If I asked you if you have a marketing plan, what would you say? Marketing is such a fuzzy, ambiguous word. I don’t like it because of that. Regardless, everyone knows they need a “marketing plan,” whatever that is.
In my opinion, at its essence, a marketing plan is an intentional mapping of a customer’s path from not knowing you to buying your product or service. There are steps beyond that, as shown in a marketing funnel, but the point of this article is to keep things as simple and bare-bones as possible. This is my most basic marketing strategy that you can build and customize as you see fit, depending mainly on your available time and budget. So let’s jump into this mini marketing plan!
Before we start, make sure you have a goal
Where is this roadmap taking your customers? What do you want them to do? Write your end-goal down. Refer to it throughout this plan to make sure you keep your focus of each step on that goal.
Okay, now let’s really get going!
1. Have a steady trickle of good content going up on your website
I’m skipping the fact that you need a good website to begin with, because you already know that. If your site is not mobile-friendly, updating it should be your number one priority. It should also be simple, concise, and organized. So where does the content come in? Even if your website is the best in the industry, if it only contains static information, people will not have a reason to visit it regularly. And you want people to visit your site regularly, because chances are, that is where they will go to take the steps to reach your goal (such as clicking on the inquiry button or making a purchase). To keep people coming back, give them regular, fresh content. In most cases, that can happen in a blog, like this one. The key to this step is making sure that the content is something that your customers actually want to read. The content should solve your potential customers’ problems, answer their questions, or somehow make their lives easier. If you need help in determining what that content should be, send me a message. That’s step one… on to the next step!
2. Spread the word
Now that you have your great website with great, fresh content, people need to know it’s there. You can spread the word through social media, word of mouth, in paid advertisements, and by coming up at the top of internet searches within your industry. This is the step that can be customized the most based on the scope (and budget) of your business.
In this step, don’t forget to track the success of each of your marketing efforts. Drop what is helping the least and do more in what is working best. There are lots of ways to track this, but if I had to choose one method to track analytics, it would be with the Pixel. However you collect stats, don’t just track your advertising methods—also track your content. See what is most popular and what isn’t getting attention. Constantly refining both the content that you put out and the methods that you use to promote it will keep your marketing moving towards optimization.
3. Collect leads
Emails are golden. Everyone has an email address, and that isn’t going to change any time soon. Social media and other advertising platforms will come and go, but email is here to stay. Furthermore, sending emails is cheap and easy. You can send to the masses, or target certain people within your audience. I could write a book on how important email addresses are for your business. But this is a mini marketing plan, so we’ll move on.
How do you get email addresses? You must offer an incentive. You may be picturing incentives such as discounts, early access, or giveaways. Those are all great ways to collect emails. Put the offer on your site pages, in a popup, and on your other marketing outlets. People get the offer for free, minus the “cost” of their website address and agreeing to receive your emails.
There’s another way to get email addresses. If you are able to create highly valuable content, you can offer that in exchange for an email address. That could be in the form of a page on your site, in a downloadable guide, a private social media group, or even as access to a webinar or video series. If done right, these can offer even more success than the first few methods that I mentioned through more email addresses and more engaged, trusting potential customers, resulting in higher conversion rates.
4. Follow up on leads
Once you get the leads, what do you do with them? A solid email marketing strategy is the last step in my mini marketing plan. Once you have these emails, you have contact with people who are already familiar with your company—and likely your website and some of your content, too, thanks to your clever marketing strategy. Use these warm leads to directly push your goal. Because they are trusting your quality and knowledge (as evidenced through your great site and content), they are now much more likely to become customers than when they first learned about you.
This may be the last step, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end. Because you have this audience, you can now circle back to the top of the plan—constantly adding to your company’s universe (step one) and keeping your happy customers in the loop (step two). At the same time, new customers are finding their way into your universe and joining in on this simple marketing circuit.
What do you think?
I’ll admit, I’m pretty proud of this mini marketing plan. I think that every single business, regardless of size and scope, could use it. In fact, I’m thinking of turning it into a (free) workshop. What do you think? Would you be interested in participating? If so, let me know—your feedback will help me in my decision making!