We are now in week 4 of our marketing plan Facebook Live series, and today we are talking about your marketing roadmap – marketing goals, budgeting, communication strategies, and different marketing platforms that would work for your business.
1. Connect Marketing to Sales
As we already went through the internal and the external factors you need to keep in mind, as well as marketing trends, now it’s time to look at the actual tactics and put together your marketing program.A good marketing program targets prospects at all stages of your sales cycle. #marketing2018 Click To Tweet
First of all, do you have your sales cycle defined and connected to your marketing plan? A good marketing program targets prospects at all stages of your sales cycle.
To make it easier for you to keep your marketing plan simple, yet actionable, break down your sales cycle into these three steps:
And now, ask yourself – what kind of marketing initiatives are you planning for 2018 to support each step?
Remember – marketing is here to support your sales, treat it as such.
As we were talking about diversifying your digital marketing in our last Facebook Live, make sure you also cover these sales stages with marketing to your customers at each step – do not focus on just one.
Examples of Tactics You Can Add Here:
- Awareness. That’s your SEO, PPC, social ads to increase reach and likes – people need to know that you exist.
- Consideration. That’s your brand materials – your website, your ongoing content you put out on social media, promotions, specials, how you package your services/products, email marketing, etc.
- Purchase. That’s your customer service, your internal processes, and the beginning of cultivating brand loyalty to foster customer retention. Do not forget about this step, as it’s always easier to keep an existing client than to look for a new one.
Cold, warm and hot prospects.
Another way of doing the same exercise is to think of your prospects as cold, warm and hot, and think how your marketing helps these people to get to know your business and your services/products better, so that they want to buy from you.
- Cold – social media engagement campaigns, videos, podcasts, Facebook Live or Instagram Stories, etc. This is where content marketing works the best!
- Warm – your blog posts, more educational content, downloads, white papers, exclusive podcasts, and videos, etc.
- Hot – retargeting advertising on Google or social media, sales, and marketing automation
Remember, marketing is an essential part of your business. Never stop marketing.
2. Define Marketing Budget
Your marketing budget is not just another business expense, it’s an essential driver of your business. No matter the industry, you can’t run a business without marketing. I know, I might be biased here, but as a business owner myself, I am well aware of when our sales calls increase – when we do some marketing for ourselves. Which is unfortunately always on a backburner – very typical of marketing agencies. 🙂
That being said – make sure you have a marketing budget. And do tell your marketing budget to your prospective marketing agency, when you are gathering marketing proposals. This will help them to suggest the most effective marketing solution within your budget! So, DO put a number on it! This will also help you stay realistic about your marketing expectations.
Some things to keep in mind when you are coming up with the budget:
- Do not concern yourself with marketing platforms that you cannot afford – there are plenty of different options out there, so marketing your business doesn’t have to break your bank
- Do spend 5-10% of your annual revenue on marketing
- Remember, that you may not see the results (ROI) of your marketing right away. Moreover, most likely you won’t. Yes, digital marketing is the most quantifiable marketing tool out there. Yes, it is easier to monitor and change for best results in real time, but it’s not a magic bullet – super important to know this before you hire a marketing company
- Plan the budget for the whole year NOW! So you commit to it and don’t have to stop marketing when you “run out of money”
3 Plan Your Content Marketing
Content marketing has been the buzz word of 2017, and it’s not going away in 2018 either, as you can imagine. Remember however, it’s not some sort of a magical, new thing you do – it’s every word you communicate to your customers. So, your slogan, your mission statement, your social media, your blog posts and your videos – all that you have already been doing for years – that’s your content marketing. One shocking thing that is becoming a “new thing” is editorial calendars – it’s planning your content marketing ahead of time.
Here’s a simple breakdown of what you should have in your marketing plan:
- 12-month marketing focus plan – your top-level focus for the month:
- Monthly marketing focus – include your channels and tactics here
- Create your monthly editorial calendar – these are your detailed topics for the blog posts and the timeline of when they will come out. I think we’ll have a whole separate series on editorial calendars sometime in January, so stay tuned! 🙂
Watch This Facebook Live Video
There you have it – your marketing roadmap! Have fun and do let us know how it goes!
Need some help with your marketing planning for 2018? We are here to help you grow your brand in 2018! Give us a shout, or stop by our marketing company in Vancouver – we always have chocolate! 😉