How To Create A Great Digital Marketing Plan
Online marketing is not easy. Marketers who are embracing digital marketing have a variety of different channels and tactics to master, including content creation, SEO, social media, lead generation, lead management, and analytics. It is no wonder that marketers new to online strategy end up feeling overwhelmed and wonder where to start first.
At Pi R Squared Consulting, online marketing strategy is a daily occurrence. We pulled together an easy guide that helps our clients to understand the entire online marketing process from start to finish.
From getting found online to converting your website visitors into potential leads. Moreover, from turning those leads into customers or even promoters! All this while you can measure your entire digital funnel.
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Listed below are the 8 simple steps for digital marketing success
1. Current Online Status
Prior to starting any new online marketing plan, it’s essential that you assess your current strategy. It’s important to take in account your current performances and online results.
Ask yourself following questions and answer them objectively:
- What is our current online marketing budget?
Take in account the salaries, software tools, agency costs, advertisement budget, etc..
- What online assets do you currently have?
Website, online content, print content, flyers, brochures, company presentations, videos, social media accounts, your branding, etc…
- What online activities are your currently undertaking?
SEO, SEM, SEA, retargeting, email marketing, etc..
- What is are your current results from that online strategy?
Click, conversations, leads, sale, etc..
- Define what is working and what is not?
Where are we getting qualified leads from
2. Define Your Goals
You need to define why you are selling what you are. You need to know what your business is trying to achieve. What is it that you want people to do with your product or service. When you know the answers to these questions, you can start setting yourself SMART Goals.
When setting future objectives for your digital marketing strategy such as in an online marketing plan it’s useful to look hard at each measure and ask “is it essential?”.
Our definition of SMART is:
- Specific: Can the detail in the information sufficient to pinpoint problems or opportunities? Is the objective sufficiently detailed to measure real-world problems and opportunities?
- Measurable: Can a quantitative or qualitative attribute be applied to create a metric?
- Achievable: Can the information be used to improve performance? If the objective doesn’t change behaviour in staff to help them improve performance, there is little point in it!
- Relevant: Can the information be applied to the specific problem faced by the marketer?
- Timed: Can objectives be set for different time periods as targets to review against?
The SMART methodology helps as a test or as a filter which you can use to assess the quality of measures.
It’s essential to be extremely objective with setting your goals into your online marketing plan. Set your goals too low (easy to reach) and you will miss out on important opportunities and thus revenue. Set your goals too high and you will get discouraged, meaning motivation drops and you might drop out. Keep evaluating your goals on a regular basis is essential.
3. Know your target audience ( Create Buyer personas and map their buyer journey)
Now you finally know why you are selling and what you want are trying to achieve. It’s time to have a critical look at who you need to be selling to. This strategy was formalized by Hubspot.
Start by creating buyer personas that tell you:
- Where are your potential customers located?
- What are your potential customer’s demographics?
- What are your potential customer’s roles? (On a personal and professional level)
- What are your potential customers trying to achieve?
- What pains are you trying to resolve for your customers?
- What is their story?
After you figured out who your customers are, you need to understand where in the ‘buyers process’ they are…
It’s time to start mapping out their buyer’s journey:
Buyers don’t want to be prospected, or demoed, or closed. These steps add zero value to the buyer. Buyers are looking for additional information about your product that can’t be found online. As a salesperson, you can personalize your sales process to the buyer’s context by understanding the buyer’s journey.
What is the buyer’s journey?
The buyer’s journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a new product or service. The journey is a three-step process:
- Awareness Stage: The buyer realizes they have a problem.
- Consideration Stage: The buyer defines their problem and researches options to solve it.
- Decision Stage: The buyer chooses a solution.
During the Awareness stage, buyers identify their challenge or an opportunity they want to pursue. They also decide whether or not the goal or challenge should be a priority. In order to fully understand the Awareness stage for your buyer, ask yourself:
- How do buyers describe their goals or challenges?
- How do buyers educate themselves on these goals or challenges?
- What are the consequences of inaction by the buyer?
- Are there common misconceptions buyers have about addressing the goal or challenge?\
- How do buyers decide whether the goal or challenge should be prioritised?
During the Consideration stage, buyers have clearly defined the goal or challenge and have committed to addressing it. They evaluate the different approaches or methods available to pursue the goal or solve their challenge. Ask yourself:
- What categories of solutions do buyers investigate?
- How do buyers educate themselves on the various categories?
- How do buyers perceive the pros and cons of each category?
- How do buyers decide which category is right for them?
In the Decision stage, buyers have already decided on a solution category. For example, they could write a pro/con list of specific offerings and then decide on the one that best meets their needs. Questions you should ask yourself to define the Decision stage are:
- What criteria do buyers use to evaluate the available offerings?
- When buyers investigate your company’s offering, what do they like about it compared to alternatives?
- What concerns do they have with your offering?
- Who needs to be involved in the decision?
- For each person involved, how does their perspective on the decision differ?
- Do buyers have expectations around trying the offering before they purchase it?
- Outside of purchasing, do buyers need to make additional preparations, such as implementation plans or training strategies?
4. CreateYour Online Plan
With your goals in mind, start putting together your online marketing strategy and the tools and resources needed to achieve them. This includes your:
- What is your value proposition?
- What keywords are your personas searching
- How often will you blog?
- What kind of content do you need to create to help your buyer through their journey?
- What social media networks should you be active on?
- How will you generate lead?
- What will be your ‘lead magnet’ to attract new people?
- What offers will your create to funnel leads top customers?
- How will you create this journey on your website?
- What forms, landing pages, emails, calls to action will you use?
- What Marketing Automation Software will you use?
- What CRM System will you use?
- What website system will you use
- What expertise do your partners have?
- Did they do it before?
- What is their pricing model?
- What are their partners look like?
- Which systems can they integrate with?
5. Create your website as per the plan
An effective website is the hub of all your online marketing strategy; it will generate your leads and convert them into customers. It needs to be built around your online marketing strategy and needs to reflect your goals.
The basic must haves are:
- Professionally designed
- Easy to navigate
- Fully SEO (Search Engine Optimized)
- Mobile Responsive
- Cross-Browser Tested
- Optimized for Lead Generation
- Ready for content creation
6. Content is king
Now you have done all the hard work, it’s essential to put everything in action. It’s essential to establish yourself as a leader in your industry, meaning actually getting found by search engines.
This will include:
- Blogging (Twice a week for the first three months)
- Social Media
- Content outside of your website (Ebooks, Videos, Templates,…)
Content is key and sharing knowledge will pay off.
7. Promote your content
We have come a long way in your online marketing strategy, you have created the full process, and now it is finally time to attract visitors, leads and customers.
Promote your content via following channels:
- Social Media: Share links to drive traffic back to your website. Make sharing easy by including social share buttons on your website
- Distribute your content on relevant forums and communities
- Reach out and mention influencers
- Send emails to your subscribers and existing contacts
- Consider paid advertisement to boost your reach on social media and on google
8. Evaluate, Test and Improve
Only marketing strategy is an ongoing process, it’s essential that you take the tame to track various marketing metrics to gauge your performance. If you are not sure how to start or consider that you don’t have the time or resources. Then feel free to contact us for a conversation.
Pi R Squared Consulting is specialized in delivering high-quality online marketing strategies, which generate revenue for our clients.