Build Your Online Marketing Plan with These 12 Questions
The following 12 questions are part of the official process that we use for each of our MegaMad Marketing Package strategies. We employ these for our new and past clients to maximize traffic to the websites we build for them.
While there are many marketing plan methodologies out there, I wanted to create one that was less abstract and more directly actionable. Long story short, I got tired of having to teach my clients how to simplify their businesses down to the “golden nuggets” that actually make them money.
That’s why we produced these 12 questions to ask yourself about your business and create action items to start consistently and effectively marketing.
During stage 1 of your new marketing plan you really need to think about what you do and why you do it. If your business is on the right track, your answers should be automatic and confident… if not, you may have some work to do.
1. Know Your Brand! Who Are You Anyways?
Why does your company exist? This is not what you do or sell (that’s the next question), it’s your reason for being. My company’s reason for existing is to make small businesses look BIG online. I execute this mission through my services.
2. Know Your Business! What Is It Ya Do Here?
You may have a thousands products, dozens of services, and several ancillary income streams, but NONE OF THAT MATTERS. At the end of the day most of your revenue (80% or so) will come from one or two of your services/products. Boil all of the crap you do down into one or two core offerings (the stuff that makes you money), and that is what you need to focus on.
If you’re really stumped, use this slightly modified formula created by “The 1-Page Marketing Plan” author Allan Dib:
Step 1: List your services/products
Step 2: Give a score of 1 to 10 to each of the following questions:
- How much do I enjoy selling this service/product?
- How much do I enjoy dealing with the people who buy this service/product?
- How much profit do I make selling this service/product?
Step 3: Add up the scores for each one. The one with the highest score is your new baby.
3. Know Your Customer! Who Are These People!?!
Who the heck are you trying to sell to? Bottom line, if you can’t create a detailed description of your exact ideal customer, you probably haven’t defined your target market enough. You need to know what they look like, where they live, how they feel, where they work, what they aspire to, etc.
Sounds like a lot of information, but just try to remember the last time you really connected with a product or service. Did it feel like it was made just for you? That’s how your offering should feel to your target market.
4. Know Your Objectives! How will your score if you don’t have any goals?
What are you trying to do with your online marketing strategy? What are your objectives and goals? This question is valuable for both the long and short term goals of your business.
At the bare minimum, you need to have these questions answered before creating your plan. Ideally you’ll have answers for the next 6 months, 12 months, and 36 months, but just having 6 months of objectives will put you vastly ahead of most small businesses:
- How much money do you want to make? Include both revenue and profit.
- How much traffic do you want to be getting? Include the number of visitors and pageviews.
- How many emails do you want in your list?
- How many leads/sales do you want your website to generate?
Having all the knowledge in the world doesn’t matter if you have no way to put it into use. Stage 2 involves the actions that show that your statement ring true in your day to day business. The answers to these questions should be guiding the actions that take up 50% or more of your time each day.
5. Know Your Actions! What Do You Do DAILY to Market Your Business?
For an online marketing strategy to work, you must be posting on social media daily! However, thou shalt not share too many memes (unless they are your own!). Sharing other people’s content isn’t the best way to get productive new followers.
You need to be constantly posting information and media that relates to your overall strategy and objectives. You can share other people’s content as it make sense, but you should keep a ratio of 1 unoriginal to 5-10 unoriginal.
A few examples for original content posting types could include an article, a photo contest graphic, a motivation graphic, a news graphic, or whatever relates to your industry (for instance, if I’m in the fitness industry I would post workout graphics or exercise videos).
6. Know Your Promos! What’s Your Reason for People to Buy NOW?
Your future customers will only take action right now (or in the near future) if you give them a reason to. Developing a monthly, quarterly, and annual promotion will be necessary to turn followers into customers.
7. Know Your CTA! What Do You Want Your Customer To Do?
One of the biggest mistakes I see on websites is the lack of a call to action (CTA). If you’re not going to tell a potential customer what to do you can’t expect them to do anything.
8. Know Your Follow-Up! How Do You Convert Eyeballs to Cashballs?
After they go through your CTA, how will they convert into a customer and how long will that take? Your follow-up needs to be both purposefully and executable. Very few customers buy when they first see your product or meet you.
Honestly, if you know Stages 1 and 2 like the back of your hand, you may not even need Stage 3, HOWEVER, if you’ve taken those steps Stage 3 will seem like an obvious and essential addition. Use Stage 3 questions to refine and revise your Stage 1 and 2 answers.
9. Know What’s Working! What’s Getting Traffic, Followers, and Subscribers?
You must stay on top of what’s working and what’s not! This step will define your success. You must be aware of where your traffic and leads are coming from. Tools like Google Analytics make this a breeze.
10. Know What’s Making You Money (Not Just What’s Selling)! What’s Your Big Money-Maker?
It’s easy to get blinded while looking at your revenue streams, but you realize that your top revenue generator may not be your top profit maker. I’ve seen businesses actually lose money on their top-selling products without even realizing it!
Regular profitability assessments are necessary to ensure that you’re focusing on the right product/service. This doesn’t have to be complicated; even a basic percentage based on past expenses and applied to your current revenue numbers would be helpful.
11. Know How You’re Doing! What’s Your Traffic/Revenue/Follower/Subscriber Growth?
Google Analytics has a ton of tools, but the most important in this instance is that it will tell you exactly how many people visited your site through your social media marketing.
You also must be aware of how paid advertisements via sites like Facebook and Instagram are affecting your website traffic. If you notice that you’ve been spending too much on Facebook ads and not receiving a very big return, it’s probably time to refine your strategy.
12. Know How to Avoid Forgetting Past Customers! What Are You Doing to Support and Re-Sell Past Customers?
Keeping an existing customer is five times cheaper (stats) than finding a new one! You need have a plan for follow up. The easiest way to do this is to set up follow up/check up calls way in advance combined with a regular automated email campaign.
What information can help your customer gain even more benefits from the service/product you provided, or a new service/product you’re coming out with? You should know what they like and what they need, so a simple reflection on the transaction should give you the direction you need to make a confident and