Creating a strategic marketing plan for your small business is essential for success in 2017!
It can seem daunting to begin a plan like this - so we'd like to help you create a one-page plan that answers the key questions and will help guide the rest of your decisions.
To do this, write down and answer the following five questions:
1) What is your revenue goal for this year?
Your goal here should have three numbers:
First, the minimum goal is the amount of revenue required to keep your business in the black.
Your averaged goal is the amount of money you can expect if the trends from the last five years (or fewer, if you haven't been operating that long) are smoothed out into a line and things continue on that course.
Finally, your preferred goal is how much revenue you'd like to make if you can.
2) What products or services will help you get to your financial goals?
What things do you sell that help you move towards your revenue goals, and how well do they perform?
Keep in mind the costs here, and remember that it's okay to have a low profit margin if you're selling enough to compensate for that.
If you're planning to sell anything new during the coming year, remember to temper your expectations and avoid allowing hopes of success to influence the results. It's always best to err a little on the low side, especially if you're not sure how your customers are going to react to it.
3) Who is the target audience that will buy your product or service?
In other words, what are your buyer personas? Quickly jot down the major details like how they tend to be employed, the age range you're selling to, any gender differences, their hobbies, and above all, what would motivate them to buy your product.
It's absolutely vital that you're as honest as possible about this.
Why are buyer personas so important? How Buyer Personas Drive Inbound Marketing Success
If you can't think of a good, fact-based reason for someone to buy your product or service, then you need to go back to the drawing board and work on that until you have an answer. Fortunately, we can help with this - check out our guide to creating a Unique Selling Proposition.
It may be easier to answer this question than you think!
4) Combine your product or service with your target audiences' interests
Or, to put it another way, figure out the best places to advertise what you're selling. There is no sense at all in simply buying general ads and trying to put them in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
A good marketing plan for small business success will tell you where your customers are and how to properly engage with them, and you'll definitely see more revenue if you concentrate on a few specific areas.
5) Consistently provide value to your target audience
Don't just put banner ads where your audience is, either. Instead, focus on providing some sort of value. This part of a marketing plan for small business success is absolutely vital because the majority of your potential customers don't like it when you intrude on their busy lives. That's a negative, and you want a positive interaction.
By providing some kind of value, you'll be giving your audience a reason to actively engage with your content and pay attention to you instead of tuning you out.
As part of your small business marketing plan, jot down a few things you can do to help your potential customers.
It's important that along with all of this, you keep your marketing strategy up to date - I recommend revisiting it once a quarter and checking over your data to see if everything still holds true.
If your audience has changed, you'll need to adapt to that as soon as you can. Otherwise, keep doing what you've been doing and enjoy the success.
Thanks for stopping by,