It’s that time of year again. The time of year we all make resolutions and set goals we inevitably ditch and say, “I’ll do better next year.”
But what if you actually followed through with your goals in 2022 instead of letting them fall to the wayside?
The key to achieving any goal is a good plan and when it comes to your business goals, the best approach is through a marketing strategy.
Contrary to popular belief, marketing strategies aren’t just for big businesses. Small businesses can benefit from having a plan to follow just as much as big corporations!
And since a new year is a great time for a fresh start, why not make this the time you implement your first marketing strategy?
What is a Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy is a plan that encompasses all of your business’ goals for reaching your ideal customer and all of the ways you intend to achieve those goals.
This could be as simple as making more sales through daily social media posting that focuses on your product craftmanship or as detailed as cross-channel promotions combined with blog post opt-in sign-ups for email drip campaigns that target multiple facets of your ideal customer.
No two businesses’ marketing strategies look the same. The key is making it work for you and your business.
Why Create a Marketing Strategy?
Branding is a huge component of the success of any business and encompasses everything from colors and fonts to language and photography.
A good brand identity means that your audience can spot your logo, product, or image on any platform, and instantly identify it as yours based solely on its branding
With a marketing strategy, it is much easier to ensure that your business conveys a consistent brand identity because you will be planning your content out ahead of time.
Plus, a marketing strategy makes sure that your brand stays relevant by helping you plan for changes throughout the year such as seasons, holidays, and even trends.
One of the biggest reasons to create a marketing strategy in the new year is all the money you could be saving yourself!
With a marketing strategy in place, you will always have your plan to refer to. You won’t just be guessing what your next step should be.
That means no more shooting in the dark and wasting money on marketing expenses that ultimately make you no money in the long run.
Even better, a marketing strategy also means you’ll more than likely see an increase in sales because your marketing will be more concise and strategic instead of all over the place.
With a marketing strategy, you won’t have to second guess if the right people are hearing your messages.
By the time you have your marketing strategy in place, you should know who your ideal customer is and where they are located so you can communicate directly to them.
A marketing strategy also helps you tailor your messages to your customers so you can tell them exactly what you know they want to hear. After all, who knows your customers better than you?
No more marketing to the wrong people!
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot of other businesses on social media and, chances are, your competition is already out there. They probably also have a marketing strategy of their own!
Not only will implementing a marketing strategy in the new year help you stay competitive, but it will also help you keep an eye on the competition! And what’s not to love about that?
How to Create a Marketing Strategy
Creating a marketing strategy is rather simple once you get down to the basics of it.
There may be a lot of talk out there about fancy things like ROI, baselines, and metrics, and while those things may be important, you don’t need to get bogged down with such complicated lingo your first time around.
However, an experienced marketing team like ours here at Ingage can always help you make heads or tails of such information if you don’t know where to get started!
What really matters is simply setting attainable goals that are also measurable in some form, finding where your ideal customer resides online and having fun telling the story of your business!
Determine Your Goals
The first step to creating a marketing strategy should be the simplest: determine your goals. In fact, you will probably already have a few of these in mind when you get started.
Simply ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve in the new year?”
Do you want to launch a new jewelry collection? Or top your record of last year’s home sales? Maybe your goal is to expand your business to a new city or start shipping internationally! This is your chance to think big!
Next, once your list of goals is complete, start weeding out the goals that may be a tad too big for one year from the ones that are definitely doable now.
If you’re unsure about how to determine if a goal is a good goal for your marketing strategy, use the SMART goal-setting strategy. SMART goes are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
And just because you decide that a goal isn’t something you want to tackle at this point in time doesn’t mean that you won’t ever get to it! So don’t give up on it. Save it, set it on the back burner, and maybe take a look at it this time next year.
Find Your Ideal Customer
Before you start brainstorming the content of your marketing strategy, you need to find your ideal customer and where they reside online. After all, how do you know what kind of content they want to see if you don’t know who they are?
The best way to find your ideal customer is to do the research!
You can do this in a variety of ways: read market reports, conduct polls and surveys, and even check out what your competition is doing.
Whatever research you choose to do, just make sure you learn your ideal customer’s demographics (gender, age, interests) and how they like to receive information (social media platforms, emails, snail mail).
This is where the fun really comes in! Brainstorming content is probably the easiest part of creating your marketing strategy.
Since you are the biggest expert on your brand, you already have a good idea of the kind of content you want to put out there.
Do you want to post daily photos of your products? Or do you want to post weekly blog posts that show off your industry knowledge? What about starting a podcast where people could subscribe to more detailed content?
If you need inspiration, look to your competitors again. After all, if it’s working for them, then why not make it work for you? Just look at it as a formula to unlock, not a copy and paste method.
And feel free to get creative!
Determine Frequency of Content
Part of your marketing strategy should be how much time you will be dedicating to marketing in the new year and how frequently you will be making this content.
Only you can determine what you have the capacity to do on top of all your other important tasks.
However, always remember that quality is key. Don’t start posting blurry photos every day or poorly edited blog posts every week just for the sake of getting content out.
It’s always better it knock it out of the park with one single social media profile than have several mediocre profiles that you don’t have enough time for.
Monitor Your Progress
As you start implementing your marketing strategy in the new year, you will want to monitor your progress from month to month so you can see what is working for you and what isn’t.
(This is where your SMART goals come in.)
The key here is to simply have something measurable. Whether it’s your social profile reach, website views, newsletter opens, discovery calls made, or even sales, keep track of your chosen numbers so you can compare them to your marketing strategy.
At the end of the year, you’ll have both your marketing strategy and a year’s worth of data to determine exactly what you should and shouldn’t replicate for the following year!
In conclusion, creating a marketing strategy for the new year is well worth your time. Not only will it guide your marketing efforts all year long, but it will also keep you from wasting both your time and money on things that don’t work.
If you need help creating a marketing strategy or need a professional team to help you implement it effectively all year long, contact Ingage today!