Let's face it; the marketing world is a maze filled with strategies that promise amazing results but often fizzle out faster than last season's trends.
Thankfully, there is a marketing strategy that's proven to work for small businesses across nearly all industries: the flywheel marketing method.
That said, this strategy isn't a fad. Unlike short-lived marketing tactics that change based on the latest algorithms and trends, the flywheel marketing approach allows you to build a strong marketing foundation that will give you results for years to come.
At Treefrog, there's nothing we want more than for your small business to succeed. As a result, in this blog, we are breaking down the flywheel marketing method and what makes it the best marketing strategy for small businesses in 2024.
What is the “flywheel marketing method”?
Essentially, the flywheel marketing method is a marketing strategy where your website and online marketing efforts are in sync and function as a flywheel to continually produce results.
For those who may not be mechanically inclined, a flywheel is a device that creates and stores rotational energy—allowing it to rotate and function from its built-up energy reserves. For example, think of a hand-crank flashlight. When you apply the energy up front, you have light for a long time because the flashlight’s flywheel stores that energy.
Now, how does this relate to marketing? Well, the flywheel marketing method works much like a hand-crank flashlight. When you use this marketing strategy, you or your marketing team will need to put in quite a bit of effort upfront to build your flywheel. However, after this, your marketing will continue to work on its own—only requiring minimal maintenance.
This layout and functionality is part of what makes the flywheel marketing method such an effective and long-lasting strategy. By putting in the work, you’ll have a marketing foundation that continually generates leads and results both in 2024 and for years to come.
Why does the flywheel marketing method work well for small businesses?
As a marketing agency for small businesses, we know firsthand how well this marketing strategy works because we’ve seen it happen! Our clients have experienced up to 800% growth as a result of this exact strategy.
Besides being proven to work, this strategy is ideal for small businesses because it saves time. Again, the flywheel method does take upfront work to implement; however, once in place, your marketing will essentially work on its own—giving you consistent results and time to focus on other important aspects of your business.
Again, this method takes upfront work. But, the investment of time and/or money is worth it because once you create this foundation, your marketing will continue to produce leads and sales—even when you don’t have time to focus on marketing.
Basically, by employing the flywheel marketing approach, you can trust in the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, avoid the time and financial setbacks associated with experimenting with ineffective tactics, and concentrate on other crucial facets of your small business.
How can your small business implement the flywheel marketing method?
Again, establishing the foundation of your flywheel system will take work—whether you do it yourself or work with an agency like Treefrog. But, once you’ve created your system, you will begin to see the results you’ve been looking for!
The flywheel marketing method can be broken down into four phases—with each phase building off the last and generating bigger results:
- Understanding your audience and creating clear messaging specifically for them.
- Building a strong foundation with a strategically built, SEO-optimized website.
- Creating content and a sales funnel that serve your ideal client well.
- Promoting your products, services, and content.
Let’s dive into these phases and what they each entail.
1. Understand your audience & create clear messaging specifically for them.
The first phase of the flywheel marketing strategy is to define and understand your audience (your ideal client) and create clear messaging specifically for them.
This step needs to come first because without clear messaging, your marketing won’t resonate with your audience. It’s crucial to have an understanding of who you’re talking to and what to say to hold their attention so that they will want to do business with you.
Determine & Understand Your Audience
Before you create any messaging, you must first understand who it is you’re talking to. To do this, you need to determine six things about your ideal customer:
- Who they are
- What they want to accomplish
- The biggest problem they’re facing in relation to your products or services
- How their problem makes them feel
- A clear solution for their problem
- What will happen when they follow your advice
You can dive deeper into understanding your ideal customers by checking out part two of our free mini course “The First Step to Effective Marketing for Small Businesses: Writing Your Marketing Guiding Statements.”
Create Clear Messaging
When you understand who your ideal customer is, you’re ready to create clear messaging for them. With this, you will be able to communicate with your ideal customers in a way they can quickly and easily understand.
To ensure your message is clear and customer-focused, you need to create what we call your five “Marketing Guiding Statements,” which include your:
- Talking Points: Conversational points that incorporate story elements
- One Liner: A single statement summary of why people need your product or service
- Story Pitch: A storyline that engages your audience and tells them what to do
- Why: A statement that explains why you do what you do
- Sales Script: A written script that helps you sell better than anyone
These statements will guide you and give you the copy you need for all of your marketing efforts—from building your website to making social media posts.
2. Create a strong foundation with a strategically built, SEO-optimized website.
Once you’ve completed phase one, it’s time to develop your strategic, SEO-optimized website.
Your website is your small business’s most powerful marketing tool—but you can’t grow and thrive by simply having a website. Your site must effectively cater to your ideal clients by quickly and clearly explaining what you provide, how you can address their problems, and the process of engaging with your services.
Plus, it should be readily discoverable in places where potential customers are actively looking for your products or services, such as at the forefront of Google search results.
Build a Lead-Generating Website
A common mistake small businesses often make is building a website without taking the time to develop a website strategy. To make your next site build as efficient and effective as possible, we recommend building a website using the following steps:
- Create a customer-focused web plan.
- Develop an initial keyword and SEO strategy for your website.
