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10 Steps To Creating A Marketing Strategy




 

Failing to plan is planning to fail - Alan Lakein



With everything in life that we want to achieve, if we don't have a plan of how we're going to do it, the likelihood of us succeeding is drastically reduced. In a recent study, 48% of small businesses admitted to not having a marketing strategy but 72% of businesses are creating more digital content than they were 3 years ago.


So my question is, how do they know that the 72% additional content being created is working and converting? How do they know it's ‘doing the job’? The simple answer is they don't.


Without a strategy or a ‘plan of action,’ we are just putting out content and hoping for the best ‘spray and prey as my old mentor used to call it, throw it at the wall and see what sticks…. This is not a marketing strategy, this is winging it!


Creating a marketing strategy although can take a bit of time, is essential and will save you valuable time, money and effort later down the line, and once you have done the work you will have a guide so your marketing efforts can be measured and you can see what works and what doesn't.


Here are the steps for creating your marketing strategy.


 

1. Reflect on last year / last quarter


Look back at the last year or last 90 days depending on if you are doing a yearly or quarterly plan and see what worked. What platforms performed well for you, what types of content worked best and got the most audience participation and engagement? What didn't work well? Look at your analytics and write these down

 

2. Define your goals


What is it you want to achieve over the next year/quarter, sales and clients are going to be a given but from a marketing perspective what do you want to achieve? A few examples:


More traffic to a sales page

More website traffic

Increase in follower count on Instagram

Increase in engagement rate

Increase in Youtube subscribers


Remember to make your goals SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time specific.


An example of a SMART goal could be

‘In the next 90 days, I want to increase visits to my website by 10%’


 

3. Review and update your buyer persona


You should know who it is you are selling to, and who your ‘Ideal Client or Buyer Persona’ is but it's important to check in and update regularly. As our businesses evolve so do our buyer persona’s so it's important to check in and make sure you're still talking to the right people.


 

4. Create your message.

Now you have reviewed and updated if necessary your buyer persona, it's time to look at your message - is it still the same? If not, this needs to be updated too.


Your message is what you want your potential clients to know about you and your business, it's showing them why your products and services will benefit them and are more suited to them than your competitors.


 

5. Define your budget.


How much do you plan on spending on your marketing? Are you going to be running paid ads, working with influencers, or paying for advertising space in a publication? It's important that you have all these costs accounted for and budgeted for.

 

6. Determine your channels


On what platforms are you going to be putting your efforts? Think about where your ideal client spends a lot of their time, that's where you need to be, if your ideal client spends most of their time on Facebook there is no point spending hours and hours creating tiktok videos. Go where your people are!

 

7. Determine your content format.


How are you going to get your message across? What does your audience respond better to? Do they prefer to read blogs or are more likely to watch short-form video content? Again what they consume is what you need to be creating

 

8.. Determine your content.


Now you know who you're talking to, what you're talking to them about, on what channels, and in what format… what are you going to talk about? how are you going to get your message across? This is where you need a content strategy (I will do a separate blog on this)



You need to determine your content pillars, do some research on topics and create content that gets your message across but is also entertaining, engaging, relevant, and serves a purpose (not easy right!)



It's also important to think about and decide on how many times you're going to post in a week, there is no right or wrong answer, but research shows whatever your number is it needs to be consistent.



What times and days are you going to post? Think about it then your ideal client is likely to be online.


 

9. Competitor analysis


What is your competition doing? It's important to be aware of your competitors in your industry, and spend some time looking at their marketing, what is working well, and what is getting engagement and interaction. If they are doing something, that's working well, give it a go! (but don't copy! Noone like a copycat! It's for inspiration purposes only!)


 

10. .Analyse the statistics and measure your success


It's vital that you track your analytics - your social media platform analytics and your website analytics (Google Analytics is great for this) Is what you're doing working? If not why not? Is it that you don't have the right people following you? Is your content not interesting enough? Is your message not clear?



Your analytics will help determine any problems that may arise and will also show you what works well and what your audience responds best to.


Once you have all this in place it's important to do it! A plan will only work if you actually execute what you have mapped out.


 

So summarising


  1. Reflect on past marketing efforts

  2. Define your goals

  3. Review and update buyer persona

  4. Create your message

  5. Determine your budget

  6. Determine your channels

  7. Determine your format

  8. Determine your content

  9. Competitor Analysis

  10. Track your analytics to determine success


I have tried to keep this as simple as possible for you. I always find mapping it out on a whiteboard and then transferring it to a spreadsheet works best for me! There is something about physically writing it down that makes it sink in, so maybe grab a pen and paper if you don't have a whiteboard and map it out by hand then type it up.



If you need help pulling your marketing strategy together, you can visit my website at www.rachaelhover.com or drop me an email at rachael@rachaelhover.com



I have helped hundreds of businesses from small business owners to corporate brands create, implement and analyse their own marketing strategies.



Good Luck Planning!

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