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© 2016 Small Business California

Tracey Clayton
Jul 12, 2018

5 Steps for Creating a Great Marketing Plan

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Having a marketing plan in place is a crucial part of running a business. However, having just any marketing plan won’t be enough to keep your business afloat. That’s why you should invest some time in finding out what are some of the basics of a good marketing plan.

Creating a good marketing plan will bring you numerous benefits, so don’t ever rush this process. To make things a bit easier, we’ve prepared a list of five steps that are absolutely crucial for putting together a good marketing plan. To find out what those steps are, please, read on.

 

Research the market

The first step in creating a marketing plan is, of course, research. Before you get down to business, research the market to find your target market and determine your competitors. Seeing who your competitors are will allow you to track their marketing behavior and see whether you need to change something about your marketing strategy. For example, if your competitors are offering the same products or services as you are, but are making more sales, see if there’s anything in their offer that sets them apart. Once you determine what that “something” is, try to use it to improve your own marketing efforts.

Further, identifying your target market will help you stay relevant on the market as it will provide you with an insight into your potential customers’ buying habits, as well as their appreciation of things such as the quality of the service/product you are offering.

 

Define your target audience

Having a clear definition of who your target audience is will make your marketing efforts significantly easier. Therefore, before you get down to creating a marketing plan, you first need to determine who your target prospects are.

However, simply identifying your target audience is not enough. So, once you know who you are advertising your products or services to, you need to research that group’s wants, needs and preferences. Determining and clearly defining all of these will allow you to tailor your marketing efforts to fit those wants and needs perfectly. Keep in mind that buyers prefer personalized offers, so avoid making general offers whenever possible.

 

Create a social media strategy

Being present on social media platforms nowadays is mandatory if reaching success is your goal. Therefore, you first need to determine what platform is preferred by your target audience as stretching your marketing efforts across all social media platforms is a waste of both time and resources.

Leading industry giants are well aware of the importance of social media marketing, so it’s no wonder that various tools for media monitoring have been so sought-after. These tools help you stay up to date with any mentions of your brand and allow you to react quickly and efficiently.

 

Target influencers

Another great way to make sure your brand is seen is to leverage influencers. By targeting influencers and asking them to promote your brand, you’ll expand your customer base. Since word-of-mouth marketing is still very strong, an influencer promoting your brand to their audience will only send more people your way.

Therefore, determine the influencers related and relevant to your industry and offer to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with them. In exchange for them promoting your brand, you can offer to promote their content through your media channels.

 

Plan for conversions

Apart from having a website, you also need to make sure that the website does what its supposed to do. What this means is that it needs to be put together in such a way to encourage your customers to take the desired action, i.e. buy the product. This is achieved by having well-optimized landing pages and personalized offers.

Therefore, you’ll need to find the appropriate way to convert your visitors into customers. You can achieve this by adding well-placed CTA (call to action) buttons but make sure you don’t overdo it to avoid coming off as too pushy or looking desperate to make a sale.

Therefore, to make sure that your marketing efforts are fruitful, you’ll need to conduct thorough research of the market, identify your potential customers, track mentions of your brand across various social media platforms and ask industry influencers to help you out. Of course, you should also make sure that you offer your leads the best service possible which will increase the chances of them converting to returning customers.

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