This is step five in a six-step series on how to build your brand strategy. Here we will discuss how to identify the right marketing platforms for your brand. To learn more about this series, visit our introductory blog post here, and stay tuned for more freebies like these as we unravel your branding power strategy in the months to come!

In our last post, we learned the fundamentals of building a marketing plan. Now, we’re ready to put that plan into action! So, where do we begin?

First, it is important to identify where your target audience gets their information and makes their purchasing decisions. While some small businesses may rely entirely on word-of-mouth alone, it is important to at least have a basic digital presence to begin tapping into the vast market of online consumers who are looking for businesses just like yours.

“Digital marketing is of ever-growing importance to businesses of all sizes as a primary outlet to reach their customers.”

We believe that every business is in need of a website and basic digital presence, but don’t take our word for it. Here are a few compelling reasons why you should take your marketing strategy online:

Social Media: Social media platforms are simple to set up and free to use, making it easy and cost-effective to reach your target audience. As of October 2015, the Pew Research Center found that 65% of adults in America use social media. That’s a significant increase from just 7% in 2005 and the numbers continue to climb each and every year. The same study reveals that adults with a higher income lead the way in use of social media and that social media is used equally between men and women. To see where your target demographic stands on social networking platforms, check out the latest Pew Internet study, which reveals a wealth of information about the demographic segmentation of the American adult population on popular social media platforms.

Pew Research Study Social Media

Pew Research Center's Internet Project Surveys, 2012-2014. 2014 data collected Sept. 11-14 & Sept. 18-21, 2014. N=1,597 internet users ages 18+

Pew Research Center’s Internet Project Surveys, 2012-2014. 2014 data collected Sept. 11-14 & Sept. 18-21, 2014. N=1,597 internet users ages 18+

Websites, Review Sites, and Search Engines: According to Synchrony Financial’s third annual Major Purchase Consumer Survey, 80% of all shoppers making major purchases started their research online. Sixty percent visited retailer websites and 42% consulted review sites to find more information about a product, brand or retailer.

GECRB_Path_to_Purchase

Mobile: According to the same Synchrony Financial study, nearly half of all respondents are using mobile devices to conduct research, and one in five do so while they are in the store. Having a mobile presence is more crucial than ever before, particularly with Google’s recent announcement that more Google searches are now conducted on mobile devices in the U.S. than on computers.

When it comes to connecting with your target audience, identifying the right platform on which to share your message may be just as important as the message itself. Even mom ‘n’ pop stores that have relied on word of mouth referrals for years may find an untapped cache of customers waiting for them online. Finding the perfect platform for your business takes time and research, but some of the most popular and effective platform for business include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Even fringe social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat are growing in use among businesses. How do you know which platform works best? Our next and final step takes a look at how to measure your marketing impact.

If you need help creating a responsive website, managing your social media content, or need help improving your search engine rankings, contact us for a free consultation or learn how we can work together to help your business flourish online.

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