Initiating a digital marketing plan without having first developed a plan or strategy could result in failure if you don’t take into account all the factors that could affect how starting develops. And when it comes to digital marketing, it’s crucial to get it right because it may have a significant impact on a company’s success.
For instance, organizations with blogs generate 67% more leads than those without blogs. Every aspect of your strategy must be put to use in the 5,000 advertisements the typical person views each day in order for your campaign to be successful and reach your target market.
Digital communication channels now play a bigger role in a project’s success. In 2020, 55% of the world’s population had access to the Internet, making up a market of more than 4.2 billion users. And the tendency is in favor of using a mobile device to make purchases: 51% of digital commerce is done so. We must make sure that our content is mobile-friendly if we want to remain competitive in this market.
In order to structure a marketing plan, it is necessary to decide on a specific target demographic (buyer persona), some corporate goals, and an adequate value proposition.
- What is a Digital Marketing Plan?
- How do you Present a Digital Marketing Plan?
- What Should be Included in a Digital Marketing Plan?
What is a Digital Marketing Plan?
A plan of action that will assist your company in achieving its digital marketing objectives is a digital marketing strategy. This is the motivation behind all of your efforts in digital marketing. Your plan of action has to show how you intend to reach your objectives.
Additionally, there are numerous ways to market your company in the modern online environment. These things must be remembered when drafting the document that outlines our marketing strategy. They aid in the formulation and planning of our campaigns:
- Short, medium, and long-term business goals.
- The strategies to achieve the goals at the digital level.
- The channels to use.
- Action and development plans.
- Investment and budget.
- The timing and roadmap.
A traditional marketing plan is used, in the words of Philip Kotler, who is regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern marketing, “to document how the organization’s strategic objectives will be achieved through specific marketing strategies and tactics, with the customer as the starting point. It is also connected to the strategies of other organizational departments. This sentence should be kept in mind so that we don’t drift off course.
How do you Present a Digital Marketing Plan?
Let’s now discuss the many elements of your digital marketing plan as well as the precise procedures you should take when you create your strategy.
1. Define your digital marketing goals and business objectives
The objectives of your digital marketing plan should be specific, measurable, and doable. This will help you choose what you want to accomplish and track. When establishing these objectives, be precise and explicit. To measure your success, you need also give exact statistics and dates.
Avoid setting goals that declare, for instance, that you will improve the digital customer experience or upgrade your lead generation system. These are a little too nebulous. It is not clear what steps you should take to accomplish that goal, and you cannot measure your progress.
An improved objective would be to double organic search traffic in the upcoming 12 months. This gives you a due date, a plan for establishing milestone targets, and particular steps to take (optimize your site, create amazing content, and conduct strategic outreach for SEO, etc.).
2. Define audience segmentation and buyer personas
The ability to precisely target your audience is one of the main benefits of digital marketing. Knowing your target audience is essential to the success of any digital marketing effort. You can gain knowledge about the marketing strategies that will work best by segmenting your audience and creating buyer personas for each of those segments.
Let’s take the example of selling IT services. Your target market may include small companies with annual revenues under $500,000. You might also sell to big businesses with substantial IT requirements. You will have extremely diverse consumer profiles and marketing approaches for each of these market segments.
The head of a major IT department usually won’t relate to messaging that connects with a small business owner, and vice versa. Establish the various groups that make up your target audience first. Start developing the personalities of your ideal customers inside each segment from there.
Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, as well as the cost of your product or service, will affect the information in your buyer persona. You might want to include the following demographic and extra details:
- Age range
- Job title
- Social media platforms
- Pain points
- Products/features desired
By creating personas, you may better understand your target audience and experience the world from their perspective. When you understand what is most important to them, you can develop a digital marketing plan that addresses both their pressing needs and big challenges.
3. Conduct a competitive analysis and determine market share
Knowing your competition is essential for successful marketing campaigns. You may find out who your competitors are, estimate your market share, and learn what kinds of marketing tactics they use by conducting a competitive study.
Take into account the following factors when doing your competitive analysis:
- Which audience segments are they targeting?
- What digital marketing channels are your competitors using?
- Where are they strongest?
- Where are they weakest?
- What portion of their traffic is earned/owned/paid?
- What’s their positioning in the market?
- What’s their claimed differentiation?
- What type of messaging and specific language do they use?
- What is their tonality and brand personality?
You can outperform your rivals via online marketing if you conduct a thorough competitive landscape research. For instance, you may come to the realization that the positioning and differentiation of your rivals are well known, therefore it will be advantageous for you to focus on defining your own in contrast. Or, you can find that they perform well in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) but poorly in terms of social media marketing.
