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Step by Step Guide to Develop an Effective Digital Marketing Plan

Guide to Develop an Effective Digital Marketing Plan

What is a digital marketing plan?

A digital marketing plan is a document that includes the planning of the different elements that make up your online marketing strategy, how you will develop it, through which channels, and the investment in each of them.

Is the digital marketing plan contingent on the general marketing plan of the company?

It is an exciting question to open a debate, and I would love to read your opinion in the comments at the end of the article.

Many professionals believe that, in reality, the company has a single marketing plan, and it includes two different lines of work:

  1. The one that takes place offline.
  2. The one that takes place online.

The other idea is that each one has its entity, so much so that they represent two departments within the company’s organization chart. In this way, both will depend on the same person in charge, general management.

Regardless of which of the two approaches you identify more with, what is clear is that both must be aligned with the general objectives set by the company.

How to design a digital marketing plan: 11 steps

Once you have done the briefing with your client or boss, you will be in a position to approach the design of your digital marketing plan.

We will see point by point what elements you should include in it so that your proposal is accepted and begins the company’s path towards achieving achievements.

Internal analysis of the company

If you want to be successful in creating a digital marketing plan, you cannot apply an identical template to all companies. You need to customize.

Yes, I know, this is a lot of work. We went from having the strategy designed in 1 to needing 3 hours. But it’s not just about getting things done. It’s about doing them, right, right?

You must consider the evolution of the digital transformation in which the brand is located because only then will you be able to understand why until now it did not have this planning.

In addition, you have to do minor psychology and see the receptivity to digital change that your manager has.

As soon as you know them, you will influence some of the points you address in the digital marketing plan and make a difference with your competitors.

Analysis of the company with the current environment

Although this is the second step in your plan, it is the first step that you should highlight in the document that you will present to your superior.

In this chapter, you must analyze where the company is concerning its competition.

Benchmarking is more than necessary because you want the brand to know where it is in the long-distance race to attract customers.

It focuses on which digital medium the company’s potential customers move, on which social networks they are present, and the trends of digital users. Evaluate which influencers work in the same sector as you.

Make a SWOT and include it in the document. 

Why a brand must have a digital presence

Your manager must know the importance of having a digital presence with a good website, profiles on social networks, etc. So how can you get it?

  • It shows figures, for example, of the number of users on the internet.
  • He talks about the habit of clients searching for information on the web.
  • It explains other advantages that being on the internet can have: the opportunity to talk with customers, control, and promote the organization’s reputation.

Identify the general and marketing objectives of the company.

Remember: every goal has to be SMART.

You will probably have to adapt some that are general for the company, which affects online and offline marketing. But others will be specific to the digital field.

Here we cannot talk about which ones are the most appropriate because it will depend on the needs to be covered by the company. But, of course, comment on them if you have any specific questions, and we will see it together.

However, we can exemplify some of the most common:

  • Increase the number of sales opportunities.
  • Increase the database through lead capture.
  • Increase the number of followers or interactions in the company’s channels.
  • Have more visibility.
  • Improve online reputation.
  • Offer fast and efficient customer service.

 

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  1. Define the digital role you want the company to develop

The digital role of a company is linked to the way it relates to society through online media.

In addition to the product or service that the company offers, you have to identify what social role the company is going to assume.

It is a two-way relationship: society influences the changes that occur in a company, which affects the changes in the first.

To help you define this digital role, ask yourself: “What does the company want to be, what does it want to contribute socially? 

There are several roles you can take, and these will influence the creation of the digital marketing plan:

  • Leader: for a benchmark brand in its sector.
  • Caretaker: for a brand that watches over the safety of users.
  • Adviser: for a brand that watches over the health of its users.
  • Everyday: for a brand that values ​​simplicity and timing.
  • Familiar: for a brand that esteems people.

These are just some examples. One of your tasks is to find out what role your company plays best.

Investigate how is the presence of the brand in the online world

A crucial point in the digital marketing plan, you have to know what the company has done so far.

You probably have a website, blog, or profiles open on a social network

or all of them! Keep in mind the possibility that you have opened several social profiles for different business areas. You should assess whether it is convenient to unify them or leave them separate.

Do not be afraid to close one if you do not see it suitable for the company.

Check:

  • If you have a website, if it is up to date and verify its usability.
  • If the web has a blog and what use they give it, in case there are publications.
  • What social profiles do you have open?
  • How they are managed in terms of content and publication schedule.

Relate your conclusions to the proposal you make.

