If you’ve got a small business, then chances are that you also have an obsession with the phrase ‘marketing strategy’. If not, then you’d probably better get one – and sharpish! A successful marketing strategy is the difference between a business that continues trading year on year and one that doesn’t.

But what is a marketing strategy anyway?

A marketing strategy is the techniques that an organisation uses to develop opportunities to increase sales and boost their advantage over competitors. It’s the long-term activities that help to develop a brand’s image in the eyes of their potential customers.

So how can you tell if your marketing strategy is the right one for you? Make sure you consider these key elements and you’ll be right on your way.

Your Target Audience

To create a marketing strategy worth following, you need to have a clear idea of whom you’re trying to target with your messaging. This doesn’t mean ignoring anyone who sits outside of your defined audience, but when it comes to your marketing activity, there will definitely be a category of people that are more attracted to your products. Let’s say you sell jeans, you probably want to try to appeal to a young demographic. This will have an impact on the sort of content you’ll be putting out to get their attention – you’ll want to make the right kind of TV ads, write blog posts in appropriate language and use social media to connect with them.

The Public’s Awareness

You want the public to know about your company and to have a positive view of you. You can reach their attention through doing advertising on TV, in the press or on the radio, as well as online. Most businesses choose to focus on building their brands online. This means you’ll need a website with a good blog which can include everything from articles, tips, videos, infographics and more.

Your Unique Selling Point

What is it that makes your brand better than the others? If you can’t identify the best things about your company, then chances are neither will anyone else. You need to know your USP in order to promote it.

Don’t overcomplicate it; one or two points will be more than enough.

Constant Communication

Creating a genuine connection with your customers can go a long way in helping your brand. You need to spend time on social media, not just making time for it between other tasks. Paid advertising can help to boost your brand image on Twitter and Facebook.

Make sure that you aren’t just all business all the time. Find out who your followers are and work out how your products or services are solving their problems and communicate that. Keep an eye on the stats of your page so that you can be online when your audience is.

Interesting Activities

Once you’ve gotten to grips with all of the above, you’ll need to think of what activities you can do to link all these together.

Through your online presence, advertising, PR, interviews and competitions – whatever seems the most appropriate – you can start to build up your rapport with your audience.

Remember, a good marketing campaign is ongoing. It takes time and dedication but it will lead your business to success.