When you are ready to create a long-term sales and marketing plan, it pays to know which areas to focus on first, and which people can help you achieve your goals. From web development and social media marketing to your search engine strategy, every aspect of your marketing plan must work together seamlessly. Today, more than ever, your business can benefit from specialists in these areas. Here are a few tips on how to set future milestones and how to choose the right people to lead the way to success.

Creating marketing goals

When your business is very small, you may have poorly-defined goals. These probably include things like generating more traffic and making it to page one on the SERPs. But as your company expands it’s reach, it pays to become more specific, and it’s best to define goals that are not only specific but actionable as well. In other words, instead of sweeping generalities about success, write down exactly what that means, step by step.

It starts with tech

As with most things in the digital age, your marketing plan and goals should begin with an evaluation of your information technology infrastructure. Start with your website, and CSS3 developers to take it a step ahead. CSS3 developers will be fully versed in everything from website fundamentals like design and navigation, to back- and front-end frameworks including Foundation and Bootstrap.

If you don’t know the difference between Sass and LESS, your CSS developers will, and they will know how to utilize these preprocessors to your advantage. Check freelance job boards for a developer with the experience you need, and who charges a rate within your budget.

Online and in sight

Once your website is ready for the world, it’s time to consider finding an experienced social media marketing manager and search engine optimization specialist.

Buffer stresses the importance of social media management, explaining that a social media manager is responsible for everything from researching brand mentions to curating content. They are the ones who will put together your public persona and will be ready and reactive when you want to expand your brand beyond its current reach. They know how to ensure your social media outreach drives traffic and boosts your website rank.

Social media marketing, however, can only take you so far. If you want to truly master the web, you will have to work closely with search engine optimization professionals to keep your site (and therefore your business) in the limelight. SEO marketers work diligently to ensure that your brand is not only visible but also consistent. They will take your content to the next level by ensuring it is both high-quality and relevant to search engine searches.

Together, your social media and SEO pros will keep your business ahead of the competition by making sure it stays visible to people searching for your products or services. Freelance job postings are again the best place to find a pro in these areas that aren’t looking for benefits or a full 40-hour workweek.

Missing media

Something many small businesses overlook is media away from viral news feeds. Utne Reader recommends making the actual news in your marketing goals. Don’t underestimate the power of the 5 o’clock news. Reach out to local journalists when you’re involved in something newsworthy, such as if your company makes a large donation to the school system, or if you’ve recently released a new product that was previously unavailable in your area. Your social media manager can handle this task if you aren’t comfortable promoting yourself.

With market planning and strategic partnerships, the coming year can be your best yet. Through your well-laid plans, you can rest assured that success is in your future. With the right technology and marketing people in your corner, you mark a path toward steady growth and increasing sales.