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    A marketing plan with actionable steps, even this late in the year, will have a direct impact on your holiday season. Follow these five steps to build and execute a marketing plan tailored to your business. 

    • Set Goals: Sure, everyone knows that you need a marketing plan. But, what does that mean for your company?
      • Decide what platforms work best for you (Email Marketing, Videos on YouTube, Posts on Facebook, Photos on Instagram, Little League Sponsorship, Print Advertising… so many options), 
      • Then, decide what exactly you expect and anticipate from your platforms? Are you trying to drive foot traffic through your doors? Are you hoping to sell products online? Are you wanting to improve brand awareness? 

    Once you know the answers to those questions, you can set realistic goals. 

    •  Define Target Audience: Based on your current customer base, who are you hoping to reach through your marketing efforts?
      • Want more millennials? Want more retirees? Want more stay-at-home-parents? Want more self-employed carpenters? Want people from another zip code? Get serious about your target market.
      • It’s great to get specific about your target audience because the better you know who you want finding your website the better you’ll be at crafting the right message for that audience. 
        Calendar, Planning

        Use whatever method will help you make a plan and stick to it; whether its online calendar reminders or a paper planner.

    • Make a Plan: Remember those goals you set in step 1? If you were to pick the best platform and hone in on the ideal target audience, what would you want them to buy or learn from your website? 
      • Plan your marketing efforts around specific services or products – that will help you measure your efforts once a campaign is completed.
      • Be thorough and thoughtful in your plan; try to stay focused on your goals and be smart about achieving them.
      • Try to complete at least one marketing task each week. Many platforms allow you to schedule your posts (like Facebook and Instagram) or prepare an email in advance and have it ready to roll on a specific date. 
    • Schedule Your Time: Making a plan is great. Having goals is a major step. Doing the research to define your audience is key… but nothing gets done if you don’t set aside a scheduled time. 
      • Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, whatever works for you and is consistent. This will support your plan to produce marketing materials based on steps 1-3,
      • Remember to push the messaging directly to your defined target audience.

    You would not believe how often this step gets skipped! 

    • Monitor and Tweak: So, you made it through steps 1-4… now what? 
      • Watch the engagement on your preferred platforms. Remember, it can be slow, at first, so don’t let low initial engagement numbers squelch your efforts. 
      • Then, notice comments or responses; note what people like or don’t like about your marketing efforts.
      • Tweak, accordingly, and adjust your efforts to improve and engage even more.
      • People are quick to react and quicker to rejoice if they feel heard. Let’s say you get feedback that a video you embedded in an email isn’t working. No problem! You thank those who let you know and then fix the glitch and then try again next time. 
        • Knowing that you are responsive and engaging will be beneficial in the long run. 

    Planning and taking actionable steps will help you gain marketing momentum, no matter how small the tasks are. Dedicate a little time each week to monitoring, tweaking, crafting and posting your efforts. You’ll love the results.

    Not ready to tackle your own marketing plan? Drop us a line, we’re here to help.