Marketers are creative by nature. We have all these awesome ideas zinging around in our head on how to best reach our customers. This constant barrage of creative of thought can be a blessing and a curse. Why? Because having creative, out-of-the-box ideas is great but, without concise, strategic plans and goals on how to most effectively implement these ideas, you’re just wasting time.
Creating your campaign and organizational plan doesn’t have to be a drag. Follow these three simple steps below and watch your creative marketing ideas take off!
Ground Zero for any successful creative marketing campaign is objective setting. The process is still overlooked by many, but before you start, you must define what success looks like. Here at Alaniz Marketing we use the S.M.A.R.T goals method.
SMART is a mnemonic guide to use when you’re setting goals for inbound marketing. The letters remind us to make sure our goals are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely.
A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the four “W’s”:
- Who is needed to make it happen?
- What do I want to accomplish?
- When is it going to happen? Set a time frame.
- Why are you doing this? Establish the specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
To begin, specific inbound marketing goals should focus on three things; increasing the number of visitors, leads and customers to your website. Having other specific goals is great, in fact you can have hundreds of other goals, but your first inbound marketing goal should always revolve around visits, leads and customers.
Now is the time to pick a number. Do you want 10 new visitors, leads, or customers per month? 100, or 1000? Whatever it is, this is the time to set your numerical goal. With a measurable goal in mind you can track your progress.
To effectively measure, ask questions such as:
- How much?
- How many?
- How will I know when it is accomplished?
If you set un-achievable, un-attainable goals you will be doomed from the onset. You need to be capable of achieving the goal you set. In order to set attainable goals you need to start with a benchmark.
Do you know your current visitor, lead and customers numbers?
If not, there are several ways to obtain this data. Google Analytics is a great way to see what you are currently pulling to your site each month.
If your company doesn’t currently track leads from your website, new visitors or customers and you have access to Hubspot, they offer a tool which gives you the benchmarks being achieved by companies that are comparable to yours. This gives you a starting point.
Tracking your own current visits, leads and customers and setting your goal from those numbers will give you the most accurate and attainable number for your goal.
Is it relevant to your ultimate vision? If you stick to the suggestions above and focus on visitors, leads and customers, your goal will always be relevant to you ultimate vision.
Set a specific time frame. Set monthly, quarterly and annual goals. With a specific time in mind there is a sense of urgency and something that you are working towards. Think of it this way. If you want to lose 10 lb., you wouldn’t just say…“Someday,” because then there’s no sense of having to get it done. But if you say, “by May 1st”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal. Goals can be tweaked if they are being exceeded or you find that they are unattainable.
Understand your Audience
OK, you may be thinking to yourself – here we go again. She’s going to talk about Buyer Personas (YAWN). I get it. Buyer Personas are probably the most talked about part of inbound marketing other than SEO. But, the importance of buyer personas cannot be over-stressed. These semi fictional representations of your ideal customer are literally the backbone of all your inbound content. If you haven’t taken the time to develop and write down a fully detailed buyer persona then you might as well chuck everything else out the window.
If you think I’m being over dramatic, think again. I can’t tell you how often I speak to my co-workers about the buyer personas we create content for like they are real people.
“Would Buyer Bob really be worried about something like this? What is Consumer Carol’s pain point? What keeps Shopper Susie up at night? Would this blog post or offer be too advanced or novice for Purchaser Paul?”
These and other questions should be asked often when creating a new marketing campaign. The bottom line is, if you don’t know your buyer personas then you certainly can’t write relevant content for them.
Get a GamePlan
Now that you have a S.M.A.R.T. goal and a fully detailed buyer persona it’s time to start developing content. But where to start? As marketers, we’ve all had the thought, “I wish someone would just TELL me what to do!” Blogging, social media, email marketing, website maintenance, event marketing, direct mail, paid ads, videos, posters, and promotions. tart? Which avenue do you take and for how long?
We used to be in the same boat and that’s why we created the Alaniz Marketing GamePlan™. The GamePlan is a 50+ page detailed, actionable strategy that includes the foundation for all future marketing and lays out your next six months of marketing.
Instead of throwing things willy-nilly against the wall and hoping something sticks the GamePlan gives us focused campaigns which revolve around specific buyer personas and offers. These GamePlans not only save us time in the long run, they are trackable through analytics and really hone in on reaching our key personas.
Though not as fun as coming up with creating marketing ideas. A well thought-out, strategic based, goal driven marketing campaign will give you extra time to create relelvent, sexy content!