using multiple channels together.
She is also a marketing coach and startup mentor. She has conducted several workshops for budding… View full profile ›