Marketing plans are essential to success. They create awareness about your brand, company, services and products. A plan keeps you on schedule and budget. If you don’t have a marketing plan, it’s time to implement one. If you have a plan in place, it should be updated annually to keep up with the latest trends.
A marketing plan provides a road map to achieving your goals. It provides strategic direction. If you’re engaged in marketing without a plan, you might veer off course or budget. Marketing plans can be as simple or detailed as you’d like. At the basic level, a marketing plan should include market research, target market, strategy, budget and metrics.
“You might have your tried-and-true tactics that you execute, but always keep an eye out for new opportunities out there,” said Alissa Ricci Maffett, executive director of media and research at Jackson Marketing.
Ricci Maffett said it’s important not to “set it and forget it.” Plans need to be updated annually to take advantage of emerging trends. Here are some options to consider adding to your plan.
Over-the-top advertising isn’t a crazy marketing tactic; it’s the term for internet-based streaming services like Hulu, Roku, Netflix and Amazon Prime. These services attract millions of viewers, and most have paid advertising opportunities.
“Interestingly enough, in the outdoor space, I have seen that they are more in the forefront than other industries,” Ricci Maffett said. “There’s so much outdoor content on OTT and connected channels that there are some really good and affordable opportunities to take a look at.”
“Listenership of podcasts continues to grow, especially in the outdoor industry. It’s been a very interesting trend I’ve seen, and I think it will continue to grow,” Ricci Maffett said.
Podcasts thrived during the pandemic, and they continue to generate more listeners. Companies can take advantage of this trend in a few different ways. With the right resources and a unique idea, starting a podcast can be a successful venture. There’s also the opportunity to use paid advertising to target a specific audience during a podcast. Finally, serving as a guest on a podcast is an excellent public relations move for your brand or company.
TikTok is the newest player in the social media space. It was the most popular app in 2020, and the channel’s most popular videos have generated more than 2 billion views. That’s a lot of potential customers. Companies can find huge success on TikTok, but it’s not necessarily a missed opportunity in a marketing plan.
Ricci Maffett said there are quite a few factors to look at before signing up. “Don’t jump on it because it’s trendy — you want to make sure you have the resources to put behind it.”
Prior to launching a TikTok account, consider: Is your target audience there? Can you make great content for the platform? Do you have something to say? Are you just going there because everyone else is?
Many brands and shops have found success on more traditional social media channels like Instagram and Facebook. For companies that have these established channels, marketing experts recommend continuing to focus on mobile engagement and content generation. Be sure the content tells a story and is easy to view on a mobile device.
Influencer marketing continues to evolve and can be an effective marketing tactic for brands. Many people are familiar with macro-influencers, people with giant followings. However, using micro-influencers — people with a smaller following — is an emerging trend. This can be an efficient and cost-effective way to incorporate influencers into a marketing plan.
“Influencers can help you generate a lot of content,” Ricci Maffett said. “That can be helpful for a smaller brand that doesn’t have the resources to develop content.”
Before partnering with an influencer, be sure their content and ethics align with your brand. It’s also important to establish expectations up front. Send them a list of talking points, answer any questions and do routine check-ins.
“Brands are becoming more aware of the challenges and risks posed by this approach, and many are leaning into developing their own content in a range of formats,” said Nick Newlin, principal/vice president, digital director and senior marketing strategist at Shine United.
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