By now, most businesses are starting to understand how important marketing is for acquiring and retaining customers. Yet many of them don’t have an integrated plan to grow and engage their audiences effectively. Why?
We suspect the sheer scale and scope of marketing might be enough to put you off. From social media, PR, written articles and eNewsletters to websites and SEO, there are a whole host of tactics you can use to help grow your business and maximise success. But where do you start? With a strategy, of course.
Whether you’ve dipped your toes into marketing before or only post sporadically across your social media channels, now is the perfect time to sit down and have a serious think about your marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at how you can kickstart your marketing this year…
Review your current marketing activity
Before you can start thinking about what you want to do in the future, you first need to assess what you’re doing right now. Start by reviewing all your existing marketing; this includes your website and social media channels, as well as any printed collateral such as brochures or flyers. If you’ve run any ad campaigns in the past, this is an excellent opportunity to look at them, too.
Pick out aspects you think work well and want to keep going forward, but more importantly, ask yourself what’s not working so well. Is your website easy to navigate? Where do you appear in search engine results? Are you posting regular, interesting and varied content across all your channels? Is this content relevant to your target audience? Are you using appropriate keywords effectively? What type of content has the most engagement? Is your messaging consistent?
These are all crucial questions to ask before refining your 2020 marketing strategy. You should also be able to see a coherent, defined brand across all your marketing materials — if you can’t tell they all belong to the same company, you’re doing something wrong! And if you find yourself with very little marketing to review, it’s definitely time to rethink your marketing strategy and put a plan in motion.
Set a clear goal for the year
Being directionless is one of the biggest sins within business (and marketing!). After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?
So, the first step in any great marketing strategy is to pick a clear direction and set your goal. What will your primary focus be this year? Perhaps you want to build brand awareness or boost sales? Maybe you want to increase your customer base or explore a new target audience entirely?
Whatever it may be, your marketing goal should be aligned with your wider business goals and vision for growth. It’s also important to consider who your target audience is here. Once you know what your overarching aim is (and who you’re talking to), your specific objectives and tactics can follow on from this.
For example, if you’re looking to boost brand awareness amongst women in their early 20s, you might choose to use Instagram, which has a relatively young female audience in comparison to a social media channel like LinkedIn.
Assess your 2020/21 marketing budget
Although it’s a new calendar year, the new financial year doesn’t start until April. So, now’s your chance to get your finances in order and assess your marketing budget for the year ahead. The question is: how much should you be spending on your marketing? Unfortunately, there really isn’t a definitive answer. It’s one of those classic ‘how long is a piece of string?’ situations.
If you spend too little, your marketing might fall flat or fail to reach the right audience. If you spend too much, you won’t have the budget you need for other essential aspects of your business. This is why it’s so important to determine your goal and objectives, so you know what your budget is expected to cover for the year.
First, you need to set a concrete annual marketing budget — taking into account what resources you might need to achieve your goal and objectives. Do you need a Marketing Manager, for example? A Copywriter? A Graphic Designer? Do you need a subscription to SEMrush, Grammarly or any other tools or software? All of this can add up pretty quickly, which is why a marketing agency that houses all of these resources under one roof can often prove much more cost-effective than an in-house team.
Once the yearly sum is approved, you can then slice it into a monthly plan. If you know how the budget is playing out every month, you can then afford to be a bit more flexible with added extras or ad hoc marketing projects.
Need help kicking your marketing into gear? From written articles and PR to social media management and SEO optimisation, Hyped Marketing’s Kickstarter package is designed to do exactly that — all for just £1,595 a month. To find out more, why not give us a call on 01252 717373 or email firstname.lastname@example.org?