The internet has changed the way people search for and acquire products and services. According to Google, 90% of all retail commerce now takes place online.
As a marketer, if you can’t establish a web presence, you’re missing out on a significant chunk of business.
Creating a digital marketing plan can help you understand how to position your business online, and what you should be doing to attract visitors to your site.
Let’s examine the elements that make up a successful digital marketing plan for a hypothetical company, My Company.
If you’re reading this, I assume you already know the importance of keywords. When someone types in a search phrase into a search engine, they want to see relevant results for their query.
Establishing a keyword strategy is a crucial first step to effective digital marketing. You don’t want to target the wrong keywords or use too many keywords; instead, you want to find the right ones that will enable your site to show up on a search engine’s first page.
There are three main steps to creating a keyword strategy: 1) Identify the key words and phrases that customers are using to find your products or services, 2) Find the synonyms and variations of these words and phrases, and 3) Create a list of up to five keywords for each phrase. The better your strategy, the greater the chance of finding your website on the first page of Google searching results for the keywords you’ve chosen.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Once you’ve chosen your keywords, you can turn your attention to the next step of optimizing your site for search engines: SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s a technique designed to improve a web site’s exposure in search engines.
There are several aspects to SEO, but you primarily want to focus on making your site attractive to search engines (i.e., crawling it and indexing it). To do this, you’ll want to ensure that your site:
- Is relevant to the keywords you chose
- Has a clear focus
- Is written in good English
- Is accessible to visitors
- Is well designed
- Has a good amount of content
- Is up to date with the latest news
- Contains at least three original articles
You don’t necessarily need to follow all of these steps to do SEO successfully, but you should have a clear idea of what you’re doing.
There are a number of tools that can help you with SEO, such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console. We’ll discuss how to use these tools in a bit.
In addition to SEO, you’ll also want to consider creating and distributing content that is both engaging and relevant to your target audience.
So, what is content marketing, and how does it fit into your marketing plan? Content marketing is essentially the process of creating and distributing content (e.g., articles, white papers, and videos) that provide value to customers or potential customers.
To succeed as a content marketer, you must possess these skills:
- Public speaking
- Interpersonal communication
- Product knowledge
- Market research
If you can master these skills, you’ll be able to create valuable content that will attract, engage, and retained customers. Your customers will value the content you create because it provides them with valuable information that helps them make better decisions. As a result, your customers will grow to love, trust, and continue to use your product or service.
The content you create should be:
Incorporating content marketing into your marketing plan is a great way to better understand your target audience’s needs and wants, as well as how to position your product or service to best fit those needs and wants. You can use the information you gain to create custom content pieces that will help drive leads and customer engagement.
After you’ve gotten all of that text, you’ll probably want to put a face on all of that text. You’ll need something that can help you analyze all of that data gathered from various sources and lead management platforms. Fortunately, you already have a tool to assist you with this task: Google Analytics.
As a marketer, you’ll want to make sure that you’re analyzing the data accurately and can see the results of your efforts. To do this, you can:
- Filter the data according to geographical region, device types (e.g., mobile, tablet, or desktop), and time of day (i.e., morning, afternoon, or evening) to see how each device usage changes throughout the day. For example, you might see that traffic rises after lunchtime on a Thursday, but then dives on Saturdays. You can use this information to your advantage by creating custom reports or notifications using your favorite marketing software. Furthermore, you can use this data to determine marketing campaigns that will be most effective at different times of day.
- Use advanced filters to see top-level trends for your product or service.
- Monitor behavior across different sites and channels to ensure that your marketing efforts are working as intended.
- Identify the content that is performing well and use that content to inform future efforts.
With all of that text in mind, it’s easy to see why creating a digital marketing plan is a worthwhile endeavor. The process of establishing a plan can help you identify the various platforms and methods you’ll use to succeed in the online world. As a last resort, you can use the plan to determine where you should focus your efforts, and how much you should be spending on each channel.
For instance, you might decide that paid ads and social media are the best ways to grow your customer base. You can then develop an ROI (return on investment) analysis to determine how much you should be spending on paid ads and what type of message you should share on social media. The analysis can also be used to determine how effective your paid ads and shared messages are in gaining brand awareness and driving potential customers to your site.