Is there a secret to small business marketing that converts? Some kind of voodoo magic that can turn even the dullest products and services into something everyone wants?
Yes. And I have proof…
The year was 1975 and Gary Dahl, American copywriter and advertising agency owner, was struck with an incredible idea.
Within a few months, that idea made the man a millionaire. All thanks to a few marketing basics.
I’m sure you know the story, although you may not be familiar with the dates and names. It’s the story of the famous “Pet Rock”. That’s right. Dahl sold a million rocks with googly eyes glued on them for $3.95 a pop. Was it just the right fad at the right time?Maybe. But Dahl’s understanding of the sacred principles of marketing certainly didn’t hurt. If you want to learn how to market your products or services like Gary Dahl, you’ve come to the right place. This is a guide to the basics of internet marketing.
But don’t let the word “basics” fool you. These are not textbook descriptions of industry buzzwords and fancy lingo. These are the marketing strategies being used right now by the best and brightest marketers in the world. If you’re ready to become a lead-generating machine and join the ranks of the marketing masterminds, read on.
I’m about to cover a lot of material. Bookmark this page so you can come back and learn more marketing basics whenever you’re ready.
In this guide, we cover:
Grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and get comfortable. Marketing 101 is officially in session.
Market research is the backbone of any good marketing strategy. You need to know who you’re marketing to in order to choose and execute an effective strategy.
Market research will help you create a marketing persona; a document outlining your ideal target market. This document will guide all of your decisions going forward.
Disclaimer: As I said in the beginning, this is not textbook stuff. I’m not talking about how to do market research for a business plan that you’ll hide away in a closet for the next five years. If that’s what you’re after, sorry. But, if you want real, actionable data on your target audience, read on.
Marketing personas come in many names – buyer personas, target audience personas, target market personas – but they all refer to the same thing:
A document outlining the person or people you are most likely to sell to.
Here’s what one might look like:
While I could give you all the generic things you want to know about a person (like their demographics and psychographics), I want this to be as easy and actionable as possible.
So, what I recommend you do is use HubSpot’s Marketing Persona tool to help you get all the essential information about your target audience together.
While you have that tool open, use the following market research strategies to help you find the answers to any questions you don’t know.
Single Grain wrote a complete guide to developing and using buyer personas, which covers the topic thoroughly.
But, to get you started, here are a few low-hanging fruit tactics:
Once you have your marketing persona filled out, use it to guide your decisions.
For example, does your target audience go to blogs to get their information? Use content marketing to get their attention, and build authority by guest blogging on the blogs they frequent.
Alternatively, do your target customers use LinkedIn? Consider purchasing LinkedIn ads to get in front of them.
Ultimately, you’re likely to need a combination of the seven strategies you’re about to learn.
There are new marketing buzzwords being created all the time. Agile marketing, close range marketing, diversity marketing (I can’t make this stuff up).
In the end, there are only seven core internet marketing strategies that get consistent results (and aren’t incredibly complicated to understand).
These seven strategies are:
Obviously, I don’t expect you to read all of these tactics and implement them overnight. Each of them can take months and even years to master in their own right.
What I do recommend is that you choose one strategy, get pretty darn good at it, then pick another to chip away at. That way, you give yourself enough time for your marketing efforts to pay off and you commit the information to long-term memory.
Let’s resume our lesson in marketing 101!