5 Business Plan Examples to Help You Map Out Your Marketing for the Year

5 Business Plan Examples to Help You Map Out Your Marketing for the Year

New year, new business plan examples! That is how the saying goes, right?

Today, we’re diving into business plan examples for several areas of online business–from social media to product promotions–that will help you plan better, faster and more strategically (and see incredible results!). And even better, inside each section, you’ll also find an example of a marketing plan to take and tweak.

Here’s the deal: The new year is an exciting time–especially for entrepreneurs. There’s something so intoxicating about a blank slate and all the glittering possibilities it represents. A brand new year gives us the once-in-365-day opportunity to take a step back and reevaluate our goals, strategies and how we ‘do’ business in general.

But how can you make sure your next year in business is your best year yet? That’s where this post comes in.

If you’re oh-so-ready to have an epic year, you’re in the right place.

Whether you already know what you want to plan for and simply need a roadmap to follow or need help figuring out which areas you should plan for to begin with, read on.

Here are a few things to remember as you look at these business plan examples:

  1. I’ll be breaking these business plans down into monthly examples. That said, you can always plan in quarters, weeks or just get right down to the nitty-gritty and plan the promotions down to the day.
  2. You can also use the example business plans to create an overarching plan for each month. Then, you can revisit the plan before each month starts to map it out in more detail. Whatever works.
  3. One more note: Marketing​​ plans don’t exist within a vacuum. They usually complement each other. For example, your email marketing plan might sync up with your social media plan and product promotion plan or vice versa.

Product Promotion Plan (think digital products, coaching programs, services, and more!)

A product promotion plan is exactly what it sounds like: a plan that lays out what you’re going to promote in your business, when and how.

Below, you’ll find a business plan example for mapping out your product promotions.

Example: Create an Excel or Google Sheets document with the following columns. You can choose to divide it into tabs with different quarters or months, or lay it all out on one sheet.

  • Product Name. This is where you’ll list the name of the product/offer. This might be a product you already have, a product you plan to create or someone else’s product or offer you plan to promote.
  • Promotion Name. Does this promotion have a name?
  • Dates. When will this promotion happen? List the start and end dates.
  • Target Audience. Who is this offer for? Is it everyone in your audience, or a subset? Get clear.
  • Promotion Type. What type of promotion is this? Will you be offering a special promotion of any kind? This could be anything from a coupon code to an extended payment plan.
  • Key Messages. What do potential customers need to know about this product or service in order to want to buy? You can start with the basics: what it is, who it’s for, what problems it solves and the outcome or result the user can expect. Is there anything else you want to ‘make known’ about this offer? What differentiates it from others in your product suite?
  • Marketing channels. Once you know all of the above, you can decide where you plan to promote this product. You might have your regular marketing channels in mind, or you might be expanding into a new channel with this product.

You can then create the following rows, for example:

  • Month Name
  • Promotion #1
  • Promotion #2
  • Promotion #3

Once you know what you’re offering in the new year, you can decide how you’re going to market it and use one of the marketing plans below.


Email Marketing Plan

Email marketing is one of the best ways to get more intimate with your audience–and make loads of sales in the process, too!

All that said, it’s important you know what and when you plan to email your audience about in the new year, so you don’t try to wing it every month. Like a product promotion plan, an email marketing plan can provide you with an at-a-glance look at what topics you plan to cover in a particular month and when you’ll actually send your emails.

Most email marketers have a ‘regular’ email marketing schedule (a regular newsletter or ‘value-based’ email that goes out), as well as various email marketing campaigns throughout the year. You can use this business plan example to make a plan for your email marketing to cover both.

There are several things to take into account when deciding what to email your list about, including:

  1. Holidays
  2. Seasonality
  3. Current events
  4. Current trends
  5. Promotions or launches you have going on in your business
  6. Your brand and/or content pillars

Example: Create a spreadsheet with the following column headers:

  • Send date(s).
  • Send list. Who is this going out to? If you use list segmentation, you’ll just write the name of the list. And if there’s any list this email should not go out to, you can include that here, too.
  • Team member. Who is responsible for creating this email?
  • Email topic. What is this email about?
  • Email campaign (if applicable). Is this email a part of a promotional campaign? If so, list the name here.
  • Email subject line idea(s).
  • Email copy link and/or sources for content.
  • Call to action and/or URLs to include.

Just like with our product promotion plan example, you can then create the following rows, like this:

  • Month Name
  • Email #1
  • Email #2
  • Email #3

This will allow you to map out your regular newsletters and your campaigns in one place, if you so choose.

You can also choose to add more to this template, including your email marketing strategy,  A/B test descriptions or track your metrics.

Pro tip: Already have a content calendar? Feel free to add this information to it, too!


Social Media Marketing Plan

Odds are you’re using social media in some capacity to drive sales for your business–and brava! Social media is a fantastic tool that allows us to connect with–and market to–billions of people around the world.

That said, it’s wildly easy to get overwhelmed by social media when you don’t have a plan.

To make sure you’re making the most of your time on social media, you can use this business plan example to help you map out your social media marketing. This plan will tie into your overall business objectives, promotions and even other marketing efforts (like, say, your email marketing).

Example: Create a spreadsheet with the following column headers:

  • Date
  • Topic
  • Content pillar it falls under
  • Opening/hook idea
  • Content channel
  • Content type
  • Call-to-action
  • Promotion or campaign?
  • Notes, ideas or link to content
  • Visual (notes, ideas or URL)

Then, create the following rows, like this:

  • Month Name
  • Post #1
  • Post #2
  • Post #3

Video Marketing Plan

Creating videos without a plan? It might sound fun in theory (especially if you’re the kind who loves the cam!), but the truth is, trying to market via video without a plan upfront can easily become a major headache.

Implementing a simple video marketing plan like the example below can help you minimize the time you spend laboring over keywords and descriptions or re-filming videos because you didn’t have an outline.


  • Date
  • Video topic
  • Promotion or campaign: Is this video part of another campaign or promotion? If so, you can list the name here to tie everything together.
  • Video outline (notes or URL):
  • Video elements

And again, add rows to slate the content into specific months, if that’s your preference.


Content Marketing Plan (Podcasts, blogs, etc.)

Social media not your thing–or maybe it’s your thing and you also create longer-form content? Then you might need a content marketing plan for the new year.

A podcast or blog marketing plan will look similar, and you can use the example below for either one.

Example: Use a spreadsheet to collect the following information for each piece of content you plan to create.

  • Target audience:
  • Evergreen or time-sensitive:
  • Notes or other commentary:
  • Goal(s): What business goal does this tie back to you? It might be several.
  • Content distribution channels:
  • CTA:
  • Once you have the general content marketing plan in place, you can get more granular by creating a content or editorial calendar with the following elements:
  • Publication/live date:
  • Topic:
  • Title idea(s):

And once again, you can also include rows that allow you to map out in which months this will all happen next year.

And there you have it! The new year is ripe with opportunities for reinvention, but it can also be ripe with temptation to try things that maybe aren’t actually the best use of your time, energy and resources.

So, before you jump into any of the above, be sure to start by analyzing last year’s results:

  • What worked for you?
  • What hasn’t?
  • What can you let go of?
  • Will this ‘new thing’ you want to try make sense for your target audience and your business goals?


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