When you started your business, you probably had a limited marketing budget and looked for free and low-cost opportunities to tell the world about your enterprise. As your business and resources grew, it was easy to stick with what you knew and what worked in the past. Now it is time to move your business forward with a strategic marketing plan.
What Is A Strategic Marketing Plan?
A strategic marketing plan takes the original four Ps of marketing—product, price, placement, and promotion—and expands them to include additional Ps. With a strategic marketing plan, you will:
• Pinpoint goals for your marketing
Be specific. Don’t just wish for more sales. Run a promotion and set a goal of selling a specific quantity of your product/services.
• Propose marketing campaigns, events, and materials you want to use to achieve your goals
Your target audience may include current customers and future clients. Offer a variety of marketing materials to appeal to where they are in their brand awareness and in the buying process. This may include social media posts linking to how-to videos or reviews, e-mail marketing newsletters with special offers, and in-depth blog posts.
• Plan what people, periods of time, and portion of your overall budget will be devoted to each marketing campaign
Planning your marketing will actually save you time and money because you will know exactly what you need to create and what you already have ready and waiting to be used or repurposed.
• Produce valuable branded content on a consistent basis
Your target audience wants value for both their time and money. High-quality content, delivered on a consistent basis, keeps your brand top of mind.
• Present your message where your audience already spends time
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Focus your efforts on mobile-friendly text for the growing number of smartphone users and on one or two social media platforms where your target market is active and engaged with your brand.
• Pursue insight into what works for you and what doesn’t so you can build on your successes
After setting goals, use Google analytics and other tools to measure your business results. Make adjustments as needed—like offering one seasonal special instead of half a dozen items.
How Can I Take A Strategic Approach To Social Media?
A strategic approach to social media also follows the pattern listed above.
• Clearly define your goals for each social media platform where you will actively maintain a presence
• Create a list of all the kinds of content you want to post to engage your fans and followers including blog posts, book reviews, breaking news, checklists, community service announcements, curated resources, how-to videos, infographics, interview-style podcasts, photographs, quotes, recommendations, reviews, samples, special reports, tutorials, upcoming events, etc.
• Allocate the necessary resources (time, marketing dollars, and personnel) to achieve specific goals
• Assign different kinds of content—ads, audio, infographics, photographs, videos, written blog posts, etc.—to those with the necessary skills
• Focus on quality instead of quantity and brand consistency instead of sizzle and swag
• Post and/or publish where your ideal clients will see your marketing message—that may be Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or some other social media site
• Measure how well you achieve your goals before you create your next strategic marketing plan