So you’ve decided to start an online cleaning service. Congrats! Now what? How are you going to reach your target audience, and how are you going to retain them once you gain their trust? The following is a detailed guide to creating a solid marketing strategy for your business.
Create a Business Overview Chart
Before you jump into the weeds and start creating marketing materials, there’s a lot you can do to set your business apart from competitors. A great place to start is by plotting out a business plan. In the world of digital marketing, we often hear about SaaS (software as a service) businesses. These businesses provide software and/or platforms to customers so they can do their job better. A few well-known examples of SaaS businesses are HubSpot (for inbound marketing), G Suite (for digital marketing and business communications), and Blueleaf (for email marketing and marketing automation).
With an online cleaning service, you’re basically providing a service. You’ll need to define the difference between your product and service to understand what customers need to engage with your brand.
Your product is your service – you’re selling the ‘goods’ (cleaning products) to provide the service. To create a solid business plan, you need to work through three important questions:
- What is your product?
- How do you provide your product?
- How much do you charge for your product?
The answers to these questions will form the basis of your business plan. Let’s take a look at each question individually.
What is your product?
Your product is what you’re selling to provide the service. In the case of an online cleaning service, your product could be home cleaning products or office cleaning products. These are the ‘goods’ you’ll need to sell in order to provide the service. You should also make sure that you clearly define your product’s advantage(s) versus your competitors’ products.
You might consider having multiple products (for example, home and office cleaning products), depending on what your consumer wants. If you specialize in cleaning products for restaurants, you might decide to create a separate niche for that product.
The advantage of having multiple products is that you can create multiple pricing structures and marketing campaigns for each product line. For example, you could have a discount for the first six months and then tiered pricing after that.
How do you provide your product?
The next step is to figure out how you’re going to provide your product to your customers. There are basically two options:
- Ship it to them
- Provide it by direct sales
When deciding which option to go with, it’s important to think about what you’re going to do with the product once you provide it. Are you going to sell it yourself? Are you going to outsource the retail part? There are pros and cons to each option, so consider what you’re comfortable with.
If you decide that providing the product is the best option for your business, go with that. You can develop a strategy to grow your business by taking advantage of the internet. You can place sales pages on various platforms (such as Shopify or WooCommerce), and you can use online shops to engage with potential customers. (Check out Shopify’s blog post for more information on this topic.)
How much do you charge for your product?
This is the heart of the business plan – how much are you charging for your product? Keep in mind that the price of your product will be one of the primary factors that your customers consider when deciding whether or not to purchase your product. Pricing is always a tricky topic, especially since you don’t have a traditional brick-and-mortar store to take advantage of. That being said, here are some guidelines to help you develop a solid pricing strategy.
If you decide that your product is expensive to produce (for example, handmade goods or organic foods), you might want to consider setting a higher price point. Remember that your target audience is typically made up of B2C (business-to-consumer) shoppers. If you want to gain approval from potential customers, it’s important to set a high price point that won’t seem too low. The trick is to find that sweet spot where your prices are high but your margins are still healthy. (For more on this topic, you can read “The Ultimate Guide to Pricing Strategy.”)
Identify Your Target Audience
In addition to defining your product and how you’re going to provide it, you need to identify your target audience. The more you know about your target audience’s needs, wants, and expectations, the better you’ll be able to create appealing marketing materials and effective marketing campaigns. (For more information on developing a marketing strategy, check out “The Complete Guide to Marketing Strategy.”)
There are several different ways to identify your target audience. One way is through customer research – talking to customers and figuring out what they want and need from your product or service. Listening to customers and identifying their needs is often the key to creating a successful product or service. You may also consider looking at your competitors, seeing what they’re doing, and trying to figure out what will make you different.
Another way to identify your target audience is by looking at demographics. For example, if you identify that your target audience is mostly made up of women in their 20s and 30s, you might decide to create marketing materials that are geared towards this audience (e.g., online shopping directories for women).
You can also look at technology usage to help you figure out who your target audience is. In general, people who use social media or have access to the internet can be considered ‘digital natives.’ If you have a clear idea of your target audience’s demographics and digital habits, you can create marketing materials specific to this audience.
Develop Digital Marketing Materials
Once you have an idea of your target audience, you can start developing your digital marketing materials. These are the materials you’ll use to market your product or service – whether that’s online or via social media. A few important things to keep in mind:
- Use an Analytics Tool to Track Results
- Test Your Marketing Materials
- Make Regular Adjustments
- Be Creative
It’s important to remember that your marketing materials don’t have to be overly complex – a simple logo, a few product images, and some text should be enough to get you started.
The main purpose of your marketing materials is to attract and retain customers. To that end, it’s important to design materials that will catch the attention of potential customers. You can also use your marketing materials to get feedback from users – either directly or via social media. This feedback can help you identify areas where your product or service could be improved.
Determining the Channels To Use
In addition to developing your product and marketing materials, you need to figure out which channels to use to promote your product or service. There are several options here – radio, TV, outdoor billboards, and more. (See table below for more information.)
You should consider using multiple channels (at least), but make sure that you’re not spreading yourself too thin. It’s important to put a focus on one channel at a time and determine which one works best for you. Plus, you can always switch channels if one doesn’t work out.