In this article we share how to create a Marketing plan for a Small Businesses, Consultants, Start-ups, and Professional Practices
This article will show you how-to:
- Set SMART Content Marketing Goals that will stop you going round in circles
- Set a Marketing Strategy
- Build Visual Marketing Plans Efficiently
- Create a Master Messaging Road-map
- Plan Your Next Breakthrough Marketing Campaign
- A marketing plan that spreads awareness of your professional skills and expertise to attract qualified core income-generating clients across all media types.
Here we share a simple methodology using a “Cascading Content Marketing Waterfall Strategy” to help you create your Marketing plan. Now is the time of year to Follow these simple steps to develop your Yearly Marketing Plan.
“The Cascading Content Marketing Waterfall is for Small Business, Professional Firms, and Consultants.”
Why Create a Marketing Plan Road-map?
Companies and marketers with a documented content marketing strategy are five times more likely to succeed; they are working more efficiently and effectively because they have a plan and defined goals.
Your online marketing plan should include a master messaging roadmap that will be your strategic and tactical implementation plan for your firm. It should also include business development and sales materials as they interlink, from website development, market leadership articles, and one-sheets.
“Your marketing must deliver clear messaging and images that provide value and connects to your customer.”
What is marketing? You may wonder why we ask that question? Many Professional firms confuse marketing with business development and sales!
Marketing is about identifying your key differentiators, developing your message, and establishing a positioning within your market(s). As an example, marketing is advertising, event promotion, website content, and building thought leadership through public relations, white papers, PowerPoint presentations, webinars, etc. – these are all marketing strategies (or at least first cousins to marketing). Source: Marketing Materials Content Branding Solutions, Cheri and Peter Lucking
Let us begin by working smarter to reduce the time it takes and help you focus on results.
1. Set SMART Content Marketing Goals
Get targeted, be specific. Answer the simple question of HOW or WHERE?
- Increase your Blog traffic by XXX
- Grow your following by XXX
- Be the Speaker at XXX Conferences this year
Specific goals must be measurable.
- Present as a speaker at XXX conferences
- Increase targeted website traffic by 50%. Measure it with google analytics
- Reach XXX downloads of our White Paper
- We will measure the success of an article by the number of contacts that XXXX makes
Tie every goal to action. Be accountable.
Just like an NFL team’s “two-minute drill,” content marketing needs to orchestrate an intricate strategy of actions to get results. As content marketers, we need to address the “How: (Action) behind the “What” (Goal).
- Create one new lead-generating content asset, each month that has correct SEO to attract new qualified clients and potentially grows your email list
- Advertise and promote your whitepaper on LinkedIn to target audience groups
- Review your SEO keyword strategy by Mid-January and improve as needed to maximize website traffic
- Depending on Small Businesses, target market advertising on Facebook can be useful. The Wooden Wish is an example
Be realistic, how many New Years Eve resolutions make it to March? It is important to dream and set achievable goals that will push our abilities.
How do you know what is realistic? Gather the team. Look at last year’s numbers, and the overall direction your market area is headed. Did you achieve last year’s goals? Evaluate what is realistic, flexible, and attainable.
Set a deadline, a delivery date for your goals. You do this process for all your projects. Marketing for your firm should be no different.
Take the time to create goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, and realistic with a “Time” for delivery.
- Our Thought Leadership white paper will go out in the first week of each quarter.
- Our Thought Leadership knowledge piece on Sustainable content will go out in the third week of each quarter etc.
Your Website is a cost-effective 24/7/365 Sales Prospecting Machine working for $0.16 Per Hour – $0.32 Per Hour
(based on a $7K – $14K website with a life-cycle of 5 years)
Why Not Make It Pay for Its Self-100 Fold?
We are ready to start.
2. The Cascading Content Marketing Waterfall for Small Businesses, Consultants, Start-ups, and Professional Practices
The Cascading Content Marketing Waterfall is an effortless fun way to develop your Marketing Plan: Use the downloadable PDF outline (image below) as the agenda for your team’s yearly Marketing Plan Meeting. Project it on the monitor and follow the waterfall to success.
