Before you start marketing

Marketing can be daunting and exhilarating all at once; it boosts your returns and your business to the next level. Generating new leads left and right might give you a thrill, but seeing your campaigns fail can be discouraging. But what can you do to improve and sustain your marketing activities? You can devise an effective strategy.

This article discusses the prerequisites of marketing so you can prepare for the plunge.

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  • Know your audience
  • Target audience
  • Analyze your competitors
  • Define your goals
  • Create valuable content
  • Showcase platforms
  • Define your budget
  • Build effective

Know your business

Before you get started on marketing, it's essential to study the overall health of your business. Examine how you currently perform by analyzing the external and internal factors that influence your trade. Ensure that the products and services you offer are in line with your overall business goals.You can do so by studying your sales, market share, and customer retention. When you've assessed where you stand, it's easier to determine where you want to go.

For starters, you should do a basic SWOT analysis to measure your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Your analysis shouldn't be based on guesses and hunches; talk to experts, employees, and customers. Do real time research to analyze how your products have performed and how they're performing so you can scale with demand.

Profile your customers and define your target audience

Once you've defined who you are, you can then begin to understand who your audience is. No one can give you a clearer perspective on this than your current customers. Gather as much input and as many insights from them as possible. Collect data on their interests, purchases, buying patterns, and so on. Once you know them well, you can easily identify your target audience.

To narrow down your potential audience, conduct market research and create buyer personas. Your buyer's persona should include demographic information such as age and gender, as well as psychographic information like pain points, triggers, and more. This way, you know what drives them and what holds them back.

Try the following:

  •  Elicit customer feedback online. Use tools like Zoho Survey to get to know your customers better.
  •  Capture your customers' interests using signup forms. Include fields that capture their preferences and likes.
  •  Host events and community meetups to engage with your audience.
  •  Track your customers' behaviors using web analytics and collect data for buyers' personas.
  •  Document your findings in a database with an easy-to-read interface and be consistent with your updates.

Analyze your competitors

It’s important to study your competition at various stages of your business to see how your business compares. A competitor analysis can help you discover opportunities to outperform, and threats to avoid. Evaluate your competitors’ products, pricing, customers, marketing strategies, sales tactics, and results. This gives you a great deal of quantitative and qualitative data to base your own business decisions on.

But competitive analysis is not just for copying your competitors’ methods. Rather, it’s for gathering enough information to take the guesswork out of your marketing and stay on the cutting edge of what’s working within your niche.

Try the following:

  •  Study your competitors’ online presence to understand their operations and marketing strategies.
  •  Monitor their social media presence to understand how they connect with their audience and drive conversion.
  •  Use online research tools like Semrush, SpyFu, and Owletter to analyze competitors. Using research software saves you time and yields the best results.
  •  Check online reviews to get insights on the customer experience they’re providing.

Define your goals

After determining who you are and who you’re up against, it is time to get a clear idea of what you want to achieve with marketing automation. Goals help you point your business in the direction it needs to go so it can grow. Define goals that clearly communicate what you want to accomplish and the criteria of that success. Every campaign you run must have a purpose. Targeted marketing activities help you nurture leads more effectively. Setting clear, realistic, and quantifiable goals help you increase the ROI for your efforts down the road.

Try the following:

  •  Make a list of your goals and set a timeline in which you wish them to be completed. Your goals might be centered around building brand awareness, targeting new customers, or retaining existing customers. This is helpful in rolling out targeted campaigns.
  •  Choose a goal-setting framework that suits your company’s objectives. Here are a few popular goal-setting frameworks you can choose from.

Create valuable content

It’s not about getting more and more content out there; it’s about producing high-quality content that converts. You might use fancy automation solutions for your business, but without quality content to back you up, your initiatives are pointless. Ensure your content game is on point so people can assess you based on how you write.

Try the following:

  •  Research and create topic lists within your niche that your readers will be interested in. Use this list for SEO enriched content marketing.
  •  Experiment with different types of content like emails, ebooks, webinars, newsletters, and social media posts. Find out which works best for you.
  •  Measure your content’s performance periodically using analytical tools and hone it one step at a time.

Choose the right showcase platforms

There are scores of social platforms on which you can showcase your content and generate leads. Picking the right ones requires strategy. What works well for your competitors might or might not work for you. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are great at community building and content promotion. Yet each one has unique characteristics. The way people consume content is different in each medium.

Try the following:

  •  Consider the nature of the audience on each platform and design your posts accordingly.
  •  Devise a content calendar to plan and post consistently.
  •  Develop compelling, keyword-rich content optimized for each platform. For example, make visually interesting posts in Instagram, concise and pithy posts with backlinks on Twitter, and so on.
  •  Set up a blog on your website to drive conversions through thought leadership content.

Define your budget

A business’s success lies in gathering customers who use your services for life. Investing in them is totally worth the hustle. Regardless of whether you’re just starting out or not, get specific about your marketing budget. Allocating funds for your marketing plans is essential for your business.

Try the following:

  •  Establish your sales funnel first. It gives you a clear picture of where you should be spending your money.
  •  Analyze your marketing channels and invest more in places where your buyer personas go.
  •  Consider all costs associated with marketing your business, such as paid ads, marketing tools, website maintenance expenses, and more.

Build effective website and landing pages

Your website and landing pages are where the actual conversions happen. Your marketing activities drive traffic to these places and visitors become leads. For visitors who find you through search, your website will be the first point of contact. Your website is your digital storefront. People look at it and form opinions. It’s therefore important to make a good impression. Create a high-quality website that is SEO-optimized to rank high and generate leads.

Creating relevant landing pages represents a personalized approach. These pages push your leads to take a specific action. Invest time and money into building customized landing pages that provide visitors with what they’re after. It’s more about the content than the glitz. Creating and maintaining various landing pages can be a breeze if you choose the right tool for your organization.

Try the following:

  •  Display well-polished website content with no grammar or spelling errors. Build modern, easy-to-use navigation.
  •  Create landing pages specific to each campaign or ad you roll out to maintain the conversation with the audience.
  •  Include your location, contact details, and social media handles on your home page.
  •  Be consistent about the look and feel of ads and the relevant landing page.
  •  Tailor content to reiterate what your visitors read in ads. If your campaigns focus on specific features or products, represent them in your landing pages.
  •  Use multiple call-to-action buttons to drive your visitors to take action.


Taking strategic risks is how you play the marketing game. Staying agile and aware of how your audience is reacting is how you fetch the best returns. Measure the results and pivot if necessary. Knowing your audience well and staying prepared spells out VICTORY in big, bold letters.