How to Create a Rock-Solid Marketing Plan Designed for Your Business

The U.S. marketing industry is booming, reaching $138 billion in 2019. It’s not surprising, considering marketing is the single-best way to get eyes on your business. But in a diverse landscape of social media, email marketing, paid advertising, and other tactics, what marketing course is best for your business?

If you’re a business owner or marketer, you’re likely looking for the best way to use your marketing budget to achieve the highest ROI

Unfortunately, most businesses (especially startups) chase their tails without getting anywhere. Why? Because they don’t have a tactical marketing roadmap customized for their business.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” 

Bottom line: wishes don’t get you revenue; plans do.

Ready to learn how to create a marketing plan designed for your business that’ll build awareness and boost revenue?

Before we dive in, here’s a quick word about one-size-fits-all marketing.

Pre-made marketing plans fall short

There are many steps on the ladder to marketing success. Understandably, many small business owners resort to pre-made marketing plans and templates online. Sure, these plans can give you an overview of what’s needed to market your business. However, they have a problematic caveat: 

They don’t take into consideration the nature of your unique business. So, while you certainly can glance at marketing templates for inspiration, it shouldn’t be your end-all-be-all.

Instead, I’ll walk you through important factors to consider when drawing up a unique, tailor-made marketing plan for your business.

Let’s begin.

Create a strategy tailored to your business

Let’s get to work marketing your brand to get it in front of the right people. After all, every business operates on the age-old method of problem-solution.

Whether you sell clothing or a new software program, your offerings serve to make your customers’ lives easier or better in some way — be it a new outfit or an online billing system.

Marketing is about connecting those dots standing between you and your target demographic and attracting them to your business. Ultimately, you’ll want to thread every facet of your marketing strategy to your business goals.

To do this, you’ll need to sit down, write out your goals and growth projections, and work backward to a starting point.

What makes a marketing plan effective?

  1. Setting marketing goals
  2. Creating a realistic budget
  3. Picking your tactics
  4. Defining your target customers
  5. Packaging your business into a compelling offer
  6. Tracking performance metrics

Set marketing goals 

To decide where you want your company to go, you need to know where you stand right now. Whether you’re a solopreneur or working with a diverse team, sit down and brainstorm your growth projections.

    • Set quarterly and annual goals. Do you want to increase revenue by 10% in Q3 of 2021? Are you hoping to roll out an active blog in 2022? Jot it all down.
    • Dump all your marketing goals onto paper — everything you can think of, from revenue to team expansion to new product launches. If it’s in your sights, get it on paper.
    • Now grab 3-5 imminent goals that’ll drive your business forward fast. For example, search engine optimization and social media marketing are optimal starting points to get to work building brand awareness immediately.
  • Think about strategy development. Do you want to increase sales revenue? Are you hoping to produce more video content? Start brainstorming the tactics you’ll use to execute these strategies. 

Create a realistic budget

Let’s talk money because this is one of the biggest obstacles when delegating marketing tasks. First of all: yes, you need to write up a marketing budget. Doing so will keep you on track and prevent any strategies from snowballing into insurmountable expenses. It happens quicker and easier than you might think.

A trusty marketing budget will keep you focused as you dispatch your marketing plan.

When we talk about a budget in marketing, we’re not solely referring to cash. Resources, time, sweat-equity — these are all elements to work into your marketing budget.

Draw yourself a lovely little pie chart. Make slices for:

    • Financial expenses like products, payroll, advertising, and any monetary investments. 
    • Time. As a business owner or marketer, your hands are full. Offloading certain tasks will free up time for you to tackle more pressing matters.
    • Resources. Sweat equity will comprise large pieces of this pie, especially for startups. Chances are, you’re working a lot more than you think, so take note!

Having these metrics outlined before you begin spending money will keep you and your team organized and efficient. 

So, how and where should you allocate your budget?

Choose your marketing tactics

Ok, we’ve covered the basics of building a marketing strategy, but how will you bring your goals to life?

Marketing is a vast ocean with various undercurrents. It can be overwhelming to think about all of the different paths you can take. But here’s the kicker: not every tactic is going to serve your business. So, let’s clarify all of the marketing tactics and isolate a few that best suit your brand and goals.

Types of marketing

  1. Social media marketing
  2. Email marketing
  3. Content marketing 
  4. Paid advertising 
  5. Search engine marketing
  6. Influencer marketing
  7. Affiliate marketing
  8. Video marketing
  9. Print advertising
  10. Audio marketing

Phew, looking at that list is enough to send every business owner running for cover. Thankfully, you don’t need to be in every place all the time. You’ll make a greater impact by grabbing a few of these marketing tactics and creating a roadmap for executing them.

