The Right Marketing Tools: A Guide to Effective Planning

With so many marketing tools available to communicate your message, sell your product, or promote your event, how do you determine which ones are best?

I recently saw a LinkedIn post that suggested younger companies use (and maximize) only 4 different marketing channels at any given time. Is that sound advice? The simple answer is that you need to know your customers, and you need to know yourself. You have to be able to determine which marketing channels your target audience uses most frequently, or values the most. Sounds easy enough, but what if your audience uses many channels? What if you have a broad customer base? Start by researching your primary target customers’ preferences, based on demographic information. Snapchat and newspaper ads generally appeal to different demographics, but the difference between other channels isn’t always as clear, so do your research. Then list all the potential marketing tools and how many hours per day/week you feel you will need to be effective on each one.

That last part is key…can you effectively manage multiple marketing tools and channels, whether due to time or knowledge limitations? To evaluate the effectiveness of any particular channel, you should plan to consistently manage the content for a minimum of 6-8 months. Are you up to it? Your customers’ preferences need to align with your skill set and your time availability. If you need some help getting started, we can help.

One of the best starting points to expand your capabilities is to develop a content calendar. This will let you anticipate upcoming opportunities, and even encourage you to create content for publishing later. Sites like LaterBro, Buffer, and Hootsuite make this scheduling easy. Remember, the content can be very similar across multiple platforms, but tweaked to be reflective of platform's best practices.

So, which marketing tools and communication channels are the best for you? Just remember, it's better to be consistent and robust on a few of the right channels than to spread yourself so thin that no one sees or hears your message.

#smallbusiness #content

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