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create a digital marketing plan, 5 steps, digital marketing plan

With a digital marketing plan, making the shift to digital won’t be as difficult as it seems. We’ve outlined 5 easy steps to build a strong digital marketing plan that will fit in with your larger business plan. 

Digital Marketing Plan Step 1. Set goals.

Even the savviest digital marketers can get caught up in playing with digital tools and forget to strategize. Just using digital platforms and tools to use them isn’t going to help your brand. If you want to see a real digital transformation of your brand, you’ll need to set clear, actionable goals.

Set business goals that your digital marketing efforts can achieve. For example, if you work for a cupcake shop, your goal is to sell cupcakes. Your goal shouldn’t be to have 10K Instagram followers just because. Likes and followers are vanity metrics that tell you very little about how your digital marketing efforts achieve business goals. Here are some Key Performance Indicators that you and your team should take into consideration.

For the cupcake company, here’s an example of how to set goals.

Business goal: Sell more cupcakes.

Digital goal: Increase awareness about the shop.

Possible objectives: Increase location “check-ins” or “tags,” Encourage user-generated content (customers posting pictures at the shop on their social media accounts).

Digital Marketing Plan Step 2. Know your brand.

You need to know your brand and organization inside out. A big part of understanding your brand is assessing past marketing efforts. A good place to start is by performing a Digital Media Audit on your brand. You can get a step-by-step guide to DMA’s from Sprout Social. We also recommend doing a side-by-side comparison of your business operations report and your past marketing plans or data. Hopefully, it can give you an idea of past marketing efforts that had potential, and those that flopped.

Digital Marketing Plan Step 3. Know your audience.

There is not a “one size fits all” digital strategy that works for all types of audiences or brands. You have to know your customer. You’ll want to know (1) what online applications and platforms they use, (2) how they like to receive product information, (3) and how they make purchasing decisions. All these questions can help you determine what digital channels you need to utilize and what type of content you need. To put this simply: if none of your customers use Twitter, then Twitter should not be a part of your digital strategy! Likewise, the cool-hipster vibe of Instagram might not work for a life insurance company.

Again, don’t do digital just to do it. You need to know why you’re doing it and who it’s for.

Digital Marketing Plan Step 4. Tally your resources.

Your marketing department doesn’t have an unlimited budget. It also doesn’t have an infinite number of employees. Before deciding on a digital marketing strategy, you need to think about how many work hours you can actually put toward the plan, and how much money you can spend. It is a terrible idea to spread yourself too thin with digital marketing management.

If you have a small staff, you might find it strategic to focus on fewer brand channels (Does your brand need Tumblr?) so that the channels will be stronger. Also, when it comes to paid advertising, boosting or lead generation, you’ll want to put money on the channels with the highest conversion rates and lowest cost-per-click.

Digital Marketing Plan Step 5. Evaluate and adapt.

Research and evaluation have to be integral and continuing parts of your digital marketing plan. Setting KPIs is useless if you don’t check your marketing efforts against them regularly. You should be auditing your digital marketing plan every six weeks, and checking digital KPIs daily. This is the only way to no what is, and is not, working. After evaluating, change your plan up. Digital marketing plans should constantly evolve and get stronger.

It’s never a bad idea to consult experts. At Warehouse75 we are experts in website development and design services, pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), social media management, e-mail marketing, analytical data monitoring and reporting, and online reputation management. Contact us for help with any digital marketing needs your brand may have.