Basic marketing strategies are so often overlooked in favour of highly developed plans and the result is an ineffective execution with no foundation.

The digital sphere has undoubtedly changed the business realm and the return on investment for having a digital presence is whether you’ll still have a business or not. If you understand the necessity for a digital presence then half the battle is won.

Ideally you would like to be in a place where your entire digital strategy is integrated and feeding into each other to ensure your reach is targeted and growing your business. However, your foundation needs to be in place and functioning well before the next step can be taken.
If this all sounds like Greek, don’t worry, I’ll shed some light now.

What are the basics?

Let’s say you own a small plumbing business and your digital presence is made up of the following: A Facebook page with infrequent posting, a stagnant website and the odd Facebook or Google ad.

The first thing would need to do is sit down and take some time to detail what it is you’re hoping to achieve with your marketing. For example: Your plumbing business would like to target commercial buildings instead of only residential properties. Write down, in bullet form if necessary, what these goals and needs are.

Secondly, identify how these needs correlate with your digital profiles and how they can be used to achieve the set-out goals. For example: The Facebook page should be used to showcase photos of you and your team on-site and for interesting industry content. The website should be used to write a weekly blog aimed at how commercial properties can benefit from specialist plumbing services – this can be one or two paragraphs. When people hear blog they get nervous and think they’re going to have to produce a feature op-ed of two thousand words.

Then, once the first two steps are completed, you develop a strategy going forward and detail a diary or calendar, as we call it, related to this content. It is imperative that the frequency remains the same. Also, of equal importance, is that you engage with your community and not just post content when you have the time. Schedule time in your diary every week to do marketing. Sit for 30 minutes twice a week going through your social media profile and website updating content and engaging with your community. Social media has personalised corporate entities, yet businesses are still treating it like traditional marketing channels.
Don’t just post random content. Ensure your website content is in line with your needs and goals. Social media as well. However, on social media, your strategic content must not contain hard sell sentiments and be more based on a human experience – like on-site photos or images of new interesting products etc.

This is only the tip of the iceberg and I will continue this series next week. Until then, start with these two steps.

Also published on News 24.