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Amanda Harvey
Amanda
Harvey

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5 tips to create a marketing strategy in 2018

When you’re running a business, your digital approach needs to be well thought out and properly executed. In 2018, content marketing should be a top priority and learning how to implement the tactics in an engaging and useful way will come down to your strategy. Your business marketing strategy will need to adapt to the changing technological trends, and the best way to do this is to stay on top of things. Luckily, we’ve complied a list of our most important tips for creating a marketing strategy in 2018.

Read on for our best marketing strategy ideas!

What exactly is a marketing plan?

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If you’re a business working on the world wide web in any facet, you’ll need to start thinking about your marketing strategy. A marketing strategy relates directly back to the needs of your business and this includes looking at potential avenues for you to best reach and engage with potential customers. Your marketing plan should answer several questions, and this should include the following:

  • What makes your business unique and what does it have to offer?
  • Who is your target market?
  • Why would a customer want to buy your product or use your service, and how can this be communicated?
  • What obstacles are in the way of creating a successful marketing strategy for your business?
  • What are your marketing goals? (short term & long term)
  • How can you track the success of your marketing strategy? (in a general sense as well as against your competitors)

Failing to develop and implement a concrete strategy will likely result in mixed or negative results. A marketing plan will allow you to make decisions based on cold hard data, and this can have a huge effect on how your content is received, how much visibility this offers and so forth.

1- Data-driven content marketing

Taking time to understand and learn about your audience is key to creating a successful content marketing strategy. If you look closely at the data available to you, you’ll be able to reach a better understanding about your audience. Essentially, you should be trying to create content that’s tailored and targeted for a specific market. Content that is too vague or attempts to do too much will have trouble standing out. Personalizing your content will bring your audience closer to the ethos of your business and thus, will work to increase engagement.

Conducting a competitive analysis should be the first step towards understanding what you need to do. A data-driven strategy will allow you to analyze the content that you’ve created against that of your competitors. Using Google Analytics or other free online tools can help you to really dig deep into the wants and needs of your audience. List your competitors as well as some stats regarding how they run their business, include things such as their mission statement, the amount of years they’ve been around, the price they charge for similar products and services and so forth. Add other stats as they are relevant to your marketplace. This will allow you to identify aspects of your competitors' businesses that work as well as those which don’t. The best of these aspects can then be tailored to your own marketing plan.

2- Buyer persona

Once you’ve collected concrete data about your competitors as well as your target market, you can start crafting buyer persona and these are an excellent way to further approach creating a concrete marketing strategy. This method involves targeting consumers who can directly benefit from your offerings. Essentially, a buyer persona is like a character sketch which pertains to specific demographics within your target market. Create a few buyer personas that clearly list the person’s needs, expectations, points of contention and so on. Think about how this persona might make decisions about what they buy as well as services they use and how this relates back to the larger context of their life. Of course, these buyer personas will be based off of the concrete data you’ve collected. On top of this, start polling your current customers by sending out surveys as well as studying their buying habits. Focusing on the people who matter to your business, and will actually be interested, is the best way to approach any form of marketing.

3- Conversational content

A rising trend of content marketing is the use of conversation. More and more consumers are using voice search to ask questions and look for products. In this regard, it is paramount to consider how this trend relates to your content. Digital assistants and voice search have transformed the functions of SEO and you’ll need to adapt when planning future content. This has two sides to it. Firstly, when creating content, it is important that you consider sentence structure and how a consumer might be searching. When writing blog posts and articles, make sure to target content towards a question and look to answer that question in the most clear, concise and engaging way.

In another regard, technology is involving at a rapid pace and many companies and services are employing bots to answer consumer questions or communicate aspects about a business. Although this can be initially helpful, it is important to think about how to deliver an authentic and immersive experience to the consumer. Consumers can often recognize the differences between speaking with a bot and speaking with an actual human being. Having a person behind your business makes it much easier for the consumer to relate. Remember, when implementing these tactics into your content it’s important to always consider your audience. If your audience seems to be moving towards these trends, then you’ll need to adapt to suit them.

4- Focus on ways to make things easier

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source: unsplash.com

There are plenty of technological options for making your marketing strategy easy as pie. Especially true if you’re working with an in-house content marketing manager, you should look for ways to alleviate their daily tasks. Specific technologies are in place to make the lives of the content marketer easier. Some jobs should be automated to make room for others which are more important and require the touch of a human. For example, scheduling Facebook posts ahead of time can take plenty of stress off other pressing tasks such as analyzing data and updating older content accordingly. The key is to make sure that the right tasks are completed manually. Consider the ways which your audience engages with your content and focus your efforts accordingly.

5- KPI’s and measure methods

Key performance indicators (KPI’s) are another crucial aspect of content marketing and will play a major role in your marketing strategy. KPIs directly reflect the goals that you set out when you first considered your marketing strategy. You’ve indicated what you want to achieve, so work to translate the goals you’ve set out into metrics. If your goal is to increase your conversion rate, measure this over a period of 6 months and compare the results at the start, in the middle and at the end. Keep yourself on track throughout the process and make sure to have a method for collecting and measuring this data.

Hopefully these tips will offer your business a well-rounded marketing strategy. Just wait, you’ll be seeing results in no time!

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