We usually find in this blog a multitude of articles on creating and developing web pages, plugins and useful tips for your online project. However, today I would like to share with you something more strategic: how to define your own Digital Marketing Plan.
Specifically, I will talk to you about how a marketing plan works, focused on all of us who have an online project or business.
This is an element that, in turn, will allow you to nourish your website with updated content and get more and better traffic.
After all, if you work and spend time on your website, it’s because you want to reach your target audience easily, right?
So, you will see that you can achieve it by developing a good digital marketing plan and, in addition, you will get other benefits that we will also see later.
Do you want to know all these benefits?
Before starting with the factors involved in the plan, I would like to start by defining the concept of the “Digital Marketing Plan”, since, even if you intuit it, you probably still don’t know exactly what it is:
What is a Digital Marketing Plan?
“A Digital Marketing Plan is any document that collects information on the objectives and strategies that will be developed in the online sector for the promotion of a business, brand or project.”
In other words, it is the guide that must be followed to carry out online marketing actions so that they have a well-defined course and goals.
It is useless to launch actions of all kinds if they do not have a reason behind. In order to achieve objectives, you must have previously defined a strategy and objectives to be achieved.
This prior definition is the basis of the digital marketing plan, on which a specific plan will later be defined, in which a target audience is established and the marketing actions through which to deliver a certain brand message.
Why do you have to create a Digital Marketing Plan?
As I mentioned at the beginning, one of the main advantages of implementing an effective marketing plan is that you can get highly qualified web traffic, which you can convert into customers thanks to certain actions.
However, this is not the only reason why I recommend that you start planning your marketing actions right away.
Think that this will also help you to obtain these other benefits:
► You will get information
The previous analysis that you have to carry out will help you to have objective information about the situation in which your business and the sector are. You will analyze the competition, the market, users, etc.
In short, you will get to know all the agents that have to do with your project much better.
This is often overlooked, or is not done exhaustively, which often causes the subjective to be ahead of the objective.
► You will have a roadmap at hand
This serves to have a tool that everyone can go to. If there are several people who work in the development of the actions defined in the digital marketing plan, it will be much easier to unify the work with certain guidelines.
► You will know in advance your objectives
By having the previous analysis well done and knowing what the project is looking for, it is easier to define measurable, real and well-established objectives.
► You will work under a methodology
Having your own strategic planning will help you have a method with which to work.
In other words, it will help you define what tools you need, if you should seek support from other professionals, what KPIs you should measure, etc.
“Developing a Digital Marketing Plan is essential for the work to flow over time, since it saves time of organization and you can focus when doubts or new ideas arise.”
Steps to follow to plan your own digital strategy
If you have never considered working according to strategic planning, all this may be overwhelming (yes, I know, there are many things to consider …).
Here, my recommendation is to keep in mind that everything you invest in marketing efforts at the beginning, it will be a great benefit in the long term.
And, the deeper and more elaborate the digital marketing plan, the easier everything will be later.
Therefore, let me tell you below what steps you must take to create your own planning.
1. External analysis
The first thing you should do when considering working with this tool is to start with an external analysis. This must include everything related to your business, your brand, your website or the project in question.
You must locate your direct competitors, those who do exactly the same as you, or something very similar, and target the same target audience.
Once you know who they are, it’s time to study their marketing actions, the channels they move in, their online community, etc.
It is also interesting to meet those competitors who, although they do not move in exactly the same direction, are related to your brand or business.
For example, if you have an eCommerce, your indirect competition may be someone who sells the same products but in a physical store.
It is not aimed at the same audience because it does not sell online, but it could eventually do so, so it is better to know it well from the beginning.
For example, if yours is a blog, you should study well how the world of blogging works in general: influencers, your relationship with companies and everything you can think of about it.
If instead you have an online store, you should know the target audience, users, online buying behavior, distributors, etc. well.
2. Internal analysis
Once you get to know all the external agents well, it’s time to look at your navel a little.
In other words, it is time to do your own internal analysis.
And why do I propose to do the external analysis first, and then my own?
Because when you get to work on your internal analysis, the best thing is start with a SWOT, and this requires having information from others to be able to think deeply about your situation:
- What are your weak points independently of others (Debilities).
- What are the problems that could arise in relation to your competitors (TOtongs).
- What are your strengths independently of others (Fortalezas).
- In what aspect are you at the forefront or ahead of your competition (ORportunities).
As you can see, there are two parts of the SWOT that have to do with the competition, so, as I said before, it is better to know the external analysis first.
In this way, later you can calmly analyze your real situation.
Keep in mind that what you are developing is a digital marketing plan, so all these aspects that we have seen, both internal and external, must be raised from that perspective.
3. Definition of objectives
Once the environment and your situation within the sector is clear, it is easier to state the objectives you want to achieve thanks to the development of a digital marketing plan for your business.
These objectives should always be:
- Specific: It is better to have 3 different objectives in the short, medium and long term with a specific purpose than a generic one. The more specific they are, the easier it will be to know if they are being met or not.
- Measurable: This point is very important. If you set yourself non-measurable objectives, you will never know for sure if they have been met or to what degree, but with measurable objectives, the analyzes will be reliable.