4. Conduct a SWOT analysis
A competitive landscape analysis’s equivalent is a SWOT analysis, which identifies a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It provides a framework for comparing your company to other market factors. Utilize this procedure to determine what is effective, uncover prospective prospects for organic growth, and be ready for potential external threats.
Start by examining your company’s advantages. What are your main competitive advantages over your rivals? Which tasks do you excel at the most? What special resources do you have available?
Examine your shortcomings next. What aspects of your company aren’t performing all that well? What prevents you from closing sales? Where do you lack compared to your rivals?
The third phase entails taking a thorough look at the prospects that exist for your business. Are there any market trends that you may benefit from? Can you use new technology in a way that your rivals cannot? Exists an underrepresented group in your audience?
Identify any potential hazards to your company, and then close. Could a rival snatch market share? Are there any barriers preventing corporate expansion? Are there any foreseeable financial concerns?
Your SWOT analysis findings will aid in the creation of your digital marketing strategy. Your strategy should play to your advantage, address any weaknesses you may have, seize chances, and anticipate threats. All in an effort to increase your sales.
5. Calculate your digital marketing plan budget
Calculating your budget is the next stage in developing the ideal digital marketing strategy for your company. Your available funds for digital marketing initiatives will be determined by your budget, which will also direct you toward particular channels, methods, and approaches.
Your budget for digital marketing will differ depending on a number of variables, such as:
- Position within the industry
- Previous results
- Profitability of a strategy, tactic, or campaign
How much money will you set aside for brand-awareness initiatives? What about certain promotions and campaigns? Will you set aside a specific sum of money for digital marketing in order to retain customers? Do you have an idea of what to budget for SEO?
It’s critical to plan ahead and set a budget. However, have an open mind so you can seize chances for a higher SEO ROI. You might be better off cutting that spending if you see that a certain campaign isn’t producing a favorable ROI. Similar to this, if you notice that a particular campaign (or channel) is yielding disproportionate results, think about adjusting the budget and allocating more money to what’s working well.
As long as your acquisition costs remain below the target, increase the budget if you have a specific, very profitable return on investment in mind. In this way, your budget can act as a flexible support system for your efforts in digital marketing.
6. Define your digital marketing channels
Determine the key digital marketing platforms you’ll be utilizing before creating a content strategy. Your audience, objectives, and budget must all be considered when choosing your outlets.
Say, for instance, that your objective is to increase targeted visitors to your website by 30%. PPC advertisements are one way to achieve it, and they can help you gain momentum right away. Google Adwords, though, can be pricey as well.
Use more affordable methods, including SEO and content marketing, to increase ROI. You get more for your money via these channels, which take longer to yield results but also have far lower acquisition costs. Additionally, the results of content marketing and SEO grow over time, positioning you for more enduring success.
Think about where your audience spends the majority of their time when choosing your digital platforms. If your business is B2B, you might want to concentrate on platforms like LinkedIn or webinars. You might want to think about Instagram influencer marketing if your target demographic is younger. Consider how you may provide value to your audience through the channels that they prefer.
Also, don’t assume that your audience is uninterested in quality content. The best content marketing examples come from a diverse spectrum of businesses with very distinct target audiences.
7. Develop your digital marketing strategies and tactics
You must create the digital marketing methods and plans you’ll employ within each of your channels after establishing them.
You must choose the keywords and methods you’ll use to target them, for instance, if you want to concentrate on search engine optimization. You can choose to develop an extensive content hub, online training programs, SEO subject matter clusters, or a collection of online tools. You might also chose to give insights on forthcoming trends, more in-depth, superior how-to knowledge, or celebrity-focused content.
Create case studies that highlight your achievements if your main goal is to generate b2b leads. As you consider your digital marketing strategy, look for ways to set yourself apart from the competition.
You will have to work more to attract attention and achieve genuine optimization across your digital marketing portfolio the more competitive the market. Be as genuine to your brand as possible while developing your digital marketing approach.
8. Create a marketing calendar
You may plan out exactly when you’ll launch your digital marketing campaigns and projects using a marketing calendar. It also fosters responsibility, ensuring that you meet deadlines and successfully carry out the strategy all year long. A calendar additionally enables you to guarantee that you constantly reach every one of your target audience groups all through the year.
Break down your schedule into each month of the year and try to plan out 12 months in advance. This will give you a broad framework as well as enough time to plan and carry out each delivery.
When planning your editorial schedule, be reasonable. Make sure each deliverable is clearly assigned to a certain person, and allow yourself enough time to complete everything in a professional manner.
Popular marketing scheduling tools include CoSchedule, Contently, and Trello.
9. Measure the results and KPIs of your digital marketing plan
The definition of metrics and key performance indicators is the last step in developing a digital marketing plan and strategy (KPIs). You must evaluate the results of your marketing campaigns in relation to both the starting point and the initial objectives. Adjust and optimize, then remeasure if the findings are disappointing.
