One of the most important things you need to do as an entrepreneur or small business owner is to develop an online marketing plan. You might already be doing this, but you need to go over the details and make sure you have everything planned. Your online marketing plan can be a bit daunting at first, so it’s important to break it down into smaller bitesize chunks to make it easier to follow. In this article, we will go over seven steps to help you create a successful online marketing plan.
Step one: Set a benchmark for your marketing plan
The very first step towards developing a successful online marketing plan is to set a benchmark and review why you are where you are in terms of traffic. The benchmark should be reviewed at least once a month to track your progress and make sure you aren’t losing ground. If you are, then you need to adjust your strategy. The benchmark doesn’t have to be exact, but it should be close enough to track your progress. For example, if you are receiving 100 visits per day from organic search traffic, then you know you are doing something right. You also need to set a benchmark for your social media platforms. If you are noticing that one particular platform is doing better than the others, then that is a good indication that you should be focusing more on that channel.
Step two: Create key performance indicators (KPIs)
Once you have set your benchmark, you can move onto the next step and create key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are simply metrics that you can use to determine if you are on the right track or if you need to make some changes. For example, you can measure the number of orders you have received in the last month to get a rough idea of your sales. The same goes for the number of emails you have sent out or the amount of content you have posted on social media.
The best part about KPIs is that they are easy to track and measure. You can get a general idea of how you are doing without having to delve into complex formulas. This makes it much easier to see progress and measure your success.
Step three: Define target audiences and marketing segments
In step three, you will want to narrow down your market to specific target audiences and market segments. The best way to do this is via demographic targeting, which will help you to identify who your ideal customer is and where you should be focusing your marketing efforts. For example, if you want to sell clothing to young people, then you should be targeting the Millennial market.
With demographic targeting, you will be able to create groupings of people with shared traits. For example, if you are targeting Millenials, then you should look at how other millennials are behaving and what they are doing. This will give you a good idea of how to approach marketing to this audience.
You can also segment your market based on location, which can be extremely effective. For example, if you are opening a store in Oxford Circus in London, then you should target the UK market, as well as other countries in Europe. Location targeting allows you to send your ads to people in your area. This can be highly effective as you are likely to meet many of your target audience within your local area.
Location targeting might also prove useful if you are finding that a certain area is underperforming in terms of interest or sales. If this is the case, then you can target ads to these locations to get more engagement.
Step four: Determining the type of content you will use to engage your audience
In step four, you will need to establish the type of content you will use to engage your audience. There are three main types of content that may be useful:
- Product related: this includes any content that is directly related to your product or service. Think of how Amazon promotes its products through ads and content.
- Attitudinal: this can be described as content that will change the way the audience thinks or feels. For example, if you sell swimwear, then you might want to focus on content that can make a person feel more attractive or comfortable in the water. Attitudinal content can be highly effective if tailored to the right audience.
- Educational: this type of content promotes knowledge and understanding. If you are an e-commerce store, then you can use content such as how-to guides, infographics, or FAQs to educate your customers.
This can be a tricky step because you don’t want to bombard your audience with too much information. For instance, if you have an infographic on the history of the US Navy, then it might be too much for someone who is not particularly interested in military history. You have to find a happy medium where your audience feels engaged but doesn’t feel like they are being overloaded with information.
Step five: Create key compelling messages for specific actions
In step five, you will want to create key compelling messages for specific actions. The reason for this is that you can often get more engagement with a specific call-to-action (CTA). People love to be encouraged to do specific things, especially when it comes to purchasing online. For example, if you sell swimwear, then you might want to create a CTA for people to click on and buy your product. The key messages you create should be easy to understand, interesting, and should fit easily within a limited space.
You can also use the key compelling messages you create in step five to inspire your content strategy in step six. If you want to sell swimwear, then you might want to create a series of blog posts on different topics, some of which could be around fashion and style and some of which could be around leisure and recreation. These different topics could all lead to the same action – to buy a product – but they might require a different approach. For example, maybe fashion and style is the preferred route to go, while leisure and recreation is more of a secondary option.
In step six, you will combine the three types of content you have established in steps four and five to create engaging content that can stand alone as content.
Step six: Distribute this content to attract interested customers
In step six, you will want to distribute the content you have created in steps four and five to attract interested customers. Your distribution strategy depends on the platform you are using, but you generally want to target the biggest audience you can. The more people you can reach, the better. In terms of getting visitors to your website or blog, you might want to consider using content distribution platforms such as HubSpot or Convincely. These are platforms that can help you to distribute content to different social media channels.
You also want to think about the order in which you distribute your content. If you want to attract the most visitors to your site, then you should try to go big on the social media channels to which you have access and then lead with the big platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The reason for this is that, generally, people use the big platforms first, before searching for content on smaller platforms. This means that your content will be seen by many more people than usual.
Step seven: Measure the success of your online marketing plan
Finally, in step seven, you can measure the success of your online marketing plan. To do this, you will want to look at the results of your content strategy. One of the best ways to track the success of your content strategy is through analytics. You can use Google Analytics to get a clear picture of how visitors are finding your site and then use this information to determine the next step in your content strategy.
To create a successful online marketing plan, you first need to sit down and establish a benchmark. This should be reviewed at least once a month to track your progress and adjust your strategy if necessary. Once you have set your benchmark, you can move onto the next step and create key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs should then be used to determine the success of your content strategy. If you want to know more, then you can also read our guide to getting a marketing audit from a trusted source to find out what specific metrics to use to determine the success of your plan.