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How to create a marketing plan.

The simple marketing plan blueprint

Is creating your marketing plan giving you a headache?

You’d be in good company. Growing your business needs a solid marketing plan, but creating one can make your brain hurt.

“The key to a simple but effective plan is knowing what to include and more importantly what to leave out.”

If you’ve got limited time, or just limited interest in spending hours and hours pawing over the details, here’s a blueprint for a simple but effective marketing campaign.

In this blog we’ll look at the most important things to include in your marketing plan so you can focus on them and not waste time on things you’ll most likely never use…

Know your ideal client intimately. This one is kind of not negotiable and the place you should spend the most time. In addition to traditional demographics, here’s what you need to include…

    • Pain points. What is the number 1 thing causing your ideal client anxiety or stress that your product or service can fix?
    • Fears. What are they afraid will happen if they don’t get this problem resolved? This is one of the two BIG ones you want to really nail. It’s most likely something they don’t tell anyone, so you need to read between the lines.
    • Frustrations. What is getting in the way of them fixing this themselves?
    • Goals. What would your ideal client want to achieve from working with you, or buying your product?
    • Desires. [This is the other big one.] What is it they secretly desire that you can help achieve? This is linked to an emotional trigger like greed, ego, or avoidance of fear.

[Pro Tip: Read your reviews, and competitor reviews on Google, Facebook, and other platforms to get a feel for what’s important to people buying your kind of product or service] 

Check out our podcast episode HERE about getting to know your ideal customer.

 

Plan your branding and awareness content. This bit shouldn’t take too long if you’ve done the first bit right. You’ll need to decide what kind of content you’re going to create that genuinely helps your ideal customer to reduce their fears, and achieve their goals and desires. Some different types of content you could create are…

  • Blogs (a bit like this one)
  • Podcasts
  • Status updates
  • Videos
  • Articles for publication

You might choose one of these, a few of them or even try them all, but there are some things to consider, such as your own strengths and weaknesses, what sort of content your ideal client is likely to consume, how much time they have to consume it, and the resources available to you.

“For example, don’t choose a podcast if you’re starting out and don’t have any money to invest in podcasting equipment or subscriptions to podcast recording platforms.”

Start with what you can manage and work from there.

 

Decide how you’ll get this content in front of people. Again, if you know your ideal customer, that shouldn’t be too hard. Some of the key points are…

  • Which social platforms do they use? Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube and LinkedIn are the main ones, but depending on your audience don’t forget TikTok…
  • How will you present your message? Think about how you can talk about your content in a way that clearly shows why your ideal customer should read your blog, listen to your podcast etc [Pro Tip: use a professional copywriter if you can afford one]
  • What budget will you allocate to amplify your message? Yes, you need a budget. It can be a small one for this part of your strategy, 5-10% of your overall ad budget but you need one none the less.

 

Plan your lead generation strategy. This is where things get serious. This part of your plan accounts for the bulk of your ad budget and this is the part that generates immediate inquiries (think sales), and builds your marketing list with the prospects who will provide real growth over the coming months and years. The main components are…

  • What is your free offer going to be? These are things like ebooks, checklists, webinars and challenges. Like your organic content strategy, you may use one, or multiple of these. Consider what will resonate with your audience, and also the time and resources you have available to you. These need to solve a specific microproblem and you’ll need a way to capture the person’s email address and ideally phone number too. This works best when there’s an automated process to then send the download, or details of the free offer. These are the people you’re adding to your database to be nurtured for later on.
  • What is your direct call to action going to be? Some people are just ready to buy now! They have an immediate problem that needs solving and really just need someone to fix it. What will your offer and call to action be for these people? A free quote, planning session, strategy call, trial offer or maybe a low cost product sample?

 

Finally, how will you nurture and convert your leads? Nurturing and converting your leads is where your campaign gets REALLY profitable. It’s likely that a very small percentage of your leads will convert into sales right away, as few as 2-3% in some industries.

That means, from every 100 leads, you have 95+ who are still genuine prospects, but they’re not quite ready to buy yet.

With the right nurturing, these people can become ready sooner than you think. Here’s some of the things you’ll need in your plan…

  • 3 or 4 key steps your prospect can take, that will get them closer to their dream outcome
  • What content can you create that can be emailed to them that genuinely helps take those steps. Create 1 email for each step.
  • How you’re going to send your emails (platforms like MailChimp, Go High Level and Hubspot are great for this.)
  • Are you going to incorporate SMS? (We suggest connecting Twilio to your messaging platform and using SMS sparingly to notify people you have sent an important email and to check their spam folder)
  • What type of conversion tool are you going to use? Webinars, free quotes, design consultations and challenges work well. Again, choose one that you think will resonate with your audience and one that fits with your skills.

You don’t need to write War and Peace. Your plan can have a few points for each section and still be far more effective than not having a plan at all.

The one thing that can actually make the biggest difference to your marketing is to TAKE ACTION. Once you have your plan, don’t close your laptop and never look at it again, you need to implement your plan.

If you find you don’t have time, or you’re getting stuck with any of it, reach out to us for a free, no obligation brainstorm session with one of our marketing superstars HERE.

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