Every business owner knows they should have a digital marketing plan, but many don’t quite reach the step of getting something on paper and creating an implementation plan. Sure, having some sort of strategy swirling around in your head is better than nothing, but not much. Some common stallers in putting together a solid digital marketing plan include: How do you know which digital strategies apply to your industry? What is the most important thing to start working on today? What sort of ROI should I expect? How often do I need to work on it?
Every digital marketing plan is unique, but there are some core pieces that should be considered for every plan. As digital marketers who deal with a wide variety of industries, here are some key pieces we think every business owner needs to consider for their digital marketing plan.
Your Target Customers/Clients
Before you build your digital marketing plan, you must know your target customer. Your entire plan will be based around this person or “persona.” Some businesses only really have one specific type of person they target, while others can have several. For the sake of your digital marketing plan, just focus on one persona. If you have multiple target clients, select your largest segment.
Things to identify about your target customer/client:
- What is their age and gender?
- Where do they live – is it a specific part of the world, urban or rural, do they rent or buy, etc?
- What is their socioeconomic status?
- What social media platforms do they use?
- Where do they get their news?
- Do they enjoy pomp and flashy advertising, or just want to get straight to the point?
- Do they like to shop around or do they tend to commit to a purchase quickly?
By identifying exactly who this target person is and how and where they shop, many other parts of your plan will fall into line.
Since we are talking digital here, SEO is necessary for every digital marketing plan. If you can’t get people to your website, you fail before you begin. Work with a professional to identify good keywords to pursue in your field and begin building your website around that. You can DIY this, but it will take a decent amount of self-educating.
Yes, you can get users to your website tomorrow by simply paying for traffic through ads, but that is not a good idea as a long-term strategy – it is simply too expensive to be sustainable forever. A well-rounded digital marketing plan includes strategies to grow both paid and organic traffic.
Content Is Still King
We have been hearing this phrase for a few years now, “content is king.” Well – it’s still true! Content, in the form of blog posts, videos, infographics, white papers, etc. continue to be an integral part of a digital marketing strategy. Content should be a part of your SEO strategy, social media plan, and even part of paid ad campaigns.
Social Media (non-paid)
Social media should be included in your digital marketing plan, but how central it is to that plan will be based on your industry and target customer. Young moms, for instance, are known to frequent Facebook and Instagram, but most 50-year-old male business owners only spend minimal time on social media. Consider your target persona and how they spend their time online.
Another factor to help you decide how much a part of your plan social media should be is, how visual is your product? Something like a clothing designer or event promoter will do great on social media, but if you are a massage therapist, there is not much regular engaging content to share online.
Experiment with social media and see if your page gains traction or if no one seems to want to follow you. Base the time and energy you put into social on the demand for your presence there.
The two main platforms for paid advertising are Google and Facebook. Paid ads are a great way to bring in immediate traffic and leads, but should be part of a wider plan for lead generation. If you solely rely on paid advertising to generate revenue, you will forever be stuck taking a huge chunk out of your bottom line to pay for ads. Investing in a diverse digital marketing plan with paid ads as just one part is the best way to go.
After you decide what the components of your digital marketing plan will be, you must commit to an implementation schedule. Break the pieces of your plan down into tasks, and get them on a calendar! Then STICK to this calendar! If you just don’t have the time to stick to the plan and schedule you’ve outlined, hire someone else to do it for you. Consistency is key, and a successful digital marketing plan takes a long-term effort.
A Digital Marketing Plan is Always Custom
There is no one-size-fits-all digital marketing plan, if only it were that easy. Your plan will vary based on your industry, location, size, business goals, and many more factors.
There is a middle ground between completely DIY-ing your marketing plan and hiring a marketing employee/ agency. Boxwood Digital Marketing offers a service where we work with you to create a custom digital marketing plan and schedule, but we can hand it back to you to either implement yourself or split up between you and your team. Learn more here.