DIY marketing is the practice of controlling and managing your marketing process. DIY marketing doesn’t mean that you DO everything yourself. DIY marketing means that you own the marketing process, marketing strategies and marketing decisions for your business.
DIY marketing your business includes:
- Setting your marketing goals
- Defining any market research or customer feedback you want to do
- Managing the marketing process.
- Crafting irresistible offers for your ideal customers
As a small business owner, you are a DIY marketer whether you have a marketing department or not.
Why is DIY Marketing Important?
DIY marketing is important because it puts YOU in control of how your business is represented.
As a small business owner, all the critical knowledge about what sets your business apart is in your head. You are the one who started the business, you sold those first customers and you know the details of what works and what doesn’t work.
The one thing you may NOT feel comfortable with is the marketing process. And, how to work with what you know in a way that helps you get customers, keep customers and make money.
DIY marketing isn’t about doing everything yourself. That’s simply not efficient. But if you’re going to hire people — what will you tell them to do?
If you aren’t clear about what you want, why you want it and how you will measure it — you will waste a lot of time and money.
How DIY Marketing Works
Every successful business and brand is very clear about these three things: who they are as a business, what they are committed to and what their customers count on them for.
The purpose of DIY marketing is to help you develop clarity around your business, your customers, what you sell, how you sell it, where you sell it and how much you charge for it.
Define your brand.
One of the preliminary first steps of the diy marketing process is to first make sure you know exactly who you are. If your business is experiencing an identity crisis, it’s best to address it prior to marketing your company. If a brand is continually changing their approach or image, it can be a huge red flag to potential customers. In fact, it can make you appear somewhat confused without any real direction
Set key goals, objectives and metrics.
The less money you have to work with, the more you need to be completely clear and detailed concerning your goals.
First, ask yourself this important question: What does success mean to you? Of course you want to make money, but not every marketing endeavor is going to make money. Therefore, you need to figure out all the potential outcomes in terms of what you actually consider ‘success’; whether that means a certain amount of lead generations, more subscribers to your list, or more traffic to your website. All of these things combined mean more publicity regarding your startup and can eventually result in making more money.
Choose your target niche.
Although your products may appeal to the masses, that also presents somewhat of a problem when marketing your business. Here’s the deal, the bigger the audience you are trying to reach, the more expensive it’s going to be. In short, you can’t sell anything to everybody
Choose a segment, or niche, of your potential audience and focus on that. Not only will choosing a specific niche decrease your marketing expenses, it naturally makes complete sense regarding messaging.
Determine your marketing strategy
Your marketing strategy is the “big picture”. Informed by key facts like your niche, your customer, your competition, and your goals, choose a business marketing strategy that is the right fit for your brand. Here are some typical marketing strategies:
- Cause marketing. Cause marketing supports social causes by raising funds, spreading awareness, or donating profits. An increasing number of consumers are eager to do business with brands that share their values, and cause marketing is a great way to increase customer loyalty.
- Relationship marketing. Relationship marketing develops long term relationships with customers, looking beyond the immediate sales transaction. Relationship marketing often invites the customer into the product development process, using their input and feedback to make improvements and meet their needs even better.
- Word of mouth marketing. This strategy relies on the recommendations of happy customers to grow your business. Customers are “recruited” to be part of your marketing team, and often earn rewards and benefits for their recommendations.
- Paid marketing. Also known as “advertising,” paid marketing allows you to place your key marketing messages in highly visible, targeted places to reach the right audience at the right time.
- Transactional marketing. Transactional marketing focuses on making a specific transaction as attractive as possible, using discounts, promotions, and other rewards to create irresistible offers. A common transcactional tactic is an offer to beat competitor prices.
A marketing strategy can combine online and offline activities, inbound and outbound marketing methods, and a huge range of tools and tactics to meet your goals. But it provides the big picture that focuses and prioritizes your marketing methods. For a new business, it’s a good idea to revisit your marketing strategy at least once a year, and consider changing strategies if you aren’t meeting your goals.
Choose your marketing methods
Your marketing strategy helps to define your marketing message. Your marketing methods determine how you will communicate that message to the world. Some of the most common marketing methods include:
- SEO. Few businesses can be successful if they can’t be found by customers searching for their products. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a practice that optimizes your website, your content, your social media, and all your online activities to help potential customers find you online.
- Email marketing. Email is one of the most effective forms of marketing. There are a huge range of email marketing services, in various price ranges, for businesses of every size. Accurately segmenting your email lists allows you to automate your marketing, reaching the right readers at the right stage of the sales cycle and customizing your message.
