Most advertising and marketing requires visual content. But even on platforms that don’t make it mandatory, your message does better when accompanied by an image or video. For instance, brands that included imagery on their Facebook posts earn 87 percent of all engagements. There’s a lot of work that goes into developing a solid marketing strategy so it’s no surprise that most business owners managing their own marketing campaigns focus on other tasks instead.

It doesn’t have to be complicated though. Follow these five steps to help you decide what your image and footage needs are.

1: Evaluate Your Marketing Strategy

marketing strategy analysis

You know exactly what message you want to convey. But before you begin developing content and compiling images and footage, think about two things: the type of content you want to make, and who’s your target audience.

You’ll find the answers in your marketing strategy. Small business owners juggle several roles and responsibilities every day, from blogging to answering queries from customers. They’re all necessary but need to be tied to a larger marketing strategy.

A basic marketing strategy answers:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • How will you reach this audience?

Your target audience depends on the products or services that you sell and in turn, the channels you use depends on your target audience. As an example, if I do bespoke renovations on houses, my target audience will be home owners. According to FNB’s annual 1st Time and Age Group Home Buying report, the average South African home owner is about 44 years old. So the channels I use for marketing will need to be where they are. You can figure out your target audience based on existing customers, industry trends and insights, and demographic data.

Once you have developed a target market, you can determine the channels where you will market. In this scenario, newspaper’s and TV will probably prove more successful than Snapchat and Instagram. There are many other options though, including other social media platforms, print ads, blog posts, brochures, and direct mail – but all require images or footage.

2: Figure Out Your Distribution Channels

marketing strategy distribution channels

Now that you know who your primary audience is, how do you reach them? This is part of your distribution plan.

Print and digital both have a place in your distribution plan, but the ratios depend on your particular industry and customer segments.

Digital marketing plays a role in any modern marketing strategy as it’s the new standard of communication, but print is still a major player in the small business world for its localization abilities. Print is actually making a come-back as the digital marketing space becomes more saturated and exposure harder to find.

Most small businesses opt for a digital/print hybrid content mix. In this mix there will be content types you produce regularly as well as once-off campaigns or promotions. Here’s some examples:


Email – The mailbox still prevails in small business; consumers prefer direct mail for updates and promotions over any other method. A well-designed mailer is a tried-and-true method, but update your designs regularly to avoid customer fatigue.

Blog posts – Content marketing is a relatively new method, but 76 percent of B2C’s are using it as part of their strategy. Consistently posting engaging content and graphics can generate traffic through searches and shares, but they’re also a huge benefit to customer retention.

Campaigns or one-off projects

Business brochure – Brochures give you plenty of space to tell consumers about your business and products. You might create just one of these a year, so make it eye-grabbing!

Website redesign – It’s inadvisable to change your website too often, but you should update its design to reflect current best practices. 75 percent of people judge the credibility of a company based on the design of its website. There are many companies in Pietermaritzburg, whose websites make you feel as if you’ve traveled back to 1999. If yours hasn’t been updated in a few years, contact us to see how we can help.

3: Develop a Schedule

marketing strategy scheduleOnce you’ve figured out the type of content you need and where you’ll distribute it, determine when to create it and send it out. Developing a schedule ensures regular content production and keeps you organized. This rhythm will help you stay on-task to reach key targets at critical times.

A marketing calendar is crucial here. It is the planning space for all your content activities, from blog posts and social updates to direct mail release periods. Aligning content across channels is the best way to get the most out of marketing. And a calendar will help you towards this goal.

There are many free tools out there to help you create a schedule and calendar. This round-up from Buffer gives you information on building a great calendar, plus examples from top content marketing players. Get started on your calendar today with this template from HubSpot.

4: Review Your Image and Footage Needs

As you plan your content, you might realize just how many assets you will need. From the images in an email campaign to the footage and music in a branded video, it could take more assets than you realize to implement a successful marketing strategy. Make sure you and/or your marketer have been over your content to confirm it is sufficient and appropriate.

Sunset stock image marketing strategy
This image is great as it is, but editing it makes it unique. Always try to edit your images to appeal to your target audience. The image on the right could work for many marketing campaigns from news blogs to beach parties in Cape Town city. All that matters is that it appeals to anyone interested in the city itself.

5: Monitor and Tweak if Necessary

Your business needs will fluctuate from time to time, and as such, your marketing strategy will need to evolve. Your plan will require some tweaking as the industry changes, or if your customer acquire new demands. Measurement is instrumental to your marketing strategy; it keeps you creating the content that works on the right channels, and dropping the content and channels that don’t work. Analyze and measure the success of your content with insights and KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), and make sure you monitor it regularly. Conduct regular analysis of your content to see if it’s meeting your business goals.

Will you use these techniques to build an engaging marketing strategy. Or do you have your own tactics? Let us know in the comments.

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African Sunset by Yedurie Mahabeer