Plan your marketing
Build a marketing plan for the next quarter versus trying to plan out the whole year at once. 13 weeks gives you an optimal window as things change so quickly in today’s marketplace. Three months gives you time to test, measure, and revise…adjusting to new digital algorithms, competition, and innovations. In the ever-evolving digital landscape, staying agile is key. As you progress through the quarter, keep a close eye on your plan and be ready to pivot if necessary. Flexibility is your ally in adapting to unforeseen changes
Define an objective
What is it you want to accomplish with your marketing over the next quarter? Do you want to educate? inform? inspire? Are you pursuing impact or income? Your roadmap must begin with a destination in mind! Once you’ve set your quarterly objectives, break them down into actionable monthly, weekly, or even daily goals. This way, you can track your progress more effectively and make necessary adjustments along the way.
Create a campaign
Choose a theme, a set of solutions, or a new program and build a campaign around it. Build it based upon the information your audience has been begging for. Remember that a campaign doesn’t have to end when the quarter does. Consider extending its lifespan by repurposing and reshaping content to keep your audience engaged and informed over time.
Anchor your campaign with something of value. Whether it’s a white paper, a video series, a workshop, a webinar, or a newly published book (or a launch), make sure the foundation of your promotion offers something valuable to your audience. Make sure your valuable content isn’t a one-time offering. Continuously update and improve your anchor content to maintain its relevance and draw in new audience members.
Clarify your messaging. It’s perfect when you can no longer take anything away so write with abandon and edit without mercy. Take out the jargon and say it out loud. Does it mean what you are trying to communicate? Remember, it’s not about what you are trying to convey, it’s the relevant information received that resonates. Take responsibility for how it lands! Test your messaging with a focus group or colleagues to ensure it resonates with your target audience. Keep refining your message as you gain insights from real interactions and feedback.
Develop a cohesive, consistent look for your campaign. Make it recognizable—even if someone doesn’t see your name or logo. Create a style guide to keep you from straying too far away from the ‘feel’ you are trying to capture. Your campaign’s visual identity should evolve as well. Don’t hesitate to tweak your design elements to keep them fresh and aligned with any emerging trends that may arise.
Update your website before you send people to it! Write a blog to support the campaign or build a landing page to deliver relevant information to those interested enough to visit. Consider creating a content calendar that outlines when and how you’ll release new website content, ensuring a steady flow of information to accompany your campaign.
Support your campaign with new profile images and social media posts. Design something that complements the look of your campaign and sets the mood for who you are and what you do. Maintain a consistent presence on social media by scheduling regular posts that highlight different aspects of your campaign. This continuous support keeps your audience engaged and informed.
You can’t imagine how often marketing messages are delivered without any identifying marks or information. Even seasoned professionals and talented graphic designers forget to add the obvious. Double and triple-check your graphics before you hit send or upload. Nothing falls flat like marketing without impact. In addition to your graphics, ensure that your contact information and social media links are easily accessible. You want potential customers to reach out effortlessly.
Invite your connections FIRST by sending out an email introducing this theme, campaign, or new product. They are your loyal following and deserve the inside scoop. Follow up by sending periodic updates and exclusive content throughout the quarter. Keeping them engaged builds anticipation and fosters a sense of community.
Once you have invited your family, invite your community to the party. Share everywhere! Social, snail-mail, in public and in-person…whatever aligns with your objectives. Leverage the power of partnerships and collaborations during your campaign. Co-promotions with influencers or related businesses can expand your reach and create buzz.
Solicit feedback, look at your insights and analytics, see what is working (and what’s not). Adjust, adjust, adjust! Don’t just focus on the metrics but also gather qualitative feedback from your audience. Their insights can be invaluable for refining your marketing strategies.
Save your offer for last! All of the best marketing minds warm you up with emotional appeal, information, education, and inspiration BEFORE they ask you to buy. Think of everyone from Apple to Walt Disney (and the cable companies in between). They all treat you like a crockpot vs. a microwave. They slowly turn up the heat, getting you used to the idea before presenting an outstanding offer that will reel you in, should you be interested in what they have to sell. When it’s time to present your offer, make it irresistible by sweetening the deal with limited-time promotions or bundled packages. Create a sense of urgency to encourage conversions.