- Content marketing. Content marketing can encompass a wide range of marketing activities, from social media content, blogging, videos, newsletters, and more. Content marketing naturally attracts a following of potential customers, improves SEO and brand reputation, and boosts the effectiveness of your marketing.
- Surveys and polls. Surveys and polls are a great way to boost brand engagement and gain important feedback from your customers. Online survey tools make it easy to target and reach customers and leads, and find out more about the customer’s decision-making process.
- Social media marketing. Social media marketing has become increasingly important in recent years. In fact, many brands focus exclusively on Facebook or Instagram marketing to build a following, make sales, and communicate with customers.
- Online and offline advertising. Most billion-dollar markets are reached with a combination of online and offline advertising. Depending on your niche, advertising on television, radio, or print publications can be the best way to reach large numbers of prospective customers. Online advertising, including PPC, sponsored content, banners, and similar methods, are better at reaching smaller numbers of targeted groups at specific moments in the sales cycle, making them more likely to convert.
These are just the most common marketing channels and methods, and there are many more to choose from that may more narrowly target your niche. No matter which methods you choose, make sure you are using robust analytics tools to analyze the effectiveness of your campaigns. Good marketing analytics tools help you understand which messages are most effective, how to reach customers in different stages of the sales cycle, and how to influence a customer’s decision-making process.
Set your marketing budget
This step often confuses people since they don’t exactly know the amount of money it requires to achieve results. While there is no magic number, there is a way to
For most businesses, this dollar amount boils down to putting aside only as much as you can spare.
Determining your budget simply means figuring out how much cash you can actually afford to spend on the marketing aspect of your business. In other words, how much money will it take to reach success? Also, don’t forget about the time factor. How much time can you spend both planning and managing your marketing campaign?
Make a marketing plan
Depending on the marketing strategy and methods you choose, and your available budget, it’s time to make a plan. A plan should include:
Frequency of marketing activities. Will you be posting to social media daily? Blogging weekly? Emailing monthly?
Timing of campaigns. Will you have special campaigns for the holidays, seasonal promotions, or other calender-based marketing activities?
Task delegation. Even when DIY marketing, it’s important to be realistic with your capabilities and commitments. If you need to hire experts, delegate tasks, or manage your schedule, include that in your marketing plan and budget.
Analytics and metrics. A good marketing plan includes a meaningful way to measure the results of your activities.
Follow your audience through social media.
In order to succeed, you need to market your brand where your potential customers are. For instance, if your niche is in the fashion industry, using Pinterest is an ideal way to connect to your female-based audience.
Study the various social media outlets and find out where your target audience hangs out so you can connect with them. Spend your time and resources on the ones that are most conducive to your brand.
Focus on quality content and audience interaction.
Although you may not have a great deal to offer people in terms of discounts and giveaways in order to attract potential customers, you can present good, quality content that’s related to your target audience.
When it comes to social media, keep in mind that successful companies often post and share ideas that their audience is most interested in.
Take it one step further by actually interacting with your audience. Directly connect with your audience by responding to their comments about the content you’re submitting. This marketing process is huge in terms of building a long, trustworthy relationship with your potential customers.
Find partners to co-market with
Find key experts and influencers in your particular industry and start interacting with them. Comment and share the good content they keep posting. The key is to develop a solid relationship with people.You can do that by continuing to publish useful content that your audience can benefit from. Over time, one of your brand’s influencers will eventually notice it and then share it, which results in getting you exposed.
Listen and observe.
It’s ridiculous to think you can simply launch a marketing campaign and receive instant results. It doesn’t work that way in the real world. You must listen and pay close attention to what’s actually happening. Consider the following:
- Closely watch your various social media channels to determine the sort of feedback you’re receiving.
- Use a Twitter management tool like Tweetdeck to monitor numerous keywords or who’s buzzing about your brand.
- Set up and monitor Google Alerts
Learn From Your Failures
Chances are your initial marketing efforts will probably fail. Rather than getting discouraged, learn from your mistakes and get right back up and try again.
Your goal as a DIY marketer is all about learning from your failures so that you know exactly what you want to outsource.
DIY Marketing Never Stops
These are just the beginning steps of DIY marketing. As your business grows and as you grow your business, you will find that you will outsource those elements of your marketing that are well defined, and you’ll take on developing new missions and goals around new marketing tactics and strategies.