I finally have a marketing plan for my business.
It’s only taken 18+ years to accomplish this, but really, who’s counting? 😉
And when I say I have a marketing plan, I don’t mean some grand scheme floating around in my head, or a series of Post-It notes randomly strewn throughout my home and office.
It’s a written marketing plan that includes these highly important items
- Reasons why the plan is important (so I can communicate to everyone in my office why we’re doing what we’re doing)
- Agency Brand Messages
- Social Media Strategy- includes social media posts and blog posts
- Email Communications Strategy- includes automated email campaigns
A crucial part of this written marketing plan is a written editorial/content calendar
It’s created by the quarter and is a visual representation of the content that will appear each month, day by day. Each month has its own message- for example, January is all about New Years’ Resolutions.
So, January’s content will showcase how insurance can help you achieve or work alongside your New Year’s Resolutions.
Not only that, but it will always circle back to reinforce the main agency brand messages.
Here’s why this written marketing plan is the most important part of ANY marketing strategy
- I’m tired of the Spaghetti Marketing I’ve done in the past- I’ve dedicated an entire post to this principle and you can read it here. But basically, the “throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks” way of marketing is inefficient, nonproductive and a complete waste of time (which we don’t have enough of anyway). I was merely grasping at straws and utilizing hope as my strategy. And let me tell you, hope as your main marketing strategy stinks. I deserve better than that. And so do you.
- It forces me to constantly see the brand messages. If I don’t have to-do items written down, I will forget. Plain and simple. And spreading your brand message is way too important to forget. Your brand is what you want people to think of when they think of you.
- It allows me to design content to specifically fit the brand messages, which in turn, is a far better use of my time.
- It allows me to review content against the brand message. It’s a measuring stick, if you will. Anything that doesn’t pass the test gets tossed.
- It gets your entire team on the same page. Consistency breeds results.
- It offers a road map that other people on your team can follow to create content. I just recently hired a part-time marketing person and her job is to create content based on the calendar. With this written plan, she can take it and run with it, with periodic checking in with me. It helps reduce my training time with her significantly.
- And the most important- to me and to you- We have a written process to help achieve our goals, which like many businesses, includes gaining new customers and retaining existing ones. At the end of the day, the goal of business is to make money right? To ensure you enjoy a good income and be able to provide income to those who work for you.
Here’s the BEST part of this article- a sample one month editorial calendar that would work well for an insurance agency
There is a general theme for the month. Each day specifies the type of content you should post. I’m assuming 4 weeks in a month. Feel free to adapt to your needs.
Month 1- Toys-
Sunday- Picture of vacation spot where you can take your toys
Monday- Quote relating to fun, recreation or hobbies- I immediately think of the movies Easy Rider and Wild Hogs (I ride motorcycles, what can I say?). You could Google these terms and come up with several I’m sure.
Tuesday- Insurance Tip about toys- think of claims situations or use definitions relating to toys
Wednesday- Agency-specific- talk about your referral program, app, newsletter or other value-added service you provide.
Thursday- Blog post about motorcycle accessories, boating safety tips, best National Parks to visit with your camper, best road trips, etc. You get the picture- the list is quite long.
Friday- Pictures of your office staff with their toys. Or use their family members or even your own customers.
Saturday- guest blog from watercraft dealer, motorcycle dealer, RV/camper dealer, hunting/fishing/camping store (tip here- use your own customers first- great PR and another positive to say to potential customers- “We will feature your business on our website.”)
Of course, no marketing campaign is successful without measurement. One of my new marketing assistant’s jobs is to complete a monthly spreadsheet with certain metrics from the previous month so we can see what is working and what is not. Because without measurement, a marketing plan is pretty much useless.