Figuring out how you are going to increase your bottom line over the next year needs a plan. While that is the goal, you need a detailed plan on how you are going to reach out to existing and potentially new customers and increase sales. Creating your plan needs to cover several aspects of your business marketing efforts and how you intend to improve them in the new year. There are several things you need to include in it.
Determine Your Goals
Having clearly defined goals will help you determine what steps you need to take to reach them. Your goals need to be measurable, such as providing a specific number of products to sell during the month, quarter, or year. Another possible goal would be to aim to increase your customers by a certain percentage or specific number. When figuring out where you want to go, make your goals big and reachable – but avoid being ridiculously high so that no one even imagines that it can be realistically obtained.
As you determine your goals, you need to avoid being generic. A generic goal is something like: get more followers on Facebook, or make more videos for YouTube. Instead, a specific goal would be worded like this: increase Facebook followers by ten percent in 2021; or add 70 new videos to YouTube in 2021.
Identify Your Target Audience
It is important that you understand all you can about your target audience. The more you know the more effective your marketing plan will be. Figure out which audience will be most interested in each of your products – if they are different. Find out their age, gender, race, marital status, income, children, education, and where they hang out online. You also want to understand what motivates them and what their pain points are.
Set a Budget
Setting a budget will help prevent your marketing efforts from outrunning your income. Marketing can be costly with some avenues such as TV or Google Adwords. Preventing running out of cash in other areas because too much money went into marketing requires that you create a realistic budget. Doing so will keep your marketing outreach on target financially. Your budget can be revised if you see a sudden sales growth or if you see a significant loss of sales.
Research Your Competitors
Knowing what your competition is doing can help you understand where you need to go to remain competitive with them and to beat them. You need to understand several things about them, including:
- How they are marketing and where (blogs, content marketing, video marketing, etc.)
- Who they are marketing to (their target audience)
- The kind of growth they are having as a result of their marketing
- The social media they are using
- The keywords they are focusing on.
After looking over some of your competitors’ marketing tactics, you should also try to identify their weak areas. Find out if there are some groups that they are not marketing to but could be financially profitable. You should also be able to identify marketing tactics that are not as effective as other methods.
Define Your Marketing Methods
Once you understand the above four elements, you can create an effective marketing plan for the year. Then you can break it down into months and quarters. You need to carefully watch the metrics for each method you use and alter it – or drop it – if it is not producing good results. This will enable you to get a better ROI out of your marketing dollars and know what works in terms of reaching your initial goals.