Digital marketing is a valuable asset to a company’s growth because it assists them in establishing an authoritative online presence.
89% of marketers believe that search engine optimization (SEO) methods are effective. Furthermore, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can increase brand awareness by up to 80%.
The goal of having a digital marketing plan for any business, regardless of size, is to provide a consistent path through the process of researching and identifying the aims and goals of the company’s digital initiatives. A digital marketing strategy also helps with targeting digital personas and making the right decision on which channels to approach them through and how.
While numerous approaches and essential aspects come into a digital marketing plan, one structure appears to work better than the others. An excellent digital marketing strategy should guide businesses through the steps required to develop a tailored strategy for their target audience. If adequately implemented, every aspect of a campaign will be aligned with all digital marketing and revenue goals. This will help the business reach the ideal audience persona where they exist online through relevant, impactful internet marketing communications. Any digital marketing efforts will struggle to increase and drive business growth without a plan from the start. Ultimately, proceeding without a plan will result in failure to earn a return on investment.
In this article, we will look at how to create an effective digital marketing plan. Before we do that, let us look at the importance of digital marketing and why companies need to focus on it to stay relevant in their industry.
The importance of digital marketing
1) Reaching audiences where they spend time
The Internet is used by over 7.7 billion people worldwide. People are spending more time online as the Internet grows in popularity. Conducting searches, checking social media, and purchasing products online have become a part of everyday life.
The fact that most of a company’s customers are online emphasizes the importance of digital marketing. These people are constantly searching the web for their products or services.
Companies risk losing leads to competitors if potential customers cannot locate the company due to a lack of an online presence. As a result, companies must establish an online presence to achieve the best results for their business. Companies that invest time and effort into this will reach more leads who are interested in their products or services.
2) Keeping up with competitors
If businesses are wondering why digital marketing is so essential, the answer is that their competitors are already doing it. Many of their competitors have already embraced everything digital marketing has to offer.
They’ve created social profiles, optimized their websites for SEO, and run paid advertisements to reach new leads. This is one of the reasons why businesses should use digital marketing. They must do everything their competitors do and more to compete with others.
Businesses must invest in digital marketing to generate leads who consider their company an option. Companies that fail to invest in digital marketing lose traffic to their competitors. Without a robust digital marketing strategy, customers will be unaware that the company exists and will choose a competitor instead.
3) Competing with larger businesses
The most challenging aspect of running a business is facing competition. Competing in a market with giant corporations such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon is not easy. These big-name brands automatically win trust from potential customers.
Digital marketing creates a level playing field where smaller companies can compete with larger corporations. It allows small businesses to reach out to interested leads the same way a large corporation can. For example, SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising helps businesses compete on the same level with the same resources.
A company’s website ranks in search results based on its relevance with SEO. A corporation cannot buy its way to the top of the food chain. They must optimize their pages the same way a small mom-and-pop shop would.
When businesses use PPC, Google ranks ads based on relevance as well. Even if a corporation bids twice as much as the company does per click for the same keyword, it does not guarantee them the top spot. They cannot purchase a top-ranking ad spot because, once again, the rank is determined by an ad’s relevance.
Digital marketing provides an excellent opportunity for small businesses to compete with larger corporations for more relevant leads. This allows smaller to medium-sized enterprises to compete with larger corporations. No money will enable companies to outrank their corporate competitors if they can create content that is more relevant to the selected keywords.
4) Reaching target audience
One of the most apparent reasons for the importance of digital marketing is the ability to target an audience better. Companies will no longer have to fantasize about being able to market directly to people who are interested in their products or services.
Companies can target their audiences more precisely with digital marketing than traditional methods by entering vital information about their target audience and using it to shape their digital marketing campaigns. They can directly reach leads who are interested in their business using digital marketing. They no longer have to hope that people will notice their traditional marketing efforts and contact them.
This makes it simple to contact the appropriate people.
5) Monitoring and optimizing campaigns
The significance of digital marketing is that it allows businesses to track and monitor their campaigns easily.
When businesses invest time and money into campaigns, they want to know they are effective. Digital marketing allows them to track their campaigns easily, adapt, and drive better results. It is challenging to understand their campaign results when they use traditional methods. For example, if they run a TV commercial, they may have to ask every customer who enters the store what brought them there. This would be a time-consuming endeavor that might irritate customers who visit their establishment.
Companies that use digital marketing do not have to worry about annoying their target audience. Every campaign they run can be tracked. They can view metrics such as impressions, clicks, likes, shares, comments, conversions, and other information. They can easily track a campaign’s ROI and other indicators to determine whether it produces valuable results for their company.
