HOW TO WRITE A KILLER DIGITAL MARKETING PLAN
Most marketers get to the point of having to map out their Digital Marketing activities for the year, specially when most marketing budgets are being shifted to Digital Marketing activities, making them more accountable for their Digital Marketing executions.
The best way to ensure all your company stakeholders understand the importance of your Digital Marketing activities, value its budget allocation and easily be informed about its progress during the year; is by having an Official Digital Marketing Plan that is created, managed, updated and shared within your organisation.
To ensure you get the best from your Digital Marketing campaigns, you need to write a Digital Marketing Plan specifying the exact type of work and results you are after. This is specially important for maximising your results when campaign budgets, resources and time are limited.
WHY YOU NEED A DIGITAL MARKETING PLAN!
- Focus. If you have established or purchased a business, it’s fundamental that your business has a sound Digital Marketing plan. A great digital marketing plan helps you understand the Digital Audiences you’re targeting, design your digital communications with the right appeal, at the right time and the right digital channel. This will ensure your campaigns are communicated in the most effective way.
- Clarity. A well written Digital Marketing Plan, will ensure expectations from all parties and stakeholders are clear and reduce any misinterpretations on what Digital Marketing is supposed to achieve within your business.
- Planning. Building your digital marketing plan will help you answer key business questions about how to promote your business online, build and retain loyal customers using digital and social media channels. This way, your digital marketing plan is your reference point to guide your marketing strategy and tactical executions. Our Digital Marketing Plan Template will offer you a proven structure to plan, define and measure results the most optimal way.
- Track Progress. Most Digital Marketing Plans are executed by different people within an organisation, including content agencies, creative agencies, media agencies, seo consultants, social media managers, community managers, graphic designers, web designers, pr agencies, etc. Tracking progress of all the different activities becomes key. That’s why having your Digital Marketing Plan on the cloud (i.e Google Sheets) where anyone can update their progress and add comments is fundamental.
- Stakeholder Engagement. A key benefit of having a killer digital marketing plan template is to make the reading of your marketing plan pages as clear as possible by other team members and stakeholders and at the same time helps you monitor your marketing activities, progress and success.
- Raise your salary package. A well written and presented Digital Marketing Plan should not only help you achieve successful Digital Marketing activities but also offers you the fuel to have compelling story for a salary package negotiation. In other words, you hit your Digital Marketing KPI’s (Key performance Indicators), then you can present your desire for a promotion or salary package increase.
BENEFITS OF A DIGITAL MARKETING PLAN
Some of the top benefits of a well written Digital Marketing Plan includes
- Deliver successful Digital Marketing campaigns. Remember that “success” means different things for different business. Depending on your own key Digital Marketing objectives.
- Campaign timings and budgets are locked in. Having your Digital Marketing Plan completed and approved by the different key stakeholders ensure your campaign timings and budgets are locked in.
- Understands your brand, business goals and target market.
- Help you identify your customers and competitors and develop a digital strategy to make your business stand out over the internet, increase customer awareness of your product and services, increase preference and trial and ultimately drive people to buy (purchase) and increase repeat purchases. and loyalty.
- Save time when explaining, briefing agencies and/or presenting results to your C level team members. Our digital marketing plan template has been professionally designed by Certified Marketers to help you present and track your digital marketing objectives, strategies and tactical executions.
UPDATING YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING PLAN
You will adapt and update this Digital Marketing Plan template as you bring learnings and insights from your business metrics, sales data, marketing data, employees stories and customers feedback, competitor review and observation and evaluation of your industry environment.
ASSIGNING RESPONSIBILITIES TO YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING ACTIVITIES
Your marketing team should be actively involved in the production and tracking of all the elements committed in your Digital Marketing Plan. Assigning responsibilities in advance will clear up any questions to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Having a proper Digital Marketing Plan will help you:
- Have consensus about your digital marketing goals with your team
- Focus on key strategic digital marketing objectives for the year.
- Pinpoint resources needed to executive activities that aim to achieve your goals.
- Track progress
- Present results to your team members and
- Build your brand presence and preference, retain your existing customers.
A successful Digital Marketing Plan should outline:
- your key Digital Marketing Communication Objectives,
- your defined Digital Audiences to target,
- the key Campaigns you will be executing,
- your Budget allocation to these campaigns,
- all the requirements and resources needed to succeed and
- the key metrics you will be using to measure that success.
If you do not have a Digital Marketing Plan mapped out, it is likely that:
- Obstacles will come up throughout your overall Marketing Activities, and can have a detrimental impact on the overall success of your brand Marketing.
Get the latest 2017 complete Digital Marketing Plan Template (Google Excel Sheet format – you will need a gmail account) for immediate cross-collaboration between your teams! help you plan and develop successful digital marketing campaigns from simple and basic strategies to advance executions.
GOOGLE SHEET TEMPLATE BENEFITS
- Being this template located on Google Sheets, you team members will be able to view, add and collaborate on this document at your office or from anywhere.
- Forget about emailing the latest version of your Digital Marketing Plan to your team. Just send them a link to it! Easy!
- Can be transferred to Microsoft excel if needed.
