Marketing strategy template
What are your top three strategic goals for your business in 2019? And what marketing activities will you undertake to achieve them?
Have no idea? I've created a marketing strategy template that will help you work out all this and more.
Get one sent straight to your inbox (for zero cost) by signing up to my enewsletter list
Without a marketing strategy, you are basically just spending a heap of money and time on marketing activities with no real direction. Because humans change their mind frequently, you could be enthusiastic about your digital marketing to achieve a goal without results and then change direction without warning the next week! With a marketing strategy, you're more likely to stay on course until you achieve that goal, whether it be to make more sales, improve your branding or reach more people.
Need marketing assistance? Or want to check out my other marketing templates?
Guest post by Glance.
A brief overview of the role technology has played in recent history proves emerging innovations are constantly impacting countless aspects of daily life for people throughout Australia. From developing iOS apps that make life easier to Android solutions that streamline once complex processes, it’s clear that recent advancements have already had a major effect on society. This trend continues today. Virtual reality (VR), for instance, may soon usher in another technological revolution. However, before VR becomes widespread, we might first see the rise of augmented reality tech. That’s because the devices and platforms that make VR experiences possible don’t have mass consumer appeal just yet. Augmented reality (AR) will bridge the gap in the meantime.
Understanding augmented reality
Pokemon Go! (which became very popular very soon after its release in Australia) and Snapchat are two apps that introduced AR to the average smartphone user. AR tech essentially allows apps to superimpose virtual elements (images, sounds, data, and more) onto real world features.
It’s not quite VR. Instead of immersing users in completely new surroundings, AR lets users encounter and manipulate virtual elements within their current environments. As of now, AR is more feasible than VR, as developers can create AR apps for relatively ubiquitous devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers
AR’s role in business
AR is poised to disrupt numerous industries. Some businesses have already used it to improve marketing efforts.
For instance, U.S. Bank is leveraging AR to help customers find ATMs in unfamiliar cities. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has developed an AR app which overlays real estate and property information over the real world when viewed through a smartphone screen. Furniture retailer IKEA released an AR app that lets users insert virtual renderings of furniture into their homes; this helps ecommerce shoppers determine if certain larger items are worth purchasing. Sephora’s AR feature allows customers to virtually “try on” a product before buying it.
These few examples clearly prove AR can substantially improve marketing campaigns for many types of businesses. As the tech continues to develop, more organisations will find smart ways to take advantage of it.
AR makes gaming immersive
Again, many people know about AR thanks to the success of Pokemon Go!. It’s easy to understand why users embraced this new type of gaming experience. AR simply turns the world around a player into the setting of a game.
Another AR game, Zombies, Run!, uses the technology to make players feel as though they must run from attacking hordes of the undead. It makes for a much more dynamic gaming experience than sitting in place and staring at a screen.
Of course, gaming and marketing aren’t the only sectors that could stand to benefit from the rise of AR. We’ll soon find it has far more potential applications than most people could imagine. We’ll also see how the emergence of AR will help lead the way to the development of widespread VR tech as well.
You may also like... Sensory marketing.
There is a marketing branch coined sensory marketing. According to Rieunier (2002), the sensory marketing approach tries to fill in the deficiencies of traditional marketing which is too rational.
Almost all marketing traditionally focuses on two senses: sight and sound. That leaves an enormous opportunity to appeal to the other senses that could be highly effective. Given how closely related to memory smell and taste are, these underutilised facets have the potential to really emphasise the way people relate to your brand. If you’ve ever walked past a Lush, Aesop, Subway or Janesce store, you know exactly what I’m talking about. They are distinctive smells that you can’t disassociate with in a hurry!
‘Sensory branding is a type of marketing that appeals to all the senses in relation to the brand. It uses the senses to relate with customers on an emotional level. Brands can forge emotional associations in the customers' minds by appealing to their senses. A multi-sensory brand experience generates certain beliefs, feelings, thoughts and opinions to create a brand image in the consumer's mind,’ Wikipedia.
This form of embodied cognition that is integrated into marketing asserts a holistic approach that not enough businesses are taking advantage of, which, if done correctly could put you ahead of others and set you up for long term success.
