Wait… I need a Marketing Strategy?
The words ‘Marketing Strategy’ can be pretty intimidating.
- What does it even mean?
- Where does social media come into it?
- How do you even begin?
I’m not going to lie to you, sitting down to write a Marketing Plan is a daunting task. But by following the guidelines and questions below, you’ll find it gets that little bit easier.
What Goes Into A Marketing Strategy?
This section of your Marketing Plan is relatively straightforward.
- Who are you?
- What is your company?
- What do they do?
For example, we’ll say that the company is a high-end teapot retailer that sells handcrafted teapots. Excellent. That’s the first part of this section.
- What are your marketing goals?
- Do you want to increase sales?
Put a number on it. Make it concrete. We want to increase sales by 250%.
- Do you want to increase revenue enough to hire new employees?
Put a dollar value on it. We want to increase revenue by $60,000 a year to cover the hiring costs of a full-time employee, insurance, and benefits. Goals are easier to achieve when there is a definitive aim.
Determine what your mission is.
- What is your overall goal as a company?
- What do you strive to bring people?
Create your mission statement. Determine what solutions you can offer your customers.
- What problems can you solve for them?
Take a look online.
- Who are your competitors?
- What selling position do they take?
- What areas do they service?
- What do they offer their customers?
- What do they do the same as you?
- What do they do differently to you?
- What special offers or incentives do they give their customers?
You don’t have to change anything about your business, just take a look and note it down. Being able to identify your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses is a crucial part of any solid Marketing Plan.
In this step, you should build 2-3 buyer personas for your company.
- Who are your customers?
- What challenges do they face?
- Why are they likely to choose your company over your competitors?
- Why are they likely to choose your competitors over you?
- What influences their decision making?
Really delve deep and create solid, fleshed-out personas that will drive your marketing strategies in the future.
For more information, take a look at our article on Buyer Personas here.
The digital marketing section of your Marketing Plan is one of the most crucial. Your digital marketing strategy is what will endeavor to bring in the revenue that your company is looking for. Digital marketing strategies are generally long-term. You need time to generate SEO and first page rankings for specific keywords, generally around 6-12 months. Look into solutions such as Google Analytics, Yoast, and SEO Profiler. See what works best for your company.
Your digital marketing strategy also includes your social media plan. Think about both your customers and your competitors. Go back to your buyer personas.
- What social media platforms do you customers typically use?
If you start a Snapchat and Facebook, and your customers typically browse Twitter and Instagram, then your social media accounts won’t gain the traction they need to be useful.
- What social media platforms are your competitors using?
- How successful are your competition’s social media accounts?
Your customers’ online time is precious, they’re likely to search for you on the social media accounts that they or your competitors frequent and then stop. So it’s in your best interest to put yourself in a position where they’re most likely to see your business.
Where To Go From Here?
Look at your goals and think about your future as a business. Break it down into smaller time frames. 6 months, a year, 18 months, 2 years. And then be realistic about them. Is it realistic to say that you’ll improve your Twitter following by 3,000 active followers in 6 months? Perhaps it is, or perhaps you still need to start your Twitter account and start from scratch. Set yourself realistic marketing goals, lay them out in a checklist.
And there you have it! The basics of your very first Marketing Plan. Just remember, while it may look intimidating, once you dive in and start working, it should become easier.
Send us a message in the comments section and let us know how you did!
Founder & CEO of ThinkFlame, Shelly Patrick, trains individuals and companies to understand how their marketing affects their sales conversation and how to integrate marketing into their yearly plans for consistent growth.