From lower costs to data-driven insights, there are many benefits of digital marketing. Yet without a concrete, well-considered digital marketing plan, it’s all too easy to waste valuable time and effort on initiatives that don’t pay off. According to a 2019 study by Smart Insights, 45 percent of companies don’t have a well-defined digital marketing strategy.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to create a digital marketing plan that will be most successful and effective for your business.
A digital marketing plan is a document that describes how you intend to conduct your digital marketing campaigns. This includes an assessment of your company’s current situation, the content you have created and plan to create, and the benchmarks for assessing the success of your digital marketing initiatives.
Digital marketing plans are necessary for any business that wants to seriously invest in digital marketing. These documents serve as guides to support the digital transformation of your business and the sustained growth of your organization.
If you could make your audience remember just one thing about your company, what would it be?
Brand identity—the ways in which customers view your company—is one of the most crucial parts of marketing. The elements of brand identity include:
For example, when creating a brand identity, the task management software company Asana first selected four key brand attributes: purposeful, empowering, approachable, and quirky. With these attributes in mind, the company redesigned its logo and created a new visual motif that mixed clean white backdrops with appealing bursts of color.
Settling on a definite brand identity is essential for creating a digital marketing plan—it ensures that your marketing initiatives are always consistent and on-message. The more coherent your brand is, the more memorable you’ll be to new customers and the more likely they’ll be to stick around. If necessary, you can consult and reevaluate this identity as your company scales and enters new markets.
SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) is a management technique for assessing your organization’s current position, ensuring that you’re fully informed before making an important business decision.
An example of a simple SWOT analysis for digital marketing could look like:
Once you’ve done a sober assessment of these four factors, you can use your conclusions to build short-term and long-term digital marketing plans. Understand how you can minimize your weaknesses while using your strengths to maximize opportunities and reduce risk.
You can build the best digital marketing plan your company has ever seen, but you won’t be able to assess its effectiveness unless you choose the right metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). These values are measurements of your company’s performance along some axis: for example, the number of visitors to your website, or the percent of users who click on a Facebook ad.
Selecting the right metrics and KPIs should be done well in advance before your digital marketing plan goes live. Below are just a few of the most common metrics and KPIs for digital marketing:
When you have the right metrics and KPIs in hand, you can use these to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) for your digital marketing campaigns.
Even the most niche markets will have a wide range of customers, which means that customer segmentation is a must-have for effective digital marketing. Your audience can be split up according to four basic customer segmentation methods:
By identifying the most insightful ways to split up your audience, you can separate them into a few key buyer personas. These are fictional representations of people who similarly interact with your business, fleshed out with important details such as location, career, education, values, and pain points.
Creating these buyer personas will pay dividends when running your digital marketing campaigns. By understanding your customers on an individual level, buyer personas allow you to direct your efforts to the right places, generating more relevant content that will win more conversions.
The digital marketing funnel is an abstract representation of the buyer’s journey for digital marketing campaigns. Most versions of the digital marketing funnel divide this process into four to eight different stages:
With so many different stages of the digital marketing funnel, you can’t hope to reach all your customers and prospects with a single campaign. That’s why marketers speak about three different types of content for the digital marketing funnel:
A solid digital marketing plan is essential for businesses of all sizes and industries. Digital marketing plans ensure that your marketing initiatives are always on-brand, high-quality, and targeted toward the right people.
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