Before we dive right into analyzing a digital marketing plan, let’s start at the beginning. ¿ What is digital marketing ? The so-called online marketing can be briefly defined as the set of marketing strategies (actions and techniques such as branding, for example ) that will help us generate business opportunities in various media and channels on the Internet.
New technologies have favored the development of digital marketing , having ’emerged’ new techniques and tools that favor reaching our target audience more quickly and efficiently. One of the strategies in digital marketing that does not stop gaining weight is Growth Hacking , which we have previously discussed in the blog.
To end this brief introduction, we advise you to take a look at the latest digital marketing trends in 2018 .
DEFINITION OF DIGITAL MARKETING PLAN
The main objective of a digital marketing plan is to capture the advertising and marketing strategy to be carried out by a business or brand on the Internet. This document must contain both the objectives to be achieved (short, medium and long term) and the current situation that we must face: how is the sector that we want to impact? Who are our main competitors and what digital marketing strategy are they following? What target audience do we want to target? What is our value proposition ? All these answers must be answered throughout the marketing plan .
But do not worry, to succeed you will only have to follow the five stages of a digital marketing plan, which of course we will provide later. But before, you may be interested to know the benefits that a digital marketing plan brings under your arm.
BENEFITS OF THE DIGITAL MARKETING PLAN
Marketing is like chess: strategy is the foundation of the game, and without it we will not be checkmated . A digital marketing plan will allow us to anticipate possible obstacles that we encounter along the way. Here are some actions that we will address in a digital marketing plan:
- Know the current market situation. The external environment to our business is variable and changing. For this reason, carrying out an analysis of the situation when we are going to carry out any type of business action will be essential. Is the sector on the rise? Who are our main competitors? What strategies are you implementing to build customer loyalty?
- Detect potential leads . After analyzing the market you will have obtained very valuable information, knowing where and how to get customers. In addition, you will know the most demanded needs, and which of them are not covered today or if there is room for improvement.
- Detect channels. After being clear about what target audience we want to target, through the digital marketing plan we will detect those channels to reach our target in the fastest way. In this process, social networks will play a relevant role.
- Measure ROI (Return on Investment). ‘Measure, measure, measure’, that is the key. Through the digital marketing plan you can easily analyze the Return on Investment. If you want to get an idea of how to measure the ROI of your marketing plan, our post ” How to measure the ROI of your content marketing strategy ” will surely be of great interest .
STEPS OF A DIGITAL MARKETING PLAN
The time has come to know what steps to follow to develop our marketing plan , which you will develop by following these simple five steps:
ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION
The digital ecosystem is one of the most difficult to predict, as it is in constant motion. Therefore, knowing what current situation the market is in, in addition to analyzing all those marketing strategies that we will have to face by our competitors, will be key aspects.
Ah! And don’t forget to detect those digital channels and platforms chosen by users to interact with the market. This way you will know the needs most demanded by customers, and detect those that may be a business opportunity. The social media strategy must be one more point to take into account in our marketing plan , therefore, carrying out Social Paid Media or Digital PR actions will be of great help to you.
Analyze the market
Record this in your mind: the market is made up of the needs of consumers, so the objective will be to detect some ‘gap’ through which to introduce ourselves. But how can we know the needs most demanded by users? For this, it will be essential that you ask yourself a series of questions: Which social networks are the most used by our clients? What type of content is the most interesting? What are the search keywords most used by users on the Internet?
Know our competitors
Once we are clear about the need to be covered, it is time to analyze what our main competition does to ‘open a gap’ in the market. The more data we get from our ‘rivals’, the better we know how to deal with them.
Some of the key aspects to analyze of our competitors are:
- SEO positioning . Knowing the scope of the competition’s website will be of great help to us. Through multiple tools (such as SimilarWeb or SEMRush ) you will be able to detect any of the following metrics: number of unique visitors and visits, sources of traffic through social networks or direct search.
- Social networks that it uses to interact with users. Download our IV Study of Social Networks , to know in depth the behavior of users on the most used social platforms in Spain.
