Build a profitable marketing plan – easy steps to boost your sales

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Welcome to Part Three of our new web series. This week, find out how to build a profitable marketing plan with easy steps to boost your sales.

MD Sarah is back, & this week she’s taking a look at creating & implementing a profitable marketing plan.

Topics covered include:

• How to structure your marketing plan

•Ensuring your plan is tailored to your niche

• Factoring in your customer avatars

• How to avoid a key mistake most businesses make

 

Scroll down for the transcript if you prefer to read rather than watch, and as always, feel free to share this with any small business owners you know who may benefit from our top tips.

We’ll have a new episode each week, which will appear here & on our YouTube channel (if you subscribe there you won’t miss one).

Got questions about anything in the video? Drop us a line or give us a call at Fastnet HQ.

 

Video Transcript

So do you not know where to start when it comes to building your marketing plan? So by the end of this video, you’ll have a great structure on which to build a profitable marketing plan, which will take your business to the next level.

So for the best advice on how to grow your brand quickly and profitably, subscribe to my channel, ring the bell, so you’ll get notified every Thursday when I bring out a new video.

So I’m Sarah, I’m the founder of The Fastnet Agency, and we use this exact formula to build marketing plans for our clients every day, this is what we do, so we know that this works, we’ve done it lots of times before, but now it’s your turn.

So, stay tuned, let’s get started. So the first step in building a profitable marketing plan is to nail your customer avatar. Now, I’ve actually done a video all about this, I’ll link to it at the end of this video, but basically your customer avatar is all about defining exactly who it is you’re looking to sell to.

Now you may have more than one avatar, most businesses do, but it’s about being really specific about nailing exactly who it is that you’re targeting, what their problems are, and what they’re trying to look to achieve.

By knowing this, you can start to target your products with messaging that really specifically appeals to them. So, as I say, I’ll pop a link to that video that I’ve done all about customer avatars at the end of this, so make sure you click through and take a watch. So Step Two is all about defining your niche. Now again, I’ve done a whole video about this because it’s such an important point, really, when it comes to building your marketing plan.

But the basics behind it is that if you try to sell generic stuff, you’re always going to be competing on price really, and on visibility. So if you’re very generic, people will buy whatever is in front of them for the cheapest price, which is why companies like Amazon, and so on, do so well because they can put cheap stuff in front of people easily.

But if you… it’s very difficult to, you know, to compete with that, who’s gonna compete with something like Amazon? So if you’re looking to build a successful brand, you really need to be able to be much more specific in your messaging.

You need to be able to target a specific group of people that have a very specific problem that you’re looking to solve on a very specific goal. By niching down into a sector that allows you to narrow your target audience, you’ll suddenly be a big fish in a small pond, as opposed to a very small fish in a very big pond.

So niching is key when it comes to developing your brand, and it’s also a key when it comes to nailing your marketing strategy. Because if you’ve got a niche, it becomes very easy to build out that marketing strategy because you know who you’re targeting, you know where they’re at, you know what they’re doing, you know, roughly when they’re doing it, you know if there’s any events going on, you know if there’s any particular things going on at that time of the year for those sorts of people, you know it makes it very easy to structure your marketing plan over the course of the year.

So, yeah, if you haven’t really defined a niche for your business, make this one of the first things you do, because you’ll find everything else much easier after that. And I’ll add a link to the video that I’ve done on this at the end of this, so yeah, keep tuned, and then take a little look at that afterwards to see if that would help you.

Okay, so Step Three. Once we’ve nailed those first two steps we really want to have a look at content planning now, content is king. I know you’ve probably heard that about a million times before, but it’s true. In this day and age, marketing is all about content. And this is what most people get stuck on. They just do not know what content to put out there.

They stare at a blank screen and they just think, I don’t know, I should be on Instagram, I should be on Facebook, I should be writing blog posts…. I should be doing all these things, but I have absolutely no idea where to start. Now, if you’ve done your homework here, if you have done your work around your customer avatar, & you’ve done your work around your niche, then you should find that there’s some content themes emerging, and these content themes are around your customer’s pain points and your customer’s goals.

And you can also broaden that network of content as well, slightly outwards from there based on your customer’s interests. So, for example, say, I don’t know, you sell running shoes, & you’ve decided that you actually want to target people with your running shoes, your little niche within that industry is that you’re going to target people that are relatively new to running, that are looking to run a marathon.

Okay, so they’re training from really not having done very much at all, to running a marathon. And you think your product is of real help with that. Now that’s great news, because that allows you loads of content. So in that instance, you might want to look at pushing content about nutrition for marathon runners, you might wanna look at pushing content about stretching for marathon runners….

You might want to link to other businesses that could help marathon runners to reach their goals. You might want to build out some of those pain points; Are you struggling to get through this? Are you struggling to do that? Do you find it difficult to do X, Y and Z and link to some ways in which they can solve those problems, and that doesn’t necessarily just need to be your product. In fact, it’s better if it’s not. You could include your product as one of those solutions but also include other solutions as well.

On what that will do is it will mean that rather than people thinking ‘Oh yeah, well I follow their Facebook page, but all they’re trying to do is flog trainers’, Actually, people say, ‘yeah, I follow this Facebook page or this Instagram account because it gives me loads of useful advice that helps me achieve my goal and gets me through my pain points’.

