How to create an effective marketing plan
With the growing demand of getting in front of customers and increasing leads while differentiating your business from the competition comes the need of developing a strategic marketing plan. Marketing success depends on generating new customers while anticipating and fulfilling their needs. Achieving this success requires strategic thinking, being a thought leader, and developing innovative ideas. That can’t be possible without the ability to execute a marketing plan in an effective and efficient way.
Where to start
Creating a marketing plan and planning out your business content well in advance doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Formulating a strategy that drives interaction and leads should be at the top of mind when starting out.
We’ll break down the steps to take in creating an effective marketing plan to ensure success throughout a campaign.
Set goals and objectives
There’s probably a lot of thoughts running through your head and it’s easy to get ahead of yourself. So where do you begin? A great way to define the purpose of your marketing plan is by using this formula.
We provide [target audience] with [type of content] to help them [business goals].
So let’s take a deeper dive into what those fill-in-the-blanks look like.
Understanding your target audience
The first step in developing an effective marketing plan is knowing your audience. Ensuring a successful campaign means first identifying your audience. Your target audience is determining a group of people that would be most likely to benefit or use your product or service. It’s important to understand that your target audience isn’t going to be everyone. In addition to increasing ROI, understanding your target market allows you to build relationships and better communicate with consumers.
Developing a buying persona for your customers helps make an audience more personalized and helps you talk to your audience like actual people. Personas help you to keep your content focused on what real humans are interacting with rather than focusing on your own initiatives that may not get the traction or results you were hoping for.
Factors that can be included in a persona are age, location, stage of life, language, interests, and challenges.
With GlassHive, you can easily develop lists of contacts that fit each persona you create. That way you can see which persona is interacting with your content the most. GlassHive also allows you to see how often a contact is interacting with your content. This helpful tool helps salespeople to reach out at just the right time to better increase the chance of closing a sale.
Deciding on the type of content
There are many different mediums to deliver a message to customers from social media to email, what’s the best choice for your organization? Understanding which medium your audience will interact with most will allow you to better connect with your audience and also be able to provide highly targeted and personalized content.
Email is one of the most popular forms of content. It’s best for reaching audiences that you have scrubbed through. Meaning that you have contacts separated into lists with similarities such as position, position in the sales funnel, or industry. By having a segmented list, you can create content that is better tailored to what they’re looking for and reduce the amount of unsubscribes and bounce rate.
Social media is best when you have something quick to say and want to stir a reaction. Adding an image that’s eye-catching along with a helpful caption increases the chances of users interacting with the post. Keep in mind that not everyone has social media. So you may not be reaching all the prospects you’re hoping to reach.
Video is great for posting on social media and sending in emails. It’s an interactive way to get your message across without using heavy text. Nearly 83% of businesses believe that video marketing gives them a good ROI.
Creating content as a call to action
After you know your target audience, the next step is to start developing content that your audience will find valuable. Determine what you want the end-user to do. For example, fill out a form, go to a landing page, or download content. By deciding on that first, you can better tailor your content to drive the user to perform a certain action.
Develop different pieces of collateral to learn more about what your audience engages with
When it comes to sending out content, you want your audience to find value. People view valuable content differently so it’s beneficial to create different forms of content such as video and emails.
GlassHive allows you to create emails that have less content but more visually appealing. Or with a little more content and a high-level overview with less imagery. Depending on the subject matter depends on which email format is best.
Oftentimes, if you want to follow up with a more personalized message, it’s best to use a plain text email. If you’re trying to drive the user to a page, it’s best to use a graphic email for a high-level overview to make the reader a little curious about what else there is to learn of the landing page.
Other forms of content to include in your marketing plan
Depending on your audience and the kind of product or service you provide can drive different forms of collateral. We’ll take a deeper dive into which assets are best to be used in certain scenarios.
Whitepapers are highly informational content that provides additional details and focuses on a specific subject. They’re great to use when you want to build thought leadership and set your business apart from others in the industry.
eBooks are often evergreen content that can be updated over time with current trends and statistics. This asset provides a solution to a problem that is published with the purpose of being highly educational. eBooks tend to be a lengthy piece of content compared to other assets.
Infographics are a great way to share information in a visually pleasing way. Adding statistics or charts allows users to learn the numerical aspect of a solution quickly rather than just a list.
Developing SMART objectives
When developing a marketing plan, it’s important to remember SMART goals:
- Specific – outline in a clear statement precisely what is required.
- Measurable – include a measure to enable organizations to monitor progress and to know when the objective has been achieved.
- Achievable (or agreed) – design objectives to be challenging, but ensure that failure is not built into objectives. Objectives should be agreed upon by managers and employees to ensure commitment to them.
- Realistic (or relevant)- focus on outcomes rather than the means of achieving them.
- Time-bound (or time-bound) – Agree on the date by which the outcome must be achieved.
Without these objectives in place, you won’t be able to measure the success of your campaigns. Creating goals that are too abstract cannot be accurately measured. When creating a plan, you should be able to answer each of the SMART objectives with a concrete answer.
Monitoring results and making changes
There’s no point in sending out content unless you can see what’s working and what’s not working. That’s the difference between a successful campaign and just putting out content because you know that’s what you should do.
When creating a marketing plan campaign, GlassHive allows you to track important KPIs that let you know when content is well received by your target audience.
These benchmark measurements include:
- Unique opens – The number of users that received and opened the email.
- Unique clicks – The number of users that clicked on a link in the email.
- Not opened: The number of users that did not open the email at all.
- Unsubscribes: The number of users that unsubscribed from the list after receiving that email.
- Bounces: The number of users that opened the email and quickly clicked away.
This information is helpful because you will better understand the content users are more likely to interact with and view as valuable. That way you can better plan for future content knowing your audience will view the content.
Put your marketing in motion
GlassHive allows you to create a marketing plan, build content, schedule content and review results all in one place. Gone are the days of having one excel document with subjects, dates, and ideas. You can store all the files you need to form a successful marketing plan while easily collaborating with others on your team. Check out how simple and fun it is to create a marketing plan in GlassHive and get started today!