A good digital marketing plan is reflective of where you are within your business growth; are you starting out or are you embracing digital marketing and software solutions in your business or have you got a marketing funnel in place but you still have an income rollercoaster going on but don’t know where the leaks are in your ‘marketing funnel’. Either way, you need a plan to know what needs to be broken and redone, or what is the best way to start.
all successful businesses have a plan, they know in advance where they are going to be and when, this allows them to plan adequately so that they take opportunities when they arise because they are prepared.- Roger Hamilton
Whether you’re new to online marketing or have played around a bit before, a solid digital marketing plan is a must in today’s online world. It is a guide to let you know your blind spots, what worked and why and what is the next best step. When you write it down you have a way to track the activities in your business, a Google Doc’s spreadsheet is a great way to map things out. When you’re a small business the digital landscape can be a bit overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help you guide down the right path.
6 steps to creating a great digital marketing plan
1. Know Your Audience
If you really want to win in any form of marketing, developing an understanding of your customers and the different segments within them, will help set the tone for your marketing strategy, both on and offline. When you know your customers; needs, wants and triggers [the moment that makes them go to Google] then your content marketing will have a better impact, especially when you write for their search habits. This means your blog or products turn up in Google’s Organic Reach = no adverts. This method of being found online is proven to be more trusted by your ideal clients, has statistically higher conversion rates; buys or contacts, and it is a great way to segment them into the right funnel. Need help with this step? We’ll show you How to create customer personas.
2. Create Useful Content
First and foremost, write like you talk. People do business with people they like, so make sure your brand story and copy talk is all the same tone, then when they call they won’t have any confusion on who you are and what you stand for. When you are writing; reviews, insights, teaching blogs, make sure that what you are writing about can help your potential customers get closer to what they want or need? Use this checklist when you sit down to write your blog copy:
- Keep a Tight Focus: Highlight three or four key insights/benefits visitors get from your blog and make sure you have a valid content upgrade based on the blog they are reading. This tactic helps your content stay on topic and gives you a natural way of incorporating relevant keywords without stuffing [going hard on your keywords].
- Use Descriptive Language: That doesn’t mean load up with adjectives. Adjectives like “great” and “best” are so overused and subjective that readers skim right over them. They are almost pointless. Use verbs to help people imagine your product or service impacting their lives and producing a positive emotional response.
- Always be Brief: Keep to the page’s topical focus, cutting anything that doesn’t support your main three or four points.
3. Implement Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Creating quality content is only half-the battle. No matter how good your content is, if it’s not optimised for search engines…no one will ever see it. Whether you are running paid search campaigns or focusing on organic SEO, your website must be optimised properly in order to increase search rankings and generate quality leads to your site. Learn more about implementing SEO, join our newsletter as we run Q&A webinars where you get to ask us questions about your business strategies.
4. Create a Marketing Funnel
- Awareness strategy [discovery stage] = blogs or ads that helps your business be found online.
- Opt-In strategy [deliberation stage] = because no-one buys on the first visit so you want to capture their email address, or at the least have Facebook pixels and Adwords tags on your site.
- Re-targeting strategy [decision stage – this business is reading my mind feeling] = the tags, pixels and newsletter does that.
- Onboarding [you caught one delivery stage] = what is the email you need to design that helps your customer get familiar with your product or service without them having to call for this information. Sometimes not speaking to clients as they buy is a great sign that you have your marketing fine-tuned.
- Campaigns = your business has some form of seasonal marketing it can engage your clients to buy again or refer you to others. You need to know what this is so you make use of your email, Facebook and Adwords list. [there are other ways to market; LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, we just don’t use those platforms for our clients so because that isn’t our jam we don’t refer to it]
Image below outlines your funnel steps from the buyers point of view.
Attention: Attract the attention of your reader (with an enticing headline).
Interest: Give fresh and insightful information that’ll interest the reader. Add interesting introductions for your posts.
Desire – Stir your reader. Convince him to believe in your idea by stating its proven benefits.
Action – Once the reader has engaged with your copy, don’t assume he’ll take the necessary next step. You’ll need to create a strong call-to-action (CTA).
The objective of your website is to get your ideal clients to join your mailing list as that gives you an opportunity to have the 2nd, 3rd conversation with them and show them why your business is the right decision. To do this a contextual Call To Action, CTA is needed.
A CTA prompts visitors to take action, such as signing up for your newsletter, downloading a coupon, viewing a product demo, or starting a free trial. CTAs should direct customers to a landing page where they receive something of value in exchange for giving you their contact information. Need help developing strong CTA’s and setting up marketing funnels? Learn about Conversion Rate Optimisation
5. Develop a Social Media Strategy
Once you’ve defined your audience, created great content and optimised your website, the content needs to be distributed in order to generate leads.
Social media is the fastest way to get your message out there and the easiest to target. Taking advantage of social sharing to promote your blogs and newsletters is a great way to get more traffic. Most social media sites have a particular type of audience so only share content relevant to that particular audience.
If you are business to business, business, then LinkedIn and YouTube is definitely where you should be.
Retail; Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, be here. If you target the younger tribe then you need to be an early adopter to any new software because they want to be where the adults are not, they are a lot more fearless when it comes to trying new things out.
6. Use Analytics to track What’s Working and What’s Not.
If you don’t measure your actions you don’t know what is winning. Have your Google Analytics set up so that you can identify; buyer funnel, high drop off pages, high engagement pages and main keywords. Facebook campaigns, make sure you have UTM’s set up on your Bitly link so that you can identify your social media links otherwise they all go under the / section of your data. Just outsource this to one of the many humans on Fiverr who do this as a daily gig, delegate = winning.
Use Facebook Insights to tell you more about the people who engage with your Facebook campaigns, if you haven’t got any campaigns as yet, read the blog connected here for insights on how to get the ball rolling. Facebook ads can help you identify user behaviour, what is of interest, how long they take to buy etc. The most wasted campaigns to do on FB is a “Like” campaign [aka Vanity Clicks – no substance, no $ales], with businesses able to buy likes this is no longer a trust indicator for buyers, what you need to optimise for is engagement. Make sure you always have a goal and purpose in mind; IMHO I would have it optimised for Landing Page views, that lowers your ad spend, it tells you that these people loved your ad and want what you offer. It also keeps your list clean and the biggest painpoint and money sucker for businesses is having people on your ads and your email list that will NEVER BUY FROM YOU.
Go for quality = less is more, across everything you do. It’s about reach, clicks and conversions.
A digital marketing plan is best done on a 90 day cycle so that changes in the marketplace, the audience and statistics can be looped back into what is happening with ongoing campaigns.
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I can’t help everybody… but if you’re selling your own information and services, have an e-commerce store or develop courses online and are ready to harness marketing automation to build and run a sustainable business, then I can help you.