- Write the copy for your website.
- Design your website with a purposeful flow.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Optimize Your Website for Search Engines
A well-designed, customer-focused website is crucial, but its effectiveness is limited if it doesn't appear on the first page of Google search results. In the second phase of the flywheel marketing method, optimizing your website for search engines is essential.
SEO (search engine optimization) is a free process that enhances your website's ranking on Google or other search engines when users search for relevant products, services, or content. Given that 97% of people turn to Google when seeking local products or services, a successful SEO strategy can significantly impact your small business by increasing visibility and the likelihood of converting prospects into customers.
For a more in-depth breakdown on creating a strategically-built website, check out “Episode 104: How to Build a Lead-Generating Website” on The Priority Pursuit Podcast.
3. Create content & a sales funnel that serve your ideal client well.
When you have your strategically built website, you can move on to developing a content marketing strategy and sales funnel that will serve your ideal clients well. This will encourage your audience to continue engaging with your small business.
Create a Content Marketing Strategy and Sales Funnel
When creating a content marketing strategy or sales funnel, it’s important to consider the buyer’s journey. This is the process that potential customers go through when deciding to purchase a product or service. It includes three stages:
- Awareness: Someone has a problem but needs to be made aware of something.
- Consideration: Someone is researching ways to solve their problem.
- Decision: Someone is ready to make a decision.
When you keep the buyer’s journey in mind, you are able to create content that engages more of your audience and leads to more sales.
Getting your potential customers into your buyer’s journey starts with content marketing—a strategy where you create and share valuable, relevant content such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, and social media posts to attract potential customers.
A sales funnel, which is a content marketing framework, then transforms potential customers into paying ones by serving them, building trust, and showcasing your product or service as the solution to their problems.
To complete this phase of the flywheel marketing strategy, you need to develop five marketing pieces:
- Awareness content
- A consideration landing page (also called an opt-in page)
- A lead-generating offer
- An automated, follow-up email campaign
- A decision landing page
Learn more about these content marketing pieces and how to create them by tuning into “Episode 114: How to Build a Sales Funnel as a Small Business” on The Priority Pursuit Podcast.
4. Promote your products, services, & content.
The final step of the flywheel marketing method is promotion. In this stage, you will be promoting all the pieces you created in the three previous phases.
When we talk about promotion, we mean more than sharing your content on social media. Yes, organic social media posts are a great way to reach your audience, but due to the ever-changing algorithms, these posts just aren’t enough for your small business anymore.
With this in mind, you need to expand your promotion practices past organic social media posting in order to reach and connect with your audience effectively. Some of the best forms of this promotion include:
- Social media ads
- Google ads
- Nurture email campaigns
- Targeted email campaigns
Social Media Ads
Despite the reduced reach of organic social media, social media advertising remains a highly effective and potentially cost-efficient means of reaching your target audience.
Each social media platform has its unique approach to advertising, with major platforms like Facebook and Instagram frequently introducing new options. With this in mind, it’s important to understand social media advertising intricacies, specifically on platforms frequented by your ideal clients.
The key is to focus your efforts and resources on the channels where your target audience is most active, whether through organic or paid social media approaches.
When people are looking for a product or service, most turn to Google. Now, while prioritizing your organic ranking (meaning where your website and content rank on Google as free listings), we recommend utilizing Google ads as a small business, because you can ensure that your website and content are among the first listed via Google search.
For more information on how to utilize Google ads, check out “Episode 115: How to Use Google Ads as a Small Business” on The Priority Pursuit Podcast!
While social media and Google ads are highly effective forms of promotion, email marketing tends to have one of the highest ROIs when it comes to marketing tactics with an “estimated return of $2.80 for every $1 spent.”
With this in mind, nurture emails—or emails that are sent to leads based on their interests—are a great way to continue to promote your business and connect with your audience. These emails can feature a variety of things such as product announcements, tips, inspiration, updates, and more. We recommend sending at least two nurture emails a month so your business stays top of mind and connected to your audience.
Targeted Email Campaigns
Emailing your entire email list regularly with nurture emails is great, but you’ll likely find even more success through targeted email campaigns—email campaigns for specific subsections of your audience who have already expressed interest in specific products, services, or types of content.
These targeted emails allow you to better serve your audience and solve their specific problems—which will ultimately make them more likely to do business with you.
The fact of the matter is that you and your team don’t have time to waste on marketing tactics that don’t work, and you work too hard for ineffective marketing to stand in the way of reaching your business goals.
Whether you’re looking for the best marketing strategy for small businesses in 2024 or a proven marketing strategy that’s going to give you results long term, the flywheel marketing strategy is the answer.
Again, this strategy is not a fad. It is a full-fledged system that will continue to yield results in the years to come. As a result, in 2024, we want to encourage you and your team to implement this method so you can have a marketing strategy that works just as hard as you do—both this year and beyond!
Small businesses deserve to have a marketing strategy and partner that works as hard as they do.
Treefrog Marketing is a marketing agency for small businesses located in Lafayette, Indiana that builds effective marketing strategies and systems that help small business leaders take their companies to the next level. We specialize in marketing leadership, strategic marketing and advertising, digital marketing, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO, and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.