A digital marketing plan for any business, regardless of its size, is designed to provide a cohesive path. An effective plan begins by researching and identifying the aims and goals of the company’s digital initiatives. Moreover, this strategy is supposed to help brands with targeting digital personas. With this information, you can make the right choice on which channels to approach them on and how.
While there are many different approaches and essential aspects to a digital marketing plan, there is a standard structure that seems to work better than the rest. Ideally, an excellent digital marketing plan should lead companies through the necessary steps of creating a made-to-measure strategy for their target audience. If this plan is followed correctly, every aspect of the campaign should align with all digital marketing and revenue goals. Additionally, a good plan should help you connect with the ideal audience persona where they exist online with relevant, impactful internet marketing communications. Without a plan, any digital marketing efforts will fail to increase and drive business growth and earn a return on investment.
How to Plan a Digital Marketing Campaign
1) Define your business brief
Perform market analysis
Before developing a plan, you should always start with market analysis. You need to have a clear and realistic understanding of how your products or services will perform within your industry. Carrying out a SWOT analysis of the company allows you to look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the business and the market at large. You need to be familiar with the ecosystem you operate in, with your customer’s needs in mind. This type of analysis can be equally qualitative as it is quantitative. After all, it looks at factors like digital habits, intermediaries, influencers, and more.
Envision your success
This is the time for you to determine what would be a successful outcome for your campaign. This means that even before you get started, you already need to be thinking about where you want to end up. You should have a clear map of when the digital marketing campaign will be active, how much your company can spend, and what you would like your campaign to achieve.
Identify business objectives
Furthermore, you need to clearly articulate your business objectives. These could include: increasing brand awareness, increasing sales, increasing customer retention, reducing cost per lead, or reducing cost per acquisition of customers.
While these are standard business objectives, you need to dig deep and go beyond them in a digital sense. From there, it is time to translate these business objectives into digital goals. For example, let’s assume the aim is to increase sales. In that case, the digital goals could include: increasing 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 a targeting strategy
Understand your audience
In order for any marketing strategy to be successful, it is essential that you understand your audience. You need to know who your audience is and where they hang out. You also need to be aware of their needs and problems, and other vital information.
Once you have your business objectives, digital goals, KPIs, and targets set, you need to start creating clearly defined audience segmentation by developing audience or buyer personas. A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer based on accurate data. By understanding your buyer persona as well as the buyer journey, you can ensure that the marketing strategy is going in the right direction.
Using fundamental characteristics and attributes like age, job role, income, and more, a good buyer persona should dig deep into a buyer’s central challenges and serve as the core of your company’s digital strategy.
Develop a campaign theme
By understanding the buyer’s goals and the types of challenges they face, you can figure out the campaign’s theme. You can also identify what keywords you need to use, and your social media outreach strategy. The theme is used as the foundation for any form of content creation. Likewise, keywords can be used to enhance the impact of content on target audiences. Finally, your social media strategy channel strategy provides an understanding of where the target audience exists in the digital space.
Buyer personas are designed to articulate your consumer’s emotional, lifestyle, and informational needs. A buyer persona also highlights the media and platform preferences of potential clients. It also highlights the perceptions these people might have about the business/brand as a whole. When defining target audiences, you need to go into as much detail as possible. You also need to create a clear value proposition for each persona.
3) Outline Your Channels
Decide what platforms you can afford to use
Once you’ve set a budget, in addition to identifying goals, you’ll be ready to review the right platform for your campaign. First, you need to look at what you can afford. Every campaign could benefit from a highly placed ad campaign or ads on multiple channels. Be that as it may, you need to decide whether it will be instrumental to your success and whether you can afford it.
It is also important to remember that different channels will work better for different companies. In other words, a B2B company will use different channels from a B2C company. For this reason, different companies need to think about where their audience can best be reached. This is especially important when you are looking for the products or services they are selling. Whether it is SEO, PPC, Display, Email, Social, Affiliate, or Mobile, this is where you need to go into more detail for your strategy. When doing this, you should break up your tactical solutions into customer reach, customer acquisition, and customer retention.
You can use social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest to promote your products. Google Ads are also popular, and they can help your company’s website rise to the top of search results rapidly.