Companies can easily configure their tracking system to monitor specific campaign metrics. It is easier to address challenges and adapt to changes when they can track their campaign performance.
Companies that run traditional advertising campaigns cannot make changes until the campaign is concluded. Unfortunately, this only benefits the next campaign they run. Once a company has had to make based on campaign that was less effective than expected, this gives the impression that the previous campaign was a waste of money.
Companies use digital marketing to track the progress of their campaigns. They can automatically determine whether they are successful or need to improve. If their campaigns need to be improved, they can make immediate changes and put them into action at any time during the campaign.
They can save money by making immediate changes. This helps them get more out of their campaign, and make better use of their budget.
6) Provides impressive ROI
Online marketing strategies provide a fantastic return on investment (ROI). Companies that invest in these approaches will reap greater benefits. Email marketing generates of the highest ROIs of any marketing method.
Companies can earn up to $44 in return for every $1 spent, resulting in a 4400% ROI.
Using online marketing methods is very cost-effective. This is an excellent opportunity for businesses to expand and profit from their marketing efforts. So, why is there potential for a high ROI with these methods?
This increases ROI because companies do not have to spend much money to run a campaign. In addition, running a PPC or social media ad campaign is less expensive than some traditional methods, allowing their business to grow.
How to plan a digital marketing campaign
1) Define your business brief
Companies should always begin with market research before developing a strategy. They must have a clear and realistic picture of how their products or services’ performe in their industry. They must be familiar with the ecosystem in which they operate, as well as the needs of their customers and where they are addressed. Companies can look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the business and the market by conducting a SWOT analysis. Since it considers factors such as digital habits, intermediaries, influencers, and more, this type of analysis can be both qualitative and quantitative.
There should be a clear timeline for when the digital marketing campaign will go live, how much the company is willing to spend, and what the campaign is designed to accomplish. This is also the time for businesses to determine what constitutes a successful campaign outcome. This means they should think about where they want to end up, even before they start.
An initial market analysis establishes an overview of the market and runs a realistic assessment of a company’s performance in this space. It should also include a competitive examination. However, it doesn’t end there. Rather, there must be a clear articulation of business objectives, which could include increasing brand awareness, increasing sales, increasing customer retention, lowering cost per lead, or lowering cost per customer acquisition. These are all standard business objectives, but they do not have to provide a clear path, which is why businesses must dig deep and go beyond them digitally. The next step is to deconstruct business objectives into digital goals. For example, if the goal is to increase sales, digital goals could include
- Attempting to increase conversion rates on a website or social media platform,
- Reducing cart abandonment during the checkout process, or
- Increasing average order size.
2) Build audience segments and targeting strategy
Understanding a target audience is critical for any marketing strategy. Companies must know their target audience, where they spend time, their needs and problems, and other pertinent information to develop an effective strategy.
Once companies have established their business objectives, digital goals, KPIs, and targets, they must begin developing audience or buyer personas to create clearly defined audience segmentation. To ensure that the marketing strategy is on track, a buyer persona should represent a company’s ideal customer and be based on real data. A good buyer persona should delve deep into a buyer’s central challenges and serve as the core of a company’s digital strategy for their campaign. This profile should be based on objective characteristics and attributes such as age, job role, income, and more.
Companies can determine the theme of their campaign, the keywords they should use, and their social channel strategy by understanding their goals and the types of challenges they face. The theme serves as the foundation for all forms of content creation. Keywords increase the impact of content with target audiences, and channel strategy identifies where the target audience exists in the digital space.
Buyer personas are designed to articulate the problems that the company solves for specific types of personas; their target consumer’s emotional, lifestyle, and informational needs; their media and platform preferences; and their perceptions of the business/brand as a whole. There should be as much detail as possible when defining target audiences. The business must also create a clear value proposition for each persona and how it relates to each.
3) Outline your channels
Companies are ready to review the best platform for their campaign once they have a budget, goals, and an audience in mind. First, they must consider what they can afford. While every campaign may benefit from a well-placed ad campaign or ads across multiple channels, businesses must determine whether they can afford it and whether it is indispensable for their success. It is also important to remember that channel utilization varies depending on the type of company. The channels a B2B company should use differ from those a B2C company should operate.
As a result, different businesses must consider where their target audience can be reached when looking for their products or services. This is where companies need to go into more detail for their strategy, whether it is SEO, PPC, Display, Email, Social, Affiliate, Mobile, or anything else in the digital marketing industry. They should divide their tactical solutions into three categories: customer reach, customer acquisition, and customer retention.
Search engines and social networks are a natural choice for many campaigns due to their enormous reach and ability to serve advertisements to people searching for the items or services a company provides or to serve ads on social media in people’s newsfeeds and other places. Companies can promote their products on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest.
