Developing a Successful Marketing Plan

Does your business have a marketing plan in place? What efforts does it consist of? Do you find yourself following through with it? Marketing can be challenging for some so having a marketing plan in place is an important step. It acts as a guide and maps out strategies, objectives and goals for the business. Is a goal of yours to create thought leadership in your field? A marketing plan can help achieve this goal. A plan will include the frequency of publications, platforms that will be involved, who the audience is and so much more.

Objectives and Goals:

The first step in your marketing plan should be to create a thought leadership platform. Publishing consistent blog posts can be a great way of establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. And many have already picked up on this. 76% of B2B companies use blogging as part of their marketing efforts. There are a variety of platforms online that are used for blogs: WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Medium and the list goes on. Providing resourceful content to your audience is your main priority of the blog. The frequency of your posts depends on the industry you’re in and the objective of your blog. Are you a financial advisor writing about the stock market? Is your purpose to keep readers informed of current events? Because of the fluidity of current events, especially in the financial profession, new content every few days is important. Do you blog as a way to be an educational resource in your industry? As a resource for people to refer back to or read in their down time? Posting new content once or twice a month is an acceptable timeframe.  Once you’ve written the content and have your blog post ready, the next step in your marketing efforts should be to promote your content through social media.

Which platforms should you use?

Did you know that 94% of small businesses leverage social media for marketing? And 61% find that social media solves the problem by helping to gain new customers? There are so many different social media platforms out there right now: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest. Decide which social media platforms are going to help you get noticed the most. Is Pinterest going to help a financial advisor find new clients? Maybe not. Will Facebook help a financial advisor or attorney get found by potential clients? Absolutely, if it’s utilized properly. To learn the basics of social media and how to set up these platforms, click here to view our webinars on this topic.

Nearly 9 in 10 marketers say email is their primary channel for lead generation. Email marketing is, put simply, marketing a message to a group of people using email. Email marketing is anything from sending newsletter articles, blog posts, invites to webinars or other workshops, promoting a new book, even sending out holiday wishes. These emails can be tailored and sent to your entire database or specific niches. In your email marketing efforts, it’s always important to create call to action campaigns. A call to action is a button, image or link that prompts your reader to take action. In your email marketing efforts, it may be to sign up for a webinar or check out a social media site of yours. Using a CRM system you are familiar with will help you monitor these clicks in order to follow up with readers… which brings us to our last step in a marketing plan.

Is there a ROI?

What’s the point of spending the time creating blog posts and pushing out your content through social media and email marketing if you aren’t going to analyze your findings? Monitoring email click tracks can tell you whether your efforts are successful or where you need to make improvements. Low open rates? Change your subject line. Low clicks? Move the call to action to the top of the email.  Continuously analyzing and altering your content will make dramatic progress. Soon you’ll find social media posts are being liked and beginning conversations, email content will not only be opened but being read and clicked on.

Even if you’re marketing department has a marketing plan in place, sometimes it can be difficult to follow through with these efforts. Educate2Motivate can be a solution to that problem. Don’t have time to create content for a blog? We can do that for you. Still not familiar with social media but think you’re missing out on the opportunities it offers? We can help you with that too. Be on the lookout for our upcoming webinar invitation and join us as we dig deeper into the development and execution of marketing plans and how Educate2Motivate can help your business with its marketing strategy.

Resources:
http://blog.hootsuite.com/3-new-blogging-platforms/
http://blog.hootsuite.com/how-small-businesses-are-using-social-media/
http://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2012/9596/why-email-marketing-still-matters-infographic

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