6 Ingredients of a Marketing Strategy Guaranteed to Convert
When you boil down any great marketing strategy and separate out all the jargon, confusion and overwhelm you’ll be left with just 6 simple ingredients. There’s a recipe. Let’s say you want to bake an apple pie. If you take all of the ingredients, toss them in a pie dish and bake it doesn’t work. You’re left with a mess of ingredients that aren’t working together. But, if you follow the recipe – the step-by-step process – and do things in order, the result is very different. The same is true for your marketing strategy. There’s a recipe. When you have all of the ingredients in place and you’ve followed the processes you’ll find yourself with a marketing strategy guaranteed to covert.
Let’s dive in.
The goal of any good marketing strategy isn’t to generate sales (gasp). The goal of a marketing strategy is to create an experience for your ideal customer that eventually leads to, not only a sale, but a loyal, long-term fan who buys from you again and again. When you can create a simple, effective, and impactful experience for your audience then the conversions and sales will be easy.
Ingredients of a Marketing Strategy
It’s not just the ingredients of a marketing strategy that make it work. It’s also the order in which you use those ingredients. These ingredients are building blocks. Each one builds off the last.
Ideal Customer Avatar & Messaging
Everyone talks about ideal customer avatars but very few business owners actually have a complete understanding of their ideal customer. Understanding your ideal customer is the foundation. It’s the apples in your apple pie. Without this, nothing else in your marketing strategy will work.
If you haven’t created an ideal customer avatar or re-evaluated it in the last two years, here are some things to consider:
Demographics are statistical information about your ideal customer. It’s likely you already have a good idea of the demographics of your ICA but it’s not enough.
- Cultural background
- Family status
- Income and economic status
In marketing, geographics is simply an understanding of the location information of your ideal customers. This is where most small business owners stop when it comes to crafting their ideal customer avatar. But we’re just getting started.
- Where they live
- Where they work
- Where they spend their time
- the study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria, especially in market research.
Understanding the psychology of your ideal customers is the most important thing you can do inside your business. This isn’t an exhaustive list but here are a few things to consider.
- Attitudes & values
- What do they worry about?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What bothers them or triggers them?
- What do they care about?
- What are they not telling you about themselves?
It’s important to note that you should revisit your ideal customer avatar regularly because while they won’t change, their circumstances will. If we’ve learned anything over the past couple of years it’s that quantum leaps of change are possible in very short amounts of time.
Content Creation System
The second ingredient in a marketing strategy is the content you’re producing for your ideal customer.
I repeat… the content you’re producing for your ideal customer.
You should be producing valuable, free, consistent content that is valuable to and focused on your ideal customer. Every piece of content you create should have a purpose. The content you produce should work in tandem with your overall marketing strategy to create an experience for your ideal customer and lead them on a specific customer journey.
In order to produce high-impact content, you need a content creation system. After all, you’re a business owner, not a content creator. And I’m guessing you don’t have time to be creating content all day.
Audience growth and visibility
If your ICA is the apples in your pie, then the audience growth and visibility strategy is the oven. It’s the accelerant that takes your content and puts it in front of the right people.
“But Sara, you just said ‘you’re not an influencer’, so why do I need to grow an audience?”
I’m glad you asked.
Gaining an audience for followers’ sake is a useless tactic for small business owners. But growing an audience of ideal customers and BUYERS is essential.
There are organic strategies you can use but I pride myself on telling you the truth, cutting the BS and getting right to the point. Remember back in the early 2000s when social media was new? If you had 1,000 followers on Facebook and you posted, they all saw it! And that carried on for quite a few years. But that ship has sailed. Today, organic growth happens in one of three ways:
- High-frequency posting: the problem with high-frequency posting means you need to be creating massive amounts of content and that content has to be great.
- Viral posts: sure, you can cross your fingers and hope to go viral but it’s not likely. And, even if you do, one viral post doesn’t grow your business.
- Grey hat tactics: engagement pod use, giveaway strategies, etc.
The other issue with relying on organic strategies as a business owner is the quality of followers you’re gaining. Organic growth strategies give you very little control over the kind of followers you’re attracting. If a post goes viral, you might get an influx of people but do those people represent your ideal customer?
A more sustainable way to grow your audience of potential buyers is using a small amount of your ad budget to strategically put your content in front of your ideal customers.
Once you’ve got an audience of ideal customers, it’s time to move them into the next phase of your marketing machine. Lead generation is about taking your warm audience (anyone who’s aware of your business) and bringing them closer to you.
Lead generation can happen in many different ways but the goal is always the same. Gather content information and permission from your ideal customer so you can contact them on your own terms. This usually comes in the form of email marketing but SMS marketing is also converting very well right now.
Moving your followers from a platform you don’t control (social media) to a medium you have full control over (an email list) is one of the smartest things you can do for your business. If the big crash of 2020 taught us anything it’s that social media could be gone tomorrow. If those sites go down and you haven’t moved your audience to a medium you control, they’re gone and you have no way of contacting them.
The Marketing Experience & Sales Funnel
The marketing experience or customer journey is the path that you want your ideal customer to follow. How are you taking someone from unaware of your business to a buyer?
Mapping out the marketing experience is a critical component of a marketing strategy that’s guaranteed to convert. Here are some things to consider:
- What do they need to know, understand or be aware of in order for them to need or want your product or service
- Once they’re problem aware, what can you provide that’s valuable (content)
- How are you taking them from audience to lead (what can you offer them in exchange for their contact information)
- How are you nurturing that lead (email sequence)
- How are you taking them from lead to a sale (conversion)
And finally, once they’ve converted to a sale, how are you continuing that relationship on the back end? This part gets missed so often. Too many business owners stop the process at the sale and wonder why their returning customer rate isn’t climbing.
If you’ve gotten this far, you’ve got a functioning, converting sales funnel and marketing experience. You’ve got a pie. These next two ingredients are the “icing on the cake” (I know, I switched from my pie reference…but you get it).
Once you have a marketing funnel that’s working (the first four ingredients), we can scale. Scaling your efforts can come in the form of traffic and paid ads strategies but it can also mean implementing automation or growing your team to produce more output.
Marketing is never static. We can always refine and improve. Taking the time to analyze each component and then optimize it is how we become more and more sophisticated in our marketing strategy.
Running the 90-day audit is a great place to start.
Marketing Strategy Mastery
The last ingredient is mastery. This is where we take the existing marketing funnel that’s working well and build it out. Mastery can come in many forms but it boils down to elevating the customer experience. Here are a few:
- Creating upsells and downsells
- Creating order bumps
- Increasing average cart value
- Building out new offers
- Expanding to new audiences
We don’t add scale and mastery until all the rest is working.
Too Long, Didn’t Read?
Here’s the quick and dirty recap of the 6 ingredients of a marketing strategy guaranteed to convert.
Understanding Your Ideal Customer Avatar:
Content Creation System:
- Producing high-value, consistent, free content for your ICA
Audience Growth & Visibility:
- Usually in the form of paid ads
- Growing an email list of ideal customers
- Moving followers from social media to email
- End-to-end customer journey mapping
- 90-day audit
Marketing Strategy Mastery:
- Back-end offers
- Increasing average order value
- Audience expansion