It should be no surprise to you that a solid digital marketing plan is crucial to your success as a business. U.S. consumers spend an average of 6.4 hours online these days and in order to effectively engage them, you need to be equipped with an effective digital strategy.
The issue is that most business owners are overwhelmed with day to day tasks making it tough to find the time to develop a solid digital marketing strategy.
Today we’ll be going over how to make a digital marketing plan that will serve as a foundation for years to come.
How to Make a Digital Marketing Plan – Quick Overview
- Understand Your Target Market
- Clarify Your Business Goals
- Audit Your Existing Digital Assets
- Plan Your Content Strategy
- Plan Your Paid Media Strategy
What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is a well thought out plan that will help you reach your business goals by using specific digital marketing channels. There are many different online marketing channels including earned, paid, and owned media which are used in conjunction to effectively market your business online.
A good online strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. One example is to have a goal of increasing your website traffic by 30% this year or increasing the number of leads from your website by 15% in 6 months.
Your digital strategy won’t be static, it may be updated quarterly depending on your business. It will also involve many moving parts and multiple targets.
Your digital marketing strategy will be a group of goals set to help you reach your business goals.
What is a Digital Marketing Campaign?
Digital marketing campaigns are segments in your digital marketing strategy used to reach your business goals.
In other words, you may run a digital marketing campaign by optimizing certain web pages in your website for specific keywords on search engines with the intent of bringing in targeted traffic to your website and generate more leads.
Identifying Target Market:
One of the most important aspects of making a digital marketing plan is to understand your target market so you can engage them with the right marketing strategy.
In order to succeed with digital marketing, you’ll need to be extremely detailed when you create your buyer personas. If possible use real data. Try to go through your old client files to better understand who really buys from your business.
If you don’t have access to the exact data simply make buyer personas based on those who purchase from you regularly.
Demographic Info to Identify Buyer Personas
Demographic information will be important for any paid media campaigns you’d like to run. For example Facebook ads, Linkedin ads, or YouTube Ads. You’ll need to fill this info into the advertising network to set up the right targeting. If you don’t know these numbers and decide to guess that may turn into wasted ad spend and low performing ads.
- Job Title
- Marital Status
Psycho-graphic Information in Digital Marketing
Quantitative or psychographic information is important in order for you to really be able to sell your product or service. What problem is your product or service solving? Why do people purchase your product? Understanding this will help your digital marketing plan engage your audience more.
- Goals (Personal or Business)
Clarify Your Business Goals
Setting a specific goal for each digital marketing campaign will help you measure its effectiveness.
The overall digital strategy should be driven by a business goal and each campaign should have it’s own goal.
Your business goal may be to increase your revenue by 25% this year. If your sales reps have a closing ratio of 3 to 1 that means you need 75% more leads this year than last year (all else being equal).
You’ll then take these numbers and create multiple digital marketing campaigns to help you reach these business goals.
Try to keep these goals somewhat conservative and realistic. If you’ve never generated business from a specific digital marketing campaign speak to a professional and ask them to tell you the number of leads/sales others in your industry are seeing.
Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is one of the most effective aspects of a digital marketing plan. It’s low cost and can be extremely effective if done right.
Unlike paid advertising, which we’ll cover later in this article, content marketing is typically a slow, organic, build.
Content marketing includes:
- Posting on Social Media
- Writing a blog post on Your Website
- Creating a YouTube Video
Social Media Content Marketing Strategy Development
Social media can’t be ignored. It can be somewhat overwhelming when you consider all of the social media platforms out there today. Your job when you create your digital marketing plan is to simplify the entire process and make it as efficient as possible.
How Often Should You Post on Social Media?
You might here that you should be posting a few times a day on social media. Others will say a few times per week is fine. The key is to be consistent. Set a goal and hit it every week.
Also, be sure to consider that some social media sites are more important than others for your specific business. So don’t spread yourself to thin trying to be active everywhere.
Consider the Demographics of Each Social Media Platform
Get the important social media sites down first then expand to others.
If you’re a B2B business that sells to Realtors you may want to focus primarily on LinkedIn. So develop that strategy first and prioritize it.
