What is marketing strategy? It’s one of the most important ways to reach specific goals through digital marketing.
We recommend that all Knowledge Commerce businesses create marketing strategies to fuel their brands and to create long-term plans for the future.
If you’re not sure about how to define “marketing strategy,” or if you often confuse it with terms like “marketing plan” and “marketing management,” we’re here to help you sort through the jargon and give your Knowledge Commerce business an edge on the competition.
We’re going to walk you through some of the basics of creating a marketing strategy. Then we’ll dive into 25 marketing channels that can become part of your overall marketing strategy so you’re not left without a game plan.
What Is a Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy encompasses every aspect of a business's plan for marketing its products or services. The more detailed your marketing strategy, the more effective the channels you choose for marketing become.
What do we mean by channels? Marketing channels can include options like social media, blogging, webinars, influencer marketing, user-generated content, and more. But we’re going to cover those channels in more detail later in the article.
It's important to note that a marketing strategy isn't just a list of marketing channels that you use to find your audience. Instead, it's as detailed as a business plan or financial plan and includes everything you need to understand your brand identity and your audience.
For instance, your marketing strategy should define your USP or unique selling proposition. Also called a UVP or unique value proposition, your USP is what that you apart from the competition.
What makes your business different from others in the Knowledge Commerce market? What can you offer that other educators in your niche cannot? Why should someone by your digital products instead of someone else's?
You can also include details about brand messaging in your marketing strategy. What type of language do you use when communicating with your audience? Do you have a tagline? What tone and voice do you use when marketing your digital products?
A marketing strategy should also include detailed information about your target audience. What attracts them to your business? What are their pain points? What are their objections to buying your products?
Once you've defined your USP, brand messaging, and target audience, you can choose the marketing channels that will help you best reach your audience and expand brand awareness. Keep in mind that many of the top marketing channels for Knowledge Commerce lie in digital marketing, but you can also pursue other types of marketing to achieve your goals.
Why Does Your Marketing Strategy Matter?
Think of your marketing strategy as a blueprint for achieving success in Knowledge Commerce. It defines the way forward when it comes to reaching your target market and convincing them to convert.
Without a marketing strategy, you are likely to choose marketing channels without any real reason behind your selection. Perhaps it will work out and you'll choose the correct channel, but more often than not, you'll find yourself shouting into a vacuum.
Every Knowledge Commerce business has a different audience segment and a different list of goals. If your marketing channels don't align with those facets of your business, your business will suffer.
What Are the Differences Between Marketing Management and Marketing Strategy?
Your marketing strategy tells you what goals you want to achieve and what outcome you'd like to result from your marketing efforts. Marketing management, on the other hand, refers to the policies, procedures, and personnel involved in bringing your marketing strategy to fruition.
Think of marketing management as the process of overseeing your marketing strategy. It's no more or less important than marketing strategy, but it's a completely different concept.
If you don't have a solid marketing management system in place, and if you don't have the people necessary to oversee your marketing strategy, you probably won't see the results for which you've hoped.
How do you set up a marketing management system?
You assign specific roles and duties to the people on your team. If you work alone, you take over those duties yourself or outsource them to freelancers.
It's also essential to decide how you will measure the results of your marketing strategy both in the long and the short term.
What Are the Differences Between a Marketing Strategy and a Marketing Plan? [h2]
A marketing plan consists of the channels, techniques, and strategies that you will use to make your marketing strategy a reality. If your marketing strategy is a list of goals that you want to achieve, your marketing plan is the roadmap to get you there.
For instance, maybe your marketing strategy revolves around growing brand awareness for your Knowledge Commerce products. In that case, your marketing plan might consist of strategies for social media, earned media, blogging, and public relations.
It all depends on your specific goals for your Knowledge Commerce business.
Don't confuse marketing plans with a marketing strategy. You need a strategy before you can develop an effective plan to help you reach your goals.
25 Channels and Tools To Fuel Your Knowledge Commerce Business Growth Through Marketing Strategy
Now that you're ready to create a marketing strategy, you might wonder about the channels and techniques that might help you fulfill it. We are here to help.
We've come up with 25 unique channels and techniques to help you bring your marketing strategy to fruition. You don't have to master all of them — in fact, you probably shouldn't.