And it works! In South Korea, a Dunkin’ Donuts branch strategically releases a coffee smell on cue with their company jingle on a bus, which has seen an increase in sales Dunkin’ Donuts at nearby shops by nearly thirty per cent.
How can you promote your business using each of the five senses? Come up with one unique way for each sense. You can be as extravagant or as small as you wish. Examples might include: sending a flavoured tea bag with your logo on it, a complete virtual reality experience or send distinctive incense or a fragrance vial with a brochure.
If you sell products, change the wrapping to incorporate a sensory experience. Pringles have their signature “pop” when you open their can and KitKats have the “snap” of the break in the chocolate. How often do we associate a champagne’s corking popping with celebratory aspects?
Feeling stuck? Write down the first thing that came to your mind, no matter how ridiculous or expensive and unachievable it seems at this time. Remember, we’re brainstorming, not writing anything in stone.
Want a bit of homework?
Once you’ve written your five senses marketing list, pick one and complete it. Don’t be afraid to go big and bold.
You may like to read the book:
Customer Sense, How the 5 Senses Influence Buying Behavior by Aradhna Krishna
This is an extract taken from my book, Thirty Days to Conscious Success. Grab your copy today.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere, allowing different forms of the technology to analyse data sets and make appropriate decisions for businesses. From booking flights to chatting with consumers about their insurance needs, AI is changing the way we work. Beyond the initial steps into voice recognition technology, AI is also affecting how marketers connect with consumers.
AI is the term used for technology that is able to ‘think like humans’. Below are four ways in which it is changing digital marketing, along with some of the applications that will soon become essential for any marketer wishing to stay ahead of the game.
AI for GDPR compliance
AI excels at gathering and analysing large sets of data to find insights. Much of a marketer’s job is to tailor advertising and digital marketing campaigns for specific buyer personas, segmented demographics, or on insights gleaned from the buyer journey. Given this information, AI is the perfect partner for these tasks.
Through the collection of data from a range of different platforms – like social media and a company’s own website – AI can be used to sift through the vast amounts of information. The technology is able to spot consumer behaviour patterns that will aid a marketer’s decisions when building a digital marketing campaign.
This is expected to help in a number of ways, from tweaking campaigns as they run to better engage an audience or even customising ads so individuals are more likely to take the requested action.
‘Artificial intelligence would be the ultimate version of Google. The ultimate search engine that would understand everything on the web. It would understand exactly what you wanted, and it would give you the right thing…’ Larry Page.
Voice search and speech recognition
62 per cent of British people are already happily using voice operated technology for shopping, music, and searching the web. AI can enhance a range of different searches, including voice recognition, by remembering user history.
This impacts marketers in a number of ways. Firstly, voice searches often take a different form to typed searches. We tend to use a more conversational tone when speaking, whereas typed searches encourage economy with words. Long tailed keywords will become more useful as voice search becomes the preferred way to use the internet for getting information and shopping.
Speech recognition can also be used to heighten consumer security. Similarly to how the UK banking system has adopted a “my voice is my password” approach to phone banking, businesses can ensure purchases made from a customer’s account were in fact requested by them. Even better, users will no longer need to rely on complex passwords.
Generating new leads
It’s no secret that AI can be used to sort through the data you have already gathered and provide additional insights to support a digital marketing campaign. However, AI can also be used to find more ideal customers, new clients and even work colleagues.
For B2B communications and certain B2C interactions (depending on the individual EU country’s consent requirements), AI can save you copious amounts of time. When it comes to searching for new leads, advanced tech can provide you with more time to craft the best pitch or email outreach campaign you can. LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator and Node are two programmes which can be used to help generate new leads for your business.
AI is moving forward at a surprising speed. Understanding how to use the many applications of this technology ethically and effectively will allow marketers to remain on the right side of the law. It will also provide more opportunity to reach consumers in the ways they wish to connect with businesses.
This has been a guest post from Blue Label Labs.
Email marketing is still a reliable advertising medium for over ten years now even with the introduction of newer digital advertising technologies. According to a recent analysis by Vertical Response, about 72 per cent of consumers say that they prefer to hear from businesses via email. Email marketing still continues to be one of the most cost effective ways to reach potential clients and customers.
Not only that but it has a flow on effect to social media as well. ‘Email subscribers are three times more likely to share content on social media than leads who came through another channel,’ QuickSprout tells us.
