How to formulate a good marketing plan? Stay with us to learn how to set up a marketing plan and its examples.
Let’s assume that you have recently started the process of creating content for your business website, and during this time, you have obtained good results and inputs in this way. However, a request has been sent to you from the manager of the collection to design and present a content marketing plan. As a result, you do not know how to compile it or even start work. Fortunately, we have collected the best content marketing plans so that you can use them to develop a complete plan and get real and efficient results from it. For this purpose, we will first define a marketing plan and its types, then define how to compile it. A marketing plan is also called a marketing plan, marketing document, marketing plan, and marketing map.
Table of Contents
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a guideline and agenda that helps businesses plan, implement, and track various marketing strategies over a certain period. The marketing plan may contain different strategies, each of which belongs to a specific part of the organization, but all of them should be consistent and subject to the main organizational goals.
Types of marketing plans
According to the size of each institution or organization, the facilities available, and the number of people working in it, you may deal with different types of marketing plans. Here we mention five of them:
- Seasonal or Annual Marketing Maps: These maps focus on your goals and campaigns over specific periods (for example, monthly, quarterly, or annually).
- Non-free marketing plans: These plans focus on non-free strategies, among which we can mention native ads, click ads, or paid social media promotions.
- Social Network Marketing Maps: These maps focus on business social media campaigns.
- Content Marketing Plan: These plans address campaigns, strategies, and tactics in which content is used to promote a product or business.
- New Product/Service Maps: These maps are a guide for designing the strategies and tactics you want to implement when promoting new products.
You may have come across the term “marketing strategy” while reading various sources. But what is the difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan? This is the topic that we intend to address in this section.
Difference between marketing strategy and marketing plan
Marketing strategy determines how a business should achieve its goals. That means what type of campaign, content, channel, and software to use with what amount of budget to achieve and complete the goals and how to track the results. A marketing plan can include one or more marketing strategies. This map is the framework that all marketing strategies follow and helps you connect each strategy to business goals.
For example, suppose your company intends to introduce new software to the market and wants to attract a large number of users for it. Therefore, a request is sent to the marketing unit to design a marketing plan to introduce a new product to the market and attract users.
The marketing department decides to dedicate an article to the introduction of the new product and also publish a series of videos on online video platforms. In addition, they create a user account on Twitter where they talk about the topic of the new product. All these actions are aimed at attracting users and turning them into leads.
Did you get the difference between the business marketing plan and the three marketing strategies mentioned?
In this example, the business marketing plan included introducing new software to the market and attracting users for it. The business can execute this master plan by implementing three strategies: articles, videos, and Twitter. Of course, you can put all three of these strategies in one big category and design a separate content strategy for each one. Branching of the marketing plan is completely optional and you need to pay attention to which mode will be easier for you to implement.
However, some points apply when designing all marketing plans. In the following, we will examine these cases.
How to design a marketing plan?
- describe business objectives;
- Determine key performance indicators related to objectives;
- Identify your business persona;
- Describe your goals and content strategy;
- Specify the target audience of the map;
- Mention the budget of the marketing unit;
- Identify your competitors;
- Determine the departments involved in the plan and their responsibilities.
1- Describe the business goals
The first step when designing a marketing plan is to determine business goals. Although this map is determined by the marketing unit, it is necessary to consider the rules and interests of all departments of the organization when compiling and designing it. The marketing plan should be balanced in terms of volume, which means that it should avoid excessive description or generalization. It is necessary to explain the methods of attracting users and completing the set goals.
For example, if the goal of your business is to make ecotourism enjoyable, the goals of your marketing unit can be to attract people interested in travel, spread and educate ecotourism culture, and convert them into ecotourism service customers.
2- Determine the key performance indicator related to the goals
Every marketing plan should foresee the methods of tracking the obtained data. For this purpose, it is necessary to implement key performance indicators for your strategy. Indicators are metrics that measure different aspects of a campaign and help you evaluate short-term goals and report to relevant managers.
For example, for “attracting users interested in ecotourism”, our criterion may be the number of organic entries. Therefore, in this example, “organic arrivals” can be a valid indicator for your business, and by tracking it, you can check your progress more precisely.
3- Identify your business persona
A persona is the profile of the person you and your business are trying to attract. These characteristics can include age, gender, place of residence, number of family members, job title, education level, people’s preferences, etc. Each persona should be an accurate reflection of the customers or potential customers of your business. Therefore, there must be a consensus among all business managers about the exact profile of the persona.
4- Describe your goals and content strategies
In this step, you determine the foundations of your marketing and content strategy. Considering that today there are different types of content and communication channels, it is necessary to research each of them so that you can put the most suitable ones in your strategy.
But what parts does a solid strategy include? In this section, we will examine the things that you need to mention in your strategy:
- What kind of content do you intend to produce? Have you focused on articles and YouTube videos? Or do you prefer to focus on infographics and e-books?
- How much/volume do you intend to produce content? Are the courses you produce content monthly? Or weekly? Maybe daily? It all comes down to the strength of your content team and your short-term goals.
