A solid marketing strategy will reach your target audience, ranging from those who have never heard of your brand to those who have bought from you before.
Without a set strategy, you’ll be throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. And it costs you money, time and resources.
There are seven critical steps to building a successful marketing strategy: create your marketing plan, create your buyers, identify your targets, select tools, review your existing resources, review and plan the media campaign, and finally execute your strategy.
Wait, do I need to create a plan for my strategy? What is the difference?
Your marketing strategy describes why your marketing team needs specific resources, takes particular actions, and sets clear goals for the year. Your marketing plan consists of the particular steps to achieve that strategy.
If you can’t define your audience in one sentence, now is your chance to do so. A buyer persona remains an example of your ideal customer.
For example, a stock like Macy’s might define a shopper persona as Budgeting Belinda, a stylish, working-class woman in her 30s who lives in the suburbs and wants to stock her closet with budget designer deals.
With this description, Macy’s marketing department can determine how to budget for Belinda and work with a clear definition in mind.
Your marketing strategy goals should reproduce your commercial boxes.
For example: if one of your business boxes remains to have 300 people join your annual conference in three months, your goal as a dealer should remain to increase online registration by 10% by the end of the month to keep up.
Further marketing goals can be increasing brand awareness or generating high-quality leads. You may also want to develop or maintain thought leadership in your industry or increase customer value.
After identifying your goals, make sure you have the right tools to measure the success of those goals.
Like social media planners, online software gives you analytics to help you track what your audience likes and dislikes. Alternatively, you can consider Google Analytics to measure blog and website performance.
Make your goals SMART too; see How to write a SMART plan [+ Free SMART goal template].
Decide what you now have in your arsenal to help you create your strategy. To streamline this process, divide your assets into three categories: paid, owned, and earned media.
Paid media refers to any channel where you spend money to attract your target audience. It includes offline channels like television, direct mail and billboards to online channels like social media, search engines and websites.
Owned media refers to any press your marketing team needs to create: images, videos, podcasts, e-books, infographics, etc.
Earned media is a different way of saying user-generated content. For example, social media shares, tweets about your business, and photos posted on Instagram that mentions your brand are examples of earned media.
Gather your documents on any media type and also, consolidate them in one place for a clear view of what you have and how to integrate them to exploit your strategy.
For example: if you already consume a blog that publishes weekly content in your niche (owned media), consider promoting your blog posts on Twitter (paid media) that customers may retweet (earned media). Ultimately, this will help you come up with a better and also, more comprehensive marketing strategy.
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