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Mapping your marketing on a monthly basis will keep you on track
Mapping your marketing on a monthly basis will keep you on track

How to create a successful PR and marketing plan for 2020

The start of a new year calls for re-evaluation – particularly in tough retail conditions. EMILY SIDLEY advises how to make your PR and marketing strategy more effective in order to reach more potential customers this year.

Now is the time to start thinking about your marketing strategy for the coming year, and the first step is to review your previous strategy. What were your goals for 2019? Did you achieve them? Think about your specific tactics and if they were effective.

Review your target market – that is, the customers and potential customers you’re trying to reach. In order to market effectively, it is essential to clearly define this group and continually learn more about them.

Ask yourself how your customers receive their news, the apps they use, and if there’s anything you can do to improve how successfully you communicate with them. After you’ve evaluated your 2019 marketing strategy, it’s time to look ahead to 2020.

Establish new goals

Make sure that you set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (‘SMART’). For each goal, list the activities that will help to achieve it.

For example, if your aim is to increase your website traffic by 10 per cent, you may want to focus on:

  • Blogging, with search-engine optimisation (SEO) best practices in mind
  • Including links to your blog posts in your regular social media updates
  • A social media advertising campaign with a landing page that directs to your website

List the months of the year and detail the tactics you plan to employ during each one.

"By considering your target audience, SMART goals, and the time and resources available, you should be able to narrow your marketing focus"

This helps to visualise how many different monthly marketing activities you are committing to, and will help you decide if they are manageable, given your regular workload.

Factor your budget into your marketing strategy too. You may not be able to achieve everything you’d like. However, by considering your target audience, SMART goals, and the time and resources available, you should be able to narrow your focus to the marketing activities that are realistic for your business.

Some tactics are more cost-effective than others. For example, some regional jewellery retailers use a combination of paid social media alongside local television advertising in their marketing mix.

Choose your tactics

It can be hard to know which strategies to use in order to achieve your goals. Here are some examples of marketing tactics and how they are effective:

  • Blogging – blogging can drive traffic to your website.

By publishing informative, relevant posts at the same time each week, you show search engines that your website is high quality and helpful for users, which can also increase your ranking in search results.

  • Social media advertising – advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or LinkedIn can be a very affordable way to reach more potential customers.

Be sure to target your ads correctly and use engaging images. Additionally, Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms ‘weight’ posts from advertisers, so your organic posts will be more visible too. It’s a win-win.

  • Email marketing – you don’t need to pour all your resources into email marketing to reap the benefits.

A brief newsletter with helpful articles and links reminds your customers to contact you. Alongside other tactics, it can also increase your website traffic and improve your credibility with consumers.

  • Events – an event is a fantastic way to interact with your customers face-to-face and make your business unforgettable.

Depending on the type of event, you might even be able to secure free media coverage.

  • Media and editorial – media coverage provides yet another way for potential customers to see your business, and acts as a third-party endorsement.

A journalist tells their readers, viewers, and listeners why they should consider your store. In addition, if the coverage runs online, a link to your website may be included, which can make a positive difference for SEO and your website traffic.

Put your strategy into action

Your marketing strategy is useless if you don’t follow it. Ensure all your marketing activities are scheduled in your calendar, and stick to your deadlines. At the same time, be aware that you may need to adjust your strategy throughout the year.

Each month, examine your data collection to analyse how consumers are responding to your strategy. This is most important if you are utilising digital marketing. Review your performance through Google Analytics, monitor email open and click-through rates, and check the ‘insights’ section on your social media channels.

Finally, make a note to undertake a full evaluation of your strategy toward the end of the financial year. In order to reach more customers in 2020, use these tips to develop your own effective marketing strategy.

Emily Sidley

Emily Sidley is senior director of marketing and PR at Three Girls Media. She specialises in social media and blog campaigns, editorial placement, and communications strategy for SMEs.

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