Simplify your Marketing Plan in 6 Steps
You want to grow your business online and so you know you’ll need a clear marketing plan to get your business noticed. What might be less clear is how to proceed, because there’s an overwhelming amount of information to organize and options to choose from.
Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place!
First, get very clear on what you want to happen
My guess is you want to:
- Get more clients
- Increase revenue
- Grow your email list so you can get more clients
- Raise brand awareness so you can sell more and increase your revenue
- Increase your social followers so you can get more clients
I think you get the idea: marketing is the fuel for your business and everything comes back to connecting to clients or customers and generating revenue.
Why you need a simple marketing action plan
Creating a simple marketing plan helps you zoom in on a few key strategies designed to attract your ideal client and then continuously track your efforts to make sure you're getting the results you need.
Selecting your marketing activities based on trends and in a haphazard fashion can be a bit like ordering from a fast food menu with way too many options and far too many toppings and sides! When you do this, your marketing plan can quickly become extremely complex and spread way too thin - and just like dining, we want to go for quality over quantity.
A simple marketing plan takes a bit more discipline at first because you have to pick the best ingredients for achieving your goals. But once you have that piece in place, your marketing plan will guide you forward, help you make decisions and make it much clearer when adjustments are necessary.
A successful marketing plan should have 3 key features:
- Clear – clearly identifies the activities that will best help you achieve your goals and support the success of your business
- Actionable – prioritizes the projects and tasks to move your business forward
- Realistic – uses only the resources you have to work with and the platforms best suited to your business
How to create a simple marketing action plan
Here are 6 tips to help simplify your marketing:
1. Focus on one specific audience
Picking the right audience allows you to address the particular problems they are struggling with. Many business owners resist doing this because they feel they can work with all kinds of people but rather than keeping your options open, this is actually a risky business decision.
Remember: “If you’re talking to everybody, you’re talking to nobody!” You’ll get this advice from all the top business gurus, from Seth Goddin, Meredith Hill, and Marie Forleo among others and the reason is being clear about who you work with makes you focus your products and services as well as your marketing on activities that are customized and focused to your audience.
Directing your marketing towards a specific group of people increases the clarity of your message and your visibility to your market.
2. Clarify your message
Too many companies create complex messaging that does not speak to their intended audience. It can be hard to sift through all your company information to find the pieces that people need to hear to connect to what you’re selling. Remember that your potential customer only cares about what you can do for them.
You want your business message to be clear, compelling and focused on the problem you solve for your ideal clients. Clear messaging can help people move much more smoothly through your sales process.
Let your audience know what problem you solve for them and why they should work with your business.
3. Optimize your website
Most websites are over-complicated and don’t deliver a clear message quickly and efficiently. Show your visitors the problem you solve right away and help them find what they are looking for fast. Lead your visitors through a story that gives them a path to follow and helps them decide what action to take. If you let your visitor wander without a clear path, you run the risk of them getting confused and leaving without ever finding out how you can help them.
Also make sure your website design is attractive, uncluttered and easy to navigate. Make sure your message doesn’t get missed. In every decision about what to include or not include, always make sure you are protecting and projecting your message.
4. Choose your social media channels
You do not have to be on every social platform in order to get the word out about your business. Your strategy has to be customized to your business and your goals and so might look different than other businesses around you.
Figure out where your audience spends time and make sure you have a strong social presence there. This is one of the best ways to focus your marketing efforts and maximize your time. Once you’ve mastered one or two social media channels, you can decide when or if it makes sense to expand with others.
5. Assess your resources
Whatever marketing activities you choose, you need to start by assessing the resources you have available: time, people, and money.
Aligning projects and tasks with your resources will help you avoid a common pitfall which is to take on far too much. Doing this will also help you limit the distractions created by changes in various platforms and options available, which are never ending!
By being very clear on what you are trying to accomplish and how much time and money you can invest, your plan will help you evaluate opportunities and make adjustments to get back on track and stay focused on your desired outcomes.
6. Set up your simple marketing action plan
The best way to develop a marketing plan is to take each outcome goal for the business that requires marketing and determine what it will take to achieve this goal. Here’s how to break down your plan to make sure you are working on the right things to move your business forward:
- Set your desired outcome within a specific time frame: e.g. achieve $100K in revenue this quarter
- Strategies: Select 2-3 marketing strategies e.g. content marketing, email marketing, PPC advertising
- Projects: Select 2-3 projects to focus on e.g. clarify your message, create a lead generation campaign that drives inbound leads, update your website, use content marketing to increase visibility for your brand. You will probably have way more projects you want to do but you can achieve a lot more in a shorter time frame if you prioritize
- Tasks: Break the projects into the tasks, create deadlines and assign these to specific people.
- Metrics: Male sure you’re measuring for success by setting specific metrics for your projects and track your progress as you go e.g. number of website visitors, number of contact form submissions, number of email subscribers. Reviewing your progress at regular intervals allows you to adjust your plan if needed
Marketing without a plan can lead to overwhelm, wasted time and money as well as lackluster results and disappointment. By creating a simple marketing action plan that breaks up your marketing into manageable action steps, you can actually make more progress, get more clients, and increase revenue. To find out how to put a simple marketing action plan into practice for your business, get in touch!
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