It’s CLICHE AS FUCK but if you don’t make plan for your success, you’re basically begging to fail. The mind is fickle, and easily distracted. Making a plan – and sticking close to it – brings you closer to your goals in business and in life.
All of your business activities require planning. If you want to reach your highest revenue potential – month after month, quarter after quarter – then you need to create a solid marketing plan.
Each of these channels has the potential to grow your business exposure online. When used thoughtfully, they can bring you new incoming business leads – which, let’s face it, is the point.
Yet, somehow, most small businesses aren’t taking advantage of the digital marketing tools available to them. And for obvious reasons: they don’t have enough money or time to spare.
Advertising costs money, and most artists or new start-ups can’t afford the monetary risk for a very small identifiable return. Spending $20 or $30 on a Facebook ad is money burned, when you consider that advertising only really works in a snowball effect and over time.
A one-time ad buy will never immediately bring the magical and reliable ROI that most small businesses wish it would.
Quality video content also takes a lot of time and costs a pretty penny, depending on who you know. Writing blogs, ad copy, and video scripts – when writing is not your specialty – also requires a lot of dedicated time.
Predictably, most small business owners focus on social media to promote their brand. And predictably, many of them use it aggressively and blindly, posting at random, and haphazardly slapping hashtags on their photos like lipstick on pigs, expecting some sort of viral miracle.
That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works. If you want your marketing to work you have to make a plan.
The first step is to make a specific goal.
Obviously, the goal is always new business, to earn revenue. Duh. But that’s the overall goal. It’s the big picture. A strong marketing plan covers the details.
Your target can be a revenue goal ($4,000 in sales by August 1), or a product goal (X amounts of units sold in a specific time frame)
If you sell cosmetics, a defined goal may be to sell 12 bottles of face cream in one month.
Yes, if you sell cosmetics your target market might be women. But get more specific. Where do these women live? How old are they? What matters most to them – healthy skin, or simply looking good?
If you’re shipping your products you want to consider your shipping costs as part of your marketing plan. You might want to target women within a certain area of your own postal code. This can keep your shipping costs low, while also creating a local name for yourself.
You want to think about the kinds of women who would be most interested in this particular cream. Make a list of all the qualities of your product that would appeal to buyers.
What are the benefits of this lotion? Does it reduce blemishes? Does it reduce oil in the skin? Does it reduce wrinkles? And finally, ask yourself what is the number one major benefit your product gives to your ideal buyer.
All of your digital marketing content should use high quality, bright photography. You don’t have to be the best photographer in the world. Start by looking at the major brands in your industry. If you sell cosmetics, visit Sephora, or Maybelline’s websites. Look at how they display their products and their copy. Try to emulate that. If you need help taking product photos – read this blog!
Aside from the photography, your digital marketing content must clearly promote a certain message. A rule is to keep it simple: one message per piece of content. You can make 4 or more pieces of content from just one product.
For example, one post could introduce the product: “The new XYZ is now available on our website!”
Another post could specifically call to your ideal customers “Hey Ladies! Are you ready for product XYZ? It’s here!”
And a third post could say exactly why your product is outstanding “Get your business online with a custom designed website in 7 days! DM Nineke Publishing today!” Another example, “Save time and headaches with custom digital marketing content from Nineke Publishing.”
You get the idea.
Once you know who your customer is, and exactly what they want and need, you can create nearly endless digital content that speaks directly to your buyer.
Another thing to keep in mind is that all of your digital marketing and promo content MUST include a CTA or a question. You have to engage people who see your content. Ask them something that’s personal or insightful. Show them that you want to learn more about them.
And with CTAs (Call to Action) BE EXPLICIT. Tell them to tap the link in your bio and tell them WHY.
“Hit that link in my bio FOR EXCLUSIVE….”
Don’t just throw your product on the IG, Facebook, or Twitter feed. Take the time to show your customers how you can help them, why they should trust you, where to get what they need, and most importantly that you passionately care about making their lives that much easier.
Your marketing plan will need consistency. Choose your marketing channels, and schedule your promotional activity for a set timeframe. Your marketing channel is where you’re going to communicate with your buyer. Are you going with advertising? Will you create a landing page and marketing funnel? Will you go with blogging? Or make a video? Or stick to the tried and true-ish social media?
Marketing is like a very expensive watch. There are lots of moving parts and intricate details. And the overall masterpiece needs us to pay special care and attention to all of them.
At the end of the day, timing is really what counts.
You can make subpar digital content and still reach LOTS of potential clients and customers, if you know exactly when they’re most likely to be online. And you can grow your followers and social media reach if you post consistently at the prime time.
Finding the best times to post for your specific account and business takes about 2 or 3 weeks. The strategy here is to post as often as you can everyday for a set amount of time, and then review the insights from your social media apps.
Facebook and Instagram will tell you when most of your audience is online, where they are, how old they are their gender. This way you can create digital marketing content specifically for the people most likely to interact with it.
Revisit your marketing plan every 2 or 3 months. What worked in January, can lose its effectiveness by August. Remember, everyone is online all the time. Ideas and interests change rapidly. You want your digital content to be fresh and new to keep your followers attention!
Nineke Publishing offers beautiful and detailed digital marketing plans to showcase your business and help grow your audience. Book a consult with me today to explore the possibilities for promoting your brand online!
My name is Ruth. I make better, faster, and smarter websites for artists + small businesses across all industries.