Digital Marketing Plan and Strategy
Marketing IS everything – it comes before any negotiation, pitch or 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 or services you offer, 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 Digital Marketing Plan and review it regularly, annually and monthly to keep you on track. Based on the current data you may want to trim your sails or tweak some of your tactics
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 to book or pay for appointments online. Whatever the reasons, you will still benefit from starting with a digital marketing 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? Add the in to the plan.
6. What kind of web presence or website platform will you use?
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 such 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, other Software?
15. What is the budget and what is the required investment for everything yu want to do?
16. Cash Flow – Can you afford the planned costs in your projected cash flow?
17. Have you agreed on any Terms and Rates?
18. ROI – What will be a good Return on your Investment? Set some measurable KPIs?
19. What metrics will you use?
20. Have you set some targets? What for exactly?
What is stopping you?
Talk to a good Web Partner and draw up an internet marketing 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 their 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 around the services or benefits you offer and start by populating it with 20 or 30 small articles circa 300-500+ words and 10 large circa 3000-5000+ words to show some serious competency. Remember to avoid having too much technical stuff about you, your own product or service and just feature the benefits or the actual 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. Otherwise it coud cost you dearly. Lookalike audiences can be a bit broad, but possibly worth looking at too. Facebook “Remarketing” may seem and be a bit creepy, but can work very well, especially if you target people who have actually visited your website, thereby indicating a possible 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. Do not get distracted with this medium, unless you see a return on any time you invest. Twitter users are mainly between 25 and 40 looking for real time news or technical information or high brow opinions from well known thinkers and doers.
4. Create a Pinterest account and add a few boards about your topic, especially if good photography compliments your business. Just to create an entity. Do not get distracted with this medium, unless you see a return on any time you invest. This is mainly a mature, usually female audience.
5. Create a Youtube account and create some videos, especially ‘How To’ or entertaining content. Use the videos on your website too. Note: Never upload videos to your website. Have them appear in your website, but streaming from Youtube or Vimeo.
6. Instagram – Possibly the best way to connect with a slightly younger audience, and then Snapchat or Tiktok for the much younger or teen market. Do not get distracted with this medium, unless you see a return on any time you do invest.
7. Same with Vimeo, create and add some video content – no need for expensive quality. Vimeo is lockable, so you can pay to have your content hidden unless you give access.
8. Comment on other Blogs or industry sites/forums – If you have something useful to say, such as providing answers to questions being posed, showing your competence. Add value with any post you add – show up when someone needs competent advice, be of service.
9. Get a good domain name, ideally one that runs with your other “handles” on Social Channels etc. @meanitwebdesign #meanitwebdesign etc
10. Create a website plan, content, SEO Search Engine Optimisation and navigation, then build it and alongside it your 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 UI. And good UX or user experience in your navigation and content. Add forms of support/connection whether that is FAQs, Live Chat, email etc.
Remember: Content is King – get it right, make it relevant, easy to read and worthwhile. Oh and SEO is Queen, so do not forget her or the king will not get noticed.
11. Search Engines – Set up an account in Google and Bing (yes Bing), register the business and its address. Share some content via your Google Business Profile – see our Guide here. *Actively go out and get positive Reviews from happy clients, nice long wordy ones. Then reply back to highlight how you were of service. Get more of these thaan your competitors.
12. Portals – Register will all relevant portals to increase visibility through things like Yelp and Google Business Profile, and any industry groups Associations or federations etc.
13. Email Marketing – Send useful content to inform and educate your target audience, only with their permission, of course. You do not have to wait for people to click on “Sign Up To Our Newsletter”. Simply send a cold email of introduction and say that you will add this person to your Mailing List, adding that they can Unsubscribe at any time, if you do not deliver value in your emails. This is fine if the person is a legitimate business interest to you and your product or service is suited to them.
14. Publish – Offer useful content to online or offline newspapers or contribute to trade or industry magazines etc. This could be doing interviews, CPD, webinars or podcasts.
15. Mobile – Everybody is doing it, so make sure your website and your content is mobile-friendly first and your marketing plan starts with mobile in mind.
Now you are started, what next? Write it all down, then regularly tweak the internet or digital marketing 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 than your competitors. Play the team that turns up on the pitch rather than the team you would like to be playing. You need to be better than them on any given day. So, whats the plan?
Digital Marketing Plan – Takeaways:
1. Do not invest any money until you have a digital marketing plan in place. Make that your first investment.
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 even more 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. Getting this right will help ensure a healthy funnel of enquiries leads, clients etc.
Well-created websites will have analytics and ways to measure traffic and conversion. Imagine if you could attract the right traffic and drag visitors into 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.
If you have any further questions on your or our internet marketing plan feel free to contact us at 0862510117 or use our quick enquiry form here.