A digital marketing plan is a cohesive set of steps used to achieve specific goals for your business. These steps are relying on digital marketing tools and tactics. Like any plan, a digital marketing plan comes from goals and contains 3 mandatory parts:
- A definition of the current situation and the problem that are causing the goals to fall short.
- A principled scheme for solving the problems.
- A set of key actions that are necessary to achieve the goals.
The main goal of developing a digital marketing plan is to get a coherent, clear, and reasonable plan for achieving the business objectives.
Digital marketing plan development
The digital marketing plan development process consists of 5 steps. We will discuss them in detail.
- Analysis of the situation and collection of all background data
You need numbers and facts. If you did a SWOT analysis, this experience will fit perfectly here: analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the company and the product, opportunities and potential threats from the market, and identify growth opportunities.
You need to patiently and thoughtfully answer a few dozen questions about your business, product, market, customers, competitors, pricing, deal cycle, sales funnel, etc. What do you sell and what products are most profitable? How are you positioning yourself? What advertising campaigns are you running? What’s the status of your website? What is the reputation of your company now? Why is it profitable to buy from you? What do your competitors offer? What are the advantages of their product? What sales have been achieved? How much demand is there in the market?
Why so much detail? Because at the beginning it is important to lay a solid foundation for your future digital marketing plan.
- Goal setting
Based on the overall goals of your company, you need to define what kind of marketing and sales performance you are striving for. They should be digitized. They can be leads, sales, active customers, conversion of the website, etc.
Goals should be defined for each of your key products and customer groups. You can decompose them down to the number of targeted conversions to the site for each of your products.
When setting goals, stick to the SMART principle. Digitization in itself already implies specificity and measurability, and you also need deadlines.
- Identify bottlenecks and key points of change
By this point, you already have an understanding of:
- What the situation is at the moment
- What metrics do you want to achieve as a result of implementing a digital marketing plan
Now you need to look at and determine where and what are the problems that are preventing you from achieving your goals right now. Maybe a bottleneck in the traffic – do you just have very low site traffic? Or conversions are too low? Or the average check?
You need a list of bottlenecks. These bottlenecks will later become the key impact points that your digital marketing plan will influence.
After compiling the list, prioritize: choose the most appropriate bottlenecks in terms of resource/impact potential to achieve your goals.
- Determining the principal tactics and tools for achieving your goals
This is where the specific skeleton of your digital marketing plan comes in. Once again, you reflect on the data obtained in the previous steps:
- What products do you plan to boost
- What are the strengths of these products
- Which target audiences you are going to increase sales
- Where can you find each of these audiences and what are their “pains” and motives for buying them
- How do they make their decision and what is the buying process itself
And as a result – you formulate the key changes and tactics of the digital marketing plan.
- Determining the necessary resources (including budget), timelines, and responsibilities
Once you have set goals, formulated action plans, and prepared a set of tactics and tools to be used, you need to plan the resources. What resources will you need?
- A team (who will directly develop plans for specific actions and execute them). This may be several people, one person, maybe a project manager from your company plus an external team – there are many options.
- Budget for the work (including money for developing new or redesigning existing points of contact, budgets for paid traffic, SEO, essay writers, etc.)
- Time. In the form of timelines for implementation – do not try to solve all problems in a couple of months.
This is the last stage in digital marketing plan development.
To sum up
- Write down a plan of work and costs for at least 3-6 months. Here you put all the tactics and promotional tools invented earlier, in specific combinations of bringing your CA to sale, to achieve your goals. Here you can include, for example, refinement (or even re-creation) of your website, landing pages, traffic tools, SMM, and targeted audience warming mechanics. All need to be planned here.
- Clarify the timeline and budget (this does not mean that the budget should change – but it, like other resources, can be distributed unevenly).
- Allocate the first pool of tasks to performers, define specific key performance indicators for tracking (KPIs), and plan milestones.
There are several important principles and rules when making a plan for implementing a digital marketing strategy:
- All specific action plans are built only based on detailed buyer personas and an understanding of their Customer Journey Map.
- A big result is made up of a set of small results. Think of specific conversion paths, attract the right traffic for them, create landing pages and other touchpoints. But the results (in target numbers) on such chains won’t always be very big, especially if you have a large matrix of products and target audiences. Just run more of these “chains” and their combined results will lead you to your strategic goals
- When planning your promotional activities, start by handling existing hot demand. Only then move on to cooler demand (hot demand will have easier, shorter, and cheaper conversion chains).
By following these rules, you will create an effective digital marketing plan for your company.