Digital marketing strategies are only as good as the digital marketing plan you put into motion. This is because a strategy answers the “what” and “why,” such as your overall approach and the goal you want to achieve. On the other hand, a plan answers the “how” part and gives you a specific actionable road map to focus your marketing efforts on.
So, to help you turn your strategy into a solid road map, we are sharing a comprehensive guide to crafting your own tailor-fit digital marketing plan.
What Is a Digital Marketing Plan
A digital marketing plan translates your strategy into a concrete roadmap that details the effort and necessary steps you need to take to achieve your goal. Your plan usually has the following details:
- Comprehensive analysis of the market
- Short and long-term goals
- Objectives you need to meet
- Digital channels to use
- Budget allocations for business-as-usual (BAU) marketing and marketing campaigns
- Realistic timeline and milestones
- Tactics to use
- Content plan
- Key performance indicators
- Roles and task breakdown of every team member
Why Is It Important to Have a Digital Marketing Plan
One of the biggest benefits of having a digital marketing plan is already having clear step-by-step instructions that you only need to follow to achieve your business goals.
Moreover, because it is detailed, you can use your digital marketing plan in other ways:
- Use a part of your marketing portfolio
- Review after a marketing campaign to pinpoint shortcomings
- Make adjustments and tweaks even during an ongoing campaign to improve marketing efforts
Aside from these, crafting a tailor-fit digital marketing plan also provides other advantages as well:
Better understanding of your target audience.
While you are crafting your digital marketing plan, you take the time to research your audience, including their behavior, interests, motivations, and language, among other things. This allows you to effectively apply your digital marketing strategies and provide real value to your audience.
Maximize your resources.
When you already have a digital marketing plan in place, you can use your two resources, time and money, more effectively. In addition, it also ensures that your budget is properly used and is not wasted on unnecessary things.
Ensure everyone is on the same page.
Lastly, a digital marketing plan can be used as both a collaboration tool and to make sure everyone is accountable. This also enables your team to know what else is needed and take the initiative to accomplish other things that are detailed in the plan.
How to Craft a Digital Marketing Plan
With the benefits in mind, here is how you can craft your digital marketing plan.
The first step to creating your digital marketing plan is to establish your marketing goals. You should have short-, medium-, and long-term goals in mind that you want to achieve since these will guide your marketing efforts and business.
To define your goals, you can use the SMART goal framework. It is a model that you can use to identify your goals by following what each letter stands for:
Both your short-term and long-term should answer the questions “who, what, where, when, and why.” In addition, it should be specific and easy to understand, so make sure there is no room for any ambiguity.
Your goals should also be easy to track by quantifiable criteria and metrics so you can easily keep an eye on the progress of your marketing efforts.
More importantly, your goals should be attainable, especially given your present resources and constraints. That is why you have short-, medium-, and long-term goals, you can view them as a step-by-step progression to your final goal.
Your goals should also be relevant to your business. These should contribute to helping your organization grow and expand.
Lastly, it should have a deadline or timeframe. Creating a sense of urgency makes your goals more concrete instead of just a pipedream. Moreover, it makes you accountable to accomplish it.
Define Digital Marketing Strategy
Once you have established your goals, you need to define your strategy.
There are a lot of digital marketing strategies available online that you can start with. You can choose to develop a new one or you can opt to follow a tried-and-tested strategy that already has a strong foundation.
Whichever you choose, just make sure to personalize your chosen strategy with your target audience in mind by sticking to the following factors:
Create buyer personas for every type of audience you want to target. This is usually based on their demographics, behavior, tastes, preferences, and even pain points or the problems they usually encounter that you want to solve with your product or service. The point of segmenting is to properly meet their expectations and provide value based on their needs.
This is about how you want your target audience to see and understand your business and the value you offer. This involves pinpointing what sets you and your offerings apart from your competition and making this distinct as much as possible for your audience to notice.
When you think about how to properly position your business, it is important to consider things like “What will make you or your offerings stand out?” You must be clear about this since this will affect how you deliver your value proposition.
Pick Relevant Digital Marketing Channels
When you have picked out the digital marketing strategy that works for your goals, you can decide on the channels and tactics you need to boost your business’s digital presence.
But before that, what is the difference between digital marketing channels and tactics?
