Marketing can be a costly and scary prospect, especially if you have a small business. Throw a pandemic in the mix, and the challenges are even more overwhelming. Start planning past the pandemic now and get ahead ready for 2021.
Marketing Plan – Key Focus Areas for 2021
Take a step back and some time to forward plan rather than be reactive. Focus on your key areas and put a plan in place for the first 3 months of 2021. Forward Planning will help reduce costs and allow you to be more strategic when targeting your marketplace. If you try and put a plan together for 12 months, you may become overwhelmed and struggle to follow it. The following 5 elements of marketing will help you prepare for 2021.
1: Get your branding right!
Your brand ideally needs to reflect your business. From logo to a tagline, make sure your branding is the best it can be for your target market. Keep the branding consistent throughout everything customer-facing including your digital assets, email footer, social media content etc. When a customer goes from your website to your social media, they know it is you – by recognising the brand.
2: Ensure your Website is up to date
Review your online assets, including your website and social media and create your content strategy.
- Aim to refresh your website every 2-3 years – this may include having a website audit done by a third party to support the customer user experience.
- Ensure that your website has the latest updates, and content is up to date and relevant.
Ranking on Google: Have a secure website, keep content fresh, and monitor the speed times for upload are less than 5 seconds- these are the basics to help with your ranking.
3: Have a content strategy relevant for your market
- Start a blog for your business; blogging is a low-cost option to get attention for your products and services. However, to be effective blog regularly and have something of value to share.
- Create an email newsletter to stay in regular contact with your customers. (GDPR Compliant)
- Visit and comment on other relevant blogs regularly within your market place.
- Write articles on topics related to your business and encourage people to share.
- Support awareness days relevant to your marketplace and be creative with how you create the content.
4. Develop and implement a social media strategy/plan.
Growing your social media is essential, ‘less is more’ – don’t take on too many accounts. It can be very time consuming, and it’s better to have just 1 or 2 platforms with valuable content.
Once you have created your pages on social media, keep them up to date, and make sure the branding is consistent.
5: Expand Your Network
- Join professional networking communities. There is usually a cost attached. However, this is a great way to make business contacts.
- Master your elevator pitch! Learn how to tell prospective clients what you do without the waffle! Your pitch will evolve in time, grasping the benefits of your business and being able to articulate those benefits is key.
- Network online – comment/like/share on other businesses social media be supportive of other business that compliment yours.
- Support a local charity – if you can afford it giving back really does show you are more then just a logo.
- Offer free training related to your products and services, this is another way to create a meaningful connection with your network.
- Collaborate with other businesses developing partnerships. Cross-sell and share costs of events and PR.
- Promote yourself through email signatures and invoices any opportunity to get in front of a customer – which costs nothing.
There is not a step by step method of how to create a winning marketing plan. However, planning and being agile is essential. Try and be patient for the results, and be prepared to adapt, and develop new ideas most weeks! Customise content according to the needs of your target audience, at every point of sale.
Do you need help with your branding?
Have you got a new project idea that you need a fresh pair of eyes to look at?
Are you a new business that needs support to launch their brand?