Marketing systems start with personas and chances are you have neither. I hope you do, but statistics say you don't have either.
When it comes to the online marketing of your martial arts school and promotion of your services, there are a battery of formulas you can put out there; blog posts, info-graphics, white papers, etc. While the combinations of content stuff is limitless, I think the number is somewhere around 221 fundamental ways to run an online campaign, but I don't remember.
Example, you have a bolt you want to sell. You create an engagement sequence of articles that all feed to a lead magnet optin where people can get a DIY bolt blueprint, support that by syndicating a compelling bolt video, promote your blog post on Facebook with an Ad to a lookalike audience generated by a conversion pixel on your bolt and direct your collective audience to your lead magnet on a Youtube card, that's supported by a curated content piece from an associate's Tumblr page while you have a second round sequence go out to another vertical who's conversion ranks higher with visual content such as an info graphic and share it on Sladeshare and specific LinkedIn groups who will then .... yeah, you get the point.
It's alot to think about when it comes to just trying to get your martial art in front of someone.
The big problem is that too many school owners I work with are spinning their brain around these choices when trying to create content simply for a topic they're passionate about and think others will be too.
How do they know which one is best, which one gets the best result? Testing. Testing. Testing... Right?
Unfortunately, it's not. Regardless of how much testing they do, they're still running without direction or purpose, wasting both time and money. Throwing content online without a goal, that's built into a well planned, systemized framework is wasteful.
Building a marketing framework for your content to fit seamlessly into, gives your hard work greater opportunity for visibility, more market traction, repurposes with automation, allows you to capture segmented audience details and ... it just makes sense.
But it takes time. Alot of it.
And us crazy busy business owners don't have time to create online systems when there's so much shit to do around the shop. Too bad. Once again, stop working in your business and start working on it (M. Gerber).
You have the same amount of time in your day as the wealthiest people in the world, it's about priorities - not time. Put the time in place to create the correct system for your content.
Before you choose any of the automated marketing systems, content managers, email service providers, marketing agencies or whatever - you have to know your audience. Simple advice, but ask yourself right now if your business plan includes at least three customer personas that are defined by specific, measurable interests and behaviors that qualify each one as a targeted consumer of your brand message?
Without personas, forget the content building time vacuum. Stop wasting time throwing brochures out of an airplane and hope the fall into the hands of people who will buy, it's the same damn thing. You haven't a clue who's even seeing your content other than (possibly) 5% of your already-following-you facebook fans, let alone consuming it with purchase intent. Not unless your content is directly targeted at a specific audience group that consists of specific personas you have crafted through introspective work on your business goals - then placed into a systemized framework of campaigns that speak to the desired outcome of your persona's needs, questions and pain points.
Sound difficult? Well it's not, but it does take work.
If you haven't done this work already, and chances are you haven't, then the time is now to have a discussion with your existing customers. This is your first step in creating a marketing system.
Marketing, like running your business, is a about relationships with people. Of course you can run a SurveyMonkey to your list, but ultimately your best results for your marketing efforts will come from face-to-face dialogue with your trusted clients. These are your personas, these are the people you are trying to serve.
Questions to ask can include:
Of course there are more questions, but nobody wants to spend time filling out long surveys that deliver no immediate gain for them. This is why in person discussion is best. You will get more measurable and illustrated feedback as your client is feeling recognized for their input. Either way, keep it short and add their feedback to their individual persona record.
What you'll discover will most likely shock you. There will be stories of how your business solved an issue that you never thought about, how your product was used in a way that you never considered or how an entirely different audience had attraction to your product that you never knew existed. With this data, you will be able to build out highly detailed customer personas through shared values.
In then end, take these values and draft detailed persona records that tell their unique story and speak to the exact audience group your company's message is meant for. These characters - your new personas - will virtually emerge from the fog and enter your business to serve an extremely important role. Once complete, build your marketing campaigns around these personas, locking them into your overall marketing framework.
If you have any questions or need help creating your business personas, feel free to reach out. Adam