Not everybody who engages in email marketing gets it right and with so many businesses competing for inbox space, sending lacklustre emails isn’t enough to make the desired impact. Keeping up to date on the best practices ensures email communications stand out and offer a successful campaign.
Fortunately, email marketers develop new ways to make EDMs even more powerful every year to stay on top of their game. To ensure that you stay on the cutting edge, here are some of the email marketing trends for 2018.
Make personalisation and segmentation a priority
2018 is set to be the year that email personalisation will be a significant player in email marketing campaigns. Personalisation within the email marketing context means creating uniquely tailored experiences which make users feel valued by your business. For example, one of the most common forms of email personalisation is using the recipient’s name instead of the standard “hello” or “dear customer”. But now, more than ever, it’s up to you as a marketer or business owner to enhance personalisation even more. By implementing comprehensive list and client segmentation, email marketing will be able to reach new heights of personalisation that extends beyond addressing your clients by name.
People are more likely to respond to emails which have been tailored specifically to them than to generic emails. By creating a personalised experience for your customers, you can also boost continuous engagement through dynamic content.
Segmentation is simply the process of carrying your personalisation efforts further by segmenting your mailing and contact lists into customer groups based on various distinctive criteria ranging from birthdays to time zones to when the last time they opened your emails were. This provides acutely relevant content to your recipients and its importance cannot be overestimated. According to a 2017 DMA report, about 79 per cent of email marketing ROI came from segmented and targeted campaigns. By segmenting your mailing lists by age, gender, geography, interests, education level and so on you can provide more relevant emails and boost engagement. And customer service is consistently refined and implemented through email marketing.
Create interactive content
Have you come across an email message with an embedded GIF image or a survey attached to it? This is interactive content. Interactive content allows users to interact with the email interface keeping the digital content interesting and unique. Additionally, they also help companies increase customer research, engagement and even retention. Email marketing interactive content may include:
Marketing Sherpa data reveals that the use of GIFs in email can increase click thru rates by 42 per cent, conversion rates by 103 per cent and revenue rates by 104 per cent.
How to make a GIF.
Erica Stacey from Scout Digital Marketing and Training says,
'While social media understandably continues to be the bright, shiny marketing tactic for many businesses, email marketing activity is increasing year-on-year and studies show that email marketing has an average return on investment of 122 per cent. That’s four times higher than other digital marketing activities!
Huge consumer trust is involved when someone decides to subscribe to receive emails. It is a piece of contact information that you own, far more valuable than a like or a follow and it should be treated as such.
Additionally, a comprehensive email marketing strategy, that sits within an overall digital marketing strategy should be a key consideration for most businesses.'
Want upskill in email marketing? Scout Digital Training can help.
A new marketing funnel
Also, there will be shifts in the traditional marketing funnel and it won’t appear as linear as we are used to. Emails will need to be of higher value and automated campaigns will need to be ramped up as this is where the revenue comes from. Remember the timeless customer process:
The world is constantly evolving and new email marketing strategies are being implemented every day. It has, therefore, become important to seek out and integrate the latest trends into your email marketing strategy to achieve the best results in 2018. Email marketing is still one of the strongest assets in your marketing arsenal!
You may also like... Enewsletter marketing
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the process of creating useable content that your customers, clients and end users get real value out of (eg, learn information) and sharing it on your own channels to increase your credibility and entice new leads and sales.
All good things need a plan but getting started with your content plan can be daunting. Below, you will find some simple steps on how you can get started with your content strategy.
'Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.'
How do you decide what topics to focus on and what format to use?
When writing and planning a bunch of content, it can be challenging to know where to start and what to write. You might want to write about dogs and bowties but how relevant is it to your broader marketing plan? What kinds of topics will draw in more sales and new customers?
Topic focus should be based on your target demographic and what content appeals to them to engage their interest and convert sales. What do they already consume and what articles and blog posts influence them to purchase?
Keyword research as part of your SEO investigation and strategy is a great place to start when it comes to planning your content topics. By discovering a list of applicable keywords and long tail search terms, you determine which content articles and web copy would be an important, primary and immediate focus.
What steps should you take to develop a content strategy?
How do you track and know if your content has performed well?
