How to properly structure a Marketing plan.
It’s no secret that marketers and business owners who set goals are much more likely to see success than those who don’t. However, we think it’s important to note that not all goals are created equally. You have to make smart goals and include a plan to go with those goals. When you build a marketing plan, you want to build a plan that defines your goals, describes your target audience, and how you plan to reach them.
Here, we outline some of the ins and outs of creating a marketing plan for next year to help your business thrive.
Ways To Build A Marketing Plan That Will Work
We’ll start by describing why you should even have a marketing plan to begin with and why it’s important before you jump into the marketing game.
What Is The Point Of Having A Marketing Plan?
When you break it down, the overall goal of a marketing plan is to help you do a variety of things. First, a good marketing plan should lay out an analysis of how your company is currently doing regarding digital presence. It should also summarize your marketing goals and what you hope to achieve in the coming year. Your marketing plan should also describe and define your target audience, as well as outline any and all strategies you will implement to meet your goal. It should also set a marketing budget and outline who will handle what responsibilities.
We think it’s important to create this at the beginning of the year so you can lay out a strategy for which channels to market on, who you’re marketing to, and how exactly you’re getting it all done. The point is that you have something in a clearly labeled document so that you and your team have something that can be referred back to. Don’t forget that the digital marketing industry constantly changes, so make sure your marketing plan can handle marketing trends throughout the year.
Start By Laying Out Your Goals
The first step to building your marketing plan is to define your goals. We know from experience that defining clear goals and objectives will help drive traffic and gain more leads, ultimately generating sales. When you create smart goals, they will lay out exactly what you need to create a plan that has action steps to bring you the results that you need.
Have you heard of the SMART method? SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, Achievable, realistic, and time-bound goals. These types of goals will allow you to lay out a predetermined goal and then help you track data that supports whether or not you are reaching that goal within a certain time period.
Know Your Audience
As soon as you’ve established the goals of your marketing plan, the next step is identifying your target audience. Even as your company grows, one marketing approach won’t work for everyone. Your marketing plan should be customized to certain buyer personas so that you can target them more specifically.
Typically, these personas are just fictional descriptions that describe your target customers and are based on behavior, age, demographic area, buying motivations, and more. Documented buyer personas are more likely to exceed your revenue goals. It helps to create a list of who your favorite customers are and then identify similar personas who might have similar needs. You’ll then create specific strategies to market specifically to them.
You can then prioritize each persona based on age, gender, size of the group, the amount of money they might spend, and more.
Understand Your USP
The next step when you’re starting to build a marketing plan is to determine your unique selling proposition (USP). This is what makes your brand products and services stand out from your competition. Including this in your plan will help you define your niche so that you can bring this to the forefront when planning your marketing. Do you offer better prices? Higher quality products? Leading advice and expertise?
Knowing this up top will help you sell your clients on your business instead of your competition. Taglines can be a great way to quickly and easily state what your brand does really well and how your brand gives your customers what they want.
Keep Track Of Results
We can’t say this enough – even if you spend night and day and every ounce of your energy into a marketing plan, it means nothing if you aren’t keeping track of results.
Keeping an eye on analytics transforms your marketing plan from a business document into a living piece of measurable data to help you manage as both the business and the market change. In fact, how you construct this year’s marketing plan should depend on the results that you’ve gathered.
Your marketing and SEO experts should be able to help track all of your online marketing efforts by using analytics software to help monitor all of your paid and organic online channels. The more accurate you track your results, the better you can adjust your plans and strategies in the future. That way, you know what’s bringing you money and what is just wasting time.
We’ve already said that marketers who set goals are far more successful than those who don’t. But without a plan to complete that goal, everything you’re dreaming about will fall flat, which is why you need to build an actionable marketing plan. We think it’s important to make sure your plan is adaptable and full of smart goals that you and your team can actually achieve. Don’t forget to track analytics to make sure your marketing efforts are bringing more clients and more money to your business.