They say time is money. So why not start saving both?
Everyone knows that businesses are more successful when they have a digital marketing plan. However, many small businesses worry that they don’t have the time or resources to create the kind of plan they would need.
As it turns out, you can create a digital marketing plan in 30 minutes or less. Keep reading to discover how to do it!
The first step is to complete market analysis. If this sounds complex, keep in mind it includes a lot of data you should already have on hand.
For instance, things like previous SWOT analyses mean you should already understand your threats and opportunities. And you should already know how you are doing against your primary competition.
This is the first of the marketing plan steps because it collects the information in one place. And then it gives you a chance to create a solid plan with this information as your foundation.
Next, you need to define your brand. This is pretty easy: in fact, you can do it with a pencil and a piece of paper!
You need to create a Venn diagram. On one side is your company (including what you can do and your ultimate goals). On the other side is your customers (including what they want and the trends that guide them).
Where these two groups intersect is the unique purpose of your brand. By focusing on what you uniquely offer to a specific audience, you can make sure that your marketing plan is goal-driven and audience-centric.
Write Down Goals
Speaking of being goal-driven, building a marketing plan includes writing down your goals. This should include a list of short-term and long-term goals.
It may sound obvious, but you are most likely creating a marketing plan because you feel your company can do better. This is your chance to explicitly write down what those goals are so they can inform your future marketing decisions.
These goals should walk the line between being sufficiently ambitious but also being realistic. Basically, you want to stretch your company’s capabilities while still ensuring these goals can be met.
How will you know if you are making progress towards these goals? Simple: your marketing plan must contain the Key Performance Indicators you will be measuring.
So, the goals may be pretty straightforward, such as “increase sales.” But the KPIs will provide specific metrics such as “increase sales by 15% before the end of the fiscal year.”
This is where the rubber meets the road of a good marketing plan. You aren’t just providing a vision for the future: you are providing a roadmap that helps all of your employees complete the journey into that future.
Changing the Channels
At the end of the day, marketing revolves around creating and distributing great content. Therefore, your marketing plan should include which channels you plan to use for your marketing.
The exact channels you use should be focused on your specific audience. For example, Youtube is a powerful way to market to Millennials and Generation Z, but it may not be the best choice to reach aging Boomers.
You should also focus on the cost of the marketing channel because this affects ROI (more on this soon). Be wary of “hidden” costs as well: while most social media marketing is free (or very cheap), you may need to hire a content creation specialist to create posts for you.
Once you have goals, KPIs, and channels in mind, it’s time to create your tactics. This boils down to 4 or 5 ways you intend to achieve your goals over the next year.
Make sure you are using analytics software to measure your progress towards KPIs. If one of your tactics is not working, then it’s fine to bail and come up with something new.
In fact, the marketing plan you created in half an hour is not a holy text. Instead, it’s a living document that is meant to be changed over time as your goals and strategies evolve.
The Value Proposition
By now, your company should already have buyer personas you are using to better understand your demographic. And your marketing plan needs to include what the value proposition of your company is for the full range of personas.
This is where you start getting realistic: chances are that multiple companies offer similar products and market to the same customers. You need to figure out the unique appeal that will give you an edge over everyone else.
And the different value propositions should play a major part in your future marketing efforts. Things like e-mail marketing can be sent to different segments of your customers and you can use different approaches for different audiences.
Worst case, if you have trouble coming up with a value proposition, you may need to tweak the products your company is offering!
Focus on the ROI
We mentioned this earlier, but it’s worth focusing on: above almost everything else, you must consider the ROI of your marketing.
It’s easy to throw a lot of money at various marketing attempts at marketing companies. And many businesses make the rookie mistake of thinking that the more they pay for marketing, the more they will get out of it.
However, your ROI should be rooted in those KPIs from earlier. If you really do increase sales by 15%, how much money does that translate to? And how much money are you willing to pay to try to make that goal a reality?
Long story short? Marketing is about helping you make more money. This is your chance to make sure you aren’t spending more than your company can afford to lose!
Digital Marketing Plan: The Bottom Line
Now you know the importance of a digital marketing plan. But do you know who can help you bring your marketing plans to life?
At Blacklight Media, we specialize in helping businesses grow to their full potential. To see how we can help your company, check out our social media services today!