You may be seeing the number 2019 in front of ‘marketing’ online already. That’s because many businesses are already trying to think ahead and plan out their marketing strategy for next year (yes, already). So are we! Our team is already doing their best to understand the plane of marketing in the years to come.

To be honest, much of what was very popular this year will continue to be used this year. However, it’s difficult to tell whether a trend will become an incredibly useful strategy to market your business or if it’s not worth your money and time. Things like voice AI and chatbots are still recommended to many business owners, but not every business has the luxury or budget to accommodate to these trends…nor are many more suited to using AI in the first place.

Things like these are a matter of preference. What’s less so is what could and even should be included in your new marketing plan. So, let’s dive right into it! Here’s how you can put together your 2019 marketing plan as well as what should go into it.

Step 1: Analysis

Like any great plan, there needs to be a system in place so that everything involved within the plan can run smoothly. This system is necessary to measure out the results and then set proper goals for your business. There are elements that you will need to measure first: traffic, followers, referrals, and contact. Measuring these metrics first will reveal to you where growth took place in each marketing strategy your company used. This is the first step you should take before initiating the actual strategy.

You must also take a hard and close look at what matters most to any successful campaign: your customers, or rather their personas. Without these people, any marketing strategy that fails to communicate will fail, period. Have their needs and interests changed in the past year? Maybe your own business, or rather the industry it serves, has changed too. If so, has this change affected the competition or the messages your ideal customers may be receiving from your competitors?

Before you get carried away with brainstorming ideas for your next marketing campaigns, be sure to conduct this analysis. The insights from the results can help you focus more clearly and shape your campaigns and brainstorming for the better.

Step 2: Keep What Worked Best

Really take a look at the past year’s past marketing strategies that were in place as you’re going through step one. What worked great and achieved the best outcome? Which strategies did you try that failed? Which strategies could have performed better?

Ask yourself these questions and more as you analyze this past year’s results. If there were any strategies that worked well and produced great results in step one, hold on to these strategies and update them for next year. If it didn’t perform so well, it’s time to revamp your entire strategy and planning.

Step 3: Never Forget About the Customers

One thing that a lot of marketers tend to do is they get so wrapped up in promotion and brand expansion that they forget about what really matters: the customers’ needs. This approach can all too easily be made because of how many areas there are to focus in, such as search engines and paid ads.

These may be acceptable by Google, however they also forget about the customers’ needs and what they’re actually looking for. So, never forget about your customers no matter what type of strategy you’re planning to use!

Step 4: Perform an SEO Audit

There is already so much that has changed in the world of SEO in the past year, such as Google’s flip-flopping on meta description tag length. That’s only one example; considering how frequently Google changes their algorithm, it’s likely your site’s SEO needs to catch up with their rules, and it’s a good idea to update it in the first place (or get it done if there is none at all!).

Performing an SEO audit is an essential step forward to fine-tuning any future online marketing strategy. Even if your website is up to date, you should always make it a point to improve it from time to time. There’s always going to be something worth updating. By performing an audit, you can better identify these aspects that need improvement and then have them updated.

Step 5: Decide on Channels

Here’s where brainstorming your new marketing plan really comes into play. As you prioritize your customers’ personas and needs while keeping in mind what worked best in 2018, imagine the campaigns that will help your business achieve its goals. At that point, if you’re creating your plan with a separate marketing company, this is where you give them your goals and ideas and they go to create strategies from there. Not every business can afford an agency though, so in-house planning may have to be done.

For those owners who are forming their plan in-house, you need to understand that there are different channels of marketing and thus different tasks involved with helping a campaign be successful. In practice, the following channels will look different from business to business.

  • Print and/or digital advertising
  • Website & Blog
  • Workshops & Webinars
  • Social Media
  • Content
  • Public Relations
  • Trade shows & Events
  • Internal Communications

By mapping your campaign by these channels across the span a whole year, you will be able to help everyone on board involved in your marketing campaigns to be on the same page on what’s happening when. This is key to ensuring your plan of action becomes real action and prevents reactive, out-of-nowhere deadline work into a strong and proactive marketing strategy. 

Now that you know how to make your marketing plan, get out there and get it done! No plan can work without the basics however, and that includes having a website for your business. If that’s what you need, give us a call at V3. You can also feel free to consult with us one-on-one if you’re still in need of assistance with your new marketing plan. It always helps to have a second, or third, or even fourth pair of eyes (every eyeball counts!).