As you sit down to create a 2017 marketing strategy, use this outline to consider and collect all of the information that will produce the best plan possible.
A good strategy always starts with goals. When you have a clear idea about where you want to go, it’s easier to get there.
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So begin your 2017 marketing strategy by outlining what you would like to accomplish this year. List your basic marketing objectives, which may include a few of the following:
- Build brand awareness
- Increase sales
- Expand into a new market
- Increase profit
- Target new customers
- Develop brand affinity and loyalty
- Grow digital presence
- Launch new products or services
- Grow market share
Once you pinpoint the general goals you want to focus on, set clear objectives for each goal. Use SMART goal planning to develop each of your plans, so they are:
Shape the rest of your 2017 marketing strategy using this initial list of goals.
Next, focus on the investment you would like to make in your marketing in 2017. As you set your marketing budget, consider a few factors.
- What industry are you in? How much are your typical competitors spending, and what do you need to spend to compete?
- Should you outsource SEO, or any other part of your strategy to free up resources? Do you have the budget to do so?
- What do you want to achieve? Do you need to spend more than usual if you want to grow or expand?
- What is your total yearly revenue? What percentage of revenue do you want to allocate to marketing?
The New Year is a good time to refresh and revise your brand messaging to make sure it continues to align with the projected path of your business. Create a brand guide or revise your current guide so it includes details about your:
- Mission statement
- Brand promise
- Tone and voice
- Unique selling propositions
- Key terms
As you revise or write these sections, consider the three perspectives that matter to your brand.
- Customer perspective: What you present to potential buyers, clients, and customers.
- Internal perspective: What you present to your internal team, and what drives their work.
- Market perspective: What differentiates your offerings and makes you stand out in your industry.
Shape your brand messaging to connect on those three levels.
✪ Download your free 2017 marketing strategy template now!
Good marketing does not attempt to reach all people; it’s targeted to connect with a few specific and defined audiences. As you create your 2017 marketing strategy, revise or write target audience descriptions, so they are concrete and clear.
Define your target audience’s demographic and psychographic characteristics as it relates to:
- Marital or family status
- Ethnic background
- Income level
- Education level
- Interests and hobbies
Then, take it one step further and create a few buyer personas (stories about fictional characters who are your ideal customers) based on the demographics.
While reworking your buyer personas, also focus on developing your buyer’s journey. Outline what your target customer is thinking during each of the following stages.
- Awareness: What is your customer experiencing as they become aware of a problem they are having? What are their pain points?
- Consideration: What is your customer doing while they are considering solutions for their problem?
- Decision: How does your customer make the final decision before a purchase? What concerns, thoughts, and processes guide them?
Marketing Channels and Strategic Approach
Once you have the framework, perspective, and guidelines to direct your marketing strategy, start to outline your plans. The types of marketing strategy you choose may relate to traditional, digital, or content marketing. Divide your marketing budget between the strategies that will work best for your goals and business.
If you’re not sure what will work best, consider the following.
- If you’ve used the method in the past, how successful was it? Can it be improved upon?
- Have you performed a full competitor analysis to explore what strategies have worked for your competitors? (Check out these 5 competitive analysis frameworks for ideas.)
- If you haven’t tried certain tactics, do you have some flexible budget you can use to experiment and see what works?
Decide where your business could benefit from traditional marketing channels like:
- Print ads
- Direct mail
- Radio and television ads
- Speaking engagements
How Alexa Can Help: While Alexa is a tool typically used for digital and content marketing, you can use it to find information that drives traditional marketing efforts. Using the Site Metrics reports, you can find detailed information about your audience’s demographics.
You can use this information to learn more about your audience and identify other places where this audience spends time. This helps direct your choices for traditional marketing placements. Using the Site Overview tool, you can also research competitors and learn about their audience demographics to identify places where you can target them offline as well.
Another benefit of this is that it helps you fill in information about your target market for your 2017 marketing strategy.
Look at 2017 digital marketing trends and identify where you are lacking or need to improve as it relates to:
- Website and online presence
- Social media
- Paid search
- Email marketing
How Alexa Can Help: While putting together this section of your 2017 marketing strategy, use Alexa tools to pull reports and prepare plans that will drive your digital marketing efforts.
Use the Site Audit Tool to get a full overview of your website’s current performance as it relates to SEO, security, performance, and reputation.
The report also provides a list of recommended actions for resolving issues that exist on your site, so it builds a strategy for improving your digital marketing.
Bonus SEO Tips: With Alexa, you can also:
- Identify ways to improve individual pages, so they get more attention from search engines with the On-Page SEO Checker.
- Review stats on your site’s current traffic levels, Alexa Rank, bounce rate, and number of sites linking back to you to help set goals and track the results of your work using the Site Overview Report.
- Find backlinks for your competitors, so you can discover opportunities to gain links back to your site and improve your SEO using the Audience Overlap Tool and Competitor Keyword Matrix.
While content marketing is connected to digital marketing, you can separate it into its own category. As you think about your content marketing plans, consider if you want to focus on:
- Copy content creation (blogging, articles, e-books, etc.)
- Multimedia content creation (video, slideshows, infographics, etc.)
- Guest posts
- Content distribution and promotion
How Alexa Can Help: To keep up with content marketing trends, use Alexa to research and plan both on-site and off-site content.
Use the Competitor Keyword Matrix to identify topics your competitors are writing about and the keywords they are ranking for.
This information helps you:
- Identify topics that are relevant to your industry and audience, which can inspire ideas for content on your site
- Gauge the competition for keywords in your industry, so you know which keywords to avoid due to high competition.
- Find guest blogging sites and opportunities by identifying keyword gaps on blogs that will be likely to accept guest posts on the topic.
Start Your 2017 Marketing Strategy Outline
As you get ready for a new year, it’s the perfect time to reassess and revise your marketing strategies. Use this outline to create a plan and mission that will guide you to a more strategic, focused, and intentional marketing approach in 2017.
Don’t start from scratch – grab our 2017 marketing plan template help get you started, and try out the Alexa tools mentioned in this post by signing up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan.