I was asked in a forum recently to describe what a Marketing Plan is, so I figured I’d turn my answer into a blog article.
But before you can develop a Marketing plan for your product or website you need to undertake some Market Research. This will enable you to identify a product, a market and a unique angle from which to approach it.
Then you can develop a Marketing plan. This will identify which channels you’re going to use to let people know about your site (Pay Per Click, Social Marketing, Blogging, etc), how much emphasis you’ll put on each and how much you’re going to need to pay.
But let’s start at the beginning:
First you need to find something that you can sell for a profit. That means you need to do some market research.
My first recommendation would be that you pick a product or service that you either know a lot about or have a deep interest in. This is because the most successful businesses are going to be ones you can put your heart and soul into.
Once you’ve found a good product or service, you need to see if there’s a demand for it. And if there is a demand, you need to find a unique angle so that you’re not in competition with hundreds of others.
That’s what market research is all about.
Here’s an example of one way you can do some market research very quickly and easily:
Go to Twitter and scroll to the bottom of the page. The 5th link from the right is the ‘search’ link. Click that and type in the product or service you’ve identified followed by a space and a ‘ ? ‘.
For example, I use this search every day: ‘ wordpress ? ‘ (No single quotes around it).
What that does (for me) is show me all the Tweets that are from people asking questions about WordPress.
There are lots of questions, many of which refer to aspects that I don’t know about, but over time you’ll see some common questions coming out. You need to keep doing this every day for 2 or 3 weeks to get a really good feel.
I found two particular questions that kept arising about WordPress and wrote a blog post about each. Now I’m able to point people who ask one of those questions to the relevant blog post, and I generally get a very positive response.
If my chosen product was in the photography niche and I was searching for questions about photography, for example, I might find a frequently asked question that I could write an ebook or create a training course about.
Bam – there’s my product!
Now, I just need to decide how I’m going to promote it. And the answer to that question is your marketing plan.
I’ll cover ways of developing a Marketing Plan in another post!