- What are the indicators for measuring your goals? The indicators by which you measure the progress of your goals can be organic website entries, social network entries, email marketing entries, and many other things that need to be determined in advance. You should also mention the pages for which you intend to receive input and also its type, whether it is an article page a product page, or a landing page.
- What are the platforms you want to publish content on? Some of the famous platforms used by big brands today include Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. It would help if you also chose more popular networks based on the needs of your business and the habits of your community.
- Any click ads you use through these platforms.
5- Determine the target audience of the marketing plan
A detailed marketing plan defines the goals and projects that the marketing unit is focused on. However, in this map, tasks that are not related to the marketing unit and are not worked on should also be determined. If different aspects of the business are not included in this map, they should be mentioned.
You cannot satisfy all your contacts during an advertising campaign. Therefore, if there is a group that is far from the target audience during a campaign, it must be determined in advance.
6- Mention the budget of the marketing unit
Although at first, you may think that creating content will not cost you, but over time, there will be hidden costs for which it is better to budget for it in advance. These costs can include outsourced work, sponsors, or even the cost of hiring new staff. So try to allocate a part of your marketing plan budget to these topics.
7- Identify your competitors
Part of marketing comes down to being able to identify your competitors to find out what collections you are competing against. Research who are the main players in your industry and how much share they have in the overall market. Pay attention to the fact that different competitors have different strengths and therefore will bring different challenges to you. For example, in a situation where one of your competitors ranks higher in your target keyword, another competitor may have a strong social media account and a lot of people following their page, you may even have another competitor that has a strong presence in the offline space. All these things should be considered.
8- Determine the departments involved in the marketing plan and their responsibilities
Now that you have designed your map, it is time to inform each person of their respective duties. You don’t need to check all the daily work of your team members, but it is better to know which team is responsible for creating content, checking indicators, and providing analysis. So far, we have described the topics that you need to know when developing a marketing plan. In the following, we will provide practical examples of marketing plans to make the matter more tangible.
6 sample marketing plans to help you develop your marketing plan
1- Hubspot’s conceptual guide for content marketing strategy
Purpose: content marketing plan
At HubSpot, members of our marketing team have graduated from two business colleges, starting at coffee shop tables, and today we have a company of over a hundred members. Along the way, we learned many lessons that we gradually added to our marketing plan. Therefore, we decided to publish the statistics and results obtained in an article aimed at educating marketers to expand their marketing plan, with any number of members they have.
In this guide, we mention these points:
- What is the exact concept of content marketing?
- Why does your business need a content marketing strategy?
- Who should lead the work of team members?
- How to arrange your content marketing team based on the size of the organization?
- How to hire the right person for a position?
- What marketing tools are necessary for your success?
- What kind of content should you use and who is responsible for it?
The importance of how to promote content published through search engines, email marketing, social networks, and click ads
And finally, the key indicators that each member should measure and report on
2- Shane Snow’s marketing plan for his new book “Dream Team”
Purpose: content marketing plan
A book’s strong entry into the market can be a clear example of data-driven content marketing. Using data to optimize your content strategy will create more awareness about your book, get more leads, convert leads into customers, and encourage customers to introduce your book to their friends.
When Shane Snow started promoting his book, he used a firewall content strategy. This model, designed by the Economic Times, is used to design a trend line system.
In an article, Snow pointed out how useful this strategy was for him when entering the book market. After studying this technique, you can also inject it into your strategy. In this way you will learn how:
- Categorize your business goals to figure out which indicators to track;
- He designed his persona to find out what platform his audience prefers to read his content;
- Calculated how click ads can affect the reduction of your content production.
- Divide work, build teams, and transfer each task to the relevant person
You can use Snow’s marketing plan to have a better understanding of content strategy, better understanding of the audience, and content promotion discussions.
3- “Go-To-Market” map for new product from Chief Outsiders
Purpose: plan to enter the new product in the market
If you are looking for product launch strategies, Chief Outsiders can help you. The marketing plan for new products becomes important because, unlike the organization’s marketing plan, which discusses general topics, this plan focuses on one product.
After reading this map, you will learn how to:
- approve a product;
- Set strategic goals;
- Determine the target market;
- Create added value for the product;
- Include sales and after-sales service in the marketing plan.
4- Buffer content marketing strategy
Purpose: content marketing plan
Writing a content marketing plan always faces challenges, especially when you want to do it for the first time. Since only 55% of marketing teams have a written content strategy, Buffer decided to come to the aid of content marketers. Buffer was able to design a template for marketing maps that contained practical examples and various guidelines for novice marketers.
After reading the buffer guide, you will understand how to:
- Answer four simple questions to list the contents;
- Set your content marketing goals based on the SMART model;
- Design your persona carefully;
- Satisfy user needs through content creation;
- Analyze your previous content based on the most and least views received;
- Determine the most useful type of content, based on the marketing team’s knowledge and user requests;
- Develop an annual content calendar.
Buffer’s guide includes step-by-step tutorials with examples for each section. If you are confused in designing your marketing plan, this guide will facilitate your work process. To read this guide, you can refer here.