If you want to jump into the juice, skip the first few paragraphs. I know the first paragraph should make you excited about the promise of the title, but you won’t see the value of my advice without a written marketing plan.

Two things I can count on seeing in December are Marketing Plan instructions and New Year resolutions. For some businesses, the marketing plan may be one of their New Year resolutions. A marketing plan is something small companies often avoid or brush over. So, when December comes, they realize another year passed without creating this essential cornerstone of good business practice.

strategy success graphic You’ve probably seen this statement in one form or another; “Marketers With Documented Strategy Are 4.7x more likely To Be Successful Than Those Who Don’t.” Well, it’s true. Maybe the 4.7x is stretched a bit, but probably close.

Even if you have a marketing plan in place, it’s worth reviewing once a year to see if it is working and consider what might need changing. Adding new products, services, or staff requires tweaking your strategies for customer reach, as well as advertising.

I was tempted to add to the deluge of marketing plan advice but controlled myself. However, if this post catches you in need of guidance or reminder, just download my quick marketing plan guide. On a cautionary note, if you’re not sure about the difference between strategy and tactics it is worth reading my post about that subject.

Now what? How do you execute your plan?

Manage your marketing campaigns, social media activity, content creation and even your staff with a marketing automation tool. Today’s marketing departments are thinly staffed which begs the need for an automation tool that will help them meet the demands of internet marketing.

Choosing The Right Marketing Automation Company.

Evaluating automation tools is time-consuming and can be confusing. When I began my search, It seemed like new tools and services were added daily, so I knew I had to take my time and review many before choosing what would fit my business needs.

Because my business covers a broad scope of internet marketing, I needed a service that provided the most extensive number of marketing execution solutions. My choice of CoSchedule proved to be the best, time and again. With CoSchedule I can manage all my marketing campaigns and social promotions in one place. Starting with the basics of a marketing plan they offer easy to use templates that guide you through each marketing process.

image of CoSchedule home page

 

Like most of the automation tools, a marketing calendar is the focus of activity and rightly so. But CoSchedule services give you the tools to fill that calendar and teach you how to do your marketing better with tutorials, templates, and webinars that help you create:
• Campaign proposals
• Campaign content
• Campaign calendars
• Blog content calendars

CoSchedule tutorials are an easy to reference resource for improving your skills and getting the most out of their services while their educational webinars just keep coming.

Graphic of campaign filters.

 

Managing Campaigns
Plan your entire marketing roadmap including email marketing, blog marketing, and Social Media Marketing. Using CoSchedule you will confidently plan multiple marketing campaigns days, weeks, and even months in advance.

The CoSchedule marketing calendar shows your entire marketing schedule at a glance. Populate your marketing calendar with social, content, email, events, and more. Customizing your calendar will keep your team organized.
• find projects fast
• use custom color labels to categorize and prioritize
• create custom calendar views with color labels, tags, team members, project types, campaigns, and more
• create Saved Views to eliminate filtering your calendar
• Drop & drag campaigns to other dates for easy rescheduling. Everything associated with the campaign will automatically sync to its new time.

Managing Your Social Promotion
Use ONE centralized location to manage your entire promotional workflow. This makes an approval on social campaigns efficient while providing the ability to maintain control over your teams content publishing.

CoSchedule takes the guesswork out of what day and time to publish for the best engagement. By choosing “Best Time” to publish CoSchedule will share your messages at the highest traffic times for each network.
• Publish posts to multiple channels directly from WordPress administration.
• Integrates with all your favorite social media networks.
• ReQueue evergreen content automatically to bolster your social calendar.

CoSchedule is not a stand-alone system. You don’t have to give up your favorite content creation too, just integrate them into one calendar. Sync your calendar with Google Docs, Evernote, and WordPress.

Even your Email Marketing can easily fit into CoSchedule’s workflow. With just a few clicks you can connect your MailChimp, Constant Contact, or other accounts to CoSchedule.

Graphic of CoSchedule dashboard.

 

Managing Your Marketing Team

Facilitate team participation while keeping them on track, accurately gauge and meet timelines with CoSchedule sharing tools. These tools make it easy for your team to collaborate and get more done. Monitoring who’s working on what – at any given moment. Daily status meetings are easy with the CoSchedule ready-made dashboard.

These benefits just scratch the surface of CoSchedule capabilities. Your company may not need all of the CoSchedule functionality, but I bet you’ll grow into it as you see your staff humming along producing great content and your marketing campaigns producing results.

Analytics – Measure Your Marketing

Your marketing performance tells the story, and CoSchedule tracking reports will fuel your strategic decisions. CoSchedule analytics show your marketing efforts translated into REAL results. Analytics is the information you need to evaluate the success of your social campaigns on every social network. These insights are necessary to refine your social strategy. Identifying top messages will help you create content you know your audience will love.
• Report an entire campaign’s performance.
• Compare correlations between two campaigns with side by side comparisons.
• Test what’s working (or not) by comparing similar social posts side-by-side.

Analytics reports are the only way you can continually fine-tune your messaging for an evolving audience.

Graphic of analytics report

Why use CoSchedule?

Being a small business, I can’t help testing and comparing new services. I’d rather spend the research time up front and make the right choice rather than lose money and/or time with disappointments. I took a few free trials runs to be certain CoSchedule was all they claimed. Take CoSchedule for a test drive yourself.

Why am I sharing this recommendation?

Because sharing software reviews is part of my blog’s purpose. Most of my clients are small businesses with lean staffing and tight deadlines. My recommendations have helped them improve their marketing as it might help yours.

One of the difficulties with creating a marketing plan is understanding the difference between strategy and tactics. Since these become a part of the marketing plan execution first read my post “What Is Your Social Marketing Strategy.”

Creating marketing strategies for clients is one of Imagine, Inc.’s services. We work seamlessly with marketing management to guide you through the steps of creating a marketing plan. If you have a plan and a strategy already, call us at 954.257.7066 to discuss how we can help you with tactics and execution.

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