Developing a digital marketing plan should be the most prioritize strategy if growing online is a major or paramount goal for any forward looking individual or corporate brand. Just like developing a business plan is a blueprint or road-map to show the futuristic foresight’s of any forward looking organization, so is developing a digital marketing plan a cursor that propagates and direct the digital strategy of either a person or corporate brand. Every business facet or strata must spend immeasurable time to come up with a digital marketing plan. A musical artiste decides to promote its genre of music for the next one year, that of course needs a digital marketing plan, A new company is trying to introduce its product into an emerging market, it definitely need a digital marketing plan or a Non-Governmental Organization is trying to raise awareness about a particular cause, they definitely need a digital marketing plan. In this article, I will show you Ten (10) important segments in creating or developing a digital marketing plan.
- Defined your Objectives: This is quite straight forward, in a nut shell this segment of your digital marketing plan addresses the issue of why you want to start a digital marketing campaign, is it to introduce your product or services into the market? To run an instant sales? Or a medium like social media to be the main platform for your customer relation service because you feel this will save cost, your online objectives should and MUST be clearly defined and this also includes time frame and time for your objectives to be achieved.
Action Plan: Write out your Top Three Online Marketing Objectives
- Target Audience: Your brand or cause cannot cater for everyone it must have a target audience or a dominant target audience in terms of a general product or service. You must define your target audience and decide where they are predominantly located and what time of the will your campaign is more effective. E.g. if you run a pageantry, study how and when young instagrammers will be mostly online etc.
Action Plan: brainstorm and categorize your target audience into categories and pick out the best possible ones.
- Channels and Medium: This have to deal with the medium you will take to get to your target audience. Is it through your website, social media or you run a campaign with google e.g. for your website you have to define how many click on your website before the user gets what he wants or maybe you want to advertise your product on some website.
Action Plan: Define now based on your brand or business or your organization the channels and medium you want users or potential customers to reach your business. Remember conversion is essential.
- Where are we now: This segment deal with you coming up with your SWOT Analysis of your business. Which is the evaluation of the strength, weakness, opportunity and most importantly the threat your brand or business. As far as I am concerned, this is where you have to become realistic about your business or brand’s by understanding your strength in achieving your online goals. What will you outsource? What will you control? Your resource? Can your campaign be consistent? Here you must solve these puzzle and also accept the problems you can cope with in achieving your digital goals.
Action Plan: carryout a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) Analysis of your brand today. Be realistic and understand where your business stand.
- Core Brand Value: This part deal with defining your business or brand unique selling point and why your brand really stands out. It could in form of discounts; it could be supporting a particular cause etc. But here self-criticize your unique selling point by asking yourself if I were the customer will I bye into this idea, concept? Remember it’s about satisfying your target audience.
Action Plan: Define why your business, concept or brand is unique
- Marketing Budget: Just as you set aside budget for the day to day running of your business. So you should set aside a good budget to achieve your online marketing goals. E.g. in terms of content, paid advertisement, or a social cause set aside budget for your business success online.
Action Plan: Create a budgeting plan for your online goals. Have a budget
- Competitors: It is paramount you know who your competitors are, what they are doing and what is working for them. The point here is not to be a copycat but for you to measure what is working for them if you can integrate it into your marketing plan. Action Plan: Study the Top three competitors in your niche and see how you fare with them
- Marketing Calendar: Discipline is the watch word. Create a calendar of the time you will be posting, scheduling; in a nut shell have a disciplined digital calendar. Google calendar is a great tool to help you achieve this and also an application like hoot-suite is another great scheduling tool.
Action Plan: Decide which scheduling tool is right and necessary for you to make your online plans a successful one.
- Well Defined Metrics and Measurement: The one advantage of online marketing over traditional is the ability to measure and track the growth of your business. On Facebook we have Facebook insights that gives you our users react and the reach of a particular campaign or google analytics that gives insights and real data of how your targets are performing.
Action Plan: Define the metrics and analytics that is suitable for your campaign
- Attack with the Plan: In a nutshell you put everything into action and work with the plan. Remember the reason why you have a marketing plan is at the long run to achieve you brands objective which in most cases is to make profit. Definitely you must define if your goal is short, middle or long term. And definitely you will outsource some of the technicalities.