Creating a solid marketing plan takes a little time and effort, but the simpler and more direct your plan, the more likely you are to implement it. If you make it too difficult and convoluted, you're going to be unlikely to put it into practice. But if you create a solid marketing plan that is to the point, you're going to implement it and improve your business.
In order to create a solid marketing plan you'll need to gather the following ingredients.
* Identify Your Target Audience You should be able to write a short two- or three-sentence synopsis that works as a profile of your potential customer. Such as: “Susan is a 32-year-old divorced, single mother who wants to earn extra money working from home. She has some college education, income between the range of $27,000 and $32,000 per year, and little free time.”
* Research Your Market Understanding all the different faucets of your audience and segments within your audience, will also help you market better to your future clients, and attract your current clients to buy more. Having a deep knowledge of the industry can really go far in helping you reach your target audience with your marketing materials.
* Identify Your Product or Service What problems will you solve for your audience with your product or service? Remember, you're not selling widgets; you're selling solved problems to your clients.
* Determine Product Placement and Pricing Price your product or service based on the description of your target audience persona, as well as the cost of production of your product or the time it takes you to perform the service.
* Study Your Competition Knowing what your competition is doing, how they're pricing, how they're marketing, where they're marketing and more will help you find a way to do whatever it is that they do, but better.
* Determine Your Vision and Mission Believe it or not, part of your marketing plan should consider the vision you have for your business, and your life. Create a mission statement that you can look at whenever you're unsure of your direction. Ensure that your actions match your vision and mission, and you can't go wrong.
* Develop a Marketing Budget A marketing budget is necessary to keep you not only in line with potential earnings, but also to make sure you do spend enough money on marketing. You may need to spend money on pay-per-click ads, writing services, graphic design, and VA help for running social media campaigns, software and more.
* Create Marketing Goals and Objectives – You can't create one marketing plan for everything. You need separate plans for each goal in order to reach your objectives. Create a content marketing plan for widget A that is different from your content marketing plan for widget B. Know why you are doing something, be it content creation or social media participation.
* Identify Marketing Strategies and Tactics Will you use content marketing, social media marketing, pay-per-click marketing, Facebook ads or a combination of all of the above to market your product or service? Decide what, when, where, why and how you'll accomplish each.
* Test and Monitor Your Results With any marketing you do, it's important to have goals and objectives. You'll need to set up mechanisms to test whether or not the actions you're doing are meeting those objectives.
Setting up your marketing plan requires a little work and thought, but it will be more than worth it to create a solid marketing plan. Your marketing plan is essential and will act as a road map for your business success.