And that, in turn, allows them to trust you. And with trust comes authority. So after a while you’ll find your customers, because you give such good advice, come to you for advice more and more and more. And then when you do go for that sale, when you do say ‘actually, what you need right now is a better pair of trainers’ and you sell trainers, chances are they’ll come to you, they won’t even look elsewhere, because they’re used to taking your advice and they know that your advice is good, so why wouldn’t your product be good?

So yeah, content again is linked to your customer avatar, it’s linked to your niche, but the more you can nail that, the better you can be at making sure that you understand exactly who your customer is, the better you will be being able to produce content. But I’d say that’s the key takeaway from that.

A lot of people think they can only talk about their product when it comes to selling online, or will only talk about their service, but the reality is actually you need to talk around all of the issues that your customers have, and also all of the things that they’re looking to achieve.

That whole thing could go in that content pot, and then you can start planning that out on a daily and a weekly and monthly basis. Another key tip I’ve got for planning your content is try and have theme days. It makes your life so much easier. So on a Monday, you always produce something motivational, for example. On a Tuesday, you talk about nutrition, on a Wednesday, you talk about stretches, on a Thursday, you ask them how they’ve done that week, and are they on track with their targets? So you can start to see if you can try and plan something every day.

You obviously switch up the content every week, but it makes it far easier for you to plan your content in advance. And so the final one is all about promotion. This is the juicy stuff. This is what gets you out there in front of your customers.

Now, I would say the number one thing that businesses do, which is a big mistake, is they go, ‘Right, ok yep, we want to get out there, we want to market to our customers, so we’re going to show up on every single channel known to mankind. We’re going to go on Twitter and Instagram and LinkedIn.  We’re going to do something on TikTok… We don’t really know what it is yet, but we’re gonna work it out. And we’re going to push all this stuff, you know, across all these channels and that’s going to be our marketing plan, because, you know, we’re keen to succeed’.

And actually, no, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t advise that at all. What I would do is I would go back to your target persona, and I’d work out the key places that your target was hanging out. You know, where are they spending their time online? And then I would really just focus. Focus on those particular areas, try and keep your social channels, to start off with, as minimal as possible and just focus on really good content. So it might be that initially, you just focus on, say, Facebook and Instagram.

You make sure that you produce content unique to each of those channels. You know it is pushing out, you know, the same posts on each, and you just focus on those and you get them really nailed down. And then you can move on to something else after that. I’m not saying that you don’t expand this in the long run, but I think doing really good targeted content on a limited number of channels is much more effective than doing more generic content over a broader channel base, because you’ll just find it really difficult you’ll burn yourself out.

So yeah, that’s my number one tip, I think, when it comes to promotion is making sure you keep your channels to a minimum, at least to start off with, and make sure that you produce good content for those channels, spend that extra time making sure the content is exceptional. So my other tip with content promotion is when you produce this brilliant content, you want to make it work as hard as possible.

So try and think about how you can make one particular piece of content go a number of ways. So, for example, we quite often start with blog posts, cause they tend to be the longest form off the content. You know, they tend to be the longest type. So we start by writing a blog post on a certain topic and we do all our research, you know, we make sure that we really gem ourself up on this. We spend a lot of time writing that blog post, and that takes a fair degree of investment.

And I’d always start with a blog post, I hasten to add, because that blog post will go on your website. That website then has more key words for your target, you know, your target search terms, and that means that you get found more easily. So I would always say start with the blog post, it’s a great place to start. Then from that blog post, you can try and pick out two or three key points, which you could turn into on-off posts.

You can maybe do… drill into a certain area with it and do a little ‘how to’ video. You could maybe take parts from that blog post and do like a little you know, Instagram story on it. You know you can take out little chunks from that longer form blog post, and split that up, and you could set that up over the course of a day, over the course of a week.

But it gives you loads of really good, juicy content. Now the final thing I’d say about promoting your brand is to bear in mind that to give your brand a little head start, you can always use a little bit of advertising, you can push targeted audiences to your page to get them to like you on Facebook, you can do the same with Instagram, it’s a little bit more complicated, but you can do it, and it can help you get off the ground because actually, to grow a social following from scratch can be really, really difficult. But I would say that the same will still apply.

First of all, you’ve got to know who you’re targeting. It’s pointless paying for a load of users that are never going to buy your products. And the second thing is that when they land on that page, they’ll only really engage with it, & they’ll only really want to follow your page if you’ve got good content. So paying for advertising to get more users is actually a perfectly legitimate way of getting users, but it doesn’t mean you can scrimp on the content, it’s not an easy way out, it’s just an added extra.

So now you know the exact steps that I take with my clients, and you can now take to grow your brand in 2020. Now, I’d love to know how you get on with this marketing strategy. I’d love to know how you get on with building your own plan moving forwards.

It’s been a difficult year for everyone this year, let’s face it, so hopefully this has given you the toolbox that you need to get your brand up and running moving into the New Year. So yeah, I’d love to hear from you, so drop a comment below and don’t forget to check me out on Instagram where I give daily tips and updates on how to grow your brand effectively.

If you found this video useful then I do a deep dive into building your brand’s identity so check this out. And I’ve also done a really great video on how to build your customer avatar and develop your niche. So check that out as well. I hope you enjoyed watching – subscribe, hit the bell… we’ll see you next time.

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Join The Lineup...

Lineup: the best position to catch the wave, known as the takeoff zone.

It's also the name of our epic newsletter, full of great advice, tips and information to position your business for take off!