College is a great time to try out new opportunities. One of them is starting your own business. Many students decide to invest their time in it. Whether it is a service provision or delivery of specific products they can create. After all, it is much easier to start now with excellent online platforms and the ease of building eCommerce stores.
Of course, it is not easy to combine with studies. It requires dedication and strong time management skills. Luckily, when it comes to college assignments, there is always professional help out there for busy students. They can order a rewrite essay on EssayPro.com – and it will be done perfectly and right on time. So if you are starting your business, you need to care not only about the provision of quality services or products but also about building a marketing strategy. Here are the key elements every student needs to include.
Branding and Guidelines
Even if you work alone for now, it is essential to have a clear brand voice and continuous delivery. Huge corporations have brand books that cover everything, from color shades to fonts. A starting business might not need all of that, but you have to establish the essentials. For example:
- Brand logo, colors, and the main font;
- The voice, tone, and specific words that are constantly used;
- Main message and any recognizable phrases, slogans, etc.
All of that will help you build brand awareness among customers. They need to be able to recognize the message and where it comes from.
A great marketing strategy always goes hand in hand with business goals and objectives. It cannot be successful if it exists separately. Business goals are always clear and precise. For example:
- Increase sales revenue;
- Boost overall orders value;
- Boost lifetime value for clients, etc.
When you set goals, you need to build a marketing strategy correspondingly. In a way, marketing tools should be used to achieve those objectives. So if you want to increase revenue, the next step is to figure out how marketing can help with that specifically.
SMART in this case is an abbreviation for 5 principles of setting marketing goals. They should be:
These criteria make sure that you know where you are heading, how the success is measured, and what results to expect. This is the secret to being efficient and productive, as it leaves no room for hesitation and unknown.
Of course, a strategy can be built only when you know who the audience you are communicating with is. You probably have a vision of it based on the services of products your company offers. But it needs to be researched deeply. After all, any marketing strategy should tell a story and give value to customers.
Create a customer persona. If there is more than one, create several based on the target audience segmentation. It applies if you sell several products designed for specific groups, for example. Customer’s persona includes:
This will help to figure out the motivation and inspiration of the target audience. Your product or services need to solve a specific problem the clients have. It also says a lot about media preferences (what marketing channels to use) and purchasing expectations.
Truth be told, it is almost impossible to figure out a budget to the penny. However, it is crucial to know your limitations. What is the baseline and what is the highest line your company can go for? As a student-owned company, it is probably not a lot, but budgeting helps to be smart about it.
The amount of money one can spend on marketing defines what channels and tools can be used. For example, if there is some budget, one can use Google Ads or social media paid promotion. But if there is not enough money for that, one will need to find other ways, like starting a blog, guest posting, creating interactive social media content, etc.
Like the goals need to be time-related, the strategy itself needs to have a deadline for achieving what it sets out to do. It doesn’t mean that after the deadline you should throw it out, but rather adjust to new objectives and realities. The best way to set deadlines is to align them with the company’s production, for example:
- Fiscal or calendar year;
- Specific season (summer sales or winter holidays);
- Launches of new collections or products.
During this time, you should revise the KPI and performance and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Maybe some channels are more effective than others. All of that will help to create a new, more advanced strategy in the future.
Content Channels and Calendar
Now it is time to get specific. Assess what resources you have and what platforms you are going to use for marketing. Define where, when, and how often you are going to post. Also, make sure you know what to post.
Create a content calendar to not miss anything. It can be a table with channels, dates, and types of content. You can also include topics, names, keywords to use, etc. The more specific it is, the easier it will be to follow.
A successful marketing strategy combines creativity with technical details. It is, of course, about creating authentic, useful, and original content. But it is also about deep market research, audience’ demographics, SMART goals, and effective tools. And when handled correctly, these can help your business become successful.