How to Create A SIMPLE Marketing Strategy That ACTUALLY Works: 5-Step Framework For Success

Strategic marketers are 313% more likely to succeed. In this How-To guide, we’re sharing EXACTLY how to create a simple social media strategy that works for you.

How to create a simple marketing strategy that actually works - The Smart Strategist

Did You Know That Strategic Marketers Are 313% Likelier To Succeed?

A recent coschedule study found that brands or marketers who develop a marketing strategy are 313% more likely to report success.

That’s a pretty huge statistic – but it makes perfect sense.

Because strategy creates clarity, and clarity is power.

Once you create a simple marketing strategy, with a clear roadmap to follow, it’s easier to grow.

So that’s why, in this article we’re sharing the 5 keys you need to create a simple marketing strategy that actually works and gets you to the next level – whatever that looks like for your business.

Let’s dive in!

The Importance of Having A Marketing Strategy

When you don’t have a strategy, or rather, any plan at all, you’ll often find yourself feeling confused or a little bit lost about what sort of content to create let alone post next on social media.

But when you take the time to create a strategy, no matter how simple it is, you’ll feel much more empowered to take control of your social media presence and start seeing results.

So first let’s break down what a strategy actually is.

So… What Exactly Is A Marketing Strategy?

You always hear the word bandied around corporate marketing meeting rooms. “What’s our strategy for this? What’s the top line strategy for that?”

At its most basic level, a strategy is an approach or plan of action for ensuring you reach your goals with something. In this case, having a social media or general marketing strategy is essential.

If strategy is new to you, it can seem a bit strange to constantly bring the word up. But the most important thing for marketers to take away is that in, in the content world, a strategy is ESSENTIAL.

Whether or not you have a solid strategy in place can make or break your brand, or social media, and affect whether you reach your marketing goals.

Any brand or business can put up an Instagram Reel and go viral, or get traction after putting money behind a promoted TikTok post and maybe gain a couple of sales, but that winning streak will dry up fast if there’s no ongoing marketing strategy behind your posting schedule or the content you create.

How to create a simple marketing strategy that actually works - The Smart Strategist

Let’s get more concrete about what marketing strategy is.

We know that a strategy is an approach or plan of action for making sure you reach your goals. Like a sports play book, or a standard email marketing funnel – all of those things are forms of strategies.

There are also multiple types of strategies: brand strategy, marketing strategy, content strategy, social media strategy, SEO strategy. But we won’t get into that right now!

What types of marketing strategy do big businesses and brands use?

As professional marketers with agency and big-brand experience, the kinds of strategies we typically develop for our clients are usually hyper-detailed and fully rounded master plans that help close the gap for big brands and better connect them to their customers.

These strategies are ever-evolving blueprints built over months that are informed by competitor research, marketing mindsets, creative concepts and ideas, all tailored to brand guidelines, mapped to business KPIs.

Obviously that kind of thing is geared towards companies with big teams, so this level of detail isn’t something you need to fret about – especially as a creative or independent entrepreneur doing everything yourself or with a small team.

Now we’ll dive into what a simple, effective marketing strategy can look like – and how you can start building one today.

What does a super basic marketing strategy look like?

Here’s an example: a rough action plan could look like a post-it stuck to your laptop screen with a reminder that says something like: “Post an Instagram Reel every Tuesday and Saturday”.

Let’s say that’s your “strategy” at the moment.

“Post an Instagram Reel every Tuesday and Saturday” seems helpful and easy to follow. But diving deeper, and getting more strategic, it’s important to ask why.

Why only twice a week? Why have you chosen Tuesday and Saturday specifically? Why have you even chosen Instagram? Does your audience actually use Instagram?!

Then, of course, the simplicity of this reminder doesn’t actually help you out any further on…

A – what you’re going to post,

or B – why you’re posting it,

or C – where you’re posting it,

or D – who you’re actually posting it for.

That’s where a more fully rounded marketing strategy comes into play and helps you out.

So, with all that in mind, we’ll jump right into the five keys you need to unlock the foundation of an effective marketing strategy that you can get started on straight after this session. Stay with us!

The Five Keys to Unlock the Foundation of an Effective Marketing Strategy: It’s All About the Ws

Let’s get straight into the 5 Ws that can help you structure your social media strategy: Who, What, Why, Where and When. Such simple yet important words.


  • Understanding why you have a brand social media account or marketing budget to spend and what your goal or goals are is important.
  • Once you’ve nailed your why, it makes you so much more intentional and purposeful on social media and when creating content. You remember why you’ve created your product or service in the first place. It’s about pain points.


  • Identify your target audience by creating customer personas or mindsets.
  • Once you’ve created your persona, it will be easier to talk to them through all the marketing channels. You’ll know how to tailor your language to resonate with that ideal customer.


  • Determine where your audience spends their time on social media.
  • Use your customer personas to find out where your audience spends the most time. You won’t waste time, money or effort shouting into the void on a platform like YouTube if your customers are on TikTok.


  • Understand what your content pillars or themes are, and then consider what type of content each of those posts will actually be. This helps you develop a robust content strategy, where you can start batch producing content and letting your content work smarter for you.


  • When to post is a very subjective thing. In terms of actual time and date, we’re all floating on different time zones. It comes down to who and where your customers are.
  • Make the most of cultural, pop culture, topical moments, and refer back to your audience to decide when to post.
  • Also make sure your posting schedule is achievable. Focus on getting your content out there. You can start making changes once you have more data and insights.

…And that’s it, the keys to building a successful social media marketing strategy: the five Ws!

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How Nailing The Basics Helps You Create A Powerful Marketing Strategy

When you take the time to drill down into each of these Ws, a clear pattern starts to emerge – one you can dust off and turn into an actual roadmap to follow – which effectively becomes your marketing strategy.

It’s that simple.

We want you to focus on building a marketing strategy that actually works.

So this article is about encouraging you to think more strategically about marketing and get started.

Even if you don’t have much budget, you should have a very simple plan and DIY strategy in place if you’re planning to do any form of marketing for your brand or business.

Regardless of your size or budget, strategic thinking is the key to ongoing marketing success, whatever success looks like to you!

By following the five Ws, you’ll unlock the foundation of an effective social media marketing strategy that will take your brand to the next level!

Looking for an easy marketing strategy guide?

This was a simple overview of the Five Ws. If you’d like our expert guidance on building an action-packed social media strategy that gets your brand more sales and credibility, check out our top-rated eBook: Social Media Success – How To Create A Winning Strategy.

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