Digital Trends: 2019's Ultimate Guide to Creating a Digital Marketing Plan (That Actually Works)

Digital Trends: 2019's Ultimate Guide to Creating a Digital Marketing Plan (That Actually Works)

Social media addiction is a real thing. So real that a staggering 2.32 billion people worldwide are using Facebook, 1 billion are on Instagram, and 321 million others are on Twitter.

By the year 2021, an estimated 3.02 billion people will be plugged into some form of social media platform.

With these numbers, you can no longer afford to ignore the digital sphere when it comes to the marketing mix. So if you don’t have a digital marketing plan to leverage this to grow your business, well, let’s just say you’re going to spend a whole lot of time playing catch-up with the competition.

Digital platforms aren’t only limited to social media. Search engines, mobile devices, and emails all qualify as digital. They provide direct ways for you to connect with your consumers.

But, in order to get the most out of it, you have to get it right from the get-go. The process requires you to dedicate a substantial amount of time and resources if you hope to positively impact the level of sales and brand awareness for your business.

This article explores 7 critical elements that are a must-have for any digital marketing campaign strategy. Let’s dive in.

1. Automate Your Marketing Processes

What comes to mind when you think of marketing automation? Most likely the word spam, right? Well, this isn’t that type of automated marketing. 

Today, automation means using tools that significantly reduce the amount of time spent on mundane and repetitive tasks. This frees up time allowing marketers to focus on more high-level tasks such as strategic work.

When learning how to write a marketing plan it’s important to first identify some of the areas where automation works. Email marketing should be at the top of that list. Once again, this doesn’t involve generating a generic email template for your brand before proceeding to send it to thousands of email accounts.

Using the right marketing tools, you can analyze and segregate your consumers into groups based on their needs and preferences. That way, you can send personalized and timely follow up messages to your customers.

For instance, set up an automated response to your subscribers based on certain triggers. These range from contact sign-ups and completed transactions, to clicks and opens.

Other tools are designed to work well for your sales force by keeping track of lead generation and management, return on investment and optimizing sales alignment. All these functions work in tandem to not only follow up and convert leads but also to shorten sales cycles and promote process accountability.

2. Create Content Consistently

Creating and serving up unique and captivating content has become the modern marketer’s favorite strategy, and with good reason.

According to research conducted by Hubspot, companies that adopt a digital marketing campaign designed to acquire new customers are not only doubling their website conversion rates but are also saving $14 for every customer while they’re at it. The numbers don’t lie.

This is a technique that actually works. Content takes several different forms. It could be visual, video, or written.

Most businesses shy away from using content because they fear that it will negatively impact the speed with which their website pages load. However, there are lots of tools available to mitigate this concern and optimize the speeds of their websites. As a result, your website can have lots of great content without slowing down how fast they load.

When it comes to creating high-quality content, it is up to the business to steer this ship in the direction they want it to take. Make use of freelance copywriters, videographers, editors, and designers to create content that gets you the results you want at a fraction of the cost. Any functional digital marketing strategy template should include this aspect.

3. Design a Digital Marketing Plan That Generates Leads

It’s a well-known fact in marketing circles that the principal purpose of digital marketing is to raise brand awareness. However, if that’s all you’re using it for, then you’re not milking that cash cow to its full potential. After all, what is a marketing plan for if you can’t use it to increase your business revenue?

Your marketing plan outline needs to have a clear, tangible way to generate leads, which equates to sales, and ultimately revenue. This is actually a lot easier than it sounds. You don’t need to have any high-level technical expertise to create high-quality pages that promote your products/services.

There’s lots of free software available to help you build interactive landing pages, and microsites. Use these tools to analyze website visits and leads, using real-time analytics. By using tools that perform A/B testing on your website’s landing page, you can refine and optimize it in order to generate the maximum number of leads possible.

Also ensure that all your social media posts, blog articles, and video descriptions link back to your landing page. When you create high-quality content but fail to include a meaningful call to action, it amounts to a zero-sum game.

4. Tap into Social Media

If tapping into social media isn’t an integral part of your marketing plan, then you’re doing it all wrong! In the US alone, marketers spend an estimated $26.6 billion on social media marketing.

This comes as no surprise given that every time a person goes online, they’ll log in to at least 1 social media platform while they’re there. Not only is it the most popular way for individuals to keep in touch with their friends and family, but it’s also a way for brands to connect and engage with their customer base.

Simply create original and engaging posts for your audience and repost interesting and relevant third-party posts. Some marketers go wrong by using social media purely as an advertising channel for their brand.