The Marketing Waterfall from Content Branding Solutions – “We Communicate in Words, Images, and Actions”
A. Set your Marketing Goals
- We start by identifying your high-level business objectives. You may know your Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals, but does your team? Now is the time of year to refresh your vision and align your team’s goals.
- Define your market. What is your area of expertise? What does the Market need?
- Define your Ideal Targeted Customers. What are their primary concerns and problems? What keeps them up at night?
- How can your Brand Awareness solve their problems with content that answers their concerns and challenges?
- Where should your Brand Positioning be in the market?
- Lead Generation. How do you presently generate leads?
- What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? Why should a client use you?
- What is your Pricing and Positioning Strategy? How are you priced compared to your competitors? Why can you charge more? Define the reasons clearly and objectively.
- Marketing is about building relationships, developing leads, and communicating benefits and value. How is your firm engaging and talking to your clients? Are you the Market Leaders the Knowledge Experts the go-to team? If not, why not?
- Identify your Superstars. These may be your area leaders, the number one salesperson, or you. You should be marketing with and for these leaders.
- Develop a simple Conversion Strategy that nurtures leads, creates, and rewards sales, and has the opportunity to develop residual clients through value.
Be careful of up-selling or cross-selling as it leaves a very sour taste in many clients’ mouths, and is an outdated sales technique.
- Build A following. How? Discuss your firms’ white papers and thought leadership opportunities. (these will help and guide your promotion strategy.
- Customer Retention and Loyalty. When was the last time your superstars had time for a cup of coffee with a client? Develop a client list with dates for your superstars to meet and chat with past and future clients. (Note: Complete Later).
- Send out Invitations to tour completed projects together as a, one year, five-year, review
- Show a client through an innovative project that may interest them
- Play golf or have a pint. Just do something together.
Once you have reached consensus and set your Marketing Goals, it is time to take a break.
Need help Orchestrating Your Marketing Planning Meeting?
Give us a call Now 303-362-0498
B. Develop Your Promotion Strategy
Make sure you have healthy, sustainable snacks on the table as you quickly summarize the marketing goals as people gather. Now let’s create a promotion strategy to meet your goals.
- What is your mission statement? For example:
We Communicate In Words, Images, and Actions
- What is your 30-second company positioning statement? For example:
Content Branding Solutions is a digital marketing company specializing in creative content, graphics, website design, and associated consulting services.
- Topics are working titles for content assets from, presentations and marketing both on and off-line, to articles that solve your client’s problems. Naturally, the ‘what’ topics. For Example:
- How to Successfully develop XXXX
- New Trends in XXXX
- The Economic Outlook In XXXX
- Online Marketing Content Assets. Now divide those working titles into thought leadership articles, white papers, blogs, and potential keynote speaking opportunities and presentations. Assign each content asset a champion, a Superstar, a thought leader that maybe you if you are a start-up.
- Marketing – Advertising Promotions Channel Strategy. The when, where, and how. Before we start this, we need to develop an understanding of social media and its content lifespan.
You get the hang of this brainstorm, set your yearly goal, have fun, and create some hook lines and thought joggers to attract new business.
Stay tuned for our next blog – An Eye Opener on Social Media – Life Cycle of Social Media Content to ROI.
When you know the outline of all your pieces, you can create an executive summary that combines all the pieces with a marketing budget.
A well thought out marketing plan serves as a resource to get your content marketing started. Always test each piece to see the results and adjust your strategyn for maximum success.
If you need help Give us a call Now 303-362-0498
Cheri Lucking and Peter Lucking Co-CEO’s
We have a passion to Communicate In Words, Images, and Actions.
We put your Brand Strategy and success first. Our team offers a wide selection marketing services for Small Business’, Consultants, Start-ups, and Professional Practice’s.
- Website Design – Websites that Generate Leads 24/7/365
- Premium Content
- Images Graphics Infographics
- Refresh Your Brand
- Editorial Services
- Thought Leadership
- Design + Construction Industry experts
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