The arrival of a new year tends to focus the mind for planning. And though you’ve probably done a lot of that already, what goes on in the head still needs to find its way onto paper (or PC) to have any chance of working.
So if you haven’t yet committed your digital marketing plan to the written word, here’s a little help to get you going.
What’s the overview?
Ask yourself these questions before you do anything else:
- How did 2017 perform? What worked? What didn’t? Why?
- What are our goals for 2018?
- How will digital marketing help achieve these?
- Who should we target? And how?
- What specific campaigns should we run to make this happen?
- How will we measure success?
Once you have your answers, the fun can begin!
4 Key components of a successful digital marketing plan
Be sure you know your target market
And we mean intimately… now’s the time to get up front and personal.
You may have a database packed with juicy prospects and like to use both email marketing and social media to draw them in. But you still need to understand and respond to the nature of each individual you engage. This will make their experience of your brand personal to them. So ask yourself:
- Do you know what each person wants?
- Do you know at what point each person is in their buying journey?
- What content is best for their current state?
- How can you keep them engaged until they are ready to buy?
Decide which channels will work best for your goals
Digital marketing has many strands. Some knit together really well, others less so. But the common thread is that your audience is likely to come across your brand in more than one place. This means making sure your messages are consistent every step of the way, regardless of whether your engagement is via:
- Email marketing
- Website referral traffic
- Social media
- Indirect PR
Tie your budget in with results
You have to assess the various digital marketing options open to you and interrogate their worth ruthlessly. What would be your return on investment for pay-per-click? What conversion rate can you realistically achieve in email marketing? Could there be a better return on time spent pursuing more subtle social media strategies? But don’t overlook the possibility of quick wins too. Be prepared to be agile if a trend flares, or appropriate news hits the headlines.
Of course, the mainstay behind all your digital marketing efforts is your website. Ensuring you allocate the right amount of budget to keeping it up to date both technically and content-wise is critical. If you don’t, it’s likely every digital marketing campaign you put in place will falter at the first hurdle.
Put a measurement strategy in place
When you’ve linked your digital marketing campaigns to specific business goals, measurement almost becomes a no-brainer. But it’s important to pick the right measurements, and the right frequency for taking those measurements. In that way, you can then ensure the return you’re looking for is actually what you’re getting.
So where do you start? Every digital marketing medium has its metrics. Apply them with focus and be prepared to change your plan if one strand isn’t working. There’s no point in measuring and then not taking action. Misjudging the digital mood at any one time happens. Audiences are fickle these days. What worked six months ago is never guaranteed to work again. Don’t be precious, be pragmatic.
A final word
As we’ve said in previous articles, businesses – large and small – can’t and shouldn’t do it all. Prioritising is everything. And sometimes having an open mind to turning to an outside agency might be the key difference you can make for a new year ahead. Each channel needs an expert operating it these days, otherwise both time and money are likely to be wasted.
If you’d like to find out more about how an extra pair of experienced hands could help you not just meet but smash through those targets you’ve set for this year, give us a call. We would be delighted to get excited about your plans too!