As you should know, a digital marketing plan is a cornerstone for any brand to operate effectively in the digital world. However, finding companies without defined digital marketing plans is a frequent problem (too frequent) nowadays. Falling into such mistake is as absurd as, let’s say, getting into a taxi and asking the driver to take you wherever he wants. Building a digital marketing plan means setting a clear goal as well as the resources needed to meet your business objectives.
The professional companies charge thousands of dollars for a good marketing plan for the individuals and organizations they advise, and they do it for some reason: It takes time, research and a lot of knowledge. But let’s face it: Companies, particularly the small ones, are too careful about not getting out of their budgets, especially during times of economic slowdowns. Nevertheless, although it is not cheap, all companies should invest in good marketing plans to keep existing and competing. Even a good marketing plan, in the long run, is convenient to better organize the expenses of a company.
Let’s look at some basic rules for understanding the importance of a digital marketing plan.
Know your company
Seriously, maybe you just think you do know your baby, but do you actually know how your business work on an internal and external level? It is vital to learn this since each marketing plan is unique. First off, evaluate the evolution and status of the digital transformation of your brand’s products or services. By doing this, you will know what you already have, what do your competitors have and how is the battlefield where you are playing. Without this prior knowledge, you simply can’t elaborate any plan. If you never figure this out, you can be sure that you will never know the needs of your potential customers (and the digital media they use,) where to find them (which social networks, for instance,) and what trends influence them.
Set your goals
The second step is asking yourself and being clear about what you need and what you are looking for. You should not be shy to take risks, but be realistic, concrete, know the reality of your industry and focus on few reachable goals.
One of the most basic objectives (which could be on your list) is to achieve better visibility in search engines and social media. This is a general goal. Although these goals are important, do not set aside specific objectives related to the reality of your brand. For example: In six months, sell the merchandise stored in your warehouse that has been already there for more than ninety days. It is impossible to tell you in advance which are the most appropriate goals here, because they depend on the specific needs of your organization (improving the online reputation, increasing the database, gaining more followers in social media, etc.)
Define your strategy
When you got the ‘what’ you can get the ‘how.’ The strategy you choose will be the map to reach your destination. Which are the main digital marketing strategies today? Personal branding, content marketing, search engine optimization, conversion optimization, social media marketing and email marketing. Read this article to learn more about them.
The important thing here is that by defining your strategy you will know which tactics are useful to run the whole process. The strategy is the grand whole, while tactics are each of the procedures that compose it. For example, if you decide to use the email marketing strategy, you will need first a large database and the services of a graphic designer to create an ecard or whatever you want to get into the inbox of your potential customers.
Your strategy should include the classic variables of any project: Who, how, when, how much, where, and why.
Plan your actions
So, you must put in motion what you have planned, otherwise, you would be wasting your precious time. Set deadlines, budgets, rules; designate the roles of each team member, and then execute your plan.
Monitor and measure
This phase, ironically, is one of the most important in any marketing plan and one that less attention is given to many companies. During the execution of your plan, watch every move (you can use software tools, by the way,) and collect all the possible data. Once the whole process is completed, turn that data into information, and such information into knowledge. This will let you know if your plan was successful, what you can improve, what possibilities you did not consider, what mistakes you made and why.
This is a basic introduction you for getting into the concept of ‘Digital Marketing Plan.’ The best advice, though, is that you work hand in hand with experts in this field. Now you know a little more, but let them do their magic.