Whether you’re a digital marketing beginner, small business owner, or an established entrepreneur, your business success is dependent on your marketing efficiency.
To improve your brand’s awareness and increase your sales, you need to develop an effective digital marketing plan that will sustain your business growth in the long run. Creating such a plan takes a little bit of knowledge, practice, and time.
In today’s post, I’ll outline the basic steps that you must take in order to set the foundation of an effective digital marketing plan. Action is key. The more you test, analyze, and optimize the more results you’ll get. Pay attention and apply!
Define Your Brand
A brand is more than a business. It is the image that you project or the essence of your business. To run a performant digital marketing campaign, your brand needs to be well-defined. That’s the only way you’ll be able to attract attention and show that you’re better than others.
Start by defining your unique value proposition. What’s so special about your business? What can you offer and your competitors can’t? Why would customers choose you instead of anyone else?
Continue by defining your brand’s values and mission. What is it that you want to achieve other than money? What do you stand for? What are your principles? Many times, the values of a brand are the ones that create rapport with the customers.
Once you know your “substance”, you’ll be able to leverage all of these aspects in every digital marketing campaign you’ll run.
Define Your Target Audience
Who are your customers? Have you defined them yet? If you haven’t, it’s critical that you stop what you’re doing and perform audience research.
A simple way to do it is to imagine an ideal customer (target persona). Ask yourself:
- Is it a he, a she, or can be both?
- Where does he/she live?
- What’s your target persona’s average income?
- What are his/her values, principles, and desires?
- What are his/her problems?
- What are his/her primary needs?
Continue the brainstorming with more questions until you figure out who your target audience is. If your audience is comprised of more types of people, develop more target personas. In time, as you develop more campaigns, you’ll be able to target them towards specific customer types.
Establish Your Objectives
Every digital marketing campaign is different. You’ll perform many, and each of them should have a specific goal. Before heading down the road, you need a roadmap. Your objectives are the destination.
Here are the main digital marketing objectives that you can choose to focus on:
- Position your brand in the marketplace
- Improve your brand’s awareness
- Acquire followers, email subscribers, and potential leads
- Improve your social media presence
- Improve sales performance
Your goals must be very specific. Instead of “wanting to get more sales”, you should want to “acquire 100 sales in the following three months using X, Y, and Z strategies”.
Study Your Competition
If you learn to effectively study your competition, you’ll be able to improve on their value propositions and establish yourself as a better option in the marketplace.
First of all, take a look at their branding. How do they convince their customers that they’re the best? Pay attention to their online reviews (on social media, forums, review sites, etc.) Then, you should simply go ahead and become one of their customers in order to see their sales processes.
Pay attention to how they make you feel when you choose their products. Are they helpful and welcoming? Are they offering more products? Study their ways and you’ll find a lot of relevant marketing ideas for your own business. Use competitor analysis tools to speed up the process!
Develop a Content Marketing Plan
Content is key to any possible digital marketing campaign. Everything is content: articles, podcasts, graphics, infographics, videos, and so on and so forth.
The quality of your digital marketing campaign is directly proportional to the quality of your content. For this simple reason, you need to learn how to develop an effective content marketing plan that suits your business needs and goals.
Moreover, you need to figure out how you’ll create your content. Will you write it on your own? Will you create your own videos? Will you develop your own web content? If you’re not a professional writer, I’d highly suggest you take advantage of professional services.
In the past, I’ve used the following services to plan, create, and execute my content marketing campaigns:
If you feel that you need some help, don’t be afraid to invest in your content!
Acquire Digital Tools
Lastly yet very importantly, you should strive to acquire as many useful digital tools as your budget allows. Digital marketing is a complex activity that demands a lot of knowledge and skills. To be successful, you’ll need to leverage professional tools that are meant to solve numerous time-consuming problems.
For example, to figure out the SEO performance of a competitor, you should leverage SEO analysis tools. To figure out whether your website is presenting errors, you should leverage website analysis software. If you want to analyze your email performance, you’ll need an email marketing analysis tool.
The point is…you can’t do everything on your own. For that reason, start researching and figuring out what tools you’ll need for your specific digital marketing processes and objectives!
As you may notice, developing a solid digital marketing plan for your business isn’t rocket science. If you treat every process with much care and patience, you’ll slowly start getting results. Keep in mind that your competitors might be more experienced than you. For that reason, do your best to think out of the box and approach unique marketing angles.
Keep studying and applying. Digital marketing is not a fixed result, but rather a challenging journey. As long as you remain consistent and keep improving your strategies, nothing’s going to stop you from reaching your objectives!