How do you make sure you get the most out of your marketing?
If there is one thing we have learned over the last few years, it’s to be prepared for the unexpected.
Having a marketing plan in advance allows you the space to make adjustments if curveballs get thrown your way.
Preparing for the unexpected saves you time, money, and stress.
how do you start planning your marketing?
These steps will narrow down the important factors that you should be focusing on, making decisions on data rather than feelings.
do a complete marketing audit
The first step to planning your strategy is to step back and evaluate what has worked previously, and what didn’t.
You can’t move forward until you take into consideration an honest assessment of your current state.
- Are you happy with where your sales are at? Did you meet your goals?
- What about your customers? Do you have a good idea of who they are and where they are?
- Did your creative campaigns deliver the return you hoped?
Take some time to look over the results of any campaigns to evaluate their output and if you are satisfied with the results. What went well? Where are there areas of improvement, as well as any ideas that would have improved the campaign (or for future iterations of similar campaigns)?
establish measurable goals
Taking from what you have learned from your evaluation, start planning your marketing strategy by deciding what you want to achieve. Such as, what are your top three to five marketing-focused goals and what are the indicators of success that you are measuring to ensure you’re on track to hit them?
Make sure your goals are specific and actionable. Your goals are supposed to guide you. Set specific deadlines and calendar reviews to hold yourself accountable.
set a marketing budget
The word “budget” might send shivers down your spine. That’s totally understandable. Money conversations can be uncomfortable, but necessary. It’s important to keep your marketing budget strategy simple and focused to prevent overspending.
Here are some tips that might make you more comfortable with allocating your marketing spending:
- Make sure you define all potential costs (ex. software, staff/agency fees, advertising, content creation, etc.).
- Focus on channels that align with your marketing goals.
- Be mindful of potential hidden costs (ex. consumer insights research).
- Spend money on where your customers are. This might take some time, especially at the beginning.
- Don’t be afraid to change course. If something is not working the way you want or need it to, stop paying for it.
- Ask for help.
talk to your clients/customers
Now is the right time to determine if your ideal target market is still your current “right” audience. It’s likely that you have ways to communicate with your loyal customers. Use them.
Engage with your target on social media: set up Instagram polls, send out a tweet asking consumers for their opinions, use your comment section as a way to converse with clients, ask your repeat clients/customers about their favourite service/products when they drop by your store or when engaging online.
Ask yourself the questions.
- Has your market shifted?
- Is your audience older or younger or in a different geographic region than you expected?
- What kinds of content both organically and via paid channels worked best?
Asking the tough questions will help you determine where to allocate your budget. When determining the channels that will reach your target market, start listing out some actionable deliverables to support your goals. The more specific, the better.
know your audience
Once you know who your product or services’ target audience is, their interests, needs and concerns, you can create targeted content that will connect with them.
Knowing your target audience means knowing their problems, their fears and frustrations. Your marketing strategy should focus on demonstrating how you can provide solutions to their pain points.
your unique selling point (USP)
What is it that sets your product apart and why should customers choose you? You need to be focusing on how you can communicate this to your target audience in your campaigns.
How do you plan to see the campaign through to the end? Consider how you will monitor tracking engagement, what data analytics tools and techniques you might use and how you will make necessary tweaks and adjustments. You’ll need to make sure you have time to dedicate to following this through.
how to bring it together
With all this information, it’s time to bring it together with your social media and content marketing strategies to ensure everything is in alignment.
social media strategy
A social media plan should focus on determining which channels work best for your target audience by using data to establish where they engage most. It should establish what engagement is required from each channel used and track metrics accordingly.
Typically, this would include:
- Competitor analysis: To show which channels they use and how successful they are.
- Current social content audit: Take stock of what channels you already use, what is and isn’t working and how you compare it to the competition.
- Yearly calendar overview: Create a calendar showing what content you intend to post that is based on events, holidays, trending topics, and your own internal calendars.
- Optimisation plans: Research the best times to post and the recommended posting frequency for each channel.
content marketing strategy
Content marketing is one of the most popular marketing strategies currently used as it allows you to build multi-channel touchpoints with your target audience to convey the brand, value and importance of your products or services.
To create a comprehensive content strategy, you should aim to clearly define your goals and proposed content’s target audience. If you already produce content that connects, use market research to determine if your target has changed or if you would like to expand. Your content should be strategic and aligned with your overall business goals, otherwise you are just creating more noise.
Sometimes we have great marketing ideas, but occasionally those ideas may not be the best thing for your business or your ideal customer. It’s worth taking time to step back and evaluate to be sure the idea is true to your brand or business.
Tackling marketing planning in advance allows you to stay true to your business and market it that way too.
If you would like to have a chat and just get some ideas about what would be the best thing for your business get in touch!