One of the biggest mistakes I see from startups and new businesses is trying to be everywhere at once. Instead, think about your offering and demographics. Once you’re clear on your business model and audience, you can meander into the channels where they spend time.

Refer to your goals and audience to direct your marketing course

Think of each goal you wrote down as a banner, and underneath it is all of the steps you’ll take to achieve each goal. 

Do you want to get 100 engaged Instagram followers every month? That’s a great goal, but how will you do that?

You might use a slice of your budget to hire a social media marketing manager. Or, if you’re social media savvy, set up a content calendar in Planoly or Later and batch monthly content to stay consistent with posting.

The goal is to make bullet lists of actional steps for the marketing tactics you want to employ. 

Not sure where to start? Not a problem because it’s ultimately up to your audience. When you know who your target customers are, you’ll have a clearer vision of how to market to them.

Find your target customers

Did I say that the biggest mistake new businesses make is trying to be everywhere at once? I stand by that, but right alongside that misstep is failing to define your audience.

You likely have a solid business model and excellent offering. So ask yourself, who is it for? Sharpening your target audience will direct your marketing strategy so that you target the right people.

How do you bring people to your business? By creating customer personas.

  • Identify your target audience using specific metrics like age, gender, profession, education level, interests, location, and consumer patterns. 
  • Give your customer personas names. Your business likely has multiple customer personas, so create fleshed-out descriptions for each of them, complete with names, occupations, and even physical characteristics.
  • Create a poll for your current customers to take. This will give you valuable data to learn more about your audience demographics and solidify your customer personas.
  • Research your competitors for direction. If you’re completely unsure about who your target audience is, you can mine resourceful data from your competitors by taking note of their brand messaging, copy, and imagery. 

Once you’ve clearly defined your target audience and customer personas, it’s time to build your marketing strategy!

Deliver your solution in a compelling way

Suppose Lexi, a 28-year-old college graduate who loves matcha lattes and yoga, is looking for a yoga apparel line like yours. How will you bring her to your online store? 

Since you’ve created sharply defined customer personas (Lexi), you can craft a compelling offer that attracts her to your business. 

You have a solution to Lexi’s problem: she wants active apparel, and you sell yoga pants. There is an invisible line connecting Lexi to your offering, and your marketing strategy will turn that connection into a real-life sales funnel.

Sticking with the yoga apparel business, how could you best illuminate your offerings to turn Lexi into a loyal customer?

Strategies for attracting your target customer:

  • Create Reels on Instagram of yoga routines
  • Run Facebook ads targeting Lexi’s age and interest group
  • Team up with a tea shop and host a giveaway of matcha tea and a pair of yoga pants. 
  • Partner with fitness and wellness influencers to promote your yoga apparel (Lexi likely follows these accounts and will learn about your brand through her favorite yoga influencer).
  • Create relevant, engaging content about wellness and yoga — YouTube videos and blog posts are great!

While each of these tactics is unique, they all serve to position your brand as a niche authority. Additionally, you’ll build credibility by showing up in Lexi’s newsfeed through influencer marketing and interactive content.

To help you to cut off the search time for the right influencers, tools like Humanz, Grin, and Upfluence have created multiple filters such as niche, gender, and location. Humanz goes one step forward and offers its user the opportunity to create and manage the whole campaign via their software.

As you can see, none of these marketing tactics blatantly say “buy our yoga apparel!” but instead, they guide Lexi through the sales funnel, leading her straight to your business. 


Measure results and keep growing

It’s time to go to work deploying these marketing strategies for your business. Along the way, you’ll start to gain traction and momentum. Of course, there will be roadblocks that require an audit and course redirection. A significant aspect of marketing is tracking results and pivoting your marketing strategy. 

If one tactic is working more than others, think about how you can lean into that modality and stretch it farther. In contrast, if the metrics aren’t favoring TikTok or Facebook, don’t stronghold those exhausting efforts. 

Let them go and try another tactic. Maybe your audience is hanging out on Twitter. The point being, much of your marketing strategy is setting goals, creating a plan of action, waiting for the data, and acting accordingly.

Creating a rock-solid marketing plan designed for your business means you’ll steward the outcome toward results and revenue.

And when you nail your marketing plan, it’s all eyes on your business!

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