5 STEPS - HOW AND WHAT TO PLAN WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR MARKETING
Have you been planning your marketing in large batches or just scrambling at every last minute to get whatever you can out there?! Well, stop that. Make a plan and get past the scramble.
# 1 - WHY PLAN
Number one, why you should plan your content and social media marketing? Because if you don’t your marketing has the tendency to get messy. It’s not only messy, but it tends to be inconsistent, hard to keep up with and unintentional. Which is the real reason you are marketing in the first place. To have an intention with your marketing activities. To have intention with your business actions. We are here to serve!
You have goals and specifics you are targeting. If you doing your posting and content creating on a whim, you’ll have a hard time aiming at your goals and you have a hard time tracking what your doing to find a good fit with your process.
Planning what you marketing will help you stay on track, help you be more organized and help you reach your essential purpose and clientele. Who can pass up planning after all that?!
#2 WHAT TO PLAN
Figuring out what to plan is your next step. Assembling your marketing ideas and processes is going to depend on your marketing plan in general. I’m guessing you’ll be working on your blogging, but you want to also work in your social media marketing, any email or newsletters to your plan and schedule. What else were you considering? Write these all down. I like to use one spreadsheet and then break up each area into a separate sheets. So, when you pull that document up it’s all easy to access in one plan doc.
I also like to work within a theme or topic for each month. Not everyone likes to plan their content this way. But, it is one option. And, I love it! Many of the big brands do it this way, too. If you’d rather go a different direction - you can plan your content by weekly plans and topics, quarterly, etc. If you think of something else, leave a comment - we’d all love to hear other options to think about!
So, you have these working ideas settled on and in a nice document. Let’s talk about putting everything together in a good, easy to follow marketing plan.
#3 HOW TO PLAN YOUR MARKETING
I recommend you start with a free planning method for your content. I like to use Google Sheets and Google Docs. If you’d like to expand into a different program when you’re ready to expand there are a number of different planning programs you can explore… maybe Evernote? Or to get more complex you can venture into Trello or Asana for project management.
Today, I am going to discuss planning today with Google Sheets and Docs as an example. But, these tips can transfer to any layout.
First you want to layout your Sheet to fit these sections along the top of the Sheet:
Now, you can probably see where this is going… You can even add more to the list above if you’ll find it will help you plan and keep track of what you’re going to build.
After you have these headers in place, you want to plan for at least 3 months at a time. You can do more if you want to of course and I like to start at the beginning of the year (or the end of the year - wink wink). But, plan 3 months at least and it will help you stay organized more than if you just do 1 month at a time. Setting aside precious planning time is hard enough, huh?
This is a nice starting point for your thought process and what you want to plan in order to market what is special about you. These plans will give you something to build on over the year. Decide what you want to do, write about, photograph and coordinate it here. What will your theme for each month be? Here is where you’re going to decide on when to publish your content. This is where you layout all the details to what is in your theme. When you are laying out your blog theme content - expand on it to include a Blog Outline.
I also tie this in with my blogging doc. From my spreadsheet I like to move the basic theme and blogging outline to my blogging doc. Then, every time I sit down to write - everything is already laid out like a book index and I just build on that.
#4 TIE IT ALL IN
If you have a plan, you’re executing the plan there is no reason why you shouldn’t also be consistent with your writing content and with your marketing. Making your plan is going to really solidify your process. It’s going to pull it all together and focus your aim and time with your digital marketing.
Planning is what is going to change your world. It’s going to change how you look at your business and your marketing. Your day will flow better and who doesn’t want that!? And, when you aren’t working on it on a schedule you’re probably feeling guilty. So make sure to put this on your calendar and stick with it.
#5 WHEN TO POST
Now that you have a plan for 3 months at a time, you can just pull it all together and then schedule it. Yes, it will certainly take time. If you have looked at when is a good time to post already, go ahead it schedule your posts and content. If you haven’t looked into when are good times to post for your community - this will take a little time as well.
You can research it a little online, but in the end, you want to try out times for your posting - especially on social media platforms. Post and see what happens. Look at other people in your industry and see what times and days they are posting for a starting point. Make a bunch of notes and after a few months review your numbers or what you’ve discovered and take that into account when you are posting!
It depends on what you are creating and building of course, but this is important to work on and take the time to plan. This is what you have to offer to your clientele. This doesn’t need to be a waste of time if you plan and you focus on your plan. Focus on your intention.
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I'm Jennifer Ressmann
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