In our increasingly digital world, traditional marketing methods such as outdoor advertising, radio broadcasts, and magazine subscriptions are being disrupted by new tactics such as digital marketing.
Whether you’re a brand new business or you’re just looking to update your marketing strategy, developing an effective digital marketing plan can seem daunting. There’s so much to think about and so much to learn.
That’s why we’ve gone ahead and curated this extensive guide. It’s designed to help business owners and marketers develop a solid footing in this area, and to give you the confidence to put your best foot forward in digital marketing.
Why Online Marketing?
Over the last few years, we’ve seen just how powerful digital marketing can be. If you’re not already using this important marketing tool, now’s the time to change that.
This increasingly popular marketing channel allows you to connect with potential customers, no matter where they are in the world. It also provides you with crucial data on your web visitors, enabling you to further optimize your site and content for maximum results.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, 79% of consumers say that they’ve researched products or brands online, and 72% have bought something after doing their research. So if you want to grow your business, it makes sense to develop an online marketing strategy.
As the name suggests, a marketing plan is a roadmap that lays out the overall strategy of your marketing efforts. It contains specific and measurable goals, targets, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
This plan can be an annual report that details the previous 12 months of your marketing efforts, or it can be a short-term plan that details your goals for the coming months. Either way, it’s important to review this plan regularly, particularly in the beginning, as you’re developing it. This way, you can ensure that your strategy is always evolving in line with the latest marketing trends and technologies.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Measurable indicators are vital in any area of business, but even more so in marketing. Without clearly defined KPIs, it’s hard to determine if you’re on the right track or if you need to adjust your strategy. That’s why it’s important to track these indicators consistently, even if it’s only once or twice a month. With these numbers, you can compare your performance across different marketing channels and understand how your strategy is performing.
Planning & Budgeting
Marketing is a constantly evolving beast, and so is your strategy. That’s why it’s important to sit down and review your plan at least once a year, or whenever major changes are made. It allows you to evaluate how well your strategy is working, and if you need to make any adjustments. This also helps you set a budget, so you know exactly how much you’re spending, and how much you’re earning.
Your entire marketing plan isn’t about you. It’s about your customers. That’s why, at the end of the day, you’ll need to set some goals and benchmarks for measuring the campaign’s success. To determine this success, it’s important to analyze the demographics and psychographics of your target audience, as well as gain some insight into their lifestyles.
Thankfully, you can use a tool like HubSpot to define and track your target audience, as well as analyze key themes, language, and words that they’re using on social media. With this information, you can create content that your target audience will value, appreciate, and remember.
Doing marketing yourself can be a lot of work, especially if you’re a small business owner or manager who’s already got a full-time job. That’s why many businesses choose to outsource their marketing. With a little research, you can find a reputable marketing agency that can help you develop and implement a comprehensive online marketing strategy.
Why Should You Work With An Agency?
The obvious advantage of working with a reputable agency is that they’ll have the knowledge, experience, and the equipment necessary to carry out a successful marketing campaign on your behalf. They’ll understand your target audience, and they’ll be able to develop a strategy that will fit their unique expertise. Plus, you can be sure that their fees are fully covered by marketing performance.
Working with an agency means that you won’t need to worry about a thing. They’ll take care of everything, from creating a compelling brand identity to building out your marketing plan, executing the strategy, and analyzing the results. This ensures that you can focus on running your business, and not on marketing stuff that you barely understand.
Working with an agency also means that you’re not alone. In today’s world, it’s easy for businesses to get lost in the minutiae of day-to-day operations. Outsourcing your marketing can help you focus on what’s important to you, as a business owner, and help you forget the small things that you need to do in order to keep your business afloat.
Even though agencies can take care of a lot, it doesn’t mean that they’re perfect for every business. If you’re looking to develop a more traditional marketing plan, and don’t mind pitching in yourself to develop a basic understanding of marketing principles, then working with an agency might not be for you.
Traditional Versus Digital Marketing
The way we market today is changing, and fast. With the explosion of mobile devices, more people are accessing the internet from their phones. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if someone used their phone to check out your business while they’re walking down the street. Traditional marketing, which relies heavily on outdoor advertising, radio broadcasts, and magazine subscriptions, is becoming less appealing.
In light of this, more businesses are turning to digital marketing, which allows them to target the right audience and engage them with compelling content.
This content can take many forms, ranging from text-based content such as blog posts and web pages to video content and e-books. When developing your digital marketing strategy, it’s important to remember that not all forms of digital media will perform equally well, and that you should always try to experiment with the formats that perform best for your business. For example, a photo gallery or infographics will probably work best for a plumbing business, while a blog post might be the right fit for your cleaning products company.
Choosing The Right Platforms
In addition to content, you’ll also need to consider which platforms to use for your digital marketing. Just because you have a website or social media accounts doesn’t mean that you need to limit yourself to using only these platforms. There are dozens of options, from email marketing platforms to landing pages and banner ads. Choose what works best for your business.
For most businesses, social media is the go-to platform. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the three biggest and most popular social media platforms, with billions of users across the globe. If you already have a presence on these platforms, it would be wise to build on this and use the social media platforms to promote your website and marketing materials. That way, you can drive traffic to your website, boost brand awareness, and gain a deeper understanding of your target audience.
Other platforms that you should look into are YouTube, which is owned by Google, Linkedin, which is owned by LinkedIn, and Reddit, which is owned by the company “Inc.” (Insertcoin). These are just some of the popular platforms. While there are dozens more, these represent the biggest names in digital marketing. By familiarizing yourself with these platforms, you’ll be able to choose the right channels for your business.
Create A Brand Identity
The lion’s share of your marketing budget will go towards creating and promoting content. However, you’ll also need to consider how you want the public to view your business. Do you want to approach your marketing with a more traditional or a digital perspective? Do you want to focus on a certain geography or is worldwide coverage your goal?
These are all important things to consider before you begin your marketing journey. How you approach your brand identity will depend on your business goals and the type of content you create. For example, a luxury goods company might want to portray a classical image and use traditional marketing tactics such as radio ads and billboards to spread the word about their brand. However, a food truck company might want to portray a fun and engaging identity, and use social media to engage with potential customers.