As a small business, you need to focus your efforts on the channels that will bring the most brand awareness, lead generation, and sales. Otherwise, you risk spreading yourself too thin.
This is particularly true in Knowledge Commerce. You've built your business around educating other people, so you want your brand identity to reflect that. If you try to do too much, too soon, you risk diluting your brand and giving the impression that you can't communicate knowledge effectively.
With those tips in mind, here are 25 channels and strategies you might consider adding to your marketing plan. They'll help you bring your business into alignment with your overall marketing strategy.
1. Social Media
Social media is so much more than Facebook and Instagram. It encompasses dozens of tools and platforms that you can use to market your Knowledge Commerce business.
Whether you are selling online courses, membership sites, e-books, or other digital products, you need social media to help you reach your target audience. Research shows that the average person spends nearly two hours per day on social media.
You can't ignore that statistic.
While you can't reach every person in your target audience via social media, you don't want to miss out on the opportunity to join conversations and get your brand message heard.
In your marketing strategy, list the social media platforms that prove most effective for your target audience. If the people who buy your online courses and other digital products spend most of their time on Facebook, that's where you need to devote most of your efforts.
2. Explainer Videos
An explainer video is an educational video that helps your target audience better understand your product. It's similar to a walk-through of a physical product, but it should explain how the viewer can actually benefit from your digital product.
In other words, you don't want to use your explainer video to rattle off a list of your digital product's features. That's boring. Worse, it probably won't move the needle when it comes to conversions.
Instead, you want to focus on tangible benefits.
"My fitness course will help you shed baby weight, gain energy, and reclaim your figure."
That list of features is far more compelling the following:
"My fitness course includes 10 videos, a handy calculator, and a free e-book."
In the latter example, the viewer has no idea what he or she can take away from your digital product. And that's not a good thing.
Explainer videos should also be compelling and, if possible, entertaining. Even if you can't get a laugh out of your audience, viewers should find themselves riveted to their seats because of the value you provide. For an example of an explainer video that works, check out our example on Knowledge Commerce:
You can set up a blog within the Kajabi platform. It's as simple as giving your blog a name and creating your first post.
Start with a welcome blog post that introduces your brand and helps readers understand what you will offer in subsequent blog posts.
From there, blog consistently about topics in your niche. Create the most in-depth, meaty content that you can to keep people coming back to your blog.
Your marketing strategy should include competitor analysis. What are other people in your niche blogging about? What kind of engagement are they getting on those blog posts? How can you create content that is richer and more valuable for your audience?
Many entrepreneurs start blogs and then forget they even exist. Don't let that happen to you.
If you have identified blogging as a potentially valuable marketing channel for your business, make it a priority. Choose a blogging schedule and stick to it.
4. SEO and SEM
SEO and SEM are critical for most marketing strategies. Both pursuits help generate traffic to your Kajabi website.
SEO refers to search engine optimization. If the practice of optimizing your website content for the search engines.
For instance, you'll want to create blog posts that focus on keywords for which your target audience might search. Long-tail keywords tend to produce the best results.
A keyword like "fitness course for new mothers" will drive more targeted traffic than one like "fitness courses." You'll find it easier to rank in the search engines and the people who land on your page will be more qualified to purchase your course.
While SEO focuses on organic search traffic, SEM involves driving traffic through paid advertising. If you have the budget for it, you can buy ads in the search engines to drive targeted traffic to your website.
Ideally, paid search ads should point to landing pages on your Kajabi website. Each landing page should reflect the brand messaging that you used in your ad.
5. Email Marketing Drip Campaigns
An email drip campaign allows you to set up an automatic series of emails that leads in a particular group will receive over a period of days or weeks. It's a great way to introduce people to your brand, push a particular digital product, or lead up to a product launch.
You can set up multiple email drip campaigns for people in different places in the sales funnel. For example, people who have just signed up via a lead magnet should be in a different group from people who have already bought from your brand. Over time, you can adjust your email marketing strategy to suit your evolving goals.
6. Lead Magnets
Speaking of lead magnets, the best way to incentivize people to hand over their email addresses is to give them something in return.
A lead magnet is a piece of content that provides genuine value for your lead. It could be an e-book, a calculator, expanded content, or something else entirely. The important thing is that it's desirable.