- Evolution of profiles on social networks: number of followers and followers, and level of engagement generated by their followers. To open your mouth we suggest you know which are the most followed Instagram profiles and which Facebook pages are most active .
- Content marketing . Analyze what type of content the competition offers to consumers. If you want to be up-to-date, don’t miss our post on thelatest trends in content marketing .
The Internet is a double-edged sword. By hosting a multitude of sources and channels of information, we can meet the well-known influencers , who significantly influence the purchase decision of consumers. How to identify influencers will become an arduous task to consider in your digital marketing plan .
Internal and external analysis: SWOT
The time has come to carry out an analysis of everything that affects our business, in it we will analyze internal and external factors to our company. Through the SWOT (basic methodology of any online marketing plan ) we will answer questions that will make us rethink key aspects: Why does our business work? How can we improve? Do we have any competitive advantage? What makes us different? Do we receive the expected feedback from our customers? All these questions will help us detect: Weaknesses , Threats , Strengths and Opportunities , both positive and negative variables that will help us achieve the success of our project.
It is time to be honest with ourselves and ask ourselves a series of questions that help us detect premises (internal and external) that facilitate us to achieve our professional objectives. Below we indicate as an example some questions that can help you carry out your SWOT, we will focus on digital issues :
Internal analysis: we will emphasize detecting those internal factors that are limiting our progress in the market.
- Weaknesses: they are those internal elements of the company that have become a ‘stone on the road’ and that we must place greater emphasis to improve them. Some of the questions you might ask yourself are:
- Do I have staff with the necessary digital skills?
- Do I know how to widely use tools that I am going to need, such as Google Analytics?
- What should I improve in my digital skills and knowledge?
- How is the SEO positioning of my website?
- Do we have a suitable website?
- Do our users find what they are looking for easily on our website?
- How is the presence of my company in social media?
- Strengths: those elements that we have on our side. Exploit them!
- Innovative business model
- Widely trained staff
- I know and use tools to help me carry out my work in the digital environment.
- I have extensive experience in the sector
External analysis: detect what external elements are affecting (or may affect you in the long term) in your venture.
- Threats: the market is in constant motion. Therefore, it is essential to be up to date on trends, new competitors, legislation …
- Is a social network trending and we have no presence on it?
- Have there been any legal changes that affect us? (such as the new legislation regarding data protection)
- Are there new competitors in the sector?
- Has the needs of our target audience changed?
- Opportunities: one of the advantages that the dynamism that characterizes the market shows, are the new opportunities that may arise … Being vigilant is essential!
- Can we broaden our focus to another sector of the market?
- Is there a new social network that we can take advantage of?
- Are there new tools that we can take advantage of?
- Are there new needs to be covered?
- Are we applying all the available marketing techniques, such as Growth Hacking, Social Paid Media, Influencer Marketing, Inbound Marketing …
IDENTIFY OUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Analyzing our clients is one of the fundamental pillars of a marketing plan . Carrying out an x – ray of your tastes, interests, purchasing behavior and needs, are data that will help us to make a segmentation going far beyond a demographic ‘dimension’ when selecting our target .
To define our customer segment, we can be guided by the following variables:
- If, on the other hand, our company belongs to the B2C ( Business to Client ) sector, our objective will be to identify our “ buyer person” , which is commonly known as the ‘ideal client’. To do this, it is necessary to detect the pain (how the buyer persona behaves towards what we offer) and the drivers that prompt you to carry out a specific search on Google.
- To identify our ‘perfect client’ we must know:
- Personal information: it is in our interest to identify your hobbies, tastes or interests. That way we will know if what we offer you will be of interest to you.
- Behavior on the Internet: perhaps it is one of the factors that interests us the most, to analyze what products you consume online and how often, if you are a user of social networks, which ones you use most frequently …
- What we can offer you: once we have a more detailed profile of our personal buyer , we can estimate drivers that will prompt you to visit our website. Once you have done so, it will be essential to analyze by which means you have accessed our site ( direct search on Google , through social networks …), in addition to detecting if you have carried out any expected action such as subscribing to a newsletter , downloading of reports, comment on any of our articles …
ESTABLISH AN ONLINE MARKETING BUDGET
Before establishing the objectives to be achieved, it is essential to be clear about the amount that we are going to allocate to carry out our online marketing actions. It is essential to be realistic, and keep in mind that unexpected expenses always arise.
