Co-authored by Jamie Irvine and Krishna Chaitanya (KC) | Titans Digital
The digital grind never stops. It’s revolutionizing industries one at a time. Nothing around us is the same as it was 3-5 years ago.
With a proper marketing plan and a little bit of education along the way, it becomes easier for small business owners to adapt to the challenging digital landscape. In this article, we have developed a 5-point plan to help!
Many of us are so focused on the end goal of achieving Return on Investment (ROI) with our marketing that we often overlook formulating and then executing a plan to achieve this. We get excited to get things rolling and we jump into churning out blogs, social media posts, and paid ads without really thinking through our marketing strategy.
This is sometimes motivated by fear, we see everyone else doing it so we think, “I am being left behind, I need to do this stuff as well!”
The problem with just jumping in without a plan is that we waste resources. We need to slow down a little bit and have a marketing plan in place before we start. This will take us exactly where we want to go and will make our investment of time and effort worthwhile.
This 5-point plan will create the kind of results you have been hoping to achieve in your business:
1. Clarity of Thought
Most of us when we start don’t have a clear vision of what we want to achieve. We jump in and try everything from generating organic free traffic with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to investing thousands in Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads. We do this until we realize nothing is working and we throw our hands up in frustration.
We need to have a clear vision of who we are trying to reach and what we want those people to do once we find them. Some call this defining your avatar (ideal customer). Once we know exactly who we are trying to reach we can analyze their online behavior which helps us to decide what platforms and strategies we should be using.
2. Choosing the Right Platform
Knowing who we are trying to reach helps us to narrow our focus and develop a plan using platforms and strategies that will actually work. In the beginning, we may have tried to be everywhere and found that it got us nowhere.
‘Trying to be present everywhere gets us nowhere.’
There is a fatal assumption in marketing that many small business owners make. They genuinely think that all platforms and strategies will work for them because it seems that their competition is using them all.
This just isn’t true. For example, did you know that PPC Ads are not an optimum choice for real estate agents but work really well for contractors who provide services to residential homeowners?
Choosing the right platform goes back to your avatar. Where are they looking for what you do? That is the platform you need to focus on. If they use Google Search you need to be all over Google search engine results, if they use Facebook then again you need to be showing up on Facebook!
Once you have your avatar and platform figured out you still need to choose the correct tools to maximize your results and efficiency.
3. Choose the Right Tools
Tools, tools and more tools.
We live in a world of overwhelming information and choices. Everybody wants to be a Social Media superstar or a YouTube champion so they churn out content and try to build on every platform. We try to use them all only to realize there are just too many and we get lost while trying to figure them out.
It’s at this point that most small business owners turn to tools to help them become more efficient.
Consider this example.
Buffer, Hoot Suite and, Later.com all offer social media scheduling tools that allow you to write your posts all at once and then schedule them to be posted throughout the week. They do the same thing, more or less. Don’t try to use them all. Pick one, be consistent and prioritize your tools.
4. Consistency is the Key
“Rome was not built in a day” as the saying goes. Forget Rome, your house wasn’t even built in a day. Everything great needs time and consistent effort to build.
One of the critical elements of a marketing plan is to consistently focus on your avatar, using the correct platform, and having a consistent schedule to produce content.
Create a schedule to publish blogs, social media posts, or to run ads. Identify what’s the best time to engage your avatar, identify patterns in your avatar’s behavior online and try to maximize your reach. Consistency will really give you a level up. I can’t emphasize it enough, your avatar or ideal customer will respond much better if they know when to expect your content.
5. Analyzing Results
If you are not analyzing results, you are missing out on huge opportunities. The great thing is you do not need expensive or highly technical tools. You can use Google Analytics to start with and you can also use Sumo, both are free.
Though you may feel that you are doing very little initially, if you are consistent and if you are analyzing your results regularly, that’s a sure way to succeed because it gives you valuable information. You can identify what is working, what is not working, and it will give you ideas about how you can improve results over time.
Now all of this may seem very overwhelming so we added a video that will explain these 5-points in a step-by-step way that will help you to formulate and implement a marketing plan that works.
Krishna Chaitanya (KC) is a guest-contributor on JamieIrvine.ca and is an active Digital Marketer with a little over a decade of experience in Digital Marketing, PPC & Google AdWords. KC is an ex-Googler who worked for Google India.
Get your hands on KC’s free Google AdWords training module.
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