"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail."
If you want to succeed and build your business in 2014 you will need a solid and comprehensive marketing plan.
As you will see below most marketers are focusing their attention and budgets on inbound marketing and digital media as a whole.
SMEs have found that they get a much higher ROI from inbound marketing and email marketing than any other medium. Results are also more consistent and increase over time.
If you would like CR4L to build a comprehensive marketing plan for 2014 just follow the link: http://www.cr4l.com/free-marketing-analysis.html
Alternately follow the 6 steps below and achieve success with your marketing plan in 2014...
1. Marketing Objectives
Without a goal or target your efforts will lack direction, focus and effect. A target also gives the opportunity to monitor results and adapt accordingly.
Choose either 2 or 3 goals only. Any more will dilute your efforts...
· Increasing web traffic to your main site. This is the most controversial goal on this list. Many people believe that making traffic your main goal means that you basically couldn’t come up with anything better…
· Increasing brand awareness.
· Positioning yourself as a go-to place for industry news/insights.
· Building trust/relationship with your audience.
· Building and deepening loyalty with existing audience.
· Becoming the main educator in your niche.
· Attracting targeted prospects into your marketing funnel.
· Increasing reader engagement.
· Becoming the source of inspiration for people active in your niche.
· Becoming the solution for popular problems.
· Attracting partners and building a network.
· Attracting new talent and expanding your back-end.
· Building your search engine position.
· Generating more leads.
· Generating more sales.
2. Marketing Budget
How much money and resources can you give to the achievement of your goals?
If you have set a target for more sales then quantify the value of each new customer. Then that is the basis of your budget. The same goes for the other targets. Calculate how much each new reader or lead is worth. Then set a target for how many you would like. Times the two together and you have your budget.
That is a bit simplistic but there need not be a lot more to it for many businesses.
Then this about the work itself; will you and your team be delivering on this or will you outsource? What will be the mix? It is often the case with new businesses that they are time rich and money poor. In that case a lot of the work can be done in house. As business picks up the mix can be changed and more of the work can be outsourced.
CR4L often work in this way. We help get great results and make sure that our services are more than paid for by new business.
3. Marketing Method
There are many ways to market both on and off line. Businesses are finding greater returns with content marketing and inbound marketing as a whole than anywhere else. There is still a definite case for email marketing as it is shown to produce results. The best email campaigns are to lists that you have built.
Building a strong prospect list may be one of your goals for the year. This can be followed up with a strong set of emailers that are sure to produce great results and returns. This combined approach is one way to leverage the power of a holistic campaign.
I would suggest a strong inbound campaign involving PR, social media, blogs and articles all driving qualified targeted traffic to a fully tested and optimised landing page that converts visitors to your list (or actual sales in FMCG).
The exact mix of this campaign is dependent on many factors and specific to your business and goals. For more help with this just give us a call or email. In the mean time read on for some timps and advice...
Content creation itself: I wouldn’t outsource content planning, but the creation itself can be done by other people while still maintaining great quality. Now, this can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be, but keep in mind that like with everything, you get what you pay for. As a general rule, I wouldn’t base my content marketing campaigns on content created for less than £200 a piece – for written content, or £500 a piece – for infographics.
Researching: While executing your campaigns, you will need lists of URLs, contacts, new methods, data, case studies, etc. A good virtual assistant (VA) will take care of that for you. You can hire VAs for anything starting at £500 per month.
Sending outreach emails. Sending 100 targeted outreach emails will take time… And if you want to personalize each message, it will take even more time. Again, a VA can handle this for you.
Managing social media: This is about tweeting, following, @mentioning, sharing, and all sorts of similar stuff.
Managing user interaction: For every successfully implemented campaign, there will surely be some user interaction with your content. You should keep your finger on the pulse and be ready to step in whenever the situation calls for it. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily have to be you who’s stepping in.
Making sure the technical back-end works well. Content marketing wouldn’t exist without various online tools, platforms, software, tracking mechanisms and so on. Having all this managed is another area that can be outsourced. A skilled tech person can be hired starting at £500 per month.
Support and your own emergency response team: This is probably the most important department in your content marketing inventory. Every once in a while, things will break, servers will go down, links will stop working. That’s why what matters most is having someone on your team who knows this tech stuff and can act fast whenever the situation calls for it.
4. Planning and Content
For best results plan your content for the year ahead. At least the first 6 months should be laid out. Set clear goals and set themes and subjects in advance. Then stick to this so that you build up the necessary body of content over time.
You can add in topical items as and when you like, but I suggest that these are additional to your planned activity so that you do not fall short of your set goals.
Content should be:
· In tune with your goals
· Tightly targeted to your ideal audience
Consistency is key especially with social media. Sometimes its hard to get a blog post out and it can be left for the next week. The same for Tweets and FB posts. But plan for this and make the time. Consistent output over the long term will give the best results. Therefore when planning be realistic and set low goals that can be over reached rather than targets that will be missed. Here outsourcing may be the best option.
5. Marketing Launch
Set off with a bang and make some noise. I love PR and I suggest doing a monthly press release and backing that up with social media activity. The launch of your campaign should start in this way. Then follow it through and keep the pace and enthusiasm up throughout the year.
The best time to start is now. Don’t wait for the right time as there is no right time, especially with inbound marketing. This is not a quick hit system but builds up over time. So the sooner you start the sooner you will reap the rewards.
6. Monitor and Adapt Your Marketing Plan
There has never been more opportunity to monitor results than now. Analytics are fantastic and give us a clear picture of how our campaign is performing. They allow us to focus efforts on what is producing the best results and drop unproductive activities.
For most people Google analytics is enough and is free. It provides enough information to refine and tailor most campaigns. However now there are systems that will allow much deeper analysis of website performance and traffic. It is possible to see the detailed journey of a visitor prior to his landing on your website. This gives a better idea of how they came to be there.
These systems cost a fair amount but if you are in FMCG it would be well worth the investment. Otherwise it all depends on the volume of traffic you have and want. Data and analytics are essential if you want to get the best possible return on your marketing spend. Get in touch for some advice if you would like to know more.
Marketing in 2014
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