For most businesses, a detailed and lengthy online marketing plan is not necessary, especially micro and small businesses that target smaller market segments. A 2 page basic plan will suffice and will help to include all the factors that are important to achieving online marketing goals.
In most cases, the online marketing plan will be part of the business plan and that is sufficient to cover all key areas.
Here are some elements to include in your basic online marketing plan:
Online Market Research
First, start with research into your market and identify the groups that you want to target. It may not be possible to target all segments because of limited financial and staff resources, so you need to focus your efforts on the most profitable for your business. This is true for both businesses that target end-users and business customers.
Every business has competitors whether they are direct or indirect rivals and this is especially true on the web were they are only a few clicks away. So, do your research into competitors to identify who they are and then look at their digital marketing strategies to see how they target your markets.
With a clearer idea of what your target customers need and with greater understanding of who your competitors are in the online sphere, you can now create your goals. Goals are statements of what your business wants to achieve and these are closely related to your objectives which tend to be more short term.
Now you need to describe how you will target your markets and this will involve identifying online tools and channels that you will use for advertising, promoting, communicating, positioning and online branding. These are some major ones
• Search engine marketing
• Social media
• Email marketing
• Affiliate marketing
• Online PR
Next you need to set a budget that will help you achieve your goals and objectives. Budget setting is one of the difficulties of online marketing planning and it requires some testing. One effective way to say a budget is to cost all the tactics that you need to do and then add these together to arrive at a final budget.
Finally, you need to track and measure results and this is an ongoing activity and requires tools like Google Analytics. You should measure your key metrics like conversion rates, bounce rates, time spent on site and so on and build KPIs for them. These metrics will also form part of your objectives and that makes it easier to track.
Get your basic online marketing plan here. And use it to plan your activities and describe how you will meet customer’s needs. Contact me if you require help creating and managing your online marketing plan.