If you’re an eCommerce brand that sells to young woman you’ll want to focus on Instagram.
Reuse Content to Make Your Life Easier
Lastly, be efficient with your content. If you wrote a killer video on YouTube distribute it to your social media accounts. If you wrote a huge article make sure you share it.
SEO & Content Marketing in Your Digital Strategy
Search Engine Optimization, or better known as SEO, is marketing which mainly focuses on increasing visibility in non-paid search engine results. It works primarily in drawing traffic and increases awareness of such search engines. It is effective and trendy when it comes to the online marketing plan or marketing your creativity online. The various aspects of SEO including keywords, used on the site and also the links attached with.
Many times, SEO is all about constructing your site in a way that search engines are able to identify and recognize the words directly. Small business marketing also uses SEO. In today’s era, a digital marketing plan is always necessary when it comes to advertising your product or site. Many people believe that SEO is only about generating search engine-friendly websites, which is not true. SEO also includes creating websites which impart value to the users in every way possible.
Develop Your Content Marketing Plan for SEO
Content is hugely important when it comes to SEO. You’ll want to develop a content marketing plan to make sure you hit your SEO goals.
Creating a content calendar is not rocket science. You can make one on a Google sheet just like I have below.
Competitor Analysis to Find Content Ideas
Keeping an eye for the moves of your competitors make is a sign of a true businessman. It is important to know about the stuff they are selling, their customer response, and the actions they take in order to keep drawing traffic towards themselves. Have a goal of building a clear picture of their organization for you to be well aware of their whereabouts.
Also, it is important to keep yourself updated with respect to the type of audience they interact with. So be sure you add in a bit of competitor analysis to your marketing plan.
A regular visit to their profile or social media or to their website will definitely fetch you all the information that you need to know about your competitors. You can always interact with them by posing as an online customer just to find out how they respond. Additionally, you can implement the best of these tactics in your own business.
You can also study the replies given by them: is it a real person responding? Or is it an automated reply? This information can be used productively and thereby used to draw clients towards your business. The goal would be to find content ideas that resonate with your audience.
Paid Advertising Campaigns
Another essential part of your marketing plan will be paid advertising. Each paid advertising campaign will have its own goal that will help you reach your business goals. Remember to think of your target market as you develop your paid advertising strategy.
You’ll want to place ads where your target market is spending time so it’s crucial you think of them first.
Some of the most popular paid advertising platforms are:
- Google Ads
- YouTube Ads
- Facebook & Instagram
- and Many, Many More
When you’re ready to launch ads for your business don’t reinvent the wheel. Do a bit of competitor research and take ideas from ads that are already working. If you see an ad that works save it for later use or analysis.
Execution and Goal Setting for your Digital Marketing Strategy
It is extremely necessary to figure out the budget before you even think of going ahead with the execution of your digital marketing plan. When SEO comes at a reasonably low price and with minimal investment, some amount of financial capital is needed to be invested.
It is important to be prepared with the amount of money you are ready to invest in your site. A higher budget can bring you better features and an allowance for effective video content too.
Online marketing plans and small business marketing have tremendously increased over the years. A good digital marketing plan coupled with the correct way of execution can bring about an amazing development in the overall appearance and performance of your business. By all these being mentioned above,- a little time and money should be invested in the right way in order to reap maximum benefits.
Lastly, set some goals and realistic expectations of where you want your business to go. Then break it down to actionable steps that you can perform daily. An example of this would be to post on Facebook three days a week or to get more google reviews.
No matter what your plan is, set some goals and work towards it daily. The key here is consistency, so stay focused and work towards your goals.
Setting KPI’s and Measuring Results
No digital marketing plan is perfect from inception. Every single digital campaign was tweaked and modified hundreds of times prior to being effective. If something doesn’t work at the start don’t give up. Make the changes you need to make it effective.
Always Be Testing
Once you’ve run each campaign for a month or so sit down and analyze its effectiveness. Consider investing more in campaigns that produce results. If you stick to it you’ll get the results you set at the start. It may not happen the first year, but you’ll get there with enough persistence.