Use your marketing strategy to figure out what type of lead magnet would interest your audience most. You can even conduct a poll or survey via your blog or other channel to ask your audience what they want.
7. Retargeting With Facebook Ads
Advertising can take a big chunk out of your business budget. However, if the ROI exceeds your ad spend, it's worth the money you pay to get your brand in front of new potential customers.
Retargeting on platforms like Facebook can generate more ROI than other advertising channels. Retargeting means that your ads will only show to qualified leads who have interacted with your website before. You'll install a Pixel on your website that will track user activity is to tell Facebook when to show your ads.
8. Knowledge Commerce Partnerships
If you haven't considered a Knowledge Commerce partnership before, you might be missing out on an incredible marketing opportunity. You can find other Knowledge Commerce business owners who work in an industry that is related to your own.
In addition to linking between your content and sharing each other's social media posts, you might even develop a digital product together. Essentially, a partnership gives you access to each other's audiences. Your brand, as a result, gets more visible.
9. User-Generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content (UGC) has become one of the most powerful marketing channels available. Essentially, it involves inspiring your audience to create content about your product.
For instance, if you sell online courses on photography, you might ask your customers to post on Instagram the favorite photographs that they took while taking your course.
10. Influencer Collaboration
Collaborating with influencers can give your brand far more recognition than he would get by yourself. You can either pay an influencer to spread the message about your brand or work with one organically.
Keep track of the customers who take your online courses or by your other digital products. Do any of them have a large audience on social media or other online channels? If so, ask them to share their experiences with your online business see you can your brand in front of their audience.
When you can solve problems for your audience, you become increasingly invaluable to their personal or professional lives. That's a powerful way to increase your business's reach.
You can solve problems in numerous ways, such as through in-depth blog posts, social media posts, video, and more. Regardless of how you’re connecting with your audience, try to solve a problem at every opportunity.
12. Customer Communities
Many businesses and entrepreneurs have built communities around their products and services. Forums, Facebook Groups, and other community-building tools can help build an affinity for your business among your audience.
You don't have to establish a formal community. Simply joining conversations with current and prospective customers on social media can create the sense of a community that is actually public.
Always look for new ways to make your audience feel comfortable with you and your business. That way, they'll feel more comfortable about purchasing from you.
13. Channel Expansion
Maybe you've only focused on a few marketing channels. That's fine when you first start your business, and eventually you need to expand.
Consider broadening your horizons and dipping your toes into marketing channels that you haven't yet considered. You might discover that your audience is more active on a channel you haven't used before, so it makes sense to investigate.
The important thing is to avoid limiting yourself. You don't want to discount an opportunity that might lead you to your audience.
It's essential to test every marketing channel you attempt to master. You need some way to track metrics and analytics so you know whether you're actually reaching your audience.
Lots of entrepreneurs find great success with Facebook, for example. However, that doesn't mean Facebook is the best social channel for every business.
If you're tracking metrics and you notice that you have low Facebook engagement, you might want to consider focusing your efforts elsewhere. There's no sense in spending energy and time on a marketing channel that won't convert.
15. Contests and Games
One of the fastest ways to boost engagement online is to host a contest or find a way to gamify Knowledge Commerce. Both contests and games inspire competition among your audience and compel them to participate in some way.
For instance, you can ask your Instagram followers to post photographs of themselves engaging in an activity related to your online courses. Ask them to use a brand-specific hashtag on those posts so you can track them as they appear.
At the deadline you set, you'll choose a participant at random to get a small gift, such as free access to a mini-course.
Gamification is another excellent strategy. When you gamify Knowledge Commerce, you encourage people to learn faster and to compete against one another.
16. Employee Marketing
If you work by yourself, you might not have any employees to turn into brand ambassadors. However, if you do have people you work for your business, encourage them to market your business for you.
You can incentivize this activity through in-house gamification or through other means. However you decide to encourage employee marketing, you're likely to see a drastic impact on brand awareness and engagement.
17. Fresh Approaches
Sometimes, marketing starts to feel stale. You are just repeating the same techniques and strategies over and over again, and if you are bored with your marketing strategy, you can bet that your audience is, as well.
Look for inspiration from big brands. How are they reaching their audiences? What innovative or entertaining ways they found to engage their fans?
