So far, we’ve identified what our unique product is, and what banking, transaction processing, and storefront options we have. Let’s now dig into what you’ll need from a marketing perspective, both strategy and tactics.
I define marketing strategy as deciding what goals we want to achieve, what methods and tools we’ll use to achieve those goals, and what limitations we face.
Our first goal should be to sell at least one of our products to someone who isn’t a relative. It’s great if Mom, Dad, or Grandma buys something, but they’re not a sustainable market.
Our first method should be to use the Internet as a means to attract customers and convince them to buy something from us. We identified some of the potential ways people would search for our product in Part 2, our unique selling proposition. Search marketing will thus play an important part in our tactics.
Our limitations are that we have to create our business on a dime, almost literally. The storefronts, transaction processing, and banks we identified in part 3 are all low fee or no fee services, keeping our costs near zero. We need to do the same with our marketing.
How do we help others find our newly-founded business? We need 3 pieces of technology: a website, an email newsletter, and a social media presence.
For our website, we want to again emphasize the lowest cost to begin. I recommend setting up a WordPress website to start. While you can set up a free account on WordPress.com, you don’t get any kind of measurement tools like Google Analytics, and even a kid’s business needs marketing metrics. My recommendation (disclosure: client of my employer) is to use GoDaddy’s WordPress Hosting. It will cost $4 a month, but it’s a much better deal than what you get from the “free” service at WordPress.com.
Start by choosing a domain + website:
Choose the middle plan, which incorporates WordPress:
Choose the Basic plan:
You’ll be asked if you would like a free domain name. Remember the unique phrases we were studying in part 2? One of those would be a good choice here, like white chocolate candy horses:
Finish the checkout process, but change the time frame to one year. No sense in paying for 3 years up front if we’re not sure how well our business will do. Accept anything else free that you’re given, but don’t pay for extras right now:
Once you’ve got the website created, it’s time to create content. We’ll defer that part until later, when we talk about the execution of our marketing plan. For now, know that you’ve got the website handled.
The second piece of the puzzle is to set up an email newsletter. Because we’re just starting out, the service I recommend is Mailchimp’s Forever Free plan. Mailchimp will let you sign up for free and for the first 2,000 subscribers, we pay nothing.
Set up a free account and sign in. This is the second tool we’ll need.
The third and final piece of our marketing puzzle is a social media account. There are so many social networks, it’s difficult to know where to begin, but if our product is a physical good – like white chocolate candy horses – my recommendation is to pick a network that focuses on pictures and has great analytics: Pinterest.
Head over to Pinterest.com and set up a free account there.
We now have the three pieces assembled: website, email, and social media. These are tools, like a spatula or a spoon in your kitchen are tools. If we just leave them in the drawer, nothing happens. In the next few posts in this series, we’ll examine what to do with each tool and how to set them up in greater detail.
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