When you sit and think about it, documenting your marketing strategy is a no-brainer. Of course, you’d like a well thought out roadmap that will show you where you are, as well as where you’re going. However, the reality is that in the hustle and bustle of ongoing projects and sudden campaign opportunities it feels like there isn’t always time to document your content marketing strategy. In fact, only 37-61 percent of marketing professionals do document their content strategy.
As long as you, the person in charge, has a plan, and is good about communicating that plan it doesn’t matter if it’s documented though does it? Wrong.
CoSchedule surveyed 1,597 marketing professionals in 83 countries to see what the difference between marketers that struggle and those that are successful is, and their results were shocking.
By documenting your marketing strategies, you have a 538 percent greater chance of being successful in your efforts.
That number is too large to ignore.
Why document your marketing strategy?
Besides the astronomical numbers from CoSchedule’s research, there are additional reasons for documenting your marketing strategy.
A report from CMI found that businesses that have a comprehensive marketing plan are:
- Far more likely to consider themselves effective at content marketing
- Far less challenged with every aspect of content marketing
- Generally more likely to consider themselves more effective with every tactic and social media channel
- Able to justify a higher percentage of the marketing budget to be spent on content marketing
Additionally, documenting your content or marketing strategy forces you and your team into due diligence. It creates a reason for each member to think through the purpose of a campaign, and to plot a course to that goal that gets everyone’s input and buy-in.
This gives your team a physical document to use to measure progress, create content and create reassurance. It can also serve as a presentation to senior management on your team’s goals and development.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the four main reasons why you should document your marketing strategy.
In today’s day and age of content marketing, there is no reason analytics and data shouldn’t be a component of how you make your marketing strategy.
Analytics are an incredibly powerful tool to measure who your customers are and what their behaviors are. When you have this data, it makes it easier to craft a strategy with purpose. It also saves your team both money and time by allowing you to hone in on what is important for you and your brand.
What data sets you choose to use for your marketing campaigns and strategies will largely depend on what is your specific goal. It is essential to start with a benchmark of where your current statistics are. Once you have that data, it makes it easier to set goals of what you’d like to achieve, and how you’re going to achieve it.
Crafting your message
Gathering together all of the information you have for a campaign and strategy sets out a comprehensive plan that is saved in an accessible place. This gives your team the opportunity to expand on past goals and projects and to examine who the ideal consumer is for your brand. This finessing of a company’s brand is how you create a powerful message.
One of the benefits of documenting a marketing strategy that has included input from your team is that you create accountability that has been vocalized across your group. With processes in place and documentation to back it up - that is easily accessible to everyone - there can be no excuses for a team member ‘not knowing’ about it. This can free up you and your team from pointless meetings and unnecessary back-and-forth and allow your project to maintain momentum.
A comprehensive marketing strategy document is like a living, breathing part of your team. It creates a clear idea of where you are, where you’re going and what your role is in that process. You can track your teams progress, and see the big picture of where your project is going. This team focus can create a momentum that will not only make the current campaign a success but future ones as well.
What to include in a marketing strategy
It’s obvious that you need to have an overall goal for your marketing strategy, but if your main goal is “We just know we need to have a strategy,” then you need to go back and spend some more time thinking about why you’re making this valuable investment in both time and money.
Your goal is your mission statement for a project. It explains why you are creating your campaign and lets you and your whole team know what you want to accomplish out of it. The goal should be the one thing team members can look at if they get to bogged down in details, to refocus them and get them on track.
Buyer personas became the hit phrase of the content marketing world a few years ago, but there’s a reason for that. Your marketing strategies and campaigns are never intended for the general public. Your goal is always to reach a specific demographic that is interested in your brand and can contribute to your business’s goals and success.
Research your brand’s users and create detailed audience personas. You should know who your customers are, where they consume content, and what compels them to engage with your company. A marketing strategy whose content is driven by informed personas will do a much better job of speaking to your audience.
Since you’ll already have a benchmark of how your company is currently doing on its content channels, setting up KPIs for your campaign will be relatively straightforward. Setting up key metrics with your goals is the only way to gauge how your campaign is doing towards accomplishing your goals.
Establish the milestones you want to hit in a number of areas including perhaps traffic to your website, opportunities created or leads generated and create a plan for how you’re going to track these milestones.
Content distribution calendar
This is an important document that will outline when and where (and perhaps who) you will distribute the content you are creating. It’s important to note any major holidays or important dates that may be relevant to your business. For instance, if you run a fireworks company, it would be important to note the fourth of July in your content distribution calendar.
When you implement these insights and ideas, you can ensure that your marketing plan will be effective and well-organized. If this seems like a lot of work, that’s because it is. Increasing your chance of being successful by 538 percent is well worth the effort and a comprehensive marketing strategy will get your team off to a great start.