One of the most critical factors underlying a successful marketing operation is to put your strategy in writing so that the rest of your teams can refer to it while planning various tactics, especially content. A marketing strategy template is a great way to organize your thoughts as you sketch out your strategy.
Think of marketing as a journey. Your marketing strategy incorporates all the sights you want to see along the way, including your ultimate destination.
Your marketing plan, on the other hand, is the route you’ll follow to get to all the places you want to go. Your strategy is the roadmap upon which you trace your route. Your strategy template, then, needs to include all the critical points you need to cover in each tactic and piece of content your teams create.
Use your template as the starting point for each marketing initiative you want to execute, and each content brief you create. Simply fill in the blanks with the specific details about each piece of content you assign, and you’re done.
Start with Your Corporate Goals
Your company’s overall goals comprise your ultimate destination. So, start your marketing strategy template with those goals at the top.
Meet with your C-suite often to reposition your marketing strategy with every change of direction they make. Whether it’s opening up new markets overseas or reaching new demographics, your content strategy needs to be agile enough to shift on the fly.
Updating your template often keeps everyone on the same page. Knowing your brand’s ultimate goals can guide your teams to create content that will help reach those objectives.
Describe Your Target Audience
Since your most critical goal is to attract more paying customers, you need to identify the people and businesses that most need your products. So, be sure to include a place to jot down a description of your target audience in your template, including the challenges they face. Positioning your brand as a problem solver is the best way to build trust in your company.
If your company is like most larger businesses, your target audience changes over time. As you introduce new products or expand into new territories and digital platforms, your strategy needs to incorporate those segments.
On your template, list all the market segments your company wants to reach. When you copy your template onto your briefs, you can simply delete the segments that aren’t relevant to a given piece of content.
Use buyer personas to help your content teams focus on the exact kinds of prospects or customers you want each piece of content to reach. Giving your target segments a human face helps turn your marketing content into an engaging story.
Include Your Customer Journey Map
Provide your marketing teams with a visual representation of how prospects move along the sales funnel from curious outsiders to customers and, ultimately, to brand ambassadors. Include critical points at which they engage more deeply with your brand.
Even if your goal with a specific piece of marketing content is a singular one, knowing which step comes next can help your content teams prepare your audience for the next stage in their buyer’s journey. A customer journey map allows your teams to see the whole picture.
When you copy your buyer’s journey map onto your briefs, simply jot down which specific stage you want the piece to reach. It simplifies your work and gives your teams all the information they need to achieve their goal.
State Your Brand’s Positioning Strategy
Most of your longtime team members know whether your brand positions itself as a luxury brand or, on the other hand, one that gives its customers a bigger bang for fewer bucks. However, if you outsource some of your content production to an agency or freelancers, they might not know how your brand positions itself in the market. Stating that information on your marketing strategy template leaves no doubt.
If your company serves two different market segments – for example, luxury and everyday people – be sure to indicate which one a given piece of content addresses on your briefs.
Include Your Key Differentiators
It’s essential that you inform your marketing teams about what sets you apart from your competitors. After all, most of your middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel audiences are comparing your company to others in your industry.
Armed with that information, they can create content that will answer your prospects’ questions and steer them toward a purchase.
Incorporate Your Brand Guidelines
With the massive volume of marketing content that larger companies need to produce, it makes sense to help your content teams speak with one voice. Including your brand guidelines in your documented marketing strategy helps them stay on point with every piece of content they produce.
Add Any Promotional Offers You Use to Drive Sales Conversions
If your company offers free trials, combination packages, discounts, or money-back guarantees, state them on your marketing template. Include which situations qualify a buyer for these offers.
Document the Marketing Channels You Use to Promote Your Brand
It’s always a good idea to review all the channels you use to market your products and services. Stating them on your marketing strategy documentation serves as a memory jogger for you and your teams to conduct frequent audits to determine how well each channel performs.
Include both digital and offline channels for a 360-degree view of your marketing materials.
Online Marketing Channels
Online channels might include:
- Your website
- Your company blog
- Email newsletters
- Social media platforms
- Text messages
- Paid search
- Online ads
- Press releases
- Testimonials and online case studies
- White papers
Be sure to cover the critical aspects of your online marketing channels, such as your keyword and SEO strategies, so that your marketing teams can craft content that reaches your target audience.
Offline Marketing Channels
Offline marketing materials might include:
- Print ads
- Brochures and offline case studies
- Radio and TV commercials
- Business cards
- Print catalogs
- Direct mail advertising
- Trade shows
Then, when you create briefs from your template, you can simply delete all the other choices. For example, if you’re assigning your creatives to create content for your new online catalog, simply delete all the other options. It’s a lot easier than starting from scratch every time you create a brief.
List Your Product Distribution Methods
If you work with outsourced talent, they might not be aware of how customers purchase your products. Do they download them from your website? Purchase them from retailers? Order them from your catalog?
Whatever your distribution strategy, it pays to include it on your marketing strategy template so that your outsourced talent can come up with compelling calls to action for your bottom-of-the-funnel prospects.
Document Your Post-Sale Strategy
After you make a sale, you need to support your customers with content that helps them get the most use from their purchase. On your template, encourage your teams to engage in content collaboration with your customer support teams so that your customers are getting the same message from both you and the support team.
Keeping existing customers happy is every bit as essential – perhaps, even more so – than attracting new ones. Studies show that it costs 5 times more to attract new customers than to retain ones you already have
Then, include in your strategy a way to incorporate customer testimonials in your content. Since 70% of the public values other consumers’ opinions over even your best marketing content, it’s essential to find a way to incorporate their voices into your content.
Whether it’s testimonials on your website, glowing reviews on Google, or encouraging direct referrals (90% of the buying public trusts their friends’ recommendations more than marketing content), your content teams should devote plenty of their time to encouraging customers to recommend your products to their friends and colleagues.
Finally, Include How You’ll Measure the Results
State the metrics you’ll use to gauge how your content performs. Doing so helps your marketing teams aim their content squarely at those numbers.
With DivvyHQ’s white-glove content analytics solution, you can customize your metrics to your company’s overall goals. It’s only one of the features that sets this leading-edge content marketing platform apart from the rest.
And, you can document and revise your marketing strategy template right on the platform, making it easy for your teams to consult it – and for you to create briefs from it. Need a head start? We have a downloadable template that includes everything we’ve talked about above.