January 28, 2022 | 4-minute read (798 words)
Having a strong market presence with top-of-mind brand recall is vital for success, whether you are an experienced entrepreneur or launching your first firm. Through marketing, your business’s exposure grows, which precipitates leads that turn into purchases, with the end result of increased revenue. This is what makes a marketing plan a must-have for any business.
With small businesses struggling to gain a foothold in the market, a well-planned marketing strategy should include actions that help differentiate your firm from the competition. Regardless of your time constraints or financial limits, you can create an efficient marketing plan for your business — and you do not need to be a professional to do so.
Below are seven steps for developing a marketing plan for small business owners.
Before drafting a marketing strategy, first assess your business’s circumstances to create the cornerstone for your marketing strategy. This can be accomplished with a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) study to define your marketing goals.
The SWOT analysis will show which aspects of your business are operating well and which areas require improvement. For example, your company may have good website performance, which is a strength. But it may have terrible social media results, which is a weakness.
Meanwhile, keep an eye on your rivals' marketing strategies, and take note of where they succeed and where they fail. Use that information to develop ways for your company to stand apart. To generate suggestions for your marketing campaign, combine the results of your review with tools like Google AdWords and Google Analytics.
Start by evaluating your company
After you've figured out your present business situation, it’s time to establish a budget. Determine how much you are willing or able to invest in a marketing campaign. Avoid second-guessing by being practical when settling on the amount. Your success will be determined by a well-crafted plan and its complete execution, regardless of how much money you invest. Higher returns and better brand recognition are both possible with the correct plan.
Establish a financial plan
Are you able to set aside the time necessary to advertise your company? Are you going to lose your focus? These questions may be answered by committing to keeping track of results, which requires consistency and effort once your goals and objectives have been established. Although it is unnecessary to revisit the marketing plan every month, watching what is and is not working closely is vital. The plan's supporting pillars must be solid.
Don't undervalue the value of your time
You're familiar with the industry; you have a SWOT analysis and a budget in place. It's now time to set marketing objectives. According to experts, marketing objectives should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-specific. For example, if you want to boost your business's lead generation, you may set a goal of 10% growth in six months. This is a specific, measurable, achievable, practical and time-specific goal.
Remember that before you outline the goals for your small business, you must first establish the general marketing objectives, such as:
Create a goal-setting plan
Make SMART objectives that match to the target that best fits your business.
- Increasing brand recognition.
- Generating more leads.
- Establishing a robust online presence.
- Increasing social media presence.
- Engaging with the audience.
Are you aware of your target audience's demographics? Are they based in a specific location? How old are they, on average? It's necessary to determine who your target audience is before developing a marketing strategy. When selecting your target audience, consider several factors, including their geography, lifestyle characteristics and the sort of business you run. Knowing who your target market is will assist you in developing the most effective marketing approach for your company. If millennials prefer to consume material online, for example, paper advertisements are unlikely to reach them.
Determine whom you want to reach
Once you've established your marketing goals and defined your target audience, list the marketing methods you plan to use to achieve each objective. For instance, if you aim to increase leads by 10% in six months, you may use a variety of tools and methods, including:
Choose marketing methodologies
Assess the budget to establish what's practical and doable in a specific time period once you've chosen a method for each goal you've specified. This is also the time to select whether you'll outsource or construct the marketing plan in-house.
- Developing and optimizing valuable content.
- Facebook promotions and competitions to drive traffic to the website.
- LinkedIn marketing.
Finally, you've completed your strategy. Making a to-do list and prioritizing your projects are the next steps. Then it's time to start putting your marketing strategy into action for your small business. Keep track of your progress, measure your outcomes and adjust your plan as needed.
Putting your work into practice