How Do You Write a Marketing Plan for Small Business?
What is a Marketing Plan for small or medium business?
A marketing plan for small business is a document that lays out the marketing goals and strategies for a given period. It can also lay out a basic outline of tactics and campaigns considered to achieve the goals.
Why Write a Marketing Plan?
The two main reasons why you want to write out your marketing plan is to save time and to save money. Knowing where you want to go is your first step in getting there. Many small business owners will market when they have spare time or are struck by an idea or an opportunity is emailed to them.
Successful entrepreneurs plan ahead. They understand the return on investment for each marketing campaign and how it fits into the overall business plan.
Types of Digital Marketing Plans
Once upon a time, a marketing plan meant setting aside money for your yellow pages ad, a nice sign for outside your premises and a 1/16th ad in the local newspaper. Those days are over.
Depending on your business model, the greatest expenditure in your 21st century marketing plan is your own time. A social media marketing plan is critical to build and maintain a following of loyal customers these days. While ads can pay for social traffic, you have to plan out your campaigns.
A content marketing plan identifies the content you are going to use throughout the year. Once established, you can build different digital assets to enhance the content and integrate the content across all of your online channels.
Much like a content marketing plan, a marketing campaign plan identifies different campaigns that you want to implement throughout the year. These can be based on any different criteria such as special offers and discounts or content driven or even traditional advertising slogans.
Benefits of Marketing Planning Process
The greatest benefits of the marketing planning process are saving time and saving money. If you fail to plan, you will end up wasting time doing things with little chance of success because of bad timing or wasting your time posting on social media in spurts without any reach or sustained engagement.
Elements of a Strategic Marketing Plan
The elements of a strategic marketing plan include who, what, where, when, why and how much. Who is going to implement the campaign? What is the campaign going to consist of? Which channels are you going to place your content? When and for how long are you going to run each campaign? Why are you running this particular campaign? How does it fit into your overall marketing strategy? Finally, how much actual money or time are you going to budget for this campaign?
Steps in preparing a marketing plan
Step 1: Market Position. What is your current position in the market?
Step 2: Market Research. You have to know your market and competitors.
Step 3: Identify Your Audience. You have to know your customers.
Step 4: Identify Your Tactics. Who, what, where, when, why and how.
Step 5: Identify your budget.
Step 6: Identify your SMART goals.
How to Organise a Marketing Plan
If you are going to make a plan, use your time wisely and make a 12 month marketing plan, if possible. The marketing plan structure is probably easiest to visualise using a calendar, preferably one on the computer, so you can move your elements easily. Also, you can move the elements along your timelines during the execution phase if things don’t go exactly as planned. Using free project management software like Asana makes organising your marketing plan much easier, too.
How to Write a Marketing Plan
Creating a marketing plan does not have to be overwhelming or overly complicated. You can take the steps above and write them down in a notebook. The critical aspect of writing a marketing plan is doing your research. Writing it down is the easy part.
- What are you trying to achieve?
- What identifiable goals can you show your achievement?
- Who are you trying to target with your campaign?
- Describe the content you are going to use to communicate to your audience.
- Who is your competition and how does your plan address it?
- How much are you going to set aside for this campaign?
- Who is going to implement your campaign?
Writing a marketing plan for a small business requires taking time out of your busy schedule and focusing on marketing your business for a set period of time whether it is half a year or the whole year. It entails identifying your current marketing position and identifying where you want to go. Then, it requires you to identify how you want to get there. These three steps require research and the more in-depth your research, then the better your marketing plan.
Investing in a marketing plan consultant who specialises in marketing can not only save you time and money. Marketing consultants can help you achieve your marketing SMART goals. MRA Business Solutions marketing plan consultants can help you from beginning to end in writing out your marketing plan.
MRA Business Solutions Digital Marketing Consultants and SEO Consultants can help you develop online marketing strategies including implementing many free solutions and social media strategies.
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