On the contrary, the majority of what you post on social media should be about brand-unrelated content that users will find interesting and entertaining. People tend to unfollow pages that only talk about their brand. After all who likes a self-absorbed narcissist anyway?

Lots of great social media marketing tools exist to help you plan, schedule, analyze, publish, monitor and report on your posted content. That way, you can always make essential tweaks to make your digital marketing strategy a success.

5. Understand Your Target Audience

When formulating marketing plans, you don’t necessarily have to be the best writer or certified expert in the industry you’re working with (although it certainly helps). There’s no fancy software that will help you if you don’t have this special ability. You have to understand your audience.

You do this by taking the time to learn about what your audience like to watch, read, what their struggles are, what they detest, who they look up to, etc. Essentially, what makes them tick?

How to Effectively Identify Who Your Target Audience Is

In order to do this, you’ll need to allocate a huge amount of time to identify what their defining characteristics are. No strategy in the world will work for you if you skip this fundamental step. The tips outlined below should lead you down the right path.

1. Demographics

Begin with common demographics like age, location, gender, income, ethnicity, marital status, and education level. Sites like Alexa allow you to enter your competitors’ site into the search bar to get information on the demographics of your target audience.

It helps to use high traffic sites for best results. You can then use Google Adwords to analyze the nature of the volume of traffic to your site. This is the most accurate data you can get.

2. Psychographics

Psychographics will help you learn about what exactly your reader is thinking. Unfortunately, there’s no software that exists to help you do this. You’ll need to observe your site visitors over time.

3. Online Forums

Forums like Reddit are a great resource for finding your audience. Search for a particular topic on the platform to get results based on the most popular (upvoted) posts of all time. This provides valuable insight into the topics most readers care about.

These forums also provide you with information about how your audience prefers to consume content. For instance, would they rather watch videos, read text, or listen to audio?

How often do they consume content? Is it an hour a day or an hour a week? How long do they like the content to be?

Using such information, you can put together an accurate picture of who your audience is and formulate a marketing strategy with content that will captivate and engage them.

6. Less Is More

If you’re just starting out in the world of digital marketing, you may be tempted to use all the platforms in the online realm. Slow your roll. It’s important not to spread yourself too thin.

Pick one online avenue and grow it for the moment. In the long run, you can use other digital marketing channels to grow your brand.

Take the opportunity to not only hone your online marketing skills but also as a chance to zone in on what works versus what doesn’t. There’s no sense in flushing perfectly good dollars down the drain while testing the waters to identify which strategy works for your brand.

Nonetheless, in some instances, using only 1 channel may prove to be ineffective on its own. Consider the following scenario. You want to start using email marketing since an enormous number of experienced marketers swear by this channel.

Great, but, where’s your mailing list? If you think about it, in order to build one, you might have to combine it with another form of PPC advertising like Facebook Ads. The 2 channels combined will get you off to a great start.

7. Study Your Competitors

Why reinvent the wheel when you already have a great source of information on what’s working for your competition? This is the easiest way to create a digital marketing strategy template that works.

We are not suggesting stealing or copying what your competition is doing. The idea here is to learn from those that came before you to find out what tactics work for your niche.

Using tools like Buzzsumo, study the content that’s doing well in your niche. You can tell by the number of shares for particular topics across various social networks.

Usually, many audiences respond well to actionable content. This involves incorporating phrases like “How to” and “Tips” in your niche keyword.

Next, use tools like SEMrush to do a competitor analysis on Google to identify high competition keywords and low completion keywords. That way, you’ll be able to tell what will generate a high return. With this information, you can enhance your online marketing strategy since the keywords generated can be used to create blog post ideas, as well as social media posts.

If you intend to use Youtube as your preferred marketing medium, subscribing to your competitors’ channels is, without doubt, a great way of seeing how they do what they do and why your audience love it. You can also subscribe to their mailing list to stay in the loop.

Final Thoughts

The success of any digital marketing campaign begins with having a great strategy. Remember, tactics and strategy mean completely different things.

A strategy involves high-level planning on how to achieve a specific goal. Tactics, on the other hand, are the set of actions you’ll take in order to achieve your strategy.

The ever-changing digital landscape requires you to adapt swiftly if you hope to remain relevant. What works today may not necessarily work tomorrow.

Use the timeless techniques you’ve learned in this guide to create a digital marketing plan that will not only work for your brand but guarantee the success of any marketing campaign you embark on.

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Contact us today and we’ll help you do just that.

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