A marketing strategy template is a living document that acts a reference point when executing your marketing campaigns. And because having a strong marketing strategy is vital to your brand, in today’s Thought Hive, we’re providing you with a list of questions, tips, and resources to consider as you start to create your marketing strategy template for the new year.
Plan your marketing strategy through extensive research
The strength of your marketing depends on the depth of your research. Your brand is nothing without its audience. Buyer personas are customer profiles of your ideal customers. Use your ideal audience as a pinpoint to start your research. Conduct interviews, host surveys, and along with other additional data to create at least three succinct customer profiles.
Each buyer persona profile will have their own individual needs and placement in the buyer’s journey. Be aware that these profiles are based off real people who will hopefully become your clients. Create the clearest picture you can and use that data to start planning your goals. For further assistance on collecting dso that you can define your buyer personas, explore the following resources provided below:
- What is a Buyer Persona?
- FAQ Friday: Buyer Personas
- Buyer Persona Development to Better Content Marketing Efforts
- Value in Knowing Your Buyer Personas : Smart Content 101
Once you know who your audience is, it’s time to identify your goals. Plan out your goals based on future monthly, quarterly and annual reports. Your aim is to create SMART goals or Specific, Measurable, Agreed Upon, Realistic, Time based goals. Quantify them. Just stating that you want to increase your revenue isn’t enough. How about instead, “Our goal is to increase our revenue by 2% by the end of the first quarter.” That is a SMART goal. It’s specific, because it clearly states what you want to focus on, i.e., increasing your revenue. It’s measurable because you want to see not only a 2% increase in revenue, but you also want to see that increase happen by the end of the first quarter. It’s agreed upon. This is in reference to this use of the word, “our”. It’s seems relatively realistic and it’s time based, i.e., by the end of the first quarter.
After you’ve gathered your list of goals, create at least three action items from each goal listed answering the following question, “What action item(s) will help achieve the goal of a 5% revenue increase by the end of the first quarter?” Now with your in-depth buyer persona profiles and your list of SMART goals along with your action items, it’s time to put your strategy into practice.
We want to know what consumers are looking for, what their values are, and how can we meet their needs. It’s not just about Big Data; it’s about translating that into the truth.—Gayle Fuguitt
Grow your reach by creating and distributing relevant content
Create content based on your listed action items. That way, you already know that your content serves to help you reach your marketing goals. Once you’ve created your content, be sure to plan out how and where you will distribute your content. Be thoughtful about where you distribute your content, because distribution helps to spread brand awareness by cultivating an audience around value based thought leadership.
Questions to consider for content creation and distribution:
- What types of content do you plan to create?
- Who will create your content?
- Where will you distribute your content?
- What’s your content’s role in both your short term and long term goal planning?
The easiest way to turn off your community members is to broadcast the same message across multiple channels. Instead, determine the kind of content that interests the members of your community in a way that is useful to them.—Joe Pulizzi
Nurture your potential leads into delighted customers
Lead nurturing is developing a relationship with your potential client by listening to their needs and providing information to solve those needs. There are three key places where you can implement lead nurturing best practices, i.e., your website, your content offers, and your email marketing campaigns. Learn more on how to nurture your audience into sales readiness with the following resources:
- FAQ Friday: Lead Nurturing Q&A with Sales and Marketing
- Increase Your Brand Engagement with Lead Nurturing Workflows
- Thought Hive: These 3 Hats Are Required within Your Lead Nurturing
- Lead Nurturing Best Practices for a Unique User Experience
Engage with your audience using social media
In the age of Zuckerberg, you have to be engaging with your audience outside of your website. And with social media, you have an effective and free marketing tool right at your fingertips.
When it comes to social media marketing, you are building your brand awareness through the use of community engagement. In order to build a community around your brand, you have to know who your audience is, where they meet online and how they talk to one another especially between different social media platforms.
You can attract newcomers to your brand by sharing content from your website or you can use social media tools like live video to create new content specifically for that platform. You can even use social media to delight your past customers. For example, if a customer mentions you on Twitter, you can reply to their post and even retweet their post so that is live on your Twitter profile.
Brand awareness is crucial when using social media. That’s why you need to be clear about your brand identity, your buyer personas, and your marketing goals in order to truly benefit from this marketing tool. For more on social media marketing and community engagement, check out the following articles:
- Thought Hive: Booo(st) Your Brand Messaging with Social Video
- How to Use Social Media Listening to Crush Being a Bandwagoner
- FAQ Friday: Thought Leadership in Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
- How Community Engagement and Brand Messaging Define Thought Leadership
- FAQ Friday: Mastering Social Media Space in Your Industry
Establish the tools for effective marketing and sales analysis
How are you going to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns?What metrics should you focus on that highlight marketing success? Go back to your SMART goals and action items and use the following resources to help you focus in on marketing metrics that matter:
- Thought Hive: Measuring Analytics for Your Marketing Success
- Marketing Management: Using Analytics for Better Tech Marketing
- FAQ Friday: Focus on Marketing Management Analytics that Matter
This is just a quick capture of what you can expect to see when creating a marketing strategy template. All in all, a marketing template is not a bible. Its role is to guide you as you start implementing your strategy and start creating marketing campaigns for your business. Be sure to check out the provided resources and learn for yourself about the ins and outs of building a brand through an effective marketing strategy.
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