Create A Marketing Plan
Everything in your business should have a system and a process. You can survive for a short time “winging it” but eventually a lack of structure will catch up with you. Once you start growing, you will inevitably need to hire someone. Will they be able to take on the responsibilities that you have been carrying? Are they going to be able to just wing it? Probably not. That is why it is so important to develop a plan. Every business should make it a goal to hire new employees and immediately hand them an outline of how to do the key aspects of their job (depending on the complexity of the job). When you create a solid marketing plan, you will provide this for your marketing team.
One of the key areas of your business that needs an organized plan, is your marketing. A solid marketing plan should answer what, who, how and when. What problem are we solving? What are we doing to make people’s lives better? Who is our target market? How do we let them know that we can help them fix their problem? When will they need (or want) the solution that we are offering?
On a practical level, your marketing plan should include both legacy media (tv, radio, newspapers, billboards…anything not online) and digital media (anything online). Varnish Media is a digital marketing agency, so this post will focus on how to create a digital marketing plan.
As you begin to create a marketing plan, you will need to include the following elements: website, social media, and paid advertising.
The first place you should start is your website. Your website is your home base. It is online real estate that you actually own. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. are all great avenues to connect with your potential customers. The problem is, they are owned by someone else. They can make major changes at a moment’s notice that could potentially have a negative impact on your business. You should try your best not to be too heavily dependent on any one of them. Your website should be aesthetically pleasing but you also need to be intentional about good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that will pull organic traffic to your site. Your website needs to either be equipped for making sales or it needs to direct people to an action that will allow them to buy what you are selling. We use WordPress as our primary CMS (Content Management System) and Google Analytics to track how many visitors we have to our websites.
The next thing you should focus on is setting up your social media pages and developing a content strategy for each of the platforms that you choose to be on. You don’t need to be on all of them. In fact, if you are just starting off, you should really choose 2 to focus on at first. It’s ok if there is overlapping content between different social media platforms but, ideally, you should invest some time and effort into understanding the audience that is on each platform and try to somewhat cater your content to the group of people that are represented on each platform. If you do re-purpose a piece of content in multiple places, you at least need to make sure that you re-size your images to fit the specific platforms that you are posting to.
You can organically reach a lot of people through great content. Let’s be honest, though, Facebook, Google, and all of the other major online entities exist to make money. They are running a business, just like you and I. In many cases, it’s pay-to-play. If you want to be seen, you have to be willing to spend some money.
Once you have these 3 pieces in place you will be well on your way to having a very solid marketing strategy.