Technology dominates every part of our lives and it is impossible to imagine our society without it.
This means it is imperative that we, as entrepreneurs, fully grasp this digital mindset in order to garner complete use of the multitude of services and tools now available to us.
You may have mastered the mindset, but do you know how to create a digital marketing plan? Do you know how to drive traffic to your website? Are you happy with the business you’re generating?
If the answer is no to one or all of the above, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
An astounding 76% of business owners don’t have a strategy for online marketing, make sure you’re in the 24% that do with this handy guide.
Outline Your Goals
First things first, before getting started on planning a campaign, you need to have established the overall intended marketing goals.
(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) goals are a great way to start to ensure your objectives are focused and achievable.
They can be based on increasing sales, profits or recommendations through customer satisfaction.
2. Establish Budgets
There is no point in beginning to plan a campaign without deciding on a realist budget beforehand. Once you know what you’ve got to work with you can begin researching the best ways to get the most out of it.
3. Conduct Your Own Market Research
Knowing your product/service inside out and back to front is vital for completing useful market research.
Get to grips with all of the key features and benefits in detail including price, service, distribution and placement.
You will also need to research the current market to get a gauge of your competitors and the industry benchmarks, so you can ensure you are not only meeting those marks, but that you are beating the competition.
In order to do this, it is vital that you have a clearly defined USP that will make you stand out and superior to what is already on the market.
Have a clear indication as to who your target market is will help to determine your USP.
4. Targeting Your Audience
Describing the basic demographics such as age, gender, earnings, hobbies, likes/dislikes, purchasing patterns and buying objectives is a great place to start.
Then test these assumptions in real life with focus groups, surveys and making full use of social media quizzes and polls. Whilst also using the platforms to research what content they are sharing and posting.
You may be surprised by some of the outcomes, your target audience is not always exactly who you think they are.
A few questions to consider when determining who it is that you are marketing your product/service to are:
- What are their motivations?
- Who are they as people?
- How do they like being communicated to?
- Which newspapers/magazines do they read and what sites do they regularly visit?
- What social media platforms do they use the most- and what are they talking about?
5. Plan Specific Campaign Goals
Next, you need outline what you want to achieve from the campaign itself. The overarching objective will help to identify how you will connect with, and therefore convince, your audience.
You need to be specific, saying you want to increase sales isn’t precise enough, it needs to be a goal that you can clearly analyse and measure.
Make sure you are accountable for the goals you set out by tying them to measurable KPIs.
Aligning these with monetary value with help you to quickly identify whether you have achieved your goals from a successful ROI.
Alongside this, it is wise to determine what types of content you will use to form your campaign. To help you decide, refresh your memory on the market research you completed in step 4. How do they like to be communicated to? Replicate this in the content you create.
To make the most out of your content, create it in a way that can be repurposed on social media as infographics for maximum reach.
It may also be useful to set up a calendar for your campaign, detailing when you will initiate each part of your campaign.
Elements you may want to include in you campaign:
- Social Media
- SEO and PPC
- Landing pages/ website/ e-commerce pages
- Content (created, curated, etc.)
6. Content Creation
If writing and design is not your forte, don’t worry, there are many different options you can consider when creating content.
If you are not confident with design work, there are many apps available to help and make it easy for you. With stock image sites such as Getty you have professional images at your fingertips.
However, if this still seems like too much, then outsourcing to freelance designers or agencies may be an effective way to manage your time so you can concentrate on strategy.
The same goes for copywriting, many companies use external resources to ensure they are maximising on time efficiency and quality.
7. Promotion and Execution
When you’ve made the finishing touches to your content and are happy with the result, you need to shout about it.
Promoting your content is key to ensuring a high reach to then increase those conversions.
Social media is a great way to do this, because, it’s free, and also because it gives you the freedom to engage with consumers in a way that truly communicates your brand and tone of voice.
Twitter is one of the platforms I used regularly to promote my blogs and services which helped me to not only achieve status as a thought leader in the industry, but to build a trusting relationship with customers.
Once that relationship has been built and trust has formed they will become loyal customers.
There are other ways to promote and execute content. Some involve investment, such as PPC or sponsored ads, but public relations and email mailouts are a good way to keep costs down. Having strong SEO is another great way to ensure your content is being seen.
So, you’ve successfully created and promoted your content, and your campaign has run through your budget- now what?
Analysis. In order to be completely sure that you’re are spending your money on the tactics that work the best for you and your business, you need to be analysing your campaign data.
There are many ways that you can do this. Google Analytics is the perfect software to help you see whether you have achieved the goals set out previously, and what you need to work on next time.
If, and I hope you have, used social media in your campaigns then utilise the analytics available to you on the platforms. Facebook Business Manager lets you see stats on engagements and which posts perform the best, so you can get a comprehensive idea of what your followers want.
I hope this guide has helped you feel more confident in mastering your digital marketing campaigns.
It can feel hard to keep up in such a fast-paced industry, but it is important to refresh and update your knowledge regularly to stay current and ahead of the curve.
As the winds of digital marketing are always changing, I decided to update my book with a second edition to ensure my readers are getting the most relevant and current knowledge they need to Think #Digital First.
How do you keep your business and digital marketing campaigns fresh and up to date?