How To Create Your 2019 Marketing Plan and Social Media Calendar
Have you found yourself overwhelmed trying to build your marketing plan for 2019 and frustrated with a lack of results? Well, you’re not alone! Many small to medium size business owners find it challenging to properly reach their ideal clients and struggle to stay consistent with their marketing and social media.
This 12-month marketing plan and social media calendar will guide you in creating a strategic marketing plan and manage your social media presence; while simultaneously training you on the current ins and outs of marketing.
It’s time to eliminate your angst and uncertainty, so let’s get started on building your personalized 12-month marketing plan and social media calendar!
Step #1 Marketing Strategy- Set your goals
Your Marketing Strategy answers “what” areas in your business you want your marketing plan to focus on.
The first question to ask yourself is, “What three areas in your business do you want to focus your marketing efforts on?” These should be the areas in your business that are most profitable and that you love doing!
Then, you are going to set goals for each area by breaking down each into quantifiable goals. You can do this by backing into it. I want to have X number of clients at an average of $____ per client. Keep in mind that you could have different prices for each client. In this case, you just want to take what you would like to make on an average for each client.
For example, if you were a CPA these may be the three areas you choose to focus your marketing strategy:
Goal #1: Increase business tax returns. An additional 50 tax returns @ $1,000
Goal #2: More monthly accounting clients. An additional 5 a month @ $300
Goal #3: Gain new payroll clients. An additional 10 new clients a month @ $300
If you complete the calculations you will come up with the additional income you are looking to earn this year through your marketing efforts. In the case of the CPA that comes out to $104,000 in additional revenue for the year.
By making these goals quantifiable you escape the risk of overestimating or underestimating what your business can accomplish. You can simply calculate a tangible goal for the success of your business!
Step #2 Editorial Calendar- Coordinate all your marketing efforts
Next, we move on to what the marketing industry calls the Editorial Calendar.
This is just a simple way to coordinate all your marketing efforts. There are so many ways to market your business such as blog posts, social media, advertising, networking events and more! But typically, I find most businesses marketing efforts are not working strategically with an overall theme. This editorial calendar will help you take your marketing and strategically organize it on a month-to-month basis focusing on a specific theme, staying top of mind and establishing yourself as the go-to expert.
Start by picking the important dates for your industry.
Referring back to the CPA example, some of their deadlines may be:
April 15: Personal Taxes Due
Sept 15: Business Taxes Due
Jan 31: 1099 due
Go to your editorial calendar and layout all your important dates, these could be industry conferences, deadlines, or any changes that will take place that your clients need to know about.
When you come across months that don’t have a lot going on, that’s okay! You can base your marketing efforts on coordinating holidays. I have included the major holidays for each month that you use as a guide.
For example, a CPA could look at February and decide to use Valentine’s Day as a theme. They could talk about the benefit of filing jointly instead of separately for married couples.
Pretty simple! See how we make this marketing all too complicated?
Now there is a secret to your marketing success…
The Three Month Rule
In order to make sure your business reaches its monthly goals, you want to plan your marketing three months in advance. If you use the example of a CPA, they would recognize that one of their big deadlines is April 15. If they began their marketing in April it would be too late. So they would mark on their editorial calendar to start advertising for that in the middle of January. This gives them three months worth of marketing related to filing personal tax returns which are the broad topics that can broken down into smaller topics.
For example, Why you should file an extension. New changes to tax deductions for individuals. Are you overpaying on your personal tax return? And many more topics but you get the idea.
Now let’s move onto your actual Marketing Plan section.
The first step in your 12 Month Marketing Plan was setting up your marketing strategy which is setting your goals. That established “what” you wish to accomplish, and now it is time to establish “how” you are going to make it happen.
Step #3 Marketing Plan- Planning your offline and online marketing
With your marketing plan, you will break down your various marketing strategies and help you decipher how often you want to engage in each strategy and how much you wish to spend. In order to successfully complete this portion of your plan it is best to have an idea of your marketing budget, so you know which areas of marketing you would like to spend your budget on.
I find most local businesses spend much of their marketing offline on direct mail and print advertising. While businesses that are growing and scaling online use more digital marketing avenues such as Facebook ads, affiliate marketing, and other areas.
Your marketing plan consists of two sections, your offline and online marketing.
Offline Marketing: This is any marketing you implement that is NOT online or involve using the internet.
Client Appreciation Events
In this step, you want to determine what marketing you plan on doing either on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis.
For example, monthly, you could send out birthday cards to your clients! Quarterly, possibly a client appreciation event or customer reviews.
There’s no right or wrong way to do it!
Just determine how often you are going to market and in what areas you find gives you the most return for your money.
The biggest question when trying to organize your online marketing is “How do I know what platforms to use?” The first step is knowing your target audience. Who are you targeting for each of your marketing goals? This will help you determine what platform you need to be on. You will choose the social media platform(s) that your target audience is on. For business owners, the most common platforms are Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin. If you are targeting teens you would advertise on Snapchat or Instagram. Pinterest is a great platform for product-based businesses focused on women, especially moms. You will know what social media platforms to choose because you know where your clients will be!
Don’t stress about needing to post on all the platforms, just be simple! If you are not posting at all right now, I suggest to choose one platform to post on for the first quarter January – February then add a platform for the following quarter.
If you are aggressively marketing right now, look at your insights and analytics and primarily focus on the platforms that are giving you the most conversion and create a marketing plan around those.
The other most common questions are should I blog or how often? Blogs are great and offer value to your clients by giving them the information they want to know more about and they position you as the authority figure on those topics. In addition, adding blogs to your website gives the search engine algorithms new information as they are scrolling through different sites and will rank your site higher than someone who never updates their website. So, all in all, blogs, even if you choose to do one a month or one a quarter, are a key component of your marketing plan. I highly suggest you consider them, even if you use a ghostwriter to write it for you.
I like to leverage my efforts and another benefit of blogging is you can use your blogs for the content for your newsletters. If you blog once a month and do a quarterly newsletter where all three of those blogs make up your newsletter!
Step #4 Weekly Scheduler- Implementing your online marketing campaigns
Sometimes it is intimidating and overwhelming trying to map out your online marketing efforts. You probably question how much is enough. The truth is that only about 6-12% of your posts are being seen by potential clients so you must stay persistent!
Each section of the Weekly Scheduler represents one week- Yes, I am aware there are 4 weeks in a month…
I think it is beneficial to use that fourth week as catch up or to start the following month. Let’s be honest, life happens!
Starting the week, you may choose to do a social media post every Monday. On your weekly scheduler go ahead and schedule out your posts. Then, you may choose the second Tuesday of every month to do blog posts. The key is engagement! Schedule Wednesday’s as your time to interact and engage with other blogs or social media platforms.
Don’t forget, it’s okay to repurpose concepts, in fact, I recommend it! Get yourself out there and make your brand known.
Don’t overthink it, just post!