The 6 Simple Steps in Creating a Great Marketing Plan

Topics: Marketing Tips
By Gavin Write
Smiling Marketing Expert Sitting in The Office at Her Laptop And Holding Glasses

If you're just starting your marketing journey, the whole concept can be very overwhelming and more than a little confusing. 72% of marketers say that content creation is their most important SEO tactic, and as experienced Shopify digital marketing experts will tell you, your efforts need to be organized into a coherent marketing plan. So if you've yet to create one, now's the time.

A well-crafted marketing strategy typically outlines the exact tactics you'll use and when you use them. It will detail your target audience and how you'll spread the word, and a plan like this also serves to help you get a clear understanding of your goals. So, come with us as we look at the six steps you need to take to put together a killer marketing plan of your own.


Step 1 - Determining Your Message

The Image with Watches and Black Friday Sale Offer with 3 Questions for Growing Business

The first step is to create the foundation of your messaging - which, in simple terms, means determining what you want to say. Whatever you choose, it needs to be consistent, targeted, and full of information that will encourage people to buy from you. If you're struggling for inspiration - perhaps have the following questions in mind:

  • What are your company's principles/values i.e. what do you stand for?
  • What customer problems do your products/services solve?
  • What's unique about your products/services?

When formulating your messaging, try and include words that highlight what's different/great about your business e.g. if your products are more fuel efficient than your competitors, maybe use terms like ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘low-carbon’. There's no getting around the fact that this step is a crucial one, as it forms the basis of your whole strategy and why many choose to enlist the help of a Shopify marketing company, just to be sure.


Step 2 - Understanding Your Ideal Customers

In order to create messages that resonate with your ideal audience, you first need to understand what your target demographic looks like. What's more, you may have more than one target audience. If this is the case for your business, it can help to create a table like the one below.

This table is a mock-up of a shoe retailer that has several audiences.

The Table with Mock-Up of a Shoe Retailer That Has Several Audiences

Should you already be getting customers buying from your online store, you'll get a steady flow of store traffic. Using Shopify reports, you can get great, detailed insight into your customers and how they behave. Google Analytics is another tool that helps provide a clear picture of your customers. By using Google Analytics Metrics, you can track important data such as website traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates, which can help inform your business decisions and improve your overall online strategy.


Step #3 - Choosing Your Marketing Tactics

Whether you choose to work with a Shopify development company or go it alone, you'll need to create a strategy aligned with your company, your brand, and the customers who buy your products. That means your tactics need to be focused and make business sense rather than employing an inefficient scattergun approach. As such, your marketing plan needs to include:

  • Promotions & sales (discounts & promotion planning)
  • In-depth research involving data analysis & feedback collection
  • Connecting with customers based on interests/concerns
  • Competitively-priced products
  • Written/visual content development
  • Segmented email marketing
  • Brand reputation management
  • Great customer service

Using the information you gained during step 2, you can develop a content plan that appeals to one or more target demographics. 


Step #4 - Goal Setting

As well as having a clear idea of who you're marketing to, you also need to have a quantifiable goal for every one of your marketing initiatives. Without one, you won't be able to accurately measure the success of your campaigns. Whether talking about a short or long-term goal, you'll need to set them and monitor your progress. 

The targets you set can focus on a number of areas, like:

  • Gaining 100 new customers over the next 6 months
  • Generating $10k in sales during a promotional campaign
  • 50% improvement in abandoned cart rates
  • 100 new email subscribers this quarter

Setting targets may be easy for Shopify digital marketing experts, however, if you're new to the practice, you'll quickly find out it can be challenging. However, if you start small, you'll begin to get a grasp of what works and what doesn't. From there, you can stretch your goals, knowing you're on the right path.


Step #5 - Identifying Your Ideal Marketing Channels

The Chart with Options For Identifying Ideal Marketing Channels Including PPC, SEO, SMM & Content Marketing

There are a variety of different channels across which you can market your business. From blog posts to paid advertising to social media, there's much to choose from, with some channels suiting some of your goals better than others. One channel may be better for customer retention, whereas another may be the best choice for increasing repeat store visits. Amongst your options are:

  • Paid Social (Ads On Facebook / IG)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  • Influencer Marketing & Affiliates
  • Content Marketing & PR

A good Shopify marketing company will often use a mix of these tactics to get the best results, and by analyzing your performance as you go, you can hone your efforts to achieve even greater levels of traffic, interaction, and sales.


Step #6 - Measuring the Impact of Your Campaigns

Many businesses out there are having their margins squeezed right now, so you need to do everything you can to avoid wasting money. Analyzing the impact of your marketing campaigns can help you to do that by highlighting the most efficient routes to market. As such, an option considered at the start may show itself to be unsuitable later on. 

It also helps to create milestones when you're engaging in long-term campaigns. For instance, if your goal is to gain an extra 500 website visitors over a 1-month period, try breaking that down into 4 separate weeks or even 30 separate days. 

Furthermore, at the end of each campaign, you should be poring over the results to find patterns in sales and traffic. The impact of every message you send can be seen, allowing you to make positive changes. It's an ongoing process, so be prepared to adjust your tactics accordingly.


Helping Customers Create a Winning Marketing Strategy

As we've seen, putting together a coherent marketing strategy can be a complex process with many moving parts. So, whether you create your strategy in-house or work with a Shopify development company, it's important to create a detailed plan of attack. It should outline your content style, your ideal audience, and the channels you'll target. 

Your growth strategy also needs to be highly structured, continuously monitored, and honed through testing and experimentation. By following the six steps as discussed, you'll ensure that your content not only gets seen by the right audience but that it resonates and leads to action.

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