How to Create a Winning Marketing Plan in 2022
With the new year fast approaching, having a well thought out and actionable marketing plan for 2022 can help to take your business to new heights.
Don’t have one just yet? Don’t worry, our useful tips will help you to craft a winning marketing plan for 2022.
What does a marketing plan include?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing, so it’s important to tailor your efforts to fit your unique business and audience. Before you dive into the process of creating a marketing plan, you need to analyze the challenges that your company is facing. This includes both external and internal challenges.
The best way to identify them is with the help of frameworks such as PESTEL. PESTEL stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, Legal and the original PEST framework was designed by Harvard professor, Francis Aguilar.
Having a clear picture of the factors that affect your business helps you find opportunities and threats. A good marketing plan takes into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of your business and capitalizes on them.
Here are some tips to help you create a winning marketing plan for 2022…
1. Know your audience
When it comes to effective marketing, knowing your audience is key.
If you know who you are trying to sell to, it makes it a lot easier to tailor your message and content to them. And when I say, “know your audience”, I don’t mean know everything about their life history. But I do mean think of some questions that will help you get started:
- What are their demographics? (age, gender, location, income level, etc.)
- What are their interests?
- What are they looking for in a product or service?
- What are some of the things they struggle with (this will help you know what will tempt them to buy)
- Where will you find them? This could be social media platforms, Q&A sites like Quora or Reddit, or even in physical locations like train stations (if you’re interested in offline marketing strategies too).
Once you have some answers to these questions, it will be easier to figure out where to find them and what to say to them.
2. Make sure you have clear objectives
This may seem like an obvious point to start with, however, you’ll be surprised how often this is either missed or not aligned to the overall goals of the business and therefore not measured.
You should, of course, have a clear understanding of your goals, as they’ll be specific to your business. However, there are common factors and considerations that you should likely take:
Who are you targeting?
It is common for businesses to focus on multiple verticals or use cases to adapt quickly to the changing needs of the world.
So who are you targeting? Existing customers, or a new audience?
If you’re targeting a new audience for instance, then make sure that you first understand that segment and outline clearly what methods and campaigns you’ll implement to target them.
How will you track and measure results?
It goes without saying that measuring the results of any marketing campaign is critical, and without the right tracking in place, this task can become tricky. When it comes to tracking, if you’re running an AdWords PPC campaign, then make sure that you have properly set up AdWords conversion tracking on your website.
You should also make sure that you’re using a web analytics application such as Google Analytics, to really understand campaign performance along with valuable insights such as customer behaviors and interactions on your website.
As well as simply setting up campaigns like this, it’s equally as important to track where your audience is coming from by channel. This will help you to understand what is working, what isn’t working so much, and which channels your audience are hanging out on. These kinds of metrics will also let you see what your audience is doing on each channel. For example, are they clicking through to multiple pages, or do they tend to bounce pretty quickly?
What will it cost?
Cost, for any business, should be a factor to consider, especially when setting goals. If you can understand and estimate the cost of a campaign, then this will typically help you when it comes to forecasting sales volume, cost per acquisition (CPA), and return on investment (ROI). Which, let’s face it, is what everyone really wants to know.
Consider the right metrics
The metrics that you measure against when setting goals and forecasting may vary depending on the nature of the campaign that you’re running. For instance, if you are running a branding campaign, then you would likely want to predominantly measure impressions, or in other words, the number of people who are exposed to your message.
However, if you’re running a campaign designed to drive traffic, then of course, you’ll be looking to measure the volume of new sessions, and click-through rate (CTR).
Finally, as we all know, it’s always a good idea to measure sales, and or leads generated for every campaign.
How to set effective objectives
Once your goals are clear, you can set a SMART objective. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely. This is the best way of ensuring that your goals are actionable and effectively means that all goals you set should be realistic and set to a time frame.
For example, if you want to double your blog traffic, it’s no good simply setting that as a goal. You also need to say when you want to double it by. Perhaps you want to double your blog traffic by the end of the year, which would be a much clearer target and much easier to track and work towards.
‘Reduce no-shows by 90% in 2022’ or ‘Increase online bookings by 20% in the first quarter of 2022; are good examples of a SMART objective.
3. Understanding what works & what doesn’t
When putting together a marketing plan, it’s always a good idea to look back on the previous year (if you have that data) to further understand the results of previous marketing campaigns.
You’ll ideally want to undertake quantitative analysis to look at the figures and consumer behaviors, and qualitative analytics to put all the data you’ve gathered into context, for instance, why was a campaign successful, and in contrast what improvements could be made?
It’s also worth looking into what didn’t work so well. For instance, did you have a marketing campaign that you thought would really take off and instead, it was a bit of a flop? This type of data is also important to look at because it gives you an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. So try to dig into this type of data too. This will help you learn from your mistakes and know what not to do next year.
Having an in-depth understanding of last year’s campaign performance will help to give you a head start when it comes to planning for the new year.
4. Make it easy for new and existing customers to find you
Growing your business online is not explicitly about converting visitors on your website into paying customers. The goal can also be to promote a purchase, lead generation, brand awareness, or getting more online bookings (for which of course you should use 10to8 appointment scheduling).
To be successful online you need to generate the right traffic to your website, and ideally, the following campaigns should be included in your marketing plan;
Granted Ads can be a great way to target prospects looking for services or products that your business has to offer. However, depending on your industry and selected keywords Ads can be expensive. To make this a cost-effective solution make sure that you undertake extensive keyword research, use tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner to unearth ‘low hanging fruit’ and long-tail keywords which may have an associated low cost per click (CPC).
Once you’ve discovered new keywords, consider using a broad match modifier as a match type, this may help you discover new and relevant terms that convert. Just remember to make sure that you use negative keywords!
