How to Create Your Marketing Plan for 2021
In the world of marketing, there’s no magic wand to wave that will immediately start bringing you the sales you want. Marketing is a process, and in order for this process to work, you need to plan ahead. And that’s exactly why now is a great time to start thinking about your digital marketing in New Orleans for 2021.
We’re going to share the basic steps to building an effective marketing plan. You can follow these steps whether you’re starting from scratch or building off your current strategy. The best part is, your marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be a simple PowerPoint or 1-page outline. The important thing is that you have a clear, actionable plan to follow to grow your business.
Define Your Marketing Objectives
The first step is to define your marketing objectives. Where do you see your business going this year? What goals do you hope to achieve?
Your marketing objectives might be to increase sales, increase traffic or boost online engagement. Whatever your objectives are, it’s important to list them out so that you can create a strategy that helps you reach them.
Review Your Current Marketing Efforts
Once you know what your business objectives are, it’s time to analyze your current strategy. What’s working? What’s not working? Google Analytics will tell you most of this information, so review which marketing campaigns and channels are driving the most revenue and traffic. The campaigns that aren’t working can probably be left out of next year’s strategy.
Analyze Your Competitors’ Marketing
While you’re reviewing your strategy, also take the time to look at what your competitors are doing. If you find that they tend to stick with certain tactics, it’s probably because they’re working.
Also take a look at your competitors’ ads, landing pages and websites. For a more holistic view of what they’re doing, plug their business info into Facebook’s Ad Library, SEMrush or SimilarWeb. Pay attention to their pricing strategies, promotions, media, messaging and more. You don’t want to copy them – you want to beat them.
Identify Your Target Market
Now it’s time to shift things back to your business. The foundation of any good marketing strategy is knowing who you’re marketing to. You wouldn’t sell baby clothes to someone without kids. You wouldn’t sell cat food to a person with dogs. So don’t make the mistake of trying to sell your product to everyone out there.
To identify your audience, create a customer avatar. Imagine this person is real – give them a name if you have to. Consider everything you can about this person such as what their personality is like, how they like to shop and the frustrations they might be experiencing.
Demographics are also important. What is the age, gender and location of the people you’re marketing to? The more you know about your audience, the better you can speak to them and present them with relevant information.
Build Your Marketing Strategy
Once you have your target market established, you can begin building your marketing strategy. Experts recommend focusing on the four P’s of marketing: Product, Pricing, Promotion and Placement.
- You should have a product that people actually want to buy. What value does your product offer? How can you make it look attractive?
- The cost of your product should not exceed what your target market is willing to pay. It should be similar in price to your competitors.
- This refers to your advertising and sales strategy. It should list out the specific methods you’ll use to reach your audience.
- Lastly, placement means where you will be selling your products. Will they be sold online, in a brick-and-mortar store or both?
Assess Your Marketing Funnel
Your marketing funnel refers to the journey that a customer takes in order to purchase your product. The main stages in the funnel are Awareness, Consideration, Conversion, Loyalty and Advocacy. By understanding each of the stages and how they fit into the overall customer journey, you can make the funnel effective.
- This is the stage where people become aware of your products and services. To help people find you, offer a good mix of content marketing, social media, paid ads and SEO.
- As leads move out of awareness, they enter the consideration phase. Infographics, blog posts and eBook guides all show the value of your products.
- In this stage, leads make a decision to buy your product. To make this decision easy, remove obstacles from your buyer’s path and offer an incentive.
- When you have a customer, you need a plan to keep them. To build loyalty, utilize channels like social media, email marketing and referral programs.
- Advocacy happens when customers become fans of your brand. This is a good thing because they will promote your products to other people.
Choose Your Marketing Channels
How do you plan to promote your products and services? Google and Facebook are great channels because there are billions of people on them. But you should also consider other channels where your audience spends time like Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter.
We recommend starting with a few channels and mastering those rather than stretching yourself too thin across too many channels.
Define Your Messaging
When you know your marketing channels and target audience, you can develop your messaging. Always speak to your audience and take into account the channel you’re on. Some channels have a more serious tone, whereas others are more relaxed.
Set Your Marketing Budget
Lastly, how much are you willing to spend to reach your marketing goals? It’s not about how much you want to spend, but rather how much you need to spend to see success. There’s a chance that you may not have the money you need to reach your goals, so if that’s the case, you’ll have to make your marketing goals more realistic.
We know this is a lot of information, but you will get more comfortable creating your marketing plans once you practice a few times. Of course, if you need help creating a strategy or making it more successful, WSI Star Web Solutions is here for you. Schedule a consultation with us to learn more about our affordable, effective options for digital marketing in New Orleans.