What is a Marketing Plan?
A Marketing Plan is a document with the information and steps to follow in order to reach the digital sector Marketing goals that we planned to achieve in a given time.
The Digital Marketing Plan is an important part of the Marketing Plan, but not the only one, as the targets we plan to reach must have a direct relation with the targets we defined in the Marketing Plan.
For this reason, a Digital Marketing Plan is not a 100 page document, it’s simple and essential, it can be laid out in few sheets. The Digital Marketing Plan is done in 5 steps:
- Analysis of the current company position in the Digital environment
- Establishment of objectives to be reached in the Digital Marketing Plan
- Definition of Tactical Strategies to be used in the Digital Marketing Plan
- Planning of Actions to be carried out in the Digital Marketing Plan
- Definition of Meters for the actions to be carried out in the Digital Marketing Plan
5 steps towards a Digital Marketing Plan
Step 1: Analysis of the current company position in the Digital environment
The first step needed for a Digital Marketing Plan is carrying on an Analysis of the current company position in the Digital environment that itself needs three types of analysis:
1. Internal Analysis
What we’re looking for in a Internal Analysis of our company is to find out and understand the current situation of our business. The aim is to find areas for improvements so to optimise our digital presence.
There are 7 indicators for our internal digital situation:
- Our Website: user experience rating on our website in WordPress, Wix, AWS…
- Blog: posts publishing frequency, how the editorial line is received, update rate.
- SEO: how far from the top we are in search engines like Google, Bing or Ecosia. A list of keywords and the organic position of the website.
- Social Networks: staff commitment, number of followers, update rate, content type, influence…
- Email Marketing: number of newsletter subscribers, the response and click rate of our Email Marketing campaigns.
- Digital Ads: analyse data in Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads
- Web Analysis: number of visitors, pages per visit, conversion rate, time spent…
2. External Analysis
At this step, we need to check the market, sector and market niche where we are competing, and new trends on the horizon. We have to take in account our market type, and if it’s emerging or well established.
We’ll start with identifying our audience or target audience. We’re going to create the profile of our target or ideal client in terms of characteristics, behaviour, interests… From time to time we’ll carry on investigations around direct and indirect competitor, what’s their digital presence, their achievements and mistakes.
3. SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis is in our opinion one of the best tools aimed at asses the real situation a company is in.
With this analysis we are able to design a Digital Marketing Plan strategy. Looking inwards from outside, we analyse the strengths and weaknesses and outwards from inside we analyse the threats and opportunities. This will help us to outline an idea of the strengths we have on the market, as well as weaknesses. At the same time we realise the threats coming from the market and the opportunities we can focus on. For each aspect, we add 3 or 5 variables.
- Strengths. Competitive prices, less costs, specific experience…
- Weaknesses. New to the market, lack of brand awareness…
- Opportunities. Selling trending products, e.g. increase of vegan products demand…
- Threats.Human resources, lack of competency, financial situation…
Step 2: Establishment of objectives to be reached in the Digital Marketing Plan.
Now the time comes to define the objectives to be reached in the Digital Marketing Plan. It’s good practice to establish objectives with a 3, 6 and 12 month scope and revise them every 3 months, as the market changes very quickly and the needs and situations may become very different over long term periods.
There will be very different objectives for a company that holds a lot of experience in the market and one that just recently started, but as well we have to take in account the human and financial resources that our company has available.
A first step is the definition of SMART objectives that are: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time dependant.
It’s recommended to have at most four SMART objective. Some of those could come in these forms:
- Reach a 45% opening rate in email marketing within 3 months.
- 20% growth in qualified lead conversions in 6 months.
- 25% increase in visitors within 4 months.
- 15% reduction of bounce rate within 6 months.
- 55% sales increase on our online business within 9 months.
Step 3: Definition of Tactical Strategies to be used in the Digital Marketing Plan.
At this step, we need to define how our objectives will be reached. For each of the established objectives we need a strategy definition aimed at reaching them and tactics for each of the strategies.
For example, for the objective of a 25% increase in visitors within 4 months, we have to establish a SEO natural organic positioning strategy. In order to achieve that, our tactic will consist of a research of keywords to be used in relationship with the content of our website content, and how our competitors are using them.
For a Marketing Plan we have to establish a clear challenge and the territory were we’re going to operate in.
The challenge will depend on the objectives we want to reach and could be, for example, positioning our brand in the market of vegan food.
The territory will define the boundaries of the market we want to tackle, not just in geographical terms. For example, if we are selling vegan food, we are not in the same territory of vegetarian business.
Step 4: Planning of Actions to be carried out in the Digital Marketing Plan.
Now it’s the turn of deciding the actions to be carried out in order to reach the established objectives. The Digital Marketing Plan action plan must answer the following questions:
- Why am I delivering a message?
- What my message should convey?
- Who’s the recipient of my message?
- How I deliver my message?
- Where am I delivering my message?
- When am I delivering my message?
- How many time should I repeat my message?
When we found an answer for these questions, we’ll have laid out the tactics to be used to carry on our strategies. It would be now the time to think about actions, that must contain 9 information area:
- Media channels
Step 5: Definition of Meters for the actions to be carried out in the Digital Marketing Plan.
Last step in a Digital Marketing Plan is the measurement of current actions and ROI, the return of investment. Measuring is the best tool to optimise the Digital Marketing Plan.
It’s good practice to organise weekly/monthly/quarterly meetings, comparing and analysing the evolution of data. One of the first actions is the definition of KPIs, the key performance indicators. The KPIs are the metrics used to asses if our actions and strategies are effective.
The KPIs vary according to the media we are analysing. For example:
- Total sessions
- Number of unique visits
- Pages per session
- Number of conversions (leads).
- Source of conversions (leads).
- Sessions divided by:
- Sources (organic, direct, social, indirect, email, others).
- Social channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc).
- Devices (desktop, mobile, tablet).
Email Marketing KPIs:
- Opening rate
- Click rate
- Total openings
- Click number
- Bounce rate
- Response rate
- Are our emails are marked as spam?
- Most clicked links
- Main territories
- Organic traffic
- Sessions and visit time (average) per user type (new or returning)
- Sessions per traffic channels and visit time
- Percentage of conversion per traffic channel
- Most visited pages and average visit time
- Organic session per keyword
- Conversions coming from organic or paid (adwords) traffic
- Pages with higher number of conversions
Social Networks KPIs:
- Number of followers
- Organic reach
- Level of interactions
- Actions on a page
- Clicks on page calls to action
- Clicks to linked website
- Facebook Messenger Index and response time
- Number of followers
- Profile visits
- Number of tweets
- Number of mentions
- Tweets with link to the profile
- Number of followers
- Publications reach
- Number of impressions
- Profile visits
- Clicks on the website
- Outstanding publications
- Visit time
- Average play time
- Percentage of video being played
- Audience retention
- Audience location
- Traffic sources
- Audience interactions
- Number of subscribers
- Likes and unlikes
We hope that this clarified the steps to follow in order to carry on a Digital Marketing Plan. If you have any question or comments, please leave them in the space below. If you may be interested in services offered by MyMhub, please do no hesitate to get in touch sending us an email.