Local Buzz Marketing writes:
Creating an effective marketing plan can be seriously difficult, regardless if you are a big or small business. It can be worrying to put in so much work, effort and even money into a strategy that could make no difference at all, and that’s why we have gathered eight questions you should be asking yourself when creating a marketing plan – this should keep you organised!
1. Who am I targeting?
Before you start absolutely anything, it’s important you find the specific audience and demographic who you are targeting, also known as your ‘niche’. This is definitely the first thing you should be asking yourself because getting it wrong can impact your business quite dramatically. As a business owner, you should be aware of your target audience anyway (and so should the rest of your team) i.e. any specific gender, age range, location, purpose, or any other detail. Dig deep into the specific reasons as to why someone will want or need your product or service. If a common feature or detail reoccurs, that is probably a significant part of your niche and you shouldn’t ignore it.
2. What is my theme?
Think; does your company have any signature colours, phrases or patterns etc.? During your marketing plan, it’s important you are constantly branding your actions and letting the audience know who you are. For example, if you are creating a visual graphic for your Facebook account advertising the latest offer on your product, it’s so important you include colours, fonts and other visual elements that match your overall brand. In addition to this, if you don’t have a theme, it’s about time you begin implementing one.
3. What types of plans should I use?
The greatest thing about digital marketing is the number of elements it holds. The difficult part? Finding out which one is most successful for your business. Now that you have worked out your audience and visual goals, you need to decide how you are going to reach that audience. In terms of marketing, there a few channels and methods that might work for you:
- Social media – used by almost everyone, a completely new dimension of communication and business marketing. Here you can be a participant in your followers’ feeds, engage with them in a way you can’t anywhere else and also build new relationships with a much wider audience.
- Video – realistic, evident visuals are trusted way more than a few typed-out words on a page. This shows effort, commitment, it allows viewers to emotionally engage and learn about your product and service, intriguing them more.
- Email – this strategy is quite controversial because it could go either way. It’s a concept that has been used and bruised for as long as marketing has been a word, but it continues to be an effective choice for some. Businesses create eye-catching emails for the purpose of bringing back returning customers, rather than finding new ones.
- SEO – Search Engine Optimisation, the talented process of improving the quantity and quality of traffic sent to your site, therefore improving your search engine’s rankings. Moreover, your ‘ranking’ is essentially the position of your webpage found on a search engine results page, after a user has typed in a relevant query. SEO uses links, keywords, imagery, titles etc. to improve these rankings.
- Mobile – nowadays everyone uses a mobile not just for communication, but to create and share memories, organise their lifestyle and most importantly, browse the web! Basically, if a business’ website isn’t mobile-friendly, you will get nowhere.
4. Why would a customer need my product or service?
Figure out the core purpose of your product or service – who would need it and why? It’s important you and your audience know the benefits of your product or service, regardless if it will help them in the short-term or make their life a whole lot easier. Additionally, the chances of your company being the only one to offer your product or service are very slim. Working out your benefits and unique selling point will help sell the crowd to you.
5. Who are my competitors?
Whilst they are doing their own thing, their ‘own thing’ might be the exact thing drawing customers away from you. It’s important to keep a close eye on your biggest competition, so you can develop small tasks that ensure you are always a level higher. Of course, we aren’t suggesting any sort of sabotage, this is business after all. However, again, your unique selling point will be the one thing separating your business from theirs.
6. What creative ways can I use to gain attention?
A vital skill in digital marketing is creativity. Regardless if it is blogging, social media marketing, website building or graphic design, it is very ideal you think up some unique and creative ideas that will catch the eye of a wide audience. Stand out with some clever catchphrases, competitions and campaigns that will gain you top attention.
7. How can I monitor these results?
The whole marketing plan is completely pointless if results aren’t being monitored. Whether you use the basic social media ‘Insights’ page or start up your own Google Analytics account, every little helps. Monitoring your campaigns will allow you to achieve goals, organise a budget and the next action plans. Without doing this, you will never be able to tell how effective this plan is, making it ultimately pointless.
8. Should I expand my team?
If you are a very small business, a marketing plan with big goals can sometimes be hard to create and achieve. If it’s in the budget, if you need more help and if you are looking to grow your business, find someone to expand your team. It could be a marketing agency or a general new member of your team, but either way, it can benefit your marketing plan dramatically.
At Local Buzz Marketing, we are a friendly bunch of professionals, all with different experiences! More importantly, we are a digital marketing agency based in St Neots, offering services that can be a huge part of your marketing plan! Get in contact with us today to start your marketing journey.
Alternatively, if you are still slightly inexperienced with Digital Marketing and want to find out more, check out one of our latest blogs, ‘The Buzz Digital Marketing Glossary!’.
Thanks for reading.