How To Create A Strategic Marketing Plan For The Upcoming Year
Kudos on surviving 2021! We’re truly living in challenging times…but, hey, we made it! As you buckle up to welcome the new year, now is the best time to start thinking about your marketing budget and how you should spend it in 2022. That’s right; if you start thinking about your 2022 marketing plan as early as possible, you’ll have more time to choose, allocate and delegate everything. If you are looking for a complete guide to build a strategic marketing plan for your eLearning business in 2022, this is the right post.
Did you get the results you needed from your marketing efforts in 2021? What needs to change? Is there anything new you can try? Fortunately, I can share some guidance based, of course, on proven strategies and a personal point of view. During the last few years, we’ve helped hundreds of eLearning businesses review and boost their marketing performance. Consequently, we’ve helped them build their annual marketing strategies and managed to accomplish that with great success!
In addition, we’ve used the same methodology and marketing strategies for our own business growth. To give you a small glimpse of our growth:
- 2018: 629,781 users/month
- 2019: 612,811 users/month
- 2020: 950,484 users/month
- 2021 (until the end of November): 971,588 users/month
Today, we will discuss how eLearning marketers and eLearning business owners like yourself can create the right marketing strategy in order to have a successful 2022.
Of course, there is no one-fits-all solution when choosing a marketing strategy. However, some of these ideas will give you insights into the best formula when defining your marketing budget.
Steps To A Strategic Marketing Plan
When building out your 2022 marketing strategy, it is essential to understand how your marketing efforts will enhance your sales efforts to drive revenue. While marketing aims to educate your target market on their pain points, it’s equally important to build a relationship between your target audience and your brand. That’s how you’ll manage to hand your sales team smoking hot leads, ready for harvest. Meaning, all your efforts should be focused on the buyer journey and how to guide prospects from one stage to the next (awareness, consideration, decision).
It all starts with getting prospects to visit your website. Then you have to turn them into leads by making them convert and download your assets, subscribe to forms, etc. Gradually you have to check your lead database, nurture them, and qualify them. That’s how you’ll know how to identify your MQLs and your SQLs. And then, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to turn those hot leads into customers. It’s all about lead nurturing and solving their problems at the right time by offering tips and the ideal solution; your product or service.
Skillful strategic marketing leaders like yourself need to take the time and review last year’s marketing expenses. Make sure to break them down by channel (both in terms of time and money) and ROI. For example, by identifying the cost per hour of marketing activities, you might realize that your internal team spends too much time without reaching the desired results. Time tracking and reviewing KPIs are key here.
Which Questions Should You Ask Yourself When Building A Strategic Marketing Plan?
The most important question to ask is if your company did grow during the past year. So, do you have an answer to this crucial metric? If yes, would you be satisfied with similar growth for the upcoming year? In case you need better results to help your business scale, you have to figure out the best marketing strategy to get there.
Next in line, you must understand which marketing channels drove the most value for your business during the last year. Don’t forget to break down the value of each marketing channel into two categories: marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs). You need both channels to be effective for long-term growth. For example, efforts on SQLs (sales-centric blog content, Google Ads, etc.) are great for short-term sales. On the other hand, MQL efforts (educational blog content, speaking engagements, etc.) are essential to fill your pipeline. Also, they can drive long-term growth as they can be converted to SQLs later on.
Do you need to see a 7% growth every six months to keep your business going? Does your team understand what exponential growth is? For example, pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising (LinkedIn Ads, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, PPC Directories, etc.) is a good investment when you’re thinking short-term. If you’re looking for long-term results, search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing tactics will help you to see much lower CPAs and exponential growth.
Also, you have to evaluate your competition and check each competitor’s evolution. An SEO competition analysis can also help with that—if you’re up for the challenge! What’s more, running a SWOT analysis can help you see how you stack up against the newly updated competitive landscape. For example, there might be a small competitor growing at an alarming rate.
Make sure to investigate which types of digital marketing strategies your competition has tried. Do they get more traction in their organic search rankings? What about link building? One thing is certain: a company investing in SEO and PPC can expect increasing ROI for a win-win approach. Don’t let your business stay behind. Look for opportunities to scale your organization!
Of course, you should focus on your marketing efforts. And, don’t be afraid to be a strict judge. Did you manage to convert MQLs to SQLs with your email marketing campaigns? Was your content marketing strategy effective in driving MQLs? That’s when you’ll know a strategic marketing strategy is in order. And, there’s a high probability that you’ll need external help to deliver more than expected in the upcoming year.
Here are some proven digital marketing strategies and tips you might like to explore for your 2022 strategic marketing plan:
We know that every eLearning business is unique. Plus, there are far too many variables to consider. So, in case you’d like some custom tips, let’s schedule a consultation call if that’s what you’re looking for.