Utilising analytic programs (such as Google Analytics) and other tools to ascertain performance of content, you can report on key metrics and data in accordance to your predetermined KPIs and objectives, which you would assumedly focus around views, increased site traffic, increased social media engagement and metrics and most importantly conversions to sales.
You may also like... How to do a content audit
Stuck for social media content ideas? Never fear, Jones is here!
With so many social media marketing platforms and marketing channels that you need to attend to and be visible on, it can be difficult to continuously come up with clever and wily content ideas and posts.
I’ve taken out some of the hard work for you by compiling a list of content ideas that you can use and incorporate in your content marketing and social media marketing strategy. Essentially, what you'll find below is a month's worth of social media content. Or more!
You may also like... How to improve your Facebook writing and boost your business
You probably have a website or blog and are wondering how to increase your followers or website traffic, as we've looked at here, your website is the hub of your communications.
My website is currently averaging around 12 000 views per month, which is exponentially growing each month. But it’s not just the amount of views and their growth that are important, it’s the good quality of leads– I get nearly 40% of my potential clients from organic searches who discover my website. And ZERO potential clients come to me before checking out my website.
Unfortunately, I lost most of my website data prior to September last year but I know it’s generously increased and my next six months will see a focus on increasing it even more. I’ll be sure to let you know the results.
Here are some of the basic strategies and fundamental ways that I increased my website traffic during 2017 that you can easily replicate.
I started answering questions on Quora, which is an online community where people answer one anothers’ questions on any topic.
Answering topic specific questions on Quora is fun, engaging and although it doesn't involve most of my direct corporate clientele (some copyediting quotes and potential leads have come from there, however) it has increased site views particularly to relevant blog posts. And as we are well versed by now, if more people visit your site, Google is going to recognise that it is a site of value.
I constantly and consistently proactively market myself on social media. Mainly because I really enjoy it. I will absolutely concede that my socials could be done better in terms of aesthetic and branding but I consistently have lots of high quality content to share that I create.
Social media brings in nearly 40 per cent of my traffic and nearly 80 per cent of that comes from Facebook (page and personal profile), followed by LinkedIn at 10.49 per cent.
I have nearly six hundred email subscribers that I send out a enews every few weeks, sometimes once a week when I have a special or discount or there has been an important social media announcement that I need to share. I am unsatisfied with this number of subscribers so will be devoting time in 2018 to increasing this number to at least 3000. I should probably take some of my own advice over at my increasing your enews subscribers.
Email marketing is still an effective way of bringing readers back to your blog or website as well as to creating and maintain a subscriber list. Having your own email marketing list is important because you can sell your products and services directly to your list. By using an auto responder or automated email marketing (which most platforms have), you can send emails to your list every time you post new content or have special offers or announcements.
If you want to sign up to my database, please do so here.
I hired a SEO consultant for some one on one training to amplify my site and increase leads a year ago. Within THREE DAYS (I am being literal and not exaggerating) my website ranked from second page to third place (in Australia) for some of my chosen keywords which included:
This was not magic, it did take a lot of work but the payoffs were more than worth it. During the past year, nearly 40 per cent of the people I have sent copywriting quotes to have found my website via Google.
Nearly 40 per cent of the people I have sent copywriting quotes to have found me via Google.
I wrote a lot of content in line with my SEO strategy. I have at least a hundred posts currently, which is easy for me to do as this is what I do for a living. My content articles are filled with practical information, advice and backed up by statistics, quotes and are linked to other resources. My aim is that anyone (even from a non marketing background) can read one of my articles and get genuine takeaways that they can do straight away that improves their marketing.
It’s important to me to have high quality posts that aren’t just regurgitating what other people have said.
I advertised in a business magazine in July and received no known leads from that and I was featured in a glossy magazine late last year, again no known leads. Whilst I do genuinely think traditional PR and media coverage is terrific for your brand and really useful for generating sales for a lot of businesses (industry dependent), it hasn’t proved fruitful in meeting my objectives this year.
If you want more website traffic, take a look at my content writing strategy.
Do you run your own business and want to set yourself apart from your competitors? Do you want your future clients to see you as leading the way? Then it’s time to consider positioning your business, yourself and your services as industry leaders.
