An Easy Guide To Developing Your Creative Marketing Plan

Managing the day-to-day as a business owner isn’t easy. Between clients, contracts, phone calls, social media and everyday life, crafting your brand can get overwhelming. Marketing is the one aspect of your business that you can’t afford to lack in. To reach your goals, you need strategy.

Marketing your brand isn’t hard when you have a plan. Simply put, your marketing plan will answer the fundamental questions of who, what, where, when and why.

Some top reasons to have a marketing plan include:

  • your brand is expanding to a new medium (YouTube, podcasts, webinar, online courses, etc.)
  • you’re a new business entering the market
  • you’re re-branding your visuals or mission
  • you want to reach a new or untapped demographic
  • developing new brand partnerships
  • planning and promoting an upcoming event

Who: Your Audience

Who are you going to help? Every brand needs to be clear on who their target audience is. You’re not building your business, blog or YouTube solely for yourself. Even though you have a personal brand, it’s important to be about the people. Your people. The people who are going to follow, support and buy from you.

If you’re unsure of who you’re targeting, start with yourself.
Begin by looking for people who are like you. People tend to create products and services out of a need of wanting them. Meaning, if you need what you’re offering more than likely, other people do too.

Take away: Create A Consumer Profile. It’s easy to know how to market yourself when you know exactly who you are talking to. Here are some key areas to consider when developing your customer profile: age, gender, nationality, demographic, employment experience, income level, professional interest and hobbies.

What: Valuable Content, Products and Services

Serving your audience is critical. You have to continually share content with your audience that educates them on what you do. You have to show and tell people why your brand is the best. The easiest way to play the show and tell game is by being consistent with the content you create.

Content is anything that you use to engage with your audience.
You have to be active in order for your plan to work. One week at being consistent isn’t going to cut it. The internet is saturated with millions of blogs, podcasts and ‘how to videos. Consistency will be the only asset that will set you apart. Ask yourself “how useful will my audience find the content that I’m creating?”

Your content needs to answer the questions your audience is asking. Give away your best advice. Your audience needs to see that you know what you’re talking about. Tailor your content to their needs. The goal is for them to see you as a resource, not spam.

Where: Social Media Mix

Social proof is everything. I hate to say it, but it’s 2018 and what do on your social networks matter.

You don’t have to be active on every platform, but please know that your social media profile is like a walking resume. Think about the content you want to share but more importantly HOW you’re going to share it.

I know you’re busy, but it’s time to let automation be your friend. Use tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule marketing material to go straight to Facebook and Twitter. And for Instagram, use apps like Planoly and UNUM to plan your feed.

When: Research + Product Knowledge

It’s simple: know your shit. You have to understand what you’re talking about when it comes to selling products and services. If you’re pushing a service, you need to be 100% confident that you can deliver on what you promise. The same goes for selling digital and physical products. You have to know your shit and then be able to back it up.

Amazon is a great place to start your research. Step 1: Type your topic into Amazon’s search bar. Step 2: click on the top book on that subject. Step 3: Scroll down and read the reviews. Done. The comments will give you insights on what people are loving, hating and all the specifics on what they want.

Why: Focus + Measurable Goals

What’s the purpose of this campaign? That should be the first question you ask yourself when starting your marketing plan. It’s a good practice to outline your goals and the steps needed to get there. Marketing is all about connecting with your audience to increase growth.

Today, most brands are focusing on social media engagement and how to convert followers into buyers, readers, or subscribers. It’s important to set goals and record them as you go. This information can later be used pitch companies for partnerships.

For example, let’s say you’re a career coach who wants to focus on gaining email subscribers. A clear focus would be to educate recent college graduates on resume writing techniques. Your goal would be to gain 500 new email signups in 7 days by promoting a free resume writing checklist. The objective is simple, focused and can be measured.

How: Confidence and Consistency

You have to believe in what you’re doing before you even think about promoting and selling to others. If you don’t believe in your plan then neither will we. Believe in yourself. Sell yourself. Put yourself on.

Confidence is key when you’re letting the world know what you’re doing. Sticking with your plan is the only way your marketing efforts are going to work. The only way your brand will stand out is by being consistent.