Digital Marketing Plan and Strategy
Marketing IS everything – it comes before any sale. Marketing should mainly help to build and or maintain a brand, but should also work closely with sales, so that their joint efforts are working towards the same goals. Likewise all Marketing inputs should work to help production refine the products, based on customer feedback, taste tests, focus groups etc. These efforts are all just part of your general business plan. We recommend that clients try to have a Three Year Master Plan and review it regularly, annually and monthly to keep you on track.
Digital Marketing just refers to the part of the marketing effort which utilises mainly web based platforms, website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc as well as TV, podcasting and webinars. When it comes to the internet what do you want to achieve through the medium of the web ? Sell, Tell, Share or Serve?
You may want to focus on lead generation or actual online selling, but likewise you just want to save time by answering questions or allowing people book or pay for appointments online. Whatever the reasons, you will still benefit from starting with a plan and tweak it as you go, based on results.
Digital Marketing Plan Questions
Some 20+ basic questions to consider within your digital marketing plan include:
1. Who is the target audience?
2. Is that backed up by proof that this target wants your product or service?
3. How will you connect with that target market?
4. What do you need to do to achieve it ?
5. Strategies and Tactics?
6. What kind of web presence or website platform ?
7. Where are you at right now ?
8. Where do you want to be?
9. When do you want to get there?
10. Who will manage any plan?
11. Who is the Digital Marketer or has that responsibility?
12. How will you use Social Media?
13. How will you use pay per click or PPC ?
14. Which tools do you need? CRM, Video, Audio, Software?
15. What is the budget and what is the required investment ?
16. Cash Flow – Can you afford the costs in your projected cash flow?
17. Have you agreed any Terms and Rates?
18. ROI – What will be a good Return On Investment? KPIs?
19. What metrics will you use?
20. Have you set some targets?
What is stopping you?
Talk to a good Web Partner and draw up a plan, then make it happen. Share content, engage and entertain, be creative, interesting and sincere. You do not have to entertain the world, just your own identified target audience. You want to engage with that audience and highlight how you can help solve problems. Make sure that you are producing something that solves a problem and where there is a defined market for it. Ideally, it should not just be an exchange of your time for an hourly rate and it should be scalable, whereby the business runs when you are absent. Use your own voice or style rather than imitate others.
Digital Marketing Plan Advice
If you are serious about creating your online presence – here are some steps, tips, advice and reminders;
1. Create a Blog and start by populating it with 20 small articles circa 300+ words and 10 large circa 3000+ words to show competency. Remember to avoid the technical stuff about your product and just feature the benefits or the product of the product. See our Guide to Blogging here.
2. Create a Facebook page and get some friends by adding useful or entertaining content and sharing – by all means ‘boost’ a good post, to your target audience. Paid Ads do work, but fine tune the audience. Lookalike is a bit broad, but worth looking at. Facebook “Remarketing” may be a bit creepy, but can work very well, especially if you target people who have actually visited your website, thereby indicating an interest. See our Guide to using Facebook here.
3. Create a Twitter account and get some followers, engage, share, entertain or ask questions – never ever buy followers – it is not a numbers game.
4. Create a Pinterest account and add a few boards about your topic, especially if good photography compliments your business.
5. Create a Youtube account and create some videos, especially ‘How To’ or entertaining content. use the video in your website too.
6. Instagram – best way to connect with a younger audience or Snapchat for the teen market.
7. Same with Vimeo, create and add some video content – no need for expensive quality.
8. Comment on other Blogs or industry sites/forums – if you have something useful to say, such as providing answers to questions.
9. Get a good domain name, ideally one that runs with your other “handles”.
10. Create a website plan, content, SEO and navigation, then build it and the brand. Remember that any marketing activity that will bring visitors to your website, needs to be supported by having a website with good flow or user interface UX navigation, content. Add forms of support/connection whether that is FAQs, chat, email etc.
Remember: Content is king – get it right, make it relevant, easy to read and worthwhile.
11. Search Engines – set up an account in Google and Bing, register the business and its address. Share some content via Google My Business – see our Guide here.
12. Portals – Register will all relevant portals to increase visibility through things like Yelp and Google My Business
13. eMail Marketing – send useful content to inform and educate your target audience, only with permission.
14. Publish – offer useful content to online or offline newspapers or contribute to trade mags etc.
15. Mobile – Everybody is doing it, so make sure your content is mobile friendly first and your plan starts with mobile in mind.
Now you are started, what next ? Write it all down, tweak the plan or talk to your Web Partner / Digital Marketer. By creating a SWOT analysis, you can see the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. In most cases the big opportunity lies in simply creating better content.
Digital Marketing Plan – Takeaways:
1. Do not invest any money until you have a plan.
2. Consult a Pro – just like you would engage an architect before building a house.
3. It is not a free activity, so it needs a budget, targets, KPIs and metrics, time and constant assessment. Budget is needed for content creation and for getting it found.
4. Mobile is the small digital doorway to a bigger picture – start with it and focus on mobile always.
5. Digital Marketing is not an action, it is an ongoing business commitment, as important as production, finance or sales – embrace it.
Well created websites will have analytics and ways to measure traffic and conversion. Imagine if you could attract the right traffic and drag visitors in to your shop, through the window and encourage purchases. The web allows for this sort of focus and analysis. Find out which advertising works for you and which does not. Save on wasteful advertising costs. Attract the clientele that you most desire to sell what you want to sell at the price at which you want to sell it. Work on getting a conversion and a commitment rather than having people window shop before bouncing or going elsewhere to buy.
“Buyers have changed the way they buy, so sellers need to change the way they sell“
What is our own Digital Marketing Plan or Roadmap?
This is no secret to how we do things, we write about it all the time, we make recommendations based on our learning as we go. We advise clients on the bits that they could use in their business, so our activities are as follows:
1. Be an active member of your local business network or any area where you want to grow your business
2. Be an active member at your local Chamber of Commerce
3. Join online groups of similar or related businesses, to give advice or get some, to keep upskilling, to see the trends
4. Create useful content and give it all away, written and video, optimise it, share it, publish it, post it, advertise it, thereby creating authority. Try blogging, podcasting, Youtube Live etc,
5. Optimise your website continually, ensure the user flow or experience is smooth, that the navigation is easy and that every page leads to another one, to a point where a visitor makes a decision to go to another page or contact you or eventually buy something. Search Engine Optimisation is critical to get right.
6. Network at every opportunity and make it work, rather than just turning up which is not good enough. Be helpful, add value.
7. Use Facebook, Google Ads, Linkedin etc to advertise, test it, find out what works, rinse and repeat what works well
8. Brand your office with signage, your clothing, vehicles, supporting printed marketing material
9. Get a Coach and/or Mentor, keep learning from people who have gone before you.
10. Get referrals from happy clients, after you have delivered true value, to their satisfaction and more.
And avoid spending time with people who are negative, who want the sun, moon & stars for a €1000 or who cannot work with your process.
Avoid doing anything for anybody unless you feel that you can bring true value for their enterprise. And that you are getting paid for your time – when you visit a doctor, you pay the fee, whether the news is good or bad.
Continually strive to teach what you want to learn, to become better at it yourself. Be respectful to everyone and treat them as you would like to be treated. Walk in their shoes, see with their eyes and feel with their heart.
Give it some time and it will all come together for you, if you are really genuine about what you are doing.