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It's Never to Late to Plan for 2024 or For Your Business' Success

My roadmap for marketing and business success this year.

Oh No! It’s the start of the new year and you haven’t planned a thing for your business!

While you may think you’re “too late,” I’m here to tell you to breathe and to reassure you that it’s never too late to make a plan for 2024 and your business.


Here is my quick roadmap for planning success this coming year:

 

Step 1: Know Your Target Audience

First and foremost, you need to know to whom you’re speaking. Who is that one “person” or group you think of when you’re developing products or an offer to alleviate X problem? You can also look at who has hired you or bought from you, time and time again. Be as specific as possible. When it comes to your target audience the more you know and more refined the information, the better. For example, don’t simply say, “women” or even “female business owners.” This is too broad. Thinking of a specific person. (e.g., Female business owners, who live in the Northeast. They shop online with their mobile device for almost everything, as time/convenience is everything. They are college educated and single.)


Be as specific as possible. When it comes to your target audience the more you know and more refined the information, the better. For example, don’t simply say, “women” or even “female business owners.” This is too broad. Thinking of a specific person. (e.g., Female business owners, who live in the Northeast. They shop online with their mobile device for almost everything, as time/convenience is everything. They are college educated and single.)


I often get pushback when I speak to small business owners who say “But I sell to everyone. There is not just one person.” I understand, but you should have one ideal “person” in mind.  Be rest assured, identifying your target audience does not mean that you cannot sell to anyone else. It simply ensures that your messaging reaches those who know and love you and your products/services best. They turn to you as the “thought” leader in your industry.

Step 2: Past Achievements Can help with Future Gains – Look At Your Metrics

While having more data is always statistically better, there is still much to gain from any information you have at hand. Take a time to review and analyze your metrics from social media, emails, comments and customer interviews (if you have them.)  


Identify which content resonated with your customers and prospects the most? Did one email, story or post get more opens clicks or likes than another?  Look at your best performing content’s reach and views, and don’t forget the comments. You never know when a customer/fan will share something that is pure gold in how they use or think about your brand. It could be something that could shape your offerings and/or use in your messaging. (e.g., Did you know that 100 calorie snack packs were born out of customer comments?)


Just launching in 2024? Congratulations! I’m so excited for you. In situations like this, you skip to Step 3 and revisit your metrics three months down the line to evaluate and adjust as needed. Don’t forget, there’s nothing wrong with testing messaging until you get it right.


Step 3: Targeted Messaging Drives Traffic – Develop Your Content Strategy

Now that you’ve identified at least who you’re talking to as well as what messaging has been hitting home, you want to develop a strong content strategy.  These should be messaging and benefits whose sweet spot lies between what you as the brand wants to say and what is most valuable for your target audience to hear.  They should be also aligned with brand’s values, purpose, positioning and core keywords.

 

Caution: Don’t breeze through planning a content marketing strategy. Set a specific, measurable goal -- whether it's increasing website traffic, boosting engagement, or generating leads, clarity is key. It should go beyond social media, and be consistent across, your website, google business profile, social, emails and a blog if you have one. 

 

Did you know?


For ease of planning, focus on 3-5 topics (no more than seven) for your brand or business to focus on when writing and sharing content. These topics, often called content pillars, allow people to get to know who your brand is, what it stands for and what it offers.  


Here are three examples:

  1. Promotional: When you are truly selling and have a Call to Action (CTA) so they can buy,

  2. Educational: How you help build your authority in your field with tips, BTS or detailed information)

  3. Inspirational: Whether a testimonial, your business journey, or transformation, let your followers and prospects in to celebrate with you

 

Content development can be more complex and include keyword and repurposing strategies, varied content types (i.e., blog posts, videos, carousels, infographics etc.) and a creating content calendar or content bank.  I’ll be sharing more in the future; however, the above three steps will get you started on your business planning path no matter when you’re ready to execute.

 

One last tip: "Progress over Perfection.” Be prepared to test, refine and candidly, even fail at times. No successful, small business owner found true success without some trials to get there. You’ve got this. But if you need a little more guidance or information, reach out to connect. I’m happy to do a deeper 1:1 dive into planning your marketing or content strategy.

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