Whether you run an ECommerce store or manage marketing campaigns for your company or clients, it’s time to get your marketing plan ready. We’ve outlined a few core steps to get you going!
Getting Your Marketing Plan Ready – The Core Steps
First, you need an editorial calendar, even if you start with paper & pencil, the most important part is to get it on paper (or your computer). So… pull out a blank sheet of paper or open a new Excel workbook and let’s get into the details…
– GOALS BY CHANNEL: Before we dig into the calendar, you need to put some thought into your overall business goals. They’ll typically fall into these categories:
- More website or blog traffic.
- Grow social media following.
- Increase ECommerce store sales.
- Increase sales leads through website or landing page.
- Get more email subscribers.
– MARKETING CHANNELS: Decide the channels that you’ll use on a monthly basis. Digital marketing is the most common today, however, you might also use traditional media, such as, direct mail, print, TV broadcast, radio and postcasts – add those to your plan. Don’t forget any in-person Trade Show or event dates that you’ll be attending!
– DATES IN CALENDAR: You have your goals clearly spelled out and you know the marketing channels that you want to use, now it’s time to add projected campaigns to your calendar. In this step, evaluate how many posts, videos, blog articles, etc. that you plan to use as content. Each piece of content should support your outlined goals & budget.
If you use a marketing automation system for your social media, make sure that you program your social posts to come out more than once! Some news feeds like Twitter and Facebook cycle fast, so don’t be afraid to program the same post to go out weekly or monthly.
Mapping Out Your Content Library
Now that you have a basic calendar and projected campaigns plugged in, you are well on your way to getting your marketing plan ready for launch. The next big area to tackle in this process is mapping out what you’ll be creating as “content” for your campaigns. Your campaigns are built on 3 main components and thinking, evening planning ahead will speed up the implementation process of your plan.
- Main content piece (email, newsletter, blog post, eBook, whitepaper, social post, drive to event, etc.)
- Imagery is important in all of the content pieces listed in #1. Think ahead, and batch your content making. Find pictures for your current posts, look at your calendar, find future campaign images and save for later use!
- Social Media “Intro Text” promoting your content piece. You can and should plan this text out in your Excel workbook that you are using for your calendar.
This is just a start, you’ll want to revisit your plan regularly as you start to create content. Once you have your content creation going, you’ll be able to tweak your campaigns as needed.
Creating Your Content
Based on the your calendar and content map, you should have a good idea of your content needs. If you are the sole creator, pick a medium that you are good at and enjoy. Write if you are most comfortable there. Start by writing blog posts & your social-share text. If you are not much of a writer and love to make videos & shoot pictures – focus there instead.
The goal is to create a backlog of content, after that you will have gaps. Having gaps is normal and perfectly fine! Add those gaps to your marketing plan and then take these steps to fill in the gaps.
First, decide if you need help, then contract an agency or freelancer. Second, if you decide that you don’t have the budget, review your plan, modify based on your skill level. Finally, if you are using a marketing automation app, program a test for your first campaign. Testing will help you feel confident when you launch.