As a marketer, make sure to measure each channel so you can determine which is most effective for your business and which may need to be reduced.
Through dashboards, keep your marketing team as a whole updated. Several well-known marketing dashboard tools are Klipfolio, TapClicks, Grow, and Domo.
What Should be Included in a Digital Marketing Plan?
One advantage of using digital marketing is the ability to quickly change your strategy based on what works and what doesn’t. The term “digital marketing” is frequently used to refer to a wide range of disciplines. A digital marketing strategy can include a wide range of tactics, from marketing automation and research to pay-per-click advertising.
Online advertising entails placing bids and purchasing pertinent ad units on external websites, such as display ads on blogs, forums, and other pertinent websites. Ads might be in the form of text, pop-ups, banners, videos, photos, and more. Retargeting is a crucial component of online marketing.
Retargeting calls for the use of code that adds an anonymous browser cookie to keep track of new site visits. You can then show them advertisements for your product or service when they browse other websites. This concentrates your marketing efforts on potential customers who have already expressed interest in your business.
A key tactic for luring new clients is content marketing. The development of thought leadership will be aided by the consistent online publication of high-quality, timely content. It can raise SEO rankings and inform potential buyers about the issues your product can help them with. Blog entries, case studies, whitepapers, and other resources of value to your target audience can all be considered content. Customers can then be acquired using these digital content assets through both free and paid initiatives.
Sending promotional emails to a targeted audience of potential clients or consumers is known as direct marketing. Sending individualized messages that are specific to the requirements and interests of clients through email marketing is still a successful strategy. It is especially common among e-commerce companies as a means of retaining customers.
The promotion of goods or services specifically through mobile phones and other mobile devices is known as mobile marketing. This covers text-based mobile advertising as well as advertising found in downloaded apps. The optimization of websites, landing pages, emails, and content for mobile devices is also a part of a holistic mobile marketing strategy.
Paid search enables businesses to bid on specific keywords and buy advertising space in the search engine results, which enhances search engine visibility. Only those who are actively looking for the terms you’ve chosen will see advertisements. Pay per click (PPC) and cost per mille (CPM) are the two main categories of sponsored search advertising (CPM).
PPC only charges you when a user clicks on your advertisement. You pay for CPM based on the quantity of impressions. The most popular paid search advertising platform is Google Adwords, however other search engines like Bing also offer sponsored programs.
An automated method of bidding for digital advertising is called programmatic advertising. When a user visits a website, profile information is used to auction off the ad impression to rival marketers. You can more precisely target your campaigns with programmatic advertising since it gives you greater control over the websites and users that view your ads.
Positive internet reviews are the main emphasis of reputation marketing. Reading internet reviews is a crucial part of building the reputation of your company and products and can affect customers’ purchasing decisions. Consumers are encouraged to post favorable evaluations on websites where prospective customers look for reviews as part of an online reputation marketing plan. Many of these review websites also include native advertising, which enables businesses to display adverts on the profiles of rival enterprises.
Search engine optimization
The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to increase organic website traffic. Technical and artistic strategies are used in SEO to raise visibility and enhance rankings in search engines. Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the three search engines that are most often used. To keep a high ranking, digital marketing managers concentrate on improving several levers including keywords, crosslinks, backlinks, and original content.
Social media marketing
A crucial element of digital marketing is social media marketing. Digital marketing managers have paid opportunities to connect with and engage with potential customers on websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and even YouTube. To reach a bigger audience and boost brand awareness, digital marketing initiatives frequently mix organic efforts with sponsored content and paid advertising promotions on important social media sites.
With the use of video marketing, businesses can engage their audience more visually and interactively. In addition to offering educational material and testimonials, you can highlight new product launches, special announcements, and events. The most popular websites for sharing and promoting videos are YouTube and Vimeo. Another method for digital marketing managers to connect with viewers on video platforms is through pre-roll advertisements, which play for the first 5 to 10 seconds of a video.
Marketing managers can monitor online user behaviour using analytics. Digital marketing is built on collecting and analyzing this data since it provides businesses with insights into online consumer behavior and preferences. Google Analytics is the most popular tool for studying website traffic, but there are also others like Adobe Analytics, Coremetrics, Crazy Egg, and others.
Webinars are online meetings that let businesses communicate with clients both old and new, wherever they may be. A focused audience can be reached in real time by using webinars to provide pertinent content, such as product demonstrations or seminars. By actively interacting with your audience, your business has the chance to exhibit in-depth subject matter expertise. Many businesses use attendee lists in retargeting and email marketing campaigns to attract new leads and solidify already-existing connections.