By Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media Wiz

Never before in the history of the Internet has the average business person had so much control over their marketing. There are dozens of free tools to help you promote your business and get your message out to your target market. You just have to learn how to properly use them to get the results that you want.

It starts with a strategic marketing plan.

Here are the steps that you need to do to put together a marketing plan for your business for 2014.

  1. Clearly define your goals. What do you want to accomplish? Be specific.
    • Establishing you or your company as experts in your field?
    • Increasing brand awareness?
    • Increasing traffic to your website?
    • Generating leads?
    • Search engine optimization – getting on the first page of Google search?
    • Building relationships with potential customers?
    • Reduce marketing costs?
  2. Clearly define your target market persona and figure out where they're hanging out in the social media networks 
  3. Summarize your overall strategy
  4. Outline what type of content you are going to produce: blogs or videos or a combination of both. List topics that you can write about and use a spreadsheet as an editorial calendar to plan what you’re going to write about. Here are some ideas:
    • Your expertise
    • Trends and industry news
    • Interviews
    • Commentaries, opinions, and editorials
    • Success stories and testimonials
    • Hypothetical situations – “Don’t let this happen to you!”
    • Reviews of books, products, movies, etc.
    • Lists – Top 5 ways to save…
    • FAQs – every question you’ve ever gotten from a client or expect to get can be a blog post.
    • Repurpose old articles – do not duplicate content that is already on another site
    • Be informational and educational – heal your potential customer’s pain points
    • Videos – embed YouTube videos – your own videos or from trusted sources. Put an introduction before and a summary after with relative keywords and bullet points
  5. Search for and subscribe to a variety of sources related to your industry or topics that would be of interest to your target market. Share a lot of this content with your followers.
  6. Videos: Have at least 2 videos professionally done.
    • A 30-second corporate video that will be on the front page of your website
    • A 30-second call-to-action video that will attach itself to any videos you upload to YouTube
  7. Have a presence (business page/profile) in all the major social media networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube. Learn how to properly market in them. Each network is different. 
  8. It’s NOT all about you!
    10-4-1 Rule: For every 15 posts/tweets…
    10 should be content from other trusted sources – posts providing information and value to your target market(s)
    4 should be your content – tips, sports/workout tips, links to blog posts
    1 is a direct promotion with link to website
  9. Create a Tactical Plan which outlines what you’re going to post when and where. And how much time you’re going to spend on each network depending on your target market.
  10. Monitor and measure. At least once a month, check insights and website statistics to get information on who your fans and followers are and where traffic to your website is coming from. Adjust your tactical plan accordingly. You can get demographic information – you used to have to pay a lot of money for this and it’s now provided free on the networks.

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping small to mid-sized business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. As with anything in business, using the right tools in the right way and at the right time are critical parts to your success. Learn from someone who’s known the Internet since it’s infancy. Official Social Media, Newsletter and Blog Manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE. Social media training – 1-on-1 or for groups. WordPress sites and blogs. 602-738-1700

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