Have you ever heard the saying “If you fail to plan, plan to fail”? I…
‘Anchor’ Your Sanity With a Marketing Plan
Well, Happy New Financial Year!
It’s officially a fresh start and a clean slate in the world of business, which is both very exciting and a little bit daunting. This time of year, can kind of start to feel like a perpetual headache with everything going on, especially when it feels like the rest of the year is riding on these first few crucial weeks. So, the question is, with so much pressure and so much to plan for your Small Business, how do you manage to stay sane and move forward at the same time?
Well, take it from someone who has spent the last ten years running her own businesses, “Let an accountant take on the hard yards when it comes to your taxes, invest in a few bottles of good wine, and (most importantly) get your marketing plan sorted!”
I know it might seem like just another thing to add to the list but trust me, taking the time to hash out a solid marketing and communication plan now will take so much stress out of the rest of the year and it will help to increase your bottom line (and who doesn’t want that?). Here’s why:
Firstly, if you want your Small Business to run like clockwork, you’re going to have to invest in a clock.
Or in this case, a calendar. Personally, I am a lists person; I love to sit down and map out my day, week, month and even year, and when you’ve got so many clients on the go like I do, you really need to. In my office, you’ll find calendars (virtual and real), notepads, sticky notes, and a pretty hefty whiteboard, all in the hopes that they can help keep my brain in order and, yes, keep me sane.
You shouldn’t have to be constantly facing the pressure of coming up with a new marketing campaign, or constantly reminding yourself of which sites you need to post to periodically. Get yourself a calendar, put in some effort now, and then just set and forget (literally because if you have a virtual calendar it will send you reminders anyway).
Work out your monthly or seasonal campaigns now, based on what has and hasn’t worked in the past, and figure out when in the year is best to run them. While you’re at it, decide on what days you want to post to which mediums and how often, you can even make a rotating content schedule that could work something like this:
- Monday – Infographic
- Tuesday – Product
- Wednesday – Video
- Thursday – Quote
Secondly, you don’t need to over-complicate your communication strategy, decide on your ‘anchor’ piece now.
If you were Marketing Chief of McDonald’s, it might make sense to run multiple campaigns at once, but when you’re a Small Business owner, running a one-man-show, often it’s a lot more beneficial to keep things simple and focused. That’s why it’s so important to anchor your marketing campaign through a major piece, and my top recommendations for this piece would have to be either a video or podcast series.
It’s projected that by 2020, 80% of all online consumer traffic will be video, but more than that, a video is a highly effective way of showing your brand rather than just telling your audience about it. If you’re not comfortable in front of a camera (and to be honest, a lot of us aren’t), then podcasting is another fantastic option; it’s also my medium of choice. Creating a podcast is not only really easy, but podcast listeners are highly engaged and very likely to subscribe to your series, leading to a ‘built-in’ audience.
Whatever medium you chose; anchoring your strategy in a single piece will take so much stress out of your day-to-day marketing. Instead of trying to come up with fresh content every day, you can focus your attention on creating a high-quality monthly podcast or video that will really engage your audience and properly represent your brand.
Finally, from there things just flow.
You know that infographic you wanted to post on Monday? Why not pull some stats straight from your podcast? That quote you wanted to post on Thursday? Pick a line from your video. The whole point of an ‘anchor’ piece is that it is something you can reuse and repurpose over and over again throughout the month across all mediums. Your podcast will easily translate into a blog or a keynote or an article, which will form the basis for your social media posts and so on and so on.
We drive ourselves insane by thinking that every single post needs to be fresh and new and original but really it doesn’t have to be; it just has to be relevant! Use your ‘anchor’ piece to create a body of work that all links together and gets one, simple, relevant message across to your audience.
So, now that you know how simple your marketing can be; I’m sure you can feel some of the pressure already slipping away. Now’s the time to take action, get your Small Business sorted, and stay sane this new financial year.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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