Google Ads are also popular and can quickly propel a company’s website to the top of search results. Email marketing should also be included in a digital marketing strategy. Companies frequently overlook email marketing, even though it is one of the most effective ways to grow their business. A good approach can be created by combining social media marketing, email marketing, website optimization, and Google advertising. However, when these tactics are in play, there is also room for user error. Companies can learn how to develop an excellent digital marketing strategy independently. Alternatively, they can hire a professional to do the heavy lifting for them.
Pressfarm is a public relations agency that assists startups and businesses of all sizes in creating quality content for distribution and publication on respected media outlets. This content ranges from email pitches and press releases to guest posts and press kits for distribution to media professionals and on their channels. In addition, their account executive develops a customized media list to help companies reach the right audience for their industry. Their public relations specialists and expert writers have years of experience in the digital marketing landscape. These people will assist in increasing online visibility through relevant search results on multiple search engines.
Once the channels have been determined, businesses must conduct keyword research for SEO and PPC. Companies that want to run Google Ads (PPC) or optimize their website for search engines (SEO) must conduct keyword research first. The average person uses search engines to find products or services and to get answers to their questions. A business must ensure its website is well-optimized if it decides not to display advertising. As opposed to PPC, SEO is a free way to organically move a company’s page up the Google search rankings.
The key to finding business keywords is to put oneself in customers’ shoes. Companies should create a list of keywords they believe consumers will search for and then test them. The easiest way to go through this process is by entering keywords into search engines and letting their search bar autofill. This approach will aid the organization in determining what customers want.
4) Set your message/content development
When developing a digital strategy for a campaign, it is critical to target a specific audience segment. To define this audience effectively, companies should divide their digital marketing activities into three categories: awareness, conversion, and nurture. Each type of content should be aimed at a different stage of the buyer’s journey, with each stage requiring a different kind of engagement to connect with and engage that audience.
The buyer’s journey describes a consumer’s journey through the research and decision-making process that leads to a purchase. Keep in mind that consumers do not decide to buy something on the spur of the moment. They go through the process of becoming aware, considering and evaluating options, and deciding whether or not to purchase a specific product or service. This process is critical, especially with many companies and brands. The first thing to understand about a buyer’s journey is that it can differ from one industry to the next. As a result, understanding the various processes is critical. The stages in which B2B buyers and B2C buyers arrive at a purchase decision can differ.
Companies can have a better connection with buyers and position their product or service to fit the needs of their potential consumers by understanding the buyer journey. While studying the buyer journey, it’s important to factor in the pain points of each persona, and the factors that influence their thought processes.
The creation of awareness content should be guided by who will share it. It must be widely appealing and easily shared. Secondly, conversion content must address the issues that a company’s buyer personas face. It is best not to include anything in a digital promotion strategy that does not add value. Finally, nurture content is intended to be helpful, practical, instructive, and educational. When done correctly, nurturing content can impact the success of a company’s digital branding.
5) Put it all together
Companies will have prepared ideas for their awareness, conversion, and nurturing content based on their audience research and keyword research. The remaining implementation phases are classified as time planning, asset generation, and distribution planning. Companies must know how long their campaign will last before they begin creating digital content. This will help them split time and distribute resources efficiently and successfully throughout the entire digital media campaign. It will then be time to start getting digital content ideas into physical assets ready for distribution.
Finally, while all the research has led up to this point, the thought and research process do not end there. At this stage, companies should decide where and how each piece of digital information will be distributed and who will oversee the various components of the process. They should also consider how their content will fit into a larger body of work. If a company has a blog post that will link to a conversion download piece, the downloadable content should be ready to go before the blog post goes live.
6) Tracking and reporting
The final step in the planning process is to define how the digital marketing campaign will be measured. Companies should have a precise measurement framework in place for each channel. In this way, they can measure the efficacy of their digital marketing campaign on each channel they choose to use and develop a matrix of key indicators that show whether or not they are on track to meet their goals. There is no compelling, dependable way to improve campaigns if companies do not measure them.
Depending on the duration of a company’s digital campaign, they should implement a closed-loop reporting system that allows them to track and measure the progress of their campaign using key data and performance indicators. If their campaign is short, there may not be enough time to improve it, but the results can be used to influence future digital marketing initiatives. The more data a company collects, the more KPIs it can analyze. Likewise, the more graphs, figures, and analytics it can use to understand its online audience better, the better it can track the effectiveness of its digital marketing initiatives. This helps the company make effective changes when something isn’t quite right.
An effective digital marketing strategy means that the campaign will be more successful. A solid digital marketing strategy is the most effective way to ensure that a company’s digital marketing campaign is equipped with everything it needs to succeed.