2018 will be here before you know it. That means it's time to start creating your marketing plan for the coming year. As you construct your plan and develop your marketing strategy, these seven key elements will help ensure your marketing success.
1. A Service-Level Agreement Between Your Marketing and Sales Teams
Your marketing team and your sales team work together to help generate leads, move customers through the buyer's journey, and ultimately make sales.
Your marketing plan for the coming year needs to include communication between those two teams to help them work together more effectively and ensure that each team is able to make decisions that will help generate more customers.
2. A Bigger Social Media Budget
You already know that social media is one of the most effective ways to reach your customers, connect with them, and learn more about them. Facebook is already decreasing the number of potential customers who will be able to see posts from your business page.
If you want to get your posts out there, you're going to have to pay for it!
Note: If you want an effective ad campaign, don't just hit the "boost post" button. Instead, take the time to create segmented, targeted ads that will reach exactly the individuals they're intended for.
3. A Conversion Rate Optimization Plan
Both your website and your digital marketing efforts will benefit from a conversion rate optimization plan. You need to constantly improve even the smallest elements of your website, your social media posts, and your ads to increase conversions.
A/B testing is a great way to determine the strategies and tactics that work best for your preferred audience, but it's even more effective when you have an optimization plan in place that will help you gradually work through the elements of your digital marketing strategy and your website to determine what changes need to be made.
KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, help determine what it is that you're measuring. If you don't know what indicators you're looking at (More website traffic? Increased conversions?), it's impossible to tell whether or not your inbound marketing efforts are successful.
Make sure your 2018 marketing plan includes KPIs that will tell you whether or not you're meeting your goals.
Take a strong look at your inbound and outbound marketing efforts, then find the balance between the two that works best for your company.
Remember that the goal of inbound marketing is to educate and inform consumers so that they can move themselves through the buyer's journey!
6. Detailed Profiles
How well do you really know your customers? You need detailed, relevant buyer personas for each type of customer who approaches your business.
Take the time to create unique profiles for each individual who could potentially buy from your business. When you know who your buyers are, you can create marketing materials that are specifically geared toward their needs and desires.
7. A Provision to Make the Plan Agile
The needs of your customers and your market can change in the blink of an eye. The strategy you thought would be perfect all year can completely flop in January, or it can see you through to June before its weak spots are discovered. Your marketing plan should be agile, adaptable, so that you can make changes at need in order to more effectively meet the needs of your customers and therefore increase conversions.
If you're ready to create a marketing plan for 2018 alongside a partner who understands the market and will work with you to meet your goals, contact us. We will work with you to create a plan that will increase conversions, reach more customers, and create a higher ROI for your marketing budget.
About the Author
Ashley Quintana, M.S., B.A.
Ashley Quintana is the co-founder and managing partner at Bridges Strategies. A graduate of Oklahoma State University's media management master's program, Ashley co-founded Bridges Strategies with a $10,000 investment. Two years later, the bootstrapped company grossed almost one million dollars and grew to a team of eight. In her role, she develops, leads and executes digital marketing strategies for the company's growing client base.