3 Tips to Create a 2018 Marketing Plan That Works

By: Ligaya Malones

2018-Marketing-PlanThe holiday rush will soon be here, where we attempt the ultimate balancing act. From maintaining a business and creating a 2018 marketing plan to plan for the new year, to juggling family gatherings and dealing with holiday travel woes.

Before things get busy, now is a good time to start thinking about your 2018 marketing plan. How can you make your marketing more efficient and effective in the new year?

A little forward thinking and planning now, can help ease you and your business into a successful 2018. Here’s how:

Understand how each channel contributes to your 2018 marketing plan and business goals

Often the beauty and curse of technology is the sheer volume of data and opportunity available to us. Data, and most importantly learning how to interpret what open and click-through rates, conversions, likes and shares mean for your business goals, gives you powerful insight into your marketing efforts.

At mix+shine, we think it’s imperative to regularly evaluate what’s working and what’s not. For our dietary supplement client, Google Analytics revealed  social media channels were driving traffic to the blog. The interesting content on living a healthy lifestyle (as opposed to just a website that sold nutrition products) then kept visitors on the site. In monitoring the Hubspot analytics, we knew email marketing was the best at converting immediate sales for this client. With each marketing channel playing an important (yet different) role, these analytics helped us to efficiently frame and tailor our messaging for each channel in order to successfully move customers through the sales funnel.

Are you in start-up mode and lacking marketing analytics to evaluate or set a benchmark? This makes a 2018 marketing plan even more important. Use this time to familiarize yourself with the analytics and performance tabs within your customer relationship or email marketing program. Make sure your website’s Google Analytics is setup correctly and look into Facebook and Instagram insights. There are countless resources, free tutorials and guided information within most platforms. Understanding your business and the analytics will also help you determine what’s important to measure and monitor. Hey, you may not become an analytics pro overnight, but you have to start somewhere!

Prioritize where you’ll spend your marketing time and effort

As a small business ourselves, we simply can’t be on every channel (and every new one popping up). Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Instead, identify the channels that provide the most value for you, and that you can sufficiently manage. Of course, if you already have analytics to review, it’ll be even easier to determine where best to spend your time. But don’t forget it’s important to have a healthy mix. One channel may not be driving immediate sales, but it may be driving awareness and building trust with customers to get them to convert.

With our dietary supplement client, analytics showed Facebook and Twitter drove traffic to our website. There were times where we questioned this because engagement in the form of likes, comments and shares were low. However, the data showed visitors directed from our social channels spent a substantial amount of time on the website. Since our goal was to get people to the website to generate leads, social was worth our effort.

Set specific dates to bring your plan to life

Take the guesswork out of your 2018 marketing plan execution by including specific deadlines in your plan. These dates can and should change based on what works best for you. But, by putting it on paper you have a framework for activating the plan when the new year arrives.

This may be a monthly content calendar where you can schedule and view emails, blogs and social posts. It could also be a recurring calendar reminder or task in your project management system, if you use one. At mix+shine we use and love the user-friendly and collaborative features of Asana.