Another wild day pretending you have 8 arms is behind you! Yes, you almost lost arm protecting your waters and warding off your fiercest competitors. And you were up all night again hunting down tasty opportunities. Holy ship, it’s a good thing octopuses have three hearts!
If you feel more like an octopus than a business owner at times, you’re not alone! In order to protect your waters, you have to attract and keep your audience while fighting off your competition. The key to accomplishing this goal is to prepare a strategic marketing plan that will help you become the king of the sea. To the average business owner who lacks marketing expertise, this process might seem a bit overwhelming. But by hiring a local marketing agency, you can develop a customized marketing strategy that will help your business thrive. Below are ten ways hiring a local marketing agency can help your business prosper.
1) Identify your target market
“You have put in the long hours and finally finished making that killer product or service, but your work is not yet done – now you need to introduce people to this offering. While it is relatively simple to develop general advertising for the masses, devoting time and resources to identify more targeted markets can help you maximize your marketing ROI.”
– Chuck Cohn, Founder and CEO of Varsity Tutors
Get your suckers ready! Identifying your target market is the first step to building a successful marketing strategy. Hiring a local marketing agency can help you identify your target market by helping you sharpen your focus and obtain data and uncover untapped prospects in the sea. For instance, a marketing specialist can help you clarify what needs your products fill and how to use existing data to help your product look tasty to your audience.
2) Establish your marketing budget
Rich Octopus is more than just the name of a band from Louisiana. The best path to wealth is a stellar marketing plan. But before you launch into any marketing activities, you need to set your marketing budget and resolve to stick to it!
This is a foreign concept to many new business owners who feel like a fish out of water when it comes to finance and marketing. The good news is that a local marketing firm can help you establish your budget. In most cases, marketing budgets are determined in one of two ways: by allocating a specific percentage of revenue to marketing activities or by allocating a specific dollar amount to marketing pursuits. While companies vary in terms of the amount of money they allocate to marketing expenses, the average allocation is typically 9% to 12% of revenue.
3) Identify your key competitors
If you have to hear about Lil’Ocho or Ole 8-Mile-Man one more time, you might chew off one of your own arms! Hearing buzz about your competitors is never fun. But unfortunately, competition will always be alive and well in your waters. Positioning yourself as a leader in your industry is nearly impossible unless you have the inside track on your competitors. An accomplished marketing agency can help you identify key competitors. By reviewing your competitors’ marketing materials and comparing their advertising strategies, a local marketing firm can help you maintain an edge in a sea of fierce competitors.
4) Ramp up your social media presence
Yes, their eight arms would DEFINITELY give an octopus an edge and would help them dominate social media if it existed underwater!
Unfortunately, business owners are not born with eight arms! While you may not be able to compete with an octopus in the social media realm, failure to devote sufficient time to social media marketing leaves the door open for your competitors to surpass you. And with 90% of high net worth individuals actively engaging with social media, you can hardly afford not to make time to remain active on social media. In addition to providing an excellent forum through which to advertise your products, social media continues to be a superb means of networking.
5) Give your website a facelift
Did you know that an octopus would be more likely to ignore your website if it is drab and lifeless? Yes, octopuses are attracted to colour, shapes, and vibrancy. And like octopuses, your prospects will be more attracted to your company if you have an alluring website.
Prospects searching for your products are more likely than ever to start their search online. It is therefore imperative that your website be attractive, responsive, and easy to navigate. But if you are like most entrepreneurs, you may lack the skills to update your own website. Fortunately, web design is another key task that a local marketing agency can handle for you.
6) Navigate the trade show market
Becoming king of the sea is not easy. You have to stay abreast of all of the latest developments in your waters and keep tabs on key players. Attending industry trade shows is one of the best ways to accomplish these goals. However, you may not know which trade shows are the most established or what material you need to make an impact in a sea of booths. Enter your local marketing specialist, who will be able to guide you in your selection of trade show display material.
7) Start a blog and update it regularly
Keeping the world interested and engaged is important! Fortunately, creating a blog is free and can be done in five easy steps. Within a matter of minutes, you can be on the road to attracting prospects and providing helpful, educational material to people who visit your website. If you lack the time or expertise to start a blog, a local marketing specialist can help you create a blog schedule, perform the critical keyword research and craft the content to post on your site.
8) Use virtual reality to showcase your products
“Virtual reality is the biggest change in the way media is consumed since the internet; in fact it is a paradigm shift. It is technology that has caught a lot of brands out, with many of them now scrambling to work out how virtual reality can be used in their marketing.”
– Drew Gardner, VR360
Showing off your products is akin to an octopus showing off its funnel! And virtual reality technology is a big help in this process. Today’s most accomplished marketing specialists recognize the many ways that virtual reality technology has revolutionized global trade.
Virtual reality technology is affordable and flexible, enabling business owners to showcase their products and services from the office or from the exhibit hall of an industry trade show. If you are not comfortable with virtual reality technology, a marketing agency can quickly step in and help you design a stellar VR platform.
9) Use print collateral
Print collateral is not dead at the bottom of the sea! There is still a need for pamphlets, business cards and brochures in today’s marketplace. Some prospects enjoy the tangible nature of print collateral, especially if it is professionally prepared with a design that can be modified for digital use. Print collateral can also be featured in direct mail packages. Hiring a local marketing agency can help you assess the need for print collateral and make sure it’s perfectly on brand and targeted to your audience.
10) Track your results
How many prawns did you eat today? How many caves did you explore? Tracking an octopus’s performance is important! As a business owner, you should track your company’s performance and evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing plan at least once each year.
A local marketing agency can help you do this by monitoring the number and quality of leads generated by your strategies. Additionally, a local marketing agency can track the number of visits to your website and number of likes on your social media pages. Stagnancy in any of these key areas is a sign that it is time to consider re-evaluating underperforming elements of your marketing plan.
The Bottom Line: Hiring a Local Marketing Agency
Maintaining a competitive edge in a sea of competitors requires a strategic marketing plan with a multi-faceted approach. By employing the ten steps above, a local marketing agency can help you position your company as an industry leader.
Want to learn about the many ways a marketing firm can help your business grow and thrive? We invite you to contact us today! With our help, you will feel like you have eight arms handling all of the tasks above. We look forward to becoming your trusty sidekick for all of your marketing needs!