Think of it this way, digital marketing channels are your avenues or mediums where you engage with your target audience. On the other hand, digital marketing tactics are the specific actions you do within those avenues to catch their attention and, ultimately, guide them to do what you want them to do—like to buy your product or join your email list.
With that said, here are some of the most common channels to consider engaging with your audience:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
- Influencer Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Partnership Marketing
- Referral Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
Create Marketing Budget
Once you have completed the previous steps, you can get a better idea of how much need to allot for your marketing budget. However, there is also the possibility that you already have a set budget or a limited budget to work with.
Whichever it may be, for this step of crafting your digital marketing plan, you should also create a breakdown of your budget. Here is how:
- Factor in your marketing objectives and goals.
- List down all potential expenses that are relevant to your marketing plan, such as:
- Creative Production
- Public Relations
- Marketing Tools
- Provide an estimated cost for each potential expense.
- Show a breakdown of your marketing budget that details the allocation of your resources for each potential expense.
A bonus step is that you can conduct a post-marketing analysis of your marketing expenses to track how much you spent for each element and how much of your budget is left. Aside from knowing where the money goes, it can provide you with insights to improve your budget planning.
Develop Content Plan
Now that you have your budget figured out you can help develop your content plan.
As mentioned earlier, the tactics you use are a specific series of actions within your digital marketing plan—this also includes your content plan. For this part you will get into the topics that your audience is interested in and that they align with while still providing them with value.
With that said when creating your content lander, a couple of things that you have to include:
- Content Calendar
This refers to the schedule of when you want to release or share your content with your audience. It also helps you plan and manage your content distribution and ensure that you are consistent with posting.
- Content Types
This refers to the types of content that you are going to create based on the channels that you have chosen, Like short-form videos for Instagram, articles for your website, and a podcast for your YouTube channel.
- Content Themes
This refers to the topics that you want to cover. Usually, this can be about your audience’s needs, interests, and paint points. For this part, you can save a lot of time since you can opt to reuse your existing articles. You also have the option to start with a core topic and the following content that you create or relevant to that—creating a mini-series.
Establish Metrics and KPIs
The next step to creating your digital marketing plan is to specify the metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). Here, it is about the need to track your progress and see if you are already hitting the milestones, you established back when you were developing your digital marketing strategy.
This step is about making sure that you are on the right track. Moreover, it is also about maximizing all your digital marketing efforts and resources to get your return on investment (ROI).
Here are a couple of metrics that help you measure the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts:
- Website Traffic and Engagement Metrics
- Total website visits
- Unique visitors
- Average session duration
- Bounce rate
- Exit rate
- Pages per session
- Conversion Metrics
- Conversion rate
- Cost per conversion
- Conversion funnel analysis
- SEO Metrics
- Organic search traffic
- Keyword rankings
- Click-through rate (CTR)
- Organic impressions
- Backlinks and referring domains
- Social Media Metrics
- Followers count
- Engagement rate
- Social media reach and impressions
- Referral traffic from social platforms
- Email Marketing Metrics
- Open rate
- Conversion rate from emails
- Bounce rate
- Unsubscribe rate
- PPC Metrics
- Cost per click (CPC)
- Conversion rate
- Ad impressions
- Quality score
Monitor and Optimize
Lastly, you should always monitor your digital marketing plan even when you are still developing it. It is an ongoing process, and here is why:
- You can make real-time adjustments when you are monitoring. In addition, when you notice that an aspect of your campaign is underperforming you can make the necessary modifications to optimize it.
- Regular monitoring gives you valuable data-driven insights into your audience and the ongoing trends to help you make better marketing decisions.
- Marketing is a dynamic landscape, so active monitoring enables you to adapt to changes in real time. For example, there was an event that happened last week, so instead of sticking to your scheduled content plan, you can create a new post about that event.
- Active monitoring makes it easier to accurately calculate your ROI.
Creating your digital marketing plan is like drawing a line on a map, it shows the way and the steps you need to take. With that said a tangible plan that is specific and achievable makes it easy for you to apply your strategy and achieve your business goals.
You also check out other digital marketing plans made by the brands you know that are available online to give you a better idea. Just make sure to tailor-fit your plan to your business, your brand, and your goals.
Author Bio: Flexi Digital Marketing helps professionals & small businesses to grow by elevating their digital knowledge & skills.