Feel the pillars on which you will base your social media strategy

Designing a social media strategy is a different reflection that you should do.

Even in all probability, you need to present it to the client in a specific document. For example, we have a post dedicated solely to creating a social media plan.

Sometimes, you may also need to present it to your work team to understand the actions you should apply in the project.

I want to highlight three fundamental bases that should not lose sight of:

  1. Make branding. Achieve an online reputation improvement through the maximum dissemination of content. It will bring the brand closer to a leadership position in its sector.
  2. Establish a content strategy that seeks to generate emotions in users, which enhances engagement.
  3. Create a community around social networks, with specific objectives for each of them, which encourages active listening to detect their needs.

Set these points in your digital marketing plan. Your client or senior manager must know what you plan to do.

Outline what your content plan will be for each communication channel

As with the social media strategy, you will need another document that addresses what the content plan you have in mind will be like to achieve the company’s objectives.

Decide on a chapter where you talk about it and incorporate it into your digital marketing plan. You don’t need to develop your ideas fully, but you do need to define their structure:

  • Who are you talking to?
  • What topics are you going to talk about?
  • In what tone will you do it.
  • What will the editorial calendar be like, and how often will you publish?
  • How will you spread the content or optimize it so that it is positioned in search engines?

Add value to the content plan and identify each topic that you will talk about with the company’s categories of products and services.

Justify, clearly and, each of your decisions.

Analyze the company’s website

The website of a company is its headquarters, the base camp from which everything is born. It is the digital face of the brand. Therefore, make sure that it is well ordered and ready to be seen, to “invite” to visit.

Carry out a brief analysis to give you an idea of ​​its status. You can use Woorank as the first tool. It will provide you with a basic answer about their situation. But later, you will have to delve into this section to optimize it to the maximum.

Above all, keep an eye on these five sections of the website: 

  1. Contents:  for search engines and users, a website must have quantity and quality of good content. Calculate the ratio of text concerning the full HTML of the web.
  2. Keyword study: search engines respond to users’ questions based on the concurrence of the words they enter and those contained on the web. Ensure you know what those keywords are and see if they appear on the web in sufficient numbers.
  3. SEO:  SEO ensures that a website makes search engines understand what each of its pages is about. You mark the path so that users find what they are looking for on your website.
  4. A brief SEO audit is essential at the beginning of your digital marketing plan. Evaluate how to improve your positioning.
  5. Depending on your knowledge in this section, consider the possibility of going to an SEO expert to do it for you.
  6. Usability:  in digital marketing, the people who visit your website must find what they are looking for in the most agile and simple way possible.
  7. Analyze if the way to use the website of the brand you are studying is comfortable and fast to learn how to use it.
  8. User experience: understand how a visitor who enters the web feels after browsing it. Your experience must be favorable for you to want to return to it.
  9. It is a concept linked to usability and content. 

Most of the digital marketing actions that you implement will have to do with the website. Therefore, give maximum importance to this section.

KPI and measurement tools that you are going to use

Measuring the results of your digital marketing actions is the way you show you’re superior to the success of your work. Therefore, at least once a month, you will have to go through accounts with him and explain the evolution of the project.

To do this, the first thing is to set the KPIs that you are going to measure and show whether or not the objectives defined at the beginning are met. Then, choose the tool that best measures that KPI and start monitoring it.

Remember that the digital marketing plan is not static. As the project progresses, you can make variations to correct deviations from the objectives set that may have occurred that month.

How much is your job worth? Write your budget

It does not step 11 because a budget accompanies not every time you design a digital marketing plan. That is why I preferred to call it 10 + 1.

You may be the head of the department, and it is part of your functions. However, it may also be the case that you are a freelance or marketing agency that already works with or for the client in other areas, and you decide not to bill this document as a commercial courtesy.

However, I advise you that you do not present a digital marketing budget without your recipient knowing what you will do in it.

I suggest that you anticipate the need for investment in ads that you will have to do so that later it does not catch you by surprise.

Likewise, draw up some contractual points that support the agreement that both parties will reach, such as cost of images, taxes, or form of payment.

If your digital marketing plan is accepted, you will have to prepare other documents to present to your client or higher. We have seen some of them in this post, and I do not want to end without mentioning the need for a crisis protocol

To end this post, I want to remind you that the digital marketing plan is a primary document to start developing a project. My main tips are:

  • Don’t start without it.
  • Plan well what you are going to do and write it down.
  • Look for a professional team to develop it.
  • Adapt it and modify it when necessary.
  • Discuss it with your trusted colleagues when you are undecided.
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