To learn more about advertising on Google Ads, check out our 4-part blog article series.
Most visitors to your website will not convert on their first visit, savvy shoppers will often shop around online, and you can be sure that in most cases they would’ve visited one of your competitors.
To get prospects back to your website, it is worthwhile investing in a Google Ads remarketing campaign and even building custom audiences with Facebook ads to reconnect with people who have already shown an interest, just not converted, yet.
If you run a B2B (Business to Business) company, LinkedIn is the platform for you. Setting up campaigns to reach your target audience is quick and simple. What’s more, LinkedIn gives you a very accurate insight into the ads that performed well and you can use this information to iterate on ads, increase CTR (click-through rate), and reduce CPC (cost per click).
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Showing up in search results organically may be free, however, as we know this can take a lot of time and effort to do it well, and it’s important to remember that you’ll likely never see instant results. To be successful, you want to target and optimize for keywords that convert against your goals, you can always use data from paid campaigns and discover further insights using tools such as the Google Search Console, and paid solutions such as Moz Pro, which is well worth investing in if you’re going to be taking SEO seriously.
It’s also worth noting that building partnerships with other businesses can go a long way to improving your SEO. Link building in the right way gives Google the impression that your website is of value because other websites surely wouldn’t send their viewers to a dud source! In this sense, writing guest posts, contributing to round up posts, and even link outreach, when done correctly, can definitely give your traffic a boost.
If Search Engine Optimization is something that you’re just getting started with, our on-site and off-site SEO guide will help you get the ball rolling.
As you continue to gather opt-in customer email addresses, email marketing can be a great cost-effective medium to re-engage with past customers. Maybe you have a new offer, a new product range of service that you know your audience would love? Then, what better way to communicate that than an email.
To improve the performance of your email marketing efforts in 2022 remember to split test (A/B test) subject lines and content if you can. It’s also worth segmenting your audience, for instance, if you can segment based on when the customer last interacted with or converted on your website, then you may want to email them a different offer.
In contrast, you may also want to consider sending customers who have lapsed and have not shown interest in some time a different communication, and there are some great examples of email re-engagement campaigns.
4. Know your competition
As well as your audience, it’s also a good idea to know your competitors. This will help you to differentiate yourself from them, and give you some ideas about what’s working (and what’s not) in the industry.
Some of the things that you can look out for are:
- How they advertise their business
- What is your USP? What sets you apart from your competitors?
- What messaging they use to talk about their products and services
- Whether or not they’re targeting specific demographics
- Are there any recurring things that you have noticed about their marketing efforts?
Also, ask yourself, what are they doing that’s working? What could you do better? What can’t they do that you can?
Knowing what your competition is up to will help you stay ahead of the game and keep your customers.
5. Create a content strategy
Once you know who you’re targeting and what you want to say to them, it’s time to create a content strategy. First of all, you’ll need to make sure that all your content is aligned with your overall branding and message. You need to understand your brand and your requirements as a brand before you execute the content.
This is something that a lot of people struggle with, but a solid marketing strategy simply needs a few key elements. First, you’ll need to decide all the kinds of content you want to share. This could be blog articles, social media posts, or even business-focused sales content.
Second, you need to figure out when you’re going to share this content. This will depend on your audience’s demographics and preferences, as well as on your own marketing calendar. You’ll also need to think about the frequency with which you’re going to share this content – do you want to post to social media daily, or share a blog post twice a week?
5. Set your budget
Next, it’s always a good idea to know how much you have to work with. Especially if your marketing budget is limited, you need to make sure that every penny counts.
When it comes to creating a budget for your marketing efforts (no matter what they may be), there are two main things you need to keep in mind:
Start small. The last thing you want is to run out of money and lose focus before the end of the campaign. It’s better to start with an ambitious goal and then scale back as needed than it is to fall under budget and leave potential leads on the table.
Track your spending carefully. One way you can do this is by planning out everything ahead of time and tracking all your expenses diligently. That way, you’ll have a better idea of how much you’re spending and where your money is going.
If you can stick to a budget and track your spending, you’ll be in a much better position to succeed with your marketing efforts.
6. Analyse your results
Finally, once you’ve finished your marketing campaign, it’s time to take a look at what worked and what didn’t.
There are lots of ways that you can do this. For example, if you’re using social media as part of your strategy, there are lots of free tools you can use to track the performance of individual posts. You might want to track things like how many times your posts were shared or clicked on, or even how often they ended up in someone’s newsfeed.
If you’re using ads as part of your marketing strategy, there are also some great places where you can see how much traffic each different ad is driving. This way, you’ll be able to pinpoint which ads work best for your business.
By tracking your results and analyzing what worked and what didn’t, you’ll be in a much better position to learn from the numbers and improve your marketing strategy for next time.
It’s a wrap!
Overall, creating a well-rounded marketing strategy can be tough, but with a little effort and some basic knowledge, it’s definitely doable. The important takeaway is to remember to develop your marketing strategy with the right expectations and to ensure that goals are aligned across the business. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Focus on consistency and continual improvement, fine-tune campaigns, and most importantly measure results.
By following these five tips, you’ll be on your way to developing a successful marketing plan that will help you reach your target audience and drive results.
If you are a service-based business and take appointments, then also remember that help is at hand with 10to8 appointment scheduling software. We can help you to better communicate with clients, reduce-no shows, and even double your bookings while reducing time-consuming admin!
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Karan is a Digital Marketing Intern at 10to8. He is passionate about the music and tech industry, and keen to learn more about business in general.
As a current MBA student, Karan aims to broaden his knowledge and move into a managerial role.
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