Include email marketing
It’s also a good idea to include email marketing in a digital marketing plan. Companies often overlook email marketing, although it is one of the most effective strategies to expand their business. If done effectively, a combination of social media marketing, email marketing, website optimization, and Google advertising can create a great approach. However, there’s a lot of room for mistakes when all of these tactics are operating together. You can learn how to create a fantastic digital marketing strategy independently, but you can also hire a professional to do the heavy lifting for you.
Perform keyword research
Once you’ve decided on your channels, you need to do keyword research for SEO and PPC. If you want to run Google Ads (PPC) or optimize your website search engines (SEO), then you must start with keyword research. Users type keywords into search engines to find a product or service or to obtain an answer to a question. If you decide not to display advertising, you must ensure that your website is well-optimized. Unlike PPC, SEO is a cost-free method of organically moving your company’s page up the Google search ranks.
The key to finding keywords for your business is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. First, you should develop a list of keywords you believe consumers will look for and then put them to the test. You should go through this procedure by typing words into search engines and allowing your search bar to autofill. This will help you to determine what customers are looking for.
4) Set Your Message/ Content Development
When creating a digital strategy for a campaign, it’s essential to focus on a particular audience segment. Your digital marketing activities should be divided into three areas to make this differentiation clear: awareness, conversion, and nurture. In addition, each content format should be targeted at different stages of the buyer’s journey, with each stage necessitating a particular type of engagement to connect and engage that audience.
Use the buyer’s journey to guide content creation
The buyer’s journey describes a consumer’s progression through a research and decision process that ultimately culminates in a purchase. After all, consumers do not just wake up one day and decide to buy something on a whim. They go through the process to become aware of the problem they need to solve and the options available. Once they know what’s available, they consider and evaluate, and decide whether or not they want to purchase a specific product or service.
Given that there are so many companies and brands out there, this process is crucial. The first thing you need to understand about a buyer’s journey is that it can vary from one industry to another. For this reason, it is essential to know the different processes as well as how each stage can differ between B2B and B2C consumers.
It’s important to understand the buyer’s journey. At each stage, you also need to understand the problems your customers experience and the factors that influence their thought processes. With this understanding, you can have a better connection with buyers and position your product or service to fit the needs of your potential consumers.
The development of awareness content should be based on who will share it:
- It must have a broad appeal and be easily shared.
- The issues that a company’s buyer personas are facing must be addressed in conversion content.
- It is advisable not to include anything in a digital promotion strategy if it doesn’t bring value.
- Nurture content is intended to be helpful, practical, instructive, or anything else to keep an audience interested in a business.
Nurture content, when done correctly, can impact the success of a company’s digital branding.
5) Put it all Together
You should have ideas for your awareness, conversion, and nurturing content prepared at this point, depending on your audience research and keywords. The remaining implementation phases can be divided into three categories: time planning, asset generation, and distribution planning. Before you start creating digital content, you need to know how long your campaign will last. This will help you split time and plan resources efficiently and successfully throughout the entire digital media campaign.
Once you’ve decided on the timeline, you need to start turning digital content ideas into tangible life assets ready for distribution. Lastly, while all the research has led to this point, the thought and research process do not end here. At this stage, you should decide where and how each piece of digital information will be distributed and who will be in charge of the various components of the process. You should also think about how your content fits into a more extensive body of work. For example, if you have a blog article that will connect to a conversion download piece, you should also have the downloadable content ready to go before the blog post goes live.
6) Tracking and Reporting
The final step of the planning process is to define how to measure the digital marketing campaign. You should have a precise measurement framework in place for each channel. With your tools, you can measure the efficacy of your digital marketing campaign on each channel you choose to utilize. You can also develop a matrix of fundamental indicators that show whether you are on track to accomplish your targets or not. If you are not measuring your campaigns, there is no effective, reliable way to improve them.
Depending on the length of your company’s digital campaign, you should implement a closed-loop reporting system that allows you to follow and measure your campaign’s progress. You can use essential data and performance indicators to do this. If your campaign is brief, there may not be enough time to enhance it, but the results can impact future digital marketing initiatives. The more data you can collect, the more KPIs you can analyze, and the more graphs, figures, and analytics you can use to understand your online audience. Ultimately, with the right measurement tools, you can track the effectiveness of your digital marketing initiatives. Moreover, this allows you to make adjustments when something isn’t quite right.
Developing an effective digital marketing plan gives the campaign a higher level of success. A solid digital marketing strategy is the most effective way to ensure that a digital marketing campaign has all you need to succeed in the digital environment.
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