There’s no escaping it—every business needs a marketing plan. Perhaps you already use traditional marketing methods, but you’re keen to add digital marketing to your mix. The first thing you should do is map out a plan of action, and these are the steps you should take:
Step 1: Set a clear goal
All good plans start with the end in mind so begin by deciding what it is you want to achieve with online marketing. Most businesses look to digital marketing to:
- Increase brand awareness
- Gather more leads
- Increase sales
Whatever it is you want to achieve, be specific about the results you want. For example, you may aim to increase sales by 25%. With a target to aim for, you’ll have a better sense of whether your plan is working.
Step 2: Set a budget
It’s been said that digital marketing has levelled the playing field among advertisers. Anyone can access Google Adwords or promote posts on Facebook—and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. So you don’t need a big budget, but you do need to start somewhere. This is especially true for those who are new to online marketing.
Work out what you can afford to spend on advertising for a month or two, and then work out where to spend it. Digital marketing is a broad term that includes content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing and Pay-Per-Click (PPC). You may need to split your budget several ways depending on what strategies you include in your plan.
Step 3: Define your target market
Naturally, you want to sell your product or service to every single one of the 7 billion-odd people on the planet. But for the purposes of marketing (traditional or digital), it’s always a good idea to get really specific. And you don’t have to limit yourself to just one target market; you can have as many as you want, as long as you can define them.
Keep in mind that many social media and PPC advertising platforms allow you to target people beyond the usual demographics of age, gender and income. You now have the ability to focus your digital marketing campaigns on people in a particular city or suburb (in some cases, even within a few metres of your business).
Facebook goes so far as to use metric such as interests, relationship status and life events (including a new job, engagement or whether you’ve recently moved).The more accurately you can picture your ideal customer, the easier it will be to craft a campaign that resonates with them.
Step 4: Split test every element of your message
In the beginning, be prepared to tweak and test every element of your message. Change the colour of your call to action button, or try sending your newsletter out on a different day of the week. Then, measure the response and you’ll soon discover what works best.
Split testing allows you to refine and perfect your message and provides you with a deeper understanding of your target market. This is information that you can use to create successful marketing campaigns, time and time again.
Step 5: Track the right metrics
Part of your plan should include identifying the key performance indicators (KPI’s) that will tell you whether your efforts are working. If you need to account for digital marketing spend to a CEO or shareholder, then being able to measure your ROI is vital.
That means you have look beyond the numbers of likes, followers and clicks you get and concentrate more on engagement. How many of the people that see your ads on Google or Facebook follow through to contacting your company or making a purchase? These are the metrics that really matter and will help you determine whether your digital marketing efforts are paying dividends.
Step 6: Review and revise
How often you choose to review your digital marketing plan depends on you, but you should schedule a regular time to revisit it and make changes. An advantage of digital marketing is that you can make changes almost instantly.
That means your digital marketing plan should be flexible. Don’t be afraid to remove what isn’t working and direct your budget to the avenues that do.
It may feel like trial-and-error in the beginning, but with a plan in place, you’ll have more control over your digital marketing strategy. It won’t be long before you have a comprehensive plan that you can use to achieve consistent results with very little effort.
If you still have questions, you’re welcome to contact the digital marketing division at Web Changes. You’ll have access to a range of experts who can assist you with formulating and exercising a digital marketing campaign to grow your business online.