When establishing your budget, we recommend you take into account the following elements:
- Tools : some tools that may be of help to you when carrying out your digital marketing plan are: XOVI (SEO Onpagge), SERanking , Motor Blacklinks (SEO Onpagge), Manage Flitter , SEMRush (SEM), Fanpage Karma ( social networks), Mustat (web traffic)
- Specific professionals: graphic designer, community manager , web programmer …
- Advertising on Social Media : Facebook Ads , Twitter Ads , Pinterest , YouTube , Instagram Ads , LinkedIn Ads .
ESTABLISH A DIGITAL MARKETING PROPOSAL
With all the information collected, it is time to define some objectives and the strategy to carry out to achieve them.
To define the objectives of our digital marketing plan we will base ourselves on another topic of online marketing, SMART. It has been shown that by following this simple ‘scheme’ we will avoid future uncertainties.
- Specific – specific: those objectives that clearly express what you want to achieve. If we propose a generic objective, there may be doubts about its exact interpretation.
- Measurable – measurable: the objectives will be considered measurable as long as variables can be determined that help to specify the evolution of success or failure of the objective set.
- A chievable – achievable: the objectives must be realistic, and their scope must be within what is ‘easy’ to achieve. This seems logical, but on many occasions, wanting to be too ambitious, we propose to achieve impossible things for our current situation.
- Relevant – relevant: the objectives set must be important to our business, if it does not mean that we are deviating from the path.
- Time bounded – defined in time: it is very important to set a time to carry out each objective, and analyze its evolution over time, so we will know if we are achieving (or not) what is proposed.
If you still do not have it very clear, we propose as an example some objectives, be clear that not all should be focused on sales: increase the traffic on our website, decrease our bounce rate, increase our followers on social networks , or capture leads , may be some of them.
Developing digital marketing plan strategy
Choosing a marketing strategy is the definitive step to reach the sum of our marketing plan. The strategy will be made up of several tactics, which will help us achieve the objectives established in the previous point.
We must define the action to be carried out, and establish the steps to be carried out to achieve it. It should be noted that surely the objectives that you had set at the beginning, with the execution and evolution of the results of the different actions that we carry out, the objectives will change.
Five strategies that you should consider:
- SEO. Organic (free) positioning of our website
- SEM. Payment positioning of our site
- Content Marketing . Offer quality content and interest to our users
- Influencer Marketing . Detect those people who influence the purchasing decision of consumers. Collaborating with them and knowingwhich platforms are suitable to develop your influence marketingcan be of great interest to your business.
- Email Marketing . Having an updated database will be very useful to contact those users who may be interested in you.
- Social Media : As we have emphasized on countless occasions, social networks can bring endless benefits to your business , therefore, knowing if we carry out a correct management of social platforms is very important. Having our profiles active on various social networks, and establishing the periodicity of publications, will help you generate engagement by the users you are interested in attracting.
We are already in the final phase of our marketing plan! Analyzing the KPIs of our actions will help us to know what has been achieved, or to detect what we should continue to improve.
Regarding our website, some fundamental KPIs to analyze are: percentage of visits, percentage of bounce, average session time, and actions you carry out (purchases, subscription to newsletter , download of reports …)
CONCLUSION: WHY SHOULD A BUSINESS HAVE A DIGITAL PRESENCE?
By way of conclusion we will say that ” what is not on the Internet does not exist “. Under this motto, that your business is online will only bring you benefits. Remember, the Internet has ‘ shattered’ geographic barriers, being accessible to anyone with just a click.
According to an IAB study , brands that have a digital presence are better valued by users (especially by new generations), with social networks being an ideal means of promoting communication with our customers.
If you have any questions, or want to complete the information to develop your digital marketing plan, do not hesitate to contact us , we want to be your online marketing agency!