- Achievable: eThis characteristic of the objectives involves knowing your business well and proposing things that are possible. If you set a goal for which you need resources that you don’t have yet, you won’t be able to achieve it until you get those resources.
- Realistic: you have to be honest and know what can and cannot be done. It does not mean that you have to think small, but you have to be aware of the possible limitations.
- Limited in time: This feature is often overlooked and is a mistake. Having a marked timing is essential and you will see it clearly with an example:
If your goal is to sell 30 products, I don’t think it’s as positive to get it in one week as in one year, right?
In the same way it happens in a blog, it is not the same to get a certain traffic in a short period of time than without a date, lengthening it in time.
4. Approach to strategies and channel selection
When you know what objectives you are pursuing with your strategic planning, it will be necessary to start thinking about how you are going to implement it.
For this, you must think about the online channels in which you will take action.
Therefore, the time will have come to analyze where you want to take your message; email marketing, social networks, web, etc.
Your strategy will define everything regarding how you are going to use those channels.
In this sense, you will also have to determine:
- What audience are you looking for on each channel.
- What will be the tone of communication.
- What kind of messages are you going to launch?
- Shipping frequency.
- What professional profiles do you need to involve?
5. Proposal for actions
The strategy that you have previously proposed must be transformed into concrete actions.
For example, in an ecommerce, your strategy may be pricing (or base your strength on price) and you want to bet on advertising in this area.
In that case, you should think about what specific actions you are going to do so that users know these prices (Facebook ads, sending a newsletter on Black Friday or Christmas, etc.).
In the case of a blog, your actions must also be defined.
For example, in content planning or in the banners you include.
6. Analysis, measurement and reports
Once everything is working, evolutionary analysis of results should not be neglected.
It seems that if you’ve already done that first deep analysis, both internal and external, everything is already under control, right?
The reality is that digital marketing is characterized by its ease of being constantly analyzed. In this sector everything is measurable and comparable.
For this reason, you must define which KPIs (or indices) are important to you and how often you want to measure them.
“Don’t hesitate to make periodic reports and monitor everything that happens. It is the only way to have control over the development of the digital marketing plan. ”
The monitoring and measurement of actions will help you know if the objectives you have set are being achieved.
Thanks to the data that these analyzes will give you, you will be able to know if the thing is going well and how to improve it or if it is necessary to solve problems.
Sometimes a drastic change is necessary that involves reorienting the strategies, and other times it will be enough to do A / B tests on your messages, to help you know how to improve some aspect.
Blog vs Web: how is your Digital Marketing Plan?
So far we have seen, in general terms, the different steps you have to follow to plan your digital marketing strategy or plan, whatever type of business you have.
However, your goals will not be the same if you have a blog, a corporate website or an online store and, therefore, your actions either.
In this last section, I encourage you to go into more detail depending on whether you are a blogging professional concerned with developing a personal brand or a business with your own corporate page.
► Digital Marketing Plan for a blog
Let’s start by analyzing the characteristics of the digital marketing plan for those of us who have a blog:
- objectives: The first thing to keep in mind is that the objectives of a blog do not have to do with sales (or at least not directly).
That is, the blog can be one more tool within a business, but the purpose of the blog as such will be to reach a target audience, get leads, engagement on social networks, brand positioning or any other aspect that is not strictly monetary.
- AudienceOn the other hand, it must be clear that the users to whom this plan is addressed are followers or readers, not clients.
You may get leads that later become customers, of course, but right now they are readers and you should treat them as such.
- Actions: The strategies are aimed at achieving an online community and, therefore, the actions are aimed at achieving engagement with that community, participation and links with them.
All this can lead to the generation of new business opportunities, but this is not always necessarily the case.
A positive aspect of working a blog is that the relationship with these users is usually much closer than with the clients of a business, so they will be the ones who help you reorient your plan, whenever necessary.
► Digital Marketing Plan for a corporate website
In the case of companies or businesses with online visibility through a corporate portal, we would be faced with the following scenario:
- objectives: When the digital marketing plan is created for the positive evolution of a brand with an Internet presence, we start talking about investment aimed at achieving a certain objective, measurable in economic figures in a shorter or longer period of time.
- Audience: Although digital marketing avoids intrusive techniques, it is true that the background of each content (however relevant it is) carries a commercial message focused on clients or potential clients.
- Actions: In this case, the sales funnel must be taken into account, in order to accompany each user in his conversion through the different phases until the purchase is made.
Therefore, very direct actions are applied depending on the stage of the funnel in which each user is.
All the good that blogging brings is what also leads to mixed models.
He thinks that every time we see more corporate websites that incorporate their own blog, which aims to expand the community and get feedback from users.
Today it is essential to be on the Internet, but it is not worth being in any way.
Each step must be taken logically and safely, following a defined route towards specific objectives.
A good digital marketing plan will help you guide your online project and know what actions and steps you should take at any time.
My last advice to make your plan work is that you never stop measuring and reviewing actions, as only then can you get ahead of different situations and move on the right path.
Have you made a digital marketing plan for your project?
What type of analysis do you perform to find out if everything is following the marked path?