Are you struggling to create a marketing plan for your organisation that will help you achieve your goals and mission on the web? You are not alone! Thousands of businesses have plans to launch online marketing campaigns and bring in more sales or leads, but they don’t know where to start.
This is why you need a digital marketing plan because it will help you to research your market, understand their needs, study the competition, launch your advertising and bring in tons of business.
I list here some of the important things to know as you create your marketing plan:
Analyse the market
Using research tools and resources on the web, you should research your target markets, competitors and the industry as a whole. You will come up with a lot of information and then you will need to identify the most relevant for you.
For example, Google has many research tools to help you do this including Google Trends, Alerts, Adwords, Keyword Planner, and Display Planner. These tool are free and help you identify:
• the keywords your target markets use and their volumes
• who your competitors are on Google and other search engines
• how competitors use social media and how prominent they are
• what the trends are in your industry
This part of your marketing plan is very important and it is what feeds into the following sections of your plan.
Identify your customers
Now that you have identified the market segments, it’s time to choose the ones you will target. You can either target one segment with your product or service and this is a niche strategy, or you can opt for a multi-segment strategy to gain a wider reach for your products services.
There are pros and cons to both marketing strategies so it’s important that you asses how viable this is. Some segments will already have competitors and if they are too powerful to take on, then you should focus on other segments or choose a niche strategy to exploit your expertise.
There are many competitors on the web and it will not be easy to keep an eye on all of them. The solution is to pick three or four that target similar markets and then monitor their online strategy and how they use ads, creatives, their website, social media, search engine optimisation and so on.
There are monitoring tools like Compete and Alexa and you can measure their performance on key metrics that are important to your business.
Create your objectives
Having identified your target market segments and with greater insight into your competitors’ strategies, you can now create your marketing objectives. They should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time related) and you can use your Google Analytics account to find ideas from your metrics for creating them.
Launch your promotions
Having created your promotional objectives, you will now look at the tactical part of your plan and this will include the tools and channels you will need to promote your business. There are many of these on the web and some major ones include:
• Pay Per Click Advertising
• Search Engine Optimisation
• Social Media Marketing
• Online PR
• Email Marketing
Create your budget
Now you will set your budget for each of the promotional tactics you have chosen for your business. Many factors will determine your budget including what your objectives are, how large the target market is, how many promotions you want to run and where and how long your strategy is for.
Monitor your progress
Finally, you should monitor your progress and build KPIs that are based on your objectives and that help you to benchmark against competitors. You will refine your strategy and work towards improving your targeting and meeting the needs of your customers.