How to Create a Digital Marketing Plan
A funny thing has happened since the inception of the internet – people just can’t seem to get enough of it!
“Plumbers near me”
“Best pizza in town”
“Twin Cities legal assistance”
All of these phrases and millions of others like them are typed into search engines on a daily basis! Long gone are the days of the phone books, the billboards, the newspaper ads; replaced with the immediate convenience, accuracy, and accessibility of the almighty Google search.
And if your company isn’t showing up on such search results for products or services relevant to your brand, you can rest assured you’re missing out on some significant business. That’s where creating a successful digital marketing plan comes into play, allowing businesses of all industries and sizes to establish their advertising goals, reach new and relevant customers, all while fleshing out their online presence.
Digital marketing is what can separate your business from the rest of the pack, providing you with ample opportunities to achieve any of the following marketing objectives:
- Generate more website traffic and convert more leads
- Target specific audiences and demographics that are applicable to your brand
- Stay in touch with previous customers while engaging with prospective clients
- Create more brand awareness in any geographic location you desire
- Monitor and adjust marketing tactics to maximize your ROI
Sounds good to you? Great! Let’s get started, shall we?
Whoa, whoa, whoa, pump the brakes there! We all know Rome wasn’t built in a day, and every successful digital marketing campaign also takes a little time to develop, nourish, and progress. So if you’re interested in expanding your horizons and online potential, here are a few essential steps to keep in mind when it comes to creating a digital marketing plan that’s perfectly suited for your business.
Defining Digital Marketing
You probably already have a feel for what digital marketing is, but comprehending all the aspects, tactics, and why it’s actually so important is an imperative first step to creating a successful digital marketing plan.
Let’s start with a broad overview of digital marketing:
- Digital marketing essentially refers to any marketing efforts that are conducted via the internet.
- Through digital marketing tactics, businesses utilize various digital channels such as websites, search engines, social media, email, etc., to broaden their brand and ultimately reach more prospective clients.
- Because consumers are actively searching for the products or services your business specializes in, increasing your visibility and accessibility online makes it easier for prospects to come across your company online.
- Bottom Line: Digital marketing grants you direct access to reach the specific target audiences your company wants as ideal customers.
The biggest takeaway from digital marketing? If you’re not showing up on local, relevant Google search results or customers can’t find your company online, you can bet that they’re finding and ultimately doing business with all of your local competition.
Setting Goals and Timelines
Now it’s time to visualize what exactly you want out of a digital marketing plan. When it comes to setting goals for your digital marketing campaign, it’s okay to be as broad or specific as you please.
Obviously, the more realistic your goals are, the more obtainable they’ll be (setting out to be the next Coca-Cola or Apple is very admirable, but probably not practical if you’re a small business mom-and-pop shop).
Here are a few examples of typical digital marketing goals to get a better feel for what you’d like to achieve:
- Increase website traffic and improve lead conversion rates
- Double the amount of your email subscribers and social media followers every six months
- Cement your website’s status on the first page of Google for all relevant, local search results
- Boost brand awareness and engagement by generating more online reviews
- Increase total revenue by at least 25% via various digital marketing campaigns
Once you’ve established your goals, you’ll want to accompany them with (realistic) timelines. Keep in mind that depending on the digital marketing routes you choose to embark upon (PPC advertising, SEO and inbound marketing, social media campaigns, etc.) that they’ll often have different intervals or timelines to gauge their success.
Analyze Your Customers and Competitors
After you’ve established your goals, you’ll want to zero-in on what type of target audience you want to market your company to, as well as scope out how your competition is going about digitally marketing themselves.
Let’s start with your desired target audience: Who are your ideal customers? Age, income, gender, location, interests; the more you can narrow down these characteristics, the easier it will be to target them online and increase brand awareness within them.
As for your competition, start going through a list of your top competitors and begin to analyze their websites and online presences. What do you like or dislike about their website design? Are you a fan of their online content, or does their tone or message fail to strike a chord with you?
Look at their websites, social media pages, online reviews, etc., and try to assess them through the eyes of your preferred customer. What can you do better than them? What are they doing that’s better than your business? Fleshing out all of these questions will only provide you with more ammunition to knock your digital marketing plan out of the park!
Assess Your Budget
Most businesses tend to dismiss the importance of digital marketing because they simply don’t want to spend any money on it. The failure with that logic, of course, is not being able to see how much more revenue you can obtain by generating more traffic and leads to your website. Nonetheless, assessing your budget is another essential factor of creating a suitable digital marketing plan.
Some common questions to consider when assessing how much you should or want to be spending with digital marketing include:
- How much money is feasible to set aside for every digital marketing tactic?
- Which digital marketing strategies are absolutely necessary to achieve your marketing goals?
- How can you gauge the success rates of your proposed digital marketing plan?
- What are your potential revenue-per-customer projections?
- What are your overall ROI goals?
Implement Your Strategy and Adjust Accordingly
You’re reaching the end of your digital marketing checklist when you’ve come to the step of actually implementing the specific tactics you’ve concluded will help you achieve your marketing objectives. No matter which directions or approaches you’re choosing to incorporate into your digital marketing strategy (Paid search, content marketing, video advertising, social media marketing, etc.), the most important thing to keep in mind from this point forward is tracking your results and adjusting accordingly if necessary.
A few essential Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you should be monitoring throughout your digital marketing plan include:
- Overall website traffic and traffic by source
- New visitor versus returning visitor metrics
- Page views and session times
- Bounce and exit rates
- Lead conversion ratios
- Social media or email engagement metrics
- Cost-per-click and cost-per-conversion rates
Keeping track of all of these reporting metrics will provide you with valuable insights as to which digital marketing efforts are proving most effective, as well as which ones could use improvements or changes.
Create Your Digital Marketing Plan With Triton Commerce
Embarking upon a new digital marketing plan isn’t nearly as intimidating as it sounds, especially when you leave it up to the professionals! At Triton Commerce, we work with businesses of all sizes and industries to provide them with the custom digital marketing solutions that will help them achieve all of their branding goals.
Contact us today to receive a complimentary digital marketing proposal!