A digital marketing strategy is the first step to achieve the most effective and optimized online marketing activities.
How to own a successful marketing plan? Without a digital marketing strategy in place, there are simply no clearly defined goals needed to power the growth of your online business.
Necessary elements to define a successful marketing plan:
- Short, medium and long term business goals.
- The strategies to achieve the objectives at the digital level.
- The channels to use.
- Action and development plans.
- Investment and budget.
- The calendar of actions.
Next, I will indicate the step-by-step structure of a digital marketing plan:
1. Situation analysis
In order to have a successful marketing plan that works properly, the first thing we must do is analyze our situation and the trends in the sector. Know the strengths and weaknesses of the competition, the characteristics of the market and the moment our brand is going through. A useful framework for this is the SWOT analysis which allows you to see the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your company and the market in general.
We need to be familiar with the ecosystem in which we operate and what our customer’s needs are. This analysis is both qualitative and quantitative, as it looks at factors like digital habits, middlemen, influencers, and more.
Implementing benchmarking techniques is a very common practice in companies to identify best practices and success stories and extract an example for their digital marketing plan.
We also need to carry out an immersion or deep dive of the brand to know how the company is in the digital age: is our website customer-oriented? How is the usability and browsing experience? Do we update our blog regularly? What is the current positioning of our website? What is our presence on social networks?
2. Set digital marketing goals
Next, establish quantitative and qualitative objectives to have a clear idea of where to take the actions. Everything you plan has to work towards those goals.
For a correct definition of objectives, these must always be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely objectives.
- Specific / Specific: determine exactly what the objective is, without generalizing.
- Measurable: in a quantitative way, to determine how successful it has been in achieving the objective.
- Achievable/Achievable: do not set impossible goals
- Relevant: important and with a real impact on the business
- Temporary: must be achieved in a given period.
Here you can see an example:
Not a SMART goal: “Increase the number of visits to my website”.
SMART goal: “I want to reach 30,000 visits per month on my website every month in three months. To do so, I’m going to do the following X, Y, and Z actions.”
Associated with each objective of the digital marketing plan, we must choose the main KPIs that we look at so that we can analyze if we are on the right track or if we are deviating.
3. Define your buyer or buyer person
Once you have defined your goals, what are you going to do to achieve them? Personalization is increasingly important to a successful marketing plan.
In order to do that, defining the buyer person is one of the most critical steps in a digital marketing plan. This person is nothing more than a semi-fictional character that simulates the characteristics of your ideal client.
To create it, you’ll need to go beyond demographics related data to your target audience. The person should include more specific and insightful details like name, hobbies, needs, pains, and motivations.
The idea is to facilitate the development of strategies that can impact your potential customers.
4. Define the marketing strategy
This starts with choosing the most adequate channels for brand promotion and customer communication.
It is crucial to keep in mind that these details directly depend on your predefined goals and the characteristics observed in the person.
If you wish to reach a younger audience, for instance, you should pay attention to the social networks your target audience uses, such as TikTok and Instagram.
The objectives should also influence the methodology you will adopt. If the focus is simply to promote a product and achieve the widest possible reach, investing in paid advertising may be the solution.
However, if the idea is to educate the consumer about your products and services, creating a relationship of trust, using the Content Marketing or Inbound Marketing strategy is the best alternative. At this point, it’s worth remembering that these approaches can beneficially co-exist, as long as you know how to handle them.
In all cases, your digital marketing plan must be consistent across all channels. Your brand must present a recognizable identity and act in accordance with its missions and values. It is the only way to create authority for your business and a successful marketing plan.
5. Define the actions
Knowing where, what and to whom we want to communicate, it is time to determine the specific actions of our successful marketing plan. Here the options are endless and will depend on the specific objectives set.
In order to divide the actions according to the intention and the moment of the consumer, the funnel is usually used. With it, the actions are grouped around 5 phases: brand awareness, generation of interest, decision making, purchase and loyalty.
6. Measure the results
The work doesn’t stop after you’ve designed and implemented your digital marketing strategy. The next step is one of the most important: analyze the results. Analytics has become a critical pillar for successfully optimizing digital marketing performance and spend.
We have to measure each action using KPIs to determine if we got the expected ROI. Measuring the effectiveness of the strategies and activities that we have implemented in our digital marketing strategy will help us correct what is not working to achieve the goals we set.
Even if you achieve great results in a short period of time, never make the mistake of thinking your work is complete. Digital marketing is characterized by rapidly changing trends and this can affect even the most successful approach.
The Digital Marketing plan is an important document that will guide and evaluate the progress of your strategy. To develop it, it is necessary to study the characteristics of your company, define your person and establish your primary objectives. If all goes well, you will notice a considerable growth in your results.