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Key Aspects That Should Be Included in a Good Digital Marketing Plan
Did you know that the most successful companies spend an average of 21% or more of their digital marketing budget on advertising?
But with so many different ways to advertise digitally, how do you know when and where your time and money is best spent? Especially when digital marketing best practices seem to be changing every day?
Understanding how to put together a digital marketing plan today is tough. But with a little guidance and flexibility, success is possible for anyone who’s willing to put in the work.
Here’s my guide to the essential pieces every good digital marketing plan needs!
A Clearly Defined “Why”
It’s easy to get caught up in the technical logistics of creating a marketing strategy. But you’ve got to answer the “big questions” for your business at a high level before you can expect to effectively execute anything else.
First, answer your “why.” Why are you in business? Why are you important to your target audience? Why should anyone care about what you’re selling?
Why do you need a marketing strategy?
Get the team together to answer these questions, and post them somewhere everyone will always see them. These can be very helpful reference points months from now as your implementing and rethinking strategies. The answers to your “why” will help keep your team on course while they’re doing everything from setting goals to writing copy for a social media post.
Market Research & Target Audience
Once you know the “why” you’ll need to know the “who.” Who are you targeting?
If your answer is “everyone” you need to stop and do some work on your target audience. The truth is, everyone is not your target audience.
Even 25 – 44 year-olds in Florida is probably even too general for your business. Huge businesses like Coca-Cola even segment the demographics they try to reach.
The more focused you make your target audience, the better you’ll be able to understand them. This will result in you ultimately knowing how to craft the right message to resonate with them and how to solve their problems.
But how? It’s simple. Create personas.
These are detailed personifications of your target audience that have names, job titles, incomes, personalities, and lifestyles.
Some businesses fall into a trap of assuming who their audience is without the data to back it up.
Don’t assume! Your personas should be based on thoroughly conducted market research.
Competitive analysis is another key piece of any quality digital marketing plan that converts can (too easily) be overlooked or assumed.
Businesses change over time. This includes the demographics of the location you’re in, the technology that supports your industry, the age and lifestyles of your customers, and so much more. What you thought your business would be when you started might not actually be what it’s turned into.
As long as revenue is funneling in, you might decide not to worry about this. But, just be sure to shift your competitors to match. This is where competitive analysis comes into play.
Understanding your competitors will help you better understand the unique service your business can bring to the market. Looking at their pricing, messaging, services or products, and the pain points they resolve for your customers can better help you develop overarching marketing strategies and individual campaigns.
Just don’t get too hung up on what your competitors are doing. A little can go a long way!
The only way you can really measure if your efforts are successful is to have a measurable goal (or goals). Start by assessing where your marketing efforts are currently at.
What are you currently doing that’s working? What are you doing that’s not working? Why?
Pull the data. You might find that some of the strategies you thought weren’t working actually are — just at a smaller rate than you expected. You also might find that there is a mismatch between what you actually want from your marketing strategy, and what’s currently happening.
Next, ask yourself where you want to be in 12 months and three months from now. Decide which key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track that would actually measure those specific goals.
The Right Channels for Your Digital Marketing Plan
Every business doesn’t necessarily need to undergo every type of digital marketing, at least not at first. Which digital marketing channels will be right for you will depend a lot on your industry, the type of business you have, your budget, and the bandwidth of your team.
Here’s a snapshot of the most common categories.
Technical and On-Page Search Engine Marketing (SEO)
Essential for all business types. Optimizes content for search results rankings organically. Have an expert conduct an audit, choose a keyword strategy and optimize your website for you.
This is a long-term strategy and is not campaign driven. This can be ongoing or once every year, whatever you can afford.
Content marketing overlaps into nearly every type of digital marketing. It’s all about crafting the right message while using “best practices” for each given platform. It’s often confused with copywriting, which is more focused on the creative side of marketing.
Social Media Marketing
You can approach social media marketing with both paid and organic strategies. Social media marketing includes everything from choosing the right platforms to optimizing profiles, creating content, monitoring and engaging with users and building online communities.
A great way to manage and nurture leads, and build stronger communities. It is best used when emails can be personalized and highly relevant and timely. There should be a combination of an ongoing strategy (like monthly newsletters) and campaigns (like sales and special offers).
Focuses on creating and publishing content on the internet that links to your website in an effort to build a strong “backlink portfolio.” This is a long-term strategy focused on building authority over time. This should be left to professionals and agencies and can be very expensive.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
Paid search engine marketing strategy where an ad is displayed to users who search for a specific set of keywords, but you only pay for the ad when it’s clicked on. Effective short-term, campaign-driven way to boost search engine ranking. But, it’s more complicated than it can first seem and should be done by professionals.
Ready to Build the Ultimate Digital Marketing Strategy?
Has this blog post empowered you to build the ultimate digital marketing plan? I hope so! But, if it still seems like a huge task that’s beyond your bandwidth right now, you’re definitely not alone!
Get the help of a passionate digital marketing expert who’s skilled at helping entrepreneurs and small businesses develop, streamline, and automate their digital strategies!
Click here to read more tips about how to win at digital marketing!