Creating a marketing plan for your business is not something that can be developed overnight. To truly have a successful marketing strategy, you must first know exactly who your company is and what you are trying to sell - be it a service, a product, or anything else. After you know who you are as a business, you can then begin to determine who will need your product, what you can offer that no one else can, and how you will share this news with your target audience.
Creating an overall marketing strategy for your company is different than just setting up advertisements and promotions for your company. An overall marketing strategy deals with who will be in charge of which duties, research into your target audience, campaign creation, and analyzation of results.
The first step to developing a successful marketing strategy begins with making decisions about your marketing department as a whole.
Marketing Department Decisions
One of the first decisions you must make when developing a marketing strategy is if you will hire an in-house employee or group of employees or if you will outsource your marketing to an agency or firm.
Keep in mind when you make this decision that marketing in the digital age is moving from being a cost center to a strategy. There are pros and cons to each decision, so you must truly look at what will be best for your business as a whole.
Learn more about choosing to outsource versus hiring in-house talent for your marketing department here.
Another decision that must be made when developing a marketing strategy is your marketing budget. Your budget will determine your entire marketing strategy, so make sure you are allocating the correct amount of resources.
This amount varies by company size, industry, and revenue, so be sure to perform your research prior to determining your budget for the year.
The final step to the beginning stages of your marketing campaign deals with knowledge versus thought leadership. To truly succeed in today’s digital world, you must set aside the idea that secrets or mystery will encourage consumers to purchase from you.
Instead, you must base your strategy and campaign around thought leadership. The internet allows consumers to perform thorough research before they make a purchase, so transparency in all marketing strategy and campaigns is imperative to success.
Develop your Audience and Campaign
The next step to creating a successful marketing strategy is developing a buyer persona for your ideal customer. A buyer persona will allow you to really dig deep into the mindset of the people who you want as customers.
By researching who these people are, what they do, where they live, and what their problems are, you will find the best way to market your product or service as the solution for their needs.
Buyer personas are a critical element to any marketing strategy. Once you have these answers, you can begin to develop marketing campaigns targeted to areas where you ideal customer will search, shop, and more.
After you have determined who your ideal customer is and created a buyer persona for this person (or people), you can then begin to develop your marketing campaigns.
These campaigns differ from your overall strategy as each campaign is tailored to one specific area. These areas could include social media, email, paid search, and more.
No matter where you are placing your campaign, each campaign should follow a specific set of steps designed to guide your potential customer through a journey from visitor to lead to customer. This will allow you to see a high ROI from each marketing campaign you implement.
Produce and Distribute Content
Marketing campaigns and strategies by themselves are no good without content to back it up.
As we mentioned earlier, people research more than ever before making a purchasing decision. This means that you need to have information available to them about your company, your product or service, and how you can help solve their problems.
Aside from content that is specific to your marketing campaigns, you should have additional content available on your website, social media, email, and other channels to encourage visitors and leads to continue to learn more about what you have to offer them.
However, all this content will take time and effort to not only produce, but also publish at the correct frequency for your business. This is where a content calendar comes into play.
This calendar will allow you to schedule, track, and measure all of the content you produce and publish. You can tie pieces of content to a specific marketing campaign or just produce evergreen pieces full of information.
By using a content calendar to organize not only your marketing campaigns, but also your additional content, you will stay on track and have plenty of information available to visitors, leads, and customers.
One of the main ways people research these days is on their smartphones. Because of this, it is important that all the content you create and produce is mobile-friendly.
You probably know the importance of having a mobile-friendly website, but you need to make sure that the rest of the elements of your marketing campaigns are mobile-friendly as well. This includes email, social media, landing pages, forms, and more.
By making every piece of your campaigns mobile-friendly, you remove an element of friction which will make it easier for visitors and leads to become customers.
Analyze Results and Move Forward
After you have developed your marketing strategy and implemented your marketing campaigns, it is time to measure your results. By calculating the correct marketing metrics, you can see where you are having success and where you have room to grow.
Analyze these results carefully and make any changes needed to see increased results in the future.
Learn more about calculating the marketing metrics that matter here.
Developing a marketing strategy is an important part of creating a growing business. Generating and retaining new leads and customers is what will allow your company to grow.
By creating a marketing strategy that applies Inbound Marketing techniques and works in conjunction with other departments in your business, such as sales and customer service, you will be able to have every department work together to attract, convert, close, and delight your new and current customers.