It’s important to have a Marketing Plan to provide your business with a strategy that can be used as a roadmap for effective implementation to grow your sales.
Are you new to marketing and don’t currently have any experience writing or implementing a marketing plan? Or alternatively, did you see no results from last year’s marketing plan and are looking for ways to put together the best marketing plan to ensure success this time around?
We’ll be discussing the 3 most important steps to creating a marketing plan that is in line with your business’ overall goals, ensure your efforts are recognised and rewarded, and you stay agile by consistently reviewing the results so you can iterate as you go. Let’s dive in.
Step 1: Assess Current Position and Set Goals
The first and one of the most important steps is to assess your current position by completing a marketing audit. If you previously had a marketing plan in place, refer back to your goals and strategies and determine the corresponding results. By looking at the metrics and your performance, you can gauge what worked and what didn’t, this will help you set new goals and achieve better results this year. If you’ve never implemented a marketing strategy before, you could undertake market research and measure your performance against that of your competitors. This isn’t as effective as you will only be able to measure against visible metrics, but it will provide you with a starting point. Then you can set your own goals and metrics from there.
Next it’s time to set your new goals. It’s extremely important to make sure these are in line with your overall business goals so that you are driving your business forward as a whole. It is best when these metrics can be measured, therefore set quantitative metrics like ‘Increase our sales by 15% in the first quarter of 2021’, rather than a qualitative metric like ‘grow our social media following’. By being able to measure your performance against the goal, you can keep yourself and your team accountable and break the goal down into small achievable chunks. You can always adjust goals as needed, but by thinking about what you want to achieve, this will help you take action in the right direction.
When setting goals, make sure you thoroughly understand your current and target customers. Asking for feedback post purchase or via surveys is a great way to gain valuable insight which will help you constantly improve your processes and customer service. Knowing your customers well and creating user personas of their age, location, interests, goals, challenges and other important characteristics will also assist your copywriter, designers and marketers to create a cohesive message.
Step 2: Create and Implement Your Marketing Plan to Achieve Your Goals
So now that the research and goal setting is completed, it’s time to devise a strategy to achieve your goals. It’s important to note that marketing plans come in many different forms and it depends on the size of your business as to whether you have one overarching marketing plan for all of your marketing efforts, or you have sub-marketing plans for different objectives. For example, you could have one marketing plan that includes everything from traditional and digital marketing and then a sub-plan if you are releasing a new product or service and you want to drill down into more detail. Whichever option you choose, these are the elements that we suggest including in your marketing plan to ensure its effective and moves the needle in your business.
In your marketing plan, include elements such as:
Your chosen Marketing Channels. Make sure you choose these based on where you can reach your target audience and where they are most likely to be in the buying mode. Marketing channels include Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Website, SEO, SEM and more. If you’d like to learn more about these, feel free to read through the services that we offer here at Evie Studios [link: https://www.eviestudios.com/services].
The types of content that you need to create. This will ensure you can organise the required resources to develop the assets. You may need to hire a photographer, videographer or graphic designer to provide you with the professional skills, so the output looks polished. Do you have a strong copywriter who can write engaging captions and create stories that your target audience can relate to?
The objectives of each type of content. Knowing this will ensure the content is geared towards the right outcome. These may include call to actions, brand awareness strategies, efforts to increase market share and newsletter signups.
How much content will you be producing? Building a library of assets will ensure that you always have content to share, this will retain the quality. We advise avoiding sharing content unless its informative, valuable or entertaining. Ever-green content is a great way to minimise the amount of new content you need to develop and will save you time and money.
The size of your marketing budget. Measuring your available budget against your desired outcomes is extremely valuable to ensure that what you want to achieve is realistic. Will you be relying solely on organic marketing efforts, or do you have the budget for Facebook/Instagram Ads, SEM, to update your website or for influencer marketing?
All too often, we find that while businesses take the time to develop a strategy, unless there is someone accountable for implementation, it can easily be forgotten about. By assigning the relevant team members their tasks and reviewing the goals and performance regularly, your marketing plan will have the intended outcomes.
Step 3: Analyse Results and Iterate
The best way to create a marketing plan that delivers results is to keep it fluid. Tracking your metrics from the beginning by setting up your Google Analytics account, relevant social media analytics and SEO tracking, you will be able to analyse your results often, whether that be weekly, fortnightly or monthly depending on your goals, so that you can iterate if needed. If you find that after 3 months, you haven’t gained any traction with your website traffic or sales conversions, for example, you can implement different strategies, change your focus or increase your dedicated budget.
By continuously analysing your processes and results, you can determine whether it makes sense to automate or outsource any part of the process for time efficiencies or performance improvements. If you are considering a marketing partner to assist in developing and implementing a marketing plan, feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d be more than happy to chat to you about how we can help grow your business.
(02) 8006 4212