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Developing a Marketing Strategy

It’s all fine and well doing marketing but having a clear strategy, with well planned campaigns and budgets can be beneficial to your campaigns as well as helping to increase revenues and return on investment.
Better planned campaigns convert better typically and are easier to measure the success and return on investment of your marketing campaigns.

Here are some tips on how to develop a marketing strategy, what you need and what you need to do.
Think of this as a checklist to follow to help you to develop your marketing strategy, it works for any size business.

Firstly there is a difference between a marketing strategy and marketing campaigns, your marketing strategy is your long term approach whilst each campaign has it’s own specific goals which relate to the strategy goals and various campaigns make up the strategy.

Content calendar
For social media and content marketing a content calendar is absolutely key, this is a spreadsheet that you will continuously update, rather than it just being for one off or short term use. For specific campaigns that you’re running you may wish to have a content calendar for that campaign alone but generally speaking social media campaigns (and social media management) and your content marketing should be ongoing and therefore something that you always think about and always update, adapting the content and social media management to each of the campaigns that you’re running.

Budgets
Budgets for the year, the month and the campaign should be decided, realistically thought up and kept to. You should have an accounting spreadsheet to track all spend for the campaign and specifically what the spend was for, this can help accounts and it can help a lot with campaign evaluation.

Marketing campaign aims
Before you start developing your marketing campaigns and your overall long term marketing strategy, define the aims of the campaign and strategy: what do you want to achieve.

Marketing campaign themes
Choose themes for each of the campaigns that you are running, remember each campaign is part of the overall long term strategy, each campaign must meet both the short term and long term goals. Each ‘theme’ e.g. black friday promotion must be clear.

Marketing channels
You should have an adaptable marketing strategy but it should be clear for each campaign which marketing channels you are using. Research well and decide in advance, but remember to change or add to the campaign if you need to. Make sure you have the right channel for that particular campaign, is email marketing right, is Facebook right? You need to decide.

Project management software
It’s really important to manage your marketing strategy and each of your marketing campaigns effectively and project management software will help with this. Software includes Asana and Wrike, your whole team can use both of those and Asana is free.

Spreadsheets and tracking
‘Trackers’ or tracking spreadsheets are really important, spreadsheets along with your project management software can really help you track everything that’s going on and manage the campaigns. Shared spreadsheets on Google Drive can be super helpful.

Checklists!
Remember checklists are really important to your marketing plan!

People plan - who is doing what
It’s really important that it’s clear who within your team is doing what, roles and responsibilities must be clear and it must be clear who is accountable for each aspect of the campaigns and the strategy. This approach makes things very efficient.

Timeline
A timeline is very important, you need to decide and know at all times what is happening and when. This allows the campaign to go smoothly. Imagine planning to do something but not implementing using a timeline and project management software, people will forget to do things.

Measuring campaign success
It’s important to have everything tracked so that you can measure the return on investment, ultimately whether the campaign worked and whether you will do it again comes down to the success of the campaign. This measurement will guide future campaigns and even the overall marketing strategy.