HOW TO CREATE AN AWARENESS DAY MARKETING PLAN AS A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER
What is an awareness day marketing plan and how can you create one to help your small business gain visibility for a specific topic? Let’s find out.
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FOR MANY SMALL BUSINESSES, BUILDING YOUR VISIBILITY AND REPUTATION IS CRUCIAL. IT’S NOT ONLY IMPORTANT TO GROW YOUR LOYAL CUSTOMER BASE AND IMPROVE LOCAL NAME RECOGNITION, BUT IT’S ALSO CRUCIAL IN THE LONGEVITY OF YOUR BUSINESS.
According to Forbes, it’s been found that most businesses do not make any profit in their first year. Additionally, new businesses take 18 to 24 months to reach profitability.
For small business owners struggling during the pandemic, this can be even more troublesome.
Fortunately, one effective way to grow your brand is through a great marketing strategy. More specifically, awareness day marketing, which highlights a cause, issue, or conversation matter for a day, week or month can help your business. These can either be specific to your geographic region, such as in the United States, or international holidays. It’s even better if this topic is directly connected to your mission statement, company values or founder’s story.
Below are a few ways to create, implement and run a successful awareness day marketing plan even if you’re a small business owner still recovering from the pandemic.
1. ESTABLISH CAMPAIGN GOALS
Before you can start anything fun in the campaign creation process, you need to establish what you want to get out of the campaign and what you want to contribute to the larger conversation around this awareness day.
Do your research on your past action as a brand that’s associated with this and your current consumer base. Self-reflect on if becoming involved would be authentic to your brand and how your consumers might feel about it with market research. Would it be genuine if you took action or spoke about it? Would it make your audience feel better represented, heard or understood? You’ll want to avoid looking like you’re jumping on the bandwagon especially. If you’re ever unsure, take time to directly interact with your consumers, as well as your employees, as they’re a close touchpoint not only to your brand but also to your new and devoted customers.
Then, identify a SMART goal-setting process to ensure the goals you set are clear and attainable. The SMART process asks you to reflect on goals in five different ways. Each goal that goes through this process should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-sensitive. Using the SMART method, come up with a clear and concise goal. Some common goals for awareness marketing plans include measurability, reach, frequency or informing and reminding your audience about your USP.
2. CHOOSE A CAMPAIGN THEME
Now that you have your goals set, it’s time to get into the more creative side of the campaign process. As a business owner, you should note that while some awareness campaigns can be more lighthearted, others may be more serious, and you’ll have to pay close attention to your tone, language or phrases used. If your message comes across as disingenuous, it can drive customers away.
Additionally, think about the angle that you are taking on compared to leaders in your industry or your competitors. Ask yourself, how are they approaching this topic? What does their messaging look like on social media about it? What visual graphics are they using or have they used for previous campaigns related to this awareness day? Environmental scanning can be your best friend.
If you’re deciding between a few, utilize A/B testing. Or, ask your friends, families or mentors for their advice and input. Although it can take longer on the front end to prepare your materials in advance, it can pay off when your awareness day campaign runs smoothly.
3. SET A BUDGET
If you’re producing the material and content for this awareness day campaign internally, identify the time and funds needed to pull it off. For example, do you have a creative department that you can rely on, or will you need to outsource work? Or, is your small business going through growth and in the next few weeks, months or years, will you have the necessary people to allocate to these tasks? To effectively budget, it would be wise to sit down with both someone from your marketing department and someone from your operations or finance department. With this group, try to keep your goals in mind as you lay out the costs for executing certain phases of the campaign. Costs to keep in mind will be equipment, salaries, and production costs.
If you’re opting for a smaller scale awareness day campaign, think about adding or incorporating low budget DIY marketing hacks. By example, repurposing the same content for multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can cut costs and time. Or, you might be able to email marketing software to detail company efforts about this awareness day with emailed newsletters with your consumers.
The last part in setting a budget is looking for funding that can make these projects plausible. If you’re a small business, there’s a number of funding options available, including online or traditional bank loans, business lines of credit or business credit cards and small business grants. Non-traditional ways to source backing include crowdfunding, a home equity line of credit or product presales.
4. BE PREPARED TO TAKE CONTINUED ACTION
Remember too that even after this awareness day, week or month ends, your campaign shouldn’t stop there. As a business owner, you must realize that continuing to implement purpose-driven marketing should be part of your annual marketing strategy. Studies even show that 63% of consumers prefer to purchase from purpose-driven brands.
The best part is, it’s never too late to start. Whether this awareness day becomes an annual tradition for your brand, or you branch out to include other related awareness weeks or months in future marketing, being a responsible business owner is staying true to yourself, your brand and your consumers.
As a business owner, never be afraid to learn from past mistakes, and reach out for help when you need it, especially when tackling new frontiers like awareness day marketing or purpose-driven marketing. By following these tips, you can create and implement courageous change for your business.