How to Build a Marketing Plan for Small Businesses

Carolyn Mitchell

Carolyn Mitchell About The Author

Mar 1, 2021 10:53:00 AM


How to Build a Marketing Plan for Small Businesses

One of the keys to success as a small business is to develop a clear marketing plan. You can't build your business if you don't have a specific and realistic strategy in place to help you grow. At the same time, it can be challenging to determine what constitutes a good marketing plan based on your business's specific needs. Need some ideas to help you develop an effective small business marketing strategy? The following are some tips for marketing a small business and meeting your goals.

Learn How to Effectively Measure Your ROI

Think Big Picture

As a small business, you should always have your eye on the big picture. All of your marketing efforts should contribute to the larger whole instead of focusing on quick short-term wins. While quick wins are often helpful, they shouldn't draw all of your attention when there are significant long-term goals to consider.

Regardless of the marketing strategies implemented, you should be working toward growing and scaling based on your needs, ensuring your success. Otherwise, you'll be holding your business back.

Understand Your Audience

Screen Shot 2021-02-23 at 10.48.54 AMTo make sure you connect with people through highly targeted advertising and marketing, you need to understand your audience. You can maximize your marketing and advertising efforts if you take the time to understand your audience's demographics, needs and wants, and where they are in the buyer's journey. With a complete picture of your audience and in-depth knowledge of what they want from you, you can tailor your marketing to them.

For example, at the beginning of the buyer's journey, people learn more about the problems they face. You can use this to direct them to blog posts that cover many fundamental topics to educate them and build trust. Ads can also build recognition and inform people about your brand and what it's about. Meanwhile, you can push promotional offers that appeal to those toward the end of the sales funnel and who are ready to make a purchase.

Analyze the Competition

You should also have an equally good understanding of your competitors and what they're doing. By studying your competitors closely and their marketing efforts, you can figure out what's working for them and adapt it to your strategy. At the same time, you can find out what they're neglecting to do that you can do to fill a gap in the market. 

You might find that a competitor has an effective well-optimized website structure that includes local pages for each of its physical locations. You may also discover that your audience is looking for specific features in your products that competitors aren't even addressing in their content. 

Based on your competitive analysis, you could develop local pages for each of your own company's locations in different service areas while producing content that covers features that differentiate you from competitors. Taking both approaches can help you dominate the market and give you a competitive advantage.

Choose Your Platforms

With an understanding of your audience and insight into competitors, you can begin choosing which platforms to target your marketing campaigns. While your first instinct might be to over-extend your reach by using as many platforms as possible, this can quickly become overwhelming. By taking on too many platforms at once, you might discover that you don't have enough resources to monitor and manage them all effectively. In the process, you might wind up spending too much money on campaigns that you simply can't track or effectively maintain. Instead, choose only the platforms that matter and that your audience uses.

Many digital marketing platforms are viable based on your business's needs. Social media platforms remain among the most popular for many small businesses, with 37% saying that it was the most successful channel to help them meet their business goals. Email marketing is another potentially very lucrative channel to use for small businesses, as 54% of small businesses use email and the average ROI of this channel is 122%. You can also benefit from using other mediums to supplement your online efforts, including TV advertising or magazine ads. As your business grows and you acquire the resources and budget to handle them, you can use more platforms to your advantage over time.

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Come Up with a Plan of Action

To ensure your plans come together, you need to develop a specific plan of action. A goal-oriented approach to marketing should consist of details such as:

  • When you're going to advertise and how often
  • The specific platforms you're going to use
  • How you will handle the influx of inquiries and convert leads to customers
  • How you will measure the success of your campaigns and determine which metrics are relevant to your measurements
  • Who will be responsible for managing each platform and strategy

Work with a Media Partner to Drive Success with a Marketing Plan

With a comprehensive and optimized marketing plan behind your business, you'll have the chance to get the results you want from your efforts. However, with so many aspects to consider, things can become overwhelming to the point where you suffer from inefficiency. If you would like to make sure you get the most from your marketing efforts, consider working with a media partner who can help you every step of the way, from concept to execution.

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Topics: Strategic Planning & Research