You don't want to copy them, but you can follow in their footsteps with your own fresh ideas. Just because someone hasn't done something before it doesn't mean it won't work for you.
18. Customer Retention
It's easy to focus on lead generation when you want to grow your business. However, ignoring the people who have already bought from your business is usually a mistake.
Don't forget about customer retention. You need to nurture the people who have already parted with their hard-earned cash in exchange for one or more of your digital products.
Consider creating an email marketing campaign just for those people. You can also send out discounts to loyal customers to ensure that they come back when you release another product.
19. Big Data
When you run a small business, it's easy to assume that concepts like big data apply only to major multi-national corporations. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Harnessing big data can help you gather far more insights into your audience based on their engagement with your business. Consider using this data to inform your future marketing efforts as well as the types of products you create.
20. In-Person Events
Don't assume that your marketing strategy has to take place entirely online. In fact, it probably shouldn't.
Attending in-person events can make your brand more visible and allow you to look your potential customers in the eye. While you might meet hundreds of people and only generate a few customers, the long-term benefits will pay for the time you spent at the event.
Consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce so you can learn about local events related to your industry. Trade shows, conventions, and other events offer the perfect opportunity to introduce your products to a completely new audience.
There's something about nostalgia that engages people in a visceral way. Have you ever gone through boxes of your old childhood toys? You just can't put down that old train set or your first Barbie doll.
Creating a sense of nostalgia for your audience might be as simple as participating in Throwback Thursday on Instagram and tying your image to your industry.
22. Cross-Media Stories
Marketing channels don't exist in a vacuum. People who follow you on Instagram might also follow you on Facebook, read your blog, and subscribe to your email newsletter.
To encourage people to follow you through more channels, consider telling cross-channel stories. Begin the story on one channel, the director audience to another to get the next installment.
23. Affiliate Marketing
Setting up an affiliate marketing campaign is easy on the Kajabi platform. You can decide how much you want to pay affiliates for sending business your way and how to construct your program to meet your audience's needs.
Think of affiliate marketing as a marketing channel that requires very little effort on your part. Once you set up an affiliate marketing program, it's up to your affiliates to earn money by spreading your brand message.
24. Upselling and Cross-Selling
Upselling is a great way to convince your audience to buy your list expensive product. Instead of just buying your e-book, for example, you can encourage them to buy your full online course.
Alternatively, or at the same time, you can cross-sell to your customers by suggesting that they buy related products in tandem. That e-book, for example, might come in handy to the customers who buy your online course.
You might have heard us say that we believe video offers the most powerful tool in Knowledge Commerce. You can create lots of different types of videos, but webinars are one of the most effective. You get to interact with your audience as though you are in the same room with them.
We are proud to announce that you can now host live webinars from the Kajabi platform. We've made it as easy as possible to market your webinar, accept registrations, host your webinar, and follow up with registrants.
Use Kajabi to Turn Your Knowledge and Content Into Products You Can Sell
Now that you are more familiar with marketing strategy, you can test out these marketing channels and find the ones that will best help you reach your audience. Kajabi makes it even easier.
After you sign up for an account, you can immediately begin to manage email marketing, blogging, webinars, social media, opportunities to solve problems, and more. Before you know it, you'll have an engaged and excited audience to whom to market your products.
Marketing strategy refers to the blueprint you use when marketing your digital products. It's not the same thing as a marketing plan or the process of marketing management.
You can use multiple channels to reach your audience. A marketing strategy might involve channels as diverse as business communities, lead magnets, Knowledge Commerce partnerships, and channel expansion.
Finding the perfect combination of marketing channels will help you refine your marketing strategy. It might sound like a long, involved process, but you'll thank yourself when the sales start rolling in.
Start with your business goals, USP, and knowledge of your target audience. From there, start testing different marketing channels to figure out whether you're able to reach your target audience through them.
Over time, your marketing strategy will evolve just as your business will grow. Never stop testing new opportunities that might help you reach your audience more effectively.
Don't forget that Kajabi offers most of the tools you'll need to test out these marketing channels. It's a lot easier to build a marketing strategy when you can do it within the same platform.
Do you have a marketing strategy in place? What channels have proved most effective for your business?