10 Elements All Digital Marketing Plans Should Include
Digital marketing plans are critical to any and all marketing efforts. They help you remain consistent, cohesive, and on schedule – which is important for branding, messaging, and buyer personas.
But what are digital marketing plans, why are they important, and how do you build a digital marketing plan?
Let’s break it down.
What Are Digital Marketing Plans?
Digital marketing involves the promotion of brands and products through digital forms of communication, including email, social media, text messaging, online advertising, and dedicated online marketing channels. Digital marketing plans define what you intend to accomplish in a given time so that you can set business goals.
When creating a digital marketing strategy plan, it’s important to remember that marketing is all about linking the benefits of your product to potential customers’ needs. A digital marketing plan should consist of tools and tactics that will grab your audience’s attention and eventually convert them into paying customers.
One of the benefits of digital marketing planning is that it gives you the opportunity to leverage multiple approaches that all sync up with the core identity of your brand and messaging. As a result, you can hit your target market in multiple, consistent ways, test the viability and effectiveness of each method, see what does and does not work, and adjust your digital marketing outline accordingly.
Why Are Digital Marketing Plans Important?
No serious business can go without a digital marketing plan. More and more people are doing their research, browsing, and purchasing online. You must meet them there if you are to grow your company.
Here are a few of the reasons why digital marketing plans are important:
1. They Help You Develop Your Brand
Engaging in digital marketing planning will help you identify what makes your brand unique. This is not always clear, even if you have been in operation for some years. One of the great things about digital marketing is that customers can give you real-time feedback. You can use this to further enhance the features of your product or service that people like most.
2. They Help You Determine the Best Way to Reach Your Target Audience
Your products may attract people who only search and shop in some online venues but not others. The only way to figure this out is to test various digital tools and channels. This will show you how to best communicate to potential customers online.
3. It Is the Best Way to Organize Your Company for Action
You will need to develop a complete digital marketing plan if you are to meet your business goals. You should create a digital marketing plan that includes paid advertising, video marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing. Your digital marketing plan should also detail buyer personas and set goals for the amount of future traffic to your website.
What Should Be Included in Digital Marketing Plans?
The main goal of a digital marketing strategy plan is to increase sales – you should never lose sight of this. However, there are many different ways to accomplish this (including through brand awareness strategies).
The digital marketing plan you ultimately develop will be shaped by the specific realities of your product or service, your business goals, and the nature and needs of your potential customers. The most effective digital marketing plan will include the following elements:
1. Online Advertising
This will require you to bid for and buy ads on highly trafficked websites or for high volume search queries. This can involve multiple layers of search ads, display ads, and video ads. A good online advertising strategy will take into consideration the marketing funnel, create audiences by engagement, and layer ads accordingly.
2. Content Marketing
This remains one of the best ways to attract potential customers. People still read articles that go in-depth on the subjects they’re interested in. Publishing such high-quality content online will help you make inroads as a thought leader. Most people buy products that will help them resolve a problem, overcome a difficulty, or just make life easier. However, to create and publish content that educates and helps potential customers – that actually gets seen – you’ll need to understand and incorporate keyword research and an overarching SEO strategy. Content should be created based on what your company can actually rank for and what people are actually searching for. This will involve research, analysis, and a variety of keyword cluster strategies.
3. Email Marketing
This involves sending promotional messages to prospective or current customers’ inboxes. Despite the arrival and growth of more sophisticated digital marketing tools, email marketing continues to be effective. It is a handy tool for retaining current customers by introducing them to new product lines and informing them of special offers and deals that are available for a limited time. However, your team will need to become familiar with how to avoid spam filters and blacklisting. It is becoming more and more difficult to get your emails not just inside an inbox – but in front of eyeballs.
4. Mobile Marketing
The importance of putting this tool in your digital marketing plan cannot be stressed enough. People do their shopping or research products and services primarily or exclusively on their mobile phones. Mobile advertising through text messages and advertising in downloaded apps are two of the best ways to make the most of this fact. A comprehensive approach to mobile marketing should include tailoring your website, landing page, social media page, and blog for the best possible customer experience on mobile devices. For B2B companies, mobile marketing consists primarily of mobile-friendly websites, social media, and blogging.
5. Reputation Marketing
Potential customers (especially in the B2B realm) read customer reviews before making a purchasing decision. It’s more important than ever to find new ways to encourage your best customers to leave positive reviews on as many notable review sites as possible. Google Reviews is a big one since it can give your site more authority and credibility in your keyword spaces.
6. Search Engine Optimization
The aim of search engine optimization (SEO) is to drive online users to certain websites through the employment of keywords and phrases. SEO remains the best way of improving organic traffic to your website, and it should be at the center of your digital marketing planning. The ultimate goal of SEO is to improve search engine rankings. You want to ensure that when a potential customer types in words and phrases related to your product or service, it ranks high in Google, Bing, and Yahoo search results. The digital marketing plan should include not only keywords but also crosslinks, backlinks, and original content.
7. Social Media Marketing
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and LinkedIn have become marketing powerhouses. These platforms have billions of members, and they give companies the ability to reach and interact with potential customers. A sound digital marketing plan should combine advertisements, sponsored content, and fresh creative content on all of the above social media channels. This is the best way to reach a large audience and enhance your brand.
8. Video Marketing
This allows you to connect with customers in a stimulating and visually creative and engaging way. People respond to well-produced videos. The latter can be used to launch a new product or announce an event. You can also cut a video to instruct or educate your target audience and provide them with testimonies from current customers (which may also require a bit of keyword research in order to identify trending topics). YouTube and Vimeo are the most commonly used platforms for video marketing.
9. Web Analytics
This is the best way to track online user activity. Capturing and evaluating this data will give you insight into customer behavior. It will also give you a better sense of what the people who buy your products like about their experience and what they don’t. Numbers don’t lie. On top of this, free platforms such as Google Analytics can give you insights into how people flow through your site, when they drop off, what pages are the most popular, and what sources bring in the most traffic.
This is a kind of seminar or extended demonstration of the nature and benefits of your product or service. A webinar allows you to engage directly with your audience, no matter where they are located. You can go into detail about how your product may help potential customers solve their problems. Webinars are best coupled with social media marketing and email marketing.
How To Start a Digital Marketing Plan
Digital marketing is an essential part of doing business in the twenty-first century. Creating a digital marketing plan can help you focus on the correct audience, identify their exact needs, and tailor your messaging to fit those needs.
If you need help building your digital marketing plan, we’d love to help. To get started, fill out our online form, and a member of our team will get back to you.