Candles are something everyone loves, and there is a scent for everybody! Whether it’s summer, winter or anything in between, there’s a scent for all times of the year. With so many different colours, scents, shapes and sizes out there, candles have become increasingly popular in recent years. When it comes to hand made candles, there is no limit when it comes to creativity. Maybe the recent Covid-19 pandemic as sparked a need for new hobbies, candle-making could be a perfect skill to learn while stuck at home.
If you are looking to start your own candle-making business, or already have one, read on to learn how a digital marketing strategy plan can benefit you.
This is a strategy plan I have created for candle businesses, particularly those who make their own hand-made candles. It covers ways you can create a successful candle business, or if your candle business already exists, ways in which you can improve it. These strategies can be applied to any size business no matter what level you’re at.
How to create a successful candle business
- If you have already had your candle business started, measure its current success.
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Especially if you are a small business, it is important to measure your business’ current performance. Owning a business is unpredictable and there can be highs and lows, it’s important to know which parts are doing well and which aren’t or even if your business is succeeding at all, this is important to know so you can develop a strategy to improve.
Ways you can measure your current success:
- Review profitability
- Measuring frequency of sales
- Measure KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
- You can also use online tools such as Instagram Analytics, Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics to measure your online success.
- Define your purpose and goals
Now that you have measured your current success, it’s time to determine what your purpose and goals are for your candle business moving forward. This step is much easier now that we can see where we need to improve.
You could have both short and long-term goals, however it is important to have short term goals in order to reach your long-term goals. Here are some examples:
Long term goals:
- Within the next year, I want to have expanded my sales to a wider area (currently sell locally.)
- Within the next 2 years, I want to increase the total income made from sales by 10%.
- Increase brand awareness.
Short term goals:
- Create new profiles on social media.
- Create a blog within the next 3 months.
- Increase product prices by 5% over the next 5 months.
- Keep track of finances.
It is best to create SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely so you can easily keep track of their progress.
- Define your target market
A target market is a particular group of consumers you aim your products and services towards. It is very important to know who your target consumers are so you can create your marketing and products to suit their interests and needs. By identifying your market you can determine:
- Where they are located.
- What age group they are in and what gender they are.
- What their buying habits are.
- What social media channels they use most.
- What products they like the most – create marketing that is aimed towards convincing them to purchase your products.
A good way to determine who your target market is is to conduct market research
by determining who your competitors are and who they aim their products towards and find out where your products fit in the market (e.g. are they high-end or low-end?).
- Discover your niche
A niche may be a particular type of consumer you’re aiming your products towards. For example, since you sell candles you may want to use more natural and safe ingredients, therefore aiming towards health and environmentally conscious consumers. Or you may only make a certain category of scents, aiming towards people who only like fruity scents or sweeter. You may just want to focus more on your local area to sell, or wish to expand the location to which you sell. It can be very helpful to know if you have a niche in your market.
- Research competitors and conduct market research
Researching competitors is very important so as to know who you’re up against in the market, you don’t want to be exactly like another company, you want to have something unique about you, while still learning from your competitors on how they maintain their success, or perhaps to learn what not to do as well.
If you’re a local business, research candle businesses in your local area, or if you plan to expand, research competitors nationwide and worldwide.
Once you have found some competitors, check their online presence, especially their website and social media. By producing engaging content for the right audience, you’re sure to be on the right track to success. Simply google candle businesses and see which websites appear first, this can give you a good indication what your target market likes.
- Create a unique brand name and identity
While you want to learn from your competitors, don’t just copy them, or you won’t have a unique appeal to attract customers to your business over others.
You must create your own unique brand name and identity so consumers can easily recognise your products and services at first glance, and continue to purchase from you. What makes you different? Is it the ingredients used in the candle, perhaps your candle making process or the reason you started the business in the first place? People love to hear your unique story and purpose behind your business, so make good use of this in your marketing.
- Create your digital online presence
Create an online digital presence by creating various social media channels for you to post content on and get your business out there! It is important to regularly update your social media and post frequently, you can even use automation tools such as Heropost to schedule your posts. By posting frequently you can keep your viewers interested in your business, and give yourself a strong brand identity and compete in the market.
Utilising hashtags will help you gain more visibility as well.
- Create a blog and utilise SEO
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Creating a blog is a great way to engage customers even more, and it’s a place for you to write more in depth about your business and your products. It can also be another place for you to communicate with your consumers and receive feedback. Social media posts are limited in how much you can write and are purely for posting visual content, a blog is a place to dive more into depth about you and your products and how they can be beneficial to your consumers. It adds a personal touch and is another way to market yourself.
SEO (search engine optimisation) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of traffic coming into your website or web-pages (such as your blog) based on search engines. It is a way to make your website or pages more easily accessible by those looking for certain information or products online.
To learn more about marketing on your blog, read this post.
- Create a SWOT Analysis
By conducting a SWOT analysis you can determine what your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are. This is a great way to quickly determine where your business is at and where you can improve.
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Crucial Steps to creating your candle business:
- Create your brand identity
- Create your products and determine pricing
- Create a website
- Create a blog
- Create social media accounts
- Create good content and post regularly
- Sign into Google Analytics and make use of other analytics tools
- Research and know your market and competitors
- Make good use of SEO
When creating your candle business, it’s important to have a good grasp of what you’re selling, why you’re selling those products, and who you’re selling to. Once you have this information, create an online presence and create content which is aimed towards your audience and is unique and engaging. Creating a blog is also a very useful way to further engage people. Make good use of all these amazing marketing tools at your fingertips, a lot you don’t even need to pay for, so it’s a great way to get your candle business started and successful.
Written by Courtney Boyd-SkinnerDigital Marketing Analyst at the International Institute of Digital MarketingTM