The concept of building an annual marketing plan may seem daunting. Developing a digital marketing plan for the WHOLE year? Sounds labor-intensive and time-consuming, right? Guess what? It’s actually not difficult.
Systems and plans are our bread and butter.
We’ve created a free marketing template to help you get started on developing a strategic, organized, actionable and repeatable digital marketing plan. Follow these 4 easy steps to start building your annual marketing plan.
Let’s start with strategy. Just like your favorite sports team follows a game plan, you’ll need to develop and execute an annual marketing game plan. A simple SWOT analysis will provide a benchmark of your current standing. Answer these questions:
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your opportunities and threats?
- Who is your ideal customer?
The answers will help you determine areas you can capitalize on and areas that present room for improvement. You’ve established a starting point, and now, it’s time to strategize. Think about how you will capitalize on your strengths and improve your weaknesses. Then, develop SMART goals for the year and determine how you will reach your ideal customer. Let your goals and ideal customer guide your marketing strategy.
Your strategy will fall flat if it lacks organization. Trust us. We’ve seen it. To avoid this, utilize content management and marketing automation systems to organize your marketing efforts. There are several systems out there. Pick the one that suits you best and get planning!
Take it from the Mandalorian.
Create a calendar outlining your tactics to reach your ideal customer, then create relevant, intriguing content that will attract that ideal customer throughout the year. Pro-tip: evergreen content will attract your ideal customer for years to come.
Undoubtedly, you’ve heard the saying “a well-oiled machine,” and if you haven’t, you must be from the 16th century. And if you’re from the 16th century, what’s the secret to time travel? And—well, we’ve digressed from the topic. The point is that accountability is the “oil” to the “well-oiled machine.”
And take it from our pal Charlie Chaplin — all machines need tune-ups.
An organized strategy needs to be held accountable, or you will quickly discover how easy it is for action items to fall by the wayside. Is your current strategy providing the results you need? If not, what needs to change? Tracking metrics will help you measure the performance and progress of your efforts and keep you accountable to your SMART goals. Keep in mind, not every marketing medium is a viable channel for every business. Be strategic with the “what” and “where” you decide to allocate your marketing resources.
The fourth step and arguably most important characteristic of your annual marketing plan is creating a repeatable system. Why invest a significant amount of time, money and effort on a marketing plan if it can’t be refreshed and recycled?
Stop for a second and think about all the time you’ve lost because you haven’t had a system in place. Now, think about what you can do with all your saved time and energy. If you followed the first three steps outlined above, then you’re on track for a successful annual marketing plan. Now wash, rinse and repeat.
You’ve made it this far. Now it’s time to put those ideas into action, but before you set sail to conquer the world of marketing, let us introduce you to our holy grail of all systems — the SOAR™ System!
SOAR™ is designed to make navigating annual marketing plans even easier. We offer two flight plans to help you execute a kickass marketing plan and create sustainable lead generation within 90 days.
Seriously. 90 days.