Do this, Don’t do that…yet-Step 7 Planning, Put It all Together
It sucks. But it’s got to be done. It’s time to plan.
Here’s how to Get Stuck
When you’re planning your marketing you can get really stuck doing the same mundane tasks. The worst part is you’ll think you’re getting somewhere. We already talked about this though so you know better.
You’re ready. It’s time to stop being busy doing stuff and start building a business.
There are a few ways you can get stuck when you’re planning your attack on the market.
- Researching until your fingers drill down to nubs.
- Looking for the exact step-by-step “sample” to steal, erh I mean find guidance from.
- Going too deep. I’m talking a 12 page strategic marketing plan that takes 2-3 months to prepare. And then another 2-3 months to add the stuff that changed while you were busy planning. And another 2-3 months, well you get the idea.
Here’s how to get unstuck
Bite the bullet, sit your butt down, and start planning.
That’s it. I don’t have any magic words of wisdom that will carry you from not feeling 100% ready to being 1000% ready.
You just have to start.
But you shouldn’t go in blind. At this point, I think you’ve researched enough to know what to do.
How to do it on the other hand, that I can help with.
Know your $%!t
When you put your plan together there are key areas of analysis you need to include. So you’d better know your ‘ish.
Key components that make a killer marketing plan include:
Why you’re in business
What sets your biz apart?
Target Market Research
What you want to accomplish 3 months, 6 months, 1 year into it
Top 3 strategies to get you there
Tactics to implement
How much it all costs
A part of knowing your ish means you need to know what type of content to publish. Is your audience sharing more video than anything else? What questions are they asking?
I recently shared an article from Social Media Examiner on using social media for customer research. This article is simple and robust. Giving some key insights on exactly how to do this free research.
So I won’t even bother rewriting the info. Here are the highlights from the article:
LinkedIn Answers- “You can answer questions publicly or reply privately. Make sure to provide a useful, topical answer. If you don’t, your answer may be flagged as an advertisement or connection-building spam.
LinkedIn Answers has a scoring system called Expertise. Whenever a questioner chooses your answer as the best one, you gain expertise points….
Getting ranked as an expert will help users interested in that category find you. Don’t answer questions just for the points.”
Twitter Search- “Start by browsing all of the tweets for your target keywords. Observe how people are talking about your niche and what they’re sharing. Do you see a lot of links? Tweets with photos attached? Remember that Twitter skews towards sharing article links.”
Read the full article for the step by step guides on using social media to perform customer research. It’s a damn good read!
Putting it all together
You’ve got your why, your USP, your target customer, the website you’ll need, the social sites you’ll use and the kind of content you should publish-it’s time to put it all together.
The simplest way to get all this down is to create a sales funnel and content calendar to keep you focused.
A sales funnel is a simple layout of how you’ll get the attention of your target and then capture their attention before they commit to buying your products.
It then outlines what you’ll offer along the relationship to get a more serious commitment from them.
I found an excellent example of a sales funnel over at The Word Chef from the head chef Tea Silvestre. Check it out!
I’m sure you can see how it directs your customer through a nurturing relationship before you start selling them stuff. Relationships are the cornerstone and don’t you forget it!
Next up, you need to create a content calendar to keep you on track. Personally I do it a week in advance so that if I need to change anything it’s easy to do.
There are several ways you can create a content calendar:
Google Drive (formally Google docs)
WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin
I use Google calendar because I can access it anywhere and it updates my phone when I need a reminder.
You’ll use this calendar to schedule your blog posting AND your social updates. You can use it to then automate your social stuff via the resource of your choice.
To make it easy on myself I:
- Start a week in advance. It gives me focus but allows room for change. Inspiration can spark at any time!
- Pick a theme. Themes are overarching topics that you can breakdown. Themes for me are: Branding Copywriting, DIY PR, Business Personality, Engagement, Content marketing etc… You can choose weekly topics and (depending on how often you post) pre craft your social posts to make everything cohesive.
- Outline. I outline all my posts. Every one. It helps the calendar by giving you ideas for your social posts and topics of discussion on forums too. Plus it’s an awesome blogging practice!
Kelly Garret has a great post about this that goes into detail. Click here for her sample calendar and a step-by-step guide on how to populate it.
I know. Planning isn’t much fun, but with resources like the ones mentioned it’s a hellova lot easier than going it alone. Or worse, doing it from scratch!
How do you plan your marketing?
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