Have you always fancied yourself to be a thought leader or subject matter expert but not quite ready to do that TED talk? Then here is a way to make that happen. This, by no means, may be easy and you will need to invest in professional support but the rewards will be endless, particularly if you are enthusiastic to grow your business.
‘Thought leaders are the informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise. They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas; turn ideas into reality, and know and show how to replicate their success,' Thought Leadership Lab.
Below I’ve outlined a three phase plan for your marketing to ensure you are positioning yourself as either a thought leader, subject matter expert or your company is the “go to” in your industry.
Phase one: client case studies
I have broken this phase down into four simple steps.
Collate and collect the data to write up some impressive client case studies. You can use my case study template here.
Write and edit the case studies so they read well and contain the right storytelling element. My recommendation is to start with three to six. Make sure they feature on a dedicated page on your website, where people can find them. If you work with clients in various sectors, be sure to capture a range of ways you have successfully helped clients.
Pluck out testimonials from the case studies to splash across your website and design graphics to use across your social media channels. Remember: people love social proof.
Share your case studies far and wide. Include them in any tender material, quote and award submissions, digital marketing strategies and talk about them when you meet people.
Phase two: annual content strategy
Devise a complete annual or six month content strategy, tailored specifically for the needs and goals of your business.
Your twelve month content marketing strategy will provide overarching content goals, themes, ways to implement marketing activities to support the reach and promotion of the content and the content will be in alignment with SEO research and other analytical research to meet business goals and objectives in align with your overall strategic business plan.
A great content marketing strategy will undertake an audit and look at and review the existing and potential challenges and provide practical recommendations to overcome them. Try using this content strategy template.
Don’t forget to include your target demographic in your strategy. Find out how to keep your content fresh here.
If you have a book or an ebook or are planning to write one this is the perfect phase to include it in and start promoting it. Here’s why you should write (or get someone to ghost write) a book if you are an entrepreneur.
Phase three: public relations campaign
The third phase focusses on spreading your message far and wide via the media. Having a third party confirm your leadership, especially the media, boosts your credibility and encourages people to believe that you are as you say you are.
A traditional statewide and national public relations campaign to position the business owner or senior executives as thought leaders and industry experts, whilst concurrently positioning your organisation as the “go to” business for the core services that you offer. If you service overseas clients, you might like to consider an international public relations campaign too.
So that’s your three phase plan to position your business as experts in your field and make sure that when people think of your industry, your brand name is at the forefront of your mind. Drop any questions in the comments below!
Instagram, which launched in October 2010, is an ever increasing platform that has a healthy 800 million users nearly 60 per cent of who are 18 to 29 year olds.
Australians are using Instagram an average of thirty eight times each week and we’re spending 24 to 27 minutes on Instagram, so you have to make sure your posts are eye catching.
The advantages of using Instagram are that it:
The downsides of using Instagram are that:
• it’s mainly a visual medium, so it’s rare that you will get to provide a lot of text
• a wider audience don’t get to reach you as easily as on Facebook and Twitter
• it’s not ideal as a standalone, it works best in conjunction with other platforms,
• the use of hashtags are paramount with Instagram
• it’s predominantly a mobile phone app so you will need a smart phone to use
• if you offer a service which doesn’t have a lot of visual aspects, it can be hard to come up with content
• you can’t hyperlink posts, meaning that people will have to manually type in your URL, which greatly reduces the chance of them doing so.
Four useful Instagram tips:
Since seventy per cent of posts don’t get seen, here are four key tips to keep in mind whenever you post to Instagram.
1. Post one to two photos per day. Tailwind recommend posting daily for best effect. In fact, they have shown that ‘…you can more than double your follower growth rate again by moving from posting 1-6 times per week to once or more per day.’
2. Include relevant hashtags. Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement.
3. Make sure there is a clear link back to your website in your bio. If you are posting a photo or image that you own, make sure there is a watermark with your website URL, logo, name or that it’s mentioned in the caption section.
4. Keep your aesthetic consistent. That means all your images should look similar and your captions have a similar message. '60% of the top brands on Instagram use a consistent filter,' according to Hootsuite.
And finally, CoSchedule has handily discovered that the best time to post on Instagram for the most engagement is at 2pm or 5pm on Mondays or Thursdays.
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