ABOUT OUR DIGITAL MARKETING PLAN TEMPLATE
Watch the Digital Marketing Plan and see what you get (25 second video)…
FREE BONUS: You also get “The Ultimate Guide to Successful Influencer Marketing Campaigns” (a 9 page PDF Guide – See a screenshot)
Once payment is completed, you will be sent to a secure page where you will be able to download the template. If there is any issues, you can always contact us 🙂
BEFORE WRITING A DIGITAL MARKETING PLAN
Before you embark in the process of spending time writing a Digital Marketing Plan, you should:
- Ensure you know the exact audience (most profitable customer segment) you want to reach out.
- Ensure your campaigns align to your brand vision and visual strategy.
- When completing this digital marketing plan template, you will be asked to write your key marketing objectives and how you are going to achieve your objectives. This marketing plan template will help you set realistic and measurable objectives, includes budgets and action plans, and allocate responsibilities.
- Remember that Digital is important but it is also part of your overall marketing strategy and needs to sync with your offline, event and other marketing media and customer engagement activities. It should not be a stand alone plan.
- Involve all stakeholders who deal with customers including sales and customer service and support.
- Make sure your provide a brief summary for people who have no time to read it all.
- Do not forget measurement and make clear how your digital plan is going to measure success.
DIGITAL MARKETING PLAN SECTIONS
Whether you want to build your own Digital Marketing Plan from scratch or you want to get our Digital Marketing Plan, the following are the sections you should include:
The executive summary of your marketing plan should be done last and should be an overview about your plan to other readers. Use language that it will be easy for non-digital stakeholders to understand. Remember: many C level executives will only read your Executive Summary so make sure your top success stories are added here.
Here at eDigital we use the SOSTAC model to help our clients build their Digital Marketing Plan.
The SOSTAC model includes:
You will write down: where is your company now? How you understand your online marketplace and how is influencing your customers needs and wants. Is the any Digital Media consumption insights affecting the way you most profitable business is interacting with your industry?
- Our Customers. Who are your customers and more important, write down who is that 20% of customers bringing your 80% of revenue. Define them by Demographics and Psychographics and what Digital Channels they consume and why.
- Our Market. What the market is needing. Is there any trends? Is there any new products or services that are growing within the industry that our customers might be also looking to buy?
- Our Competitors. What are the top 3 competitors, their unique unique selling propositions and how they are using Digital Marketing channels to connect with customers. What different set of unique activities you will be delivering that will provide a unique mix of value to your most profitable customer segment that no other competitor can copy-cat.
- Influencers and potential partners. What other organisations and influencing our customers buying decisions. For example: search engines, comparison sites, specialists websites, magazines, blogs, etc.
- External Macro Influencers. Social: have consumers attitudes changed that might affect our sales targets? Legal: do we comply with privacy and online trading laws? Environment: Will our digital activities ethical and sustainable? Political: is there any government support we can use for our Digital Activities? Technology: Is there any specific technology we should review that will help us more effectively achieve our digital marketing objectives.
- Our capabilities and weaknesses. You write down your top 5 capabilities and weaknesses.
Our Digital Marketing Plan template includes a SWOT analysis using the TOW’s format to ensure you come up with a formula to: make the most of your strengths, circumvent your weaknesses, capitalise on your opportunities and manage your threats.
DIGITAL MARKETING OBJECTIVES
- Short Term Objectives This calendar year objectives – Your strategies and tactics will focus on these.
- Medium Term & Long Term Objectives Top level objectives to help communicate the changes needed and business transformation in the long term.
Ensure you write each objective using the SMART formula: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Clearly targeting your “most profitable” customer segment will help you focus your Digital Marketing to the people most likely to bring higher Return on Investment (ROI).
DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY
Here you will list what you will be doing to achieve your objectives (top level).
- Targeting and Segmentation: here you will prioritise your top 2/3 customer segments you will be shooting all your marketing efforts.
- Positioning: Customers will not be able to remember all the cool things you can offer. You will need to pick one positioning and stick to it so people can remember you and differentiate you from the competition.
- Content Strategy: What type of stories you will be sharing or activities that your prime prospect would love to participate in order to create buzz.
- Online Presence: how many websites, what social media channels you will own, what guest contributions you will activate.
- Digital Acquisition Strategy: What would be your top 2-3 drivers of leads?
- Digital Conversion Strategy: Define tools and optimisation methodology to ensure you are consistently reducing the gap between enquiries/visits and successful transactions. Here you might define that you want to optimise key landing pages on a specific time frame and use a/b testing methodology in favour on multi-variable testing.
- Digital Retention Strategy: This is likely to be the most important section of your whole and entire marketing plan! Yes, most marketers spend too much time and energy trying to secure new customers versus investing in getting existing customers to buy more often, more premium product, more quantities, more new products over time. In this section, you will note and tick off your top Retention strategies. This might include VIP programs, extra services to frequent buyers, money cant buy activities, monthly e-newsletter, free training, customer loyalty programs, etc.
- Multichannel Integration Strategy: How your different marketing channels will work together to amplify your message.
- Data Strategy: how you will be using data to take marketing decisions and how you will be updating and securing this customer data.
- Social Media Strategy: define which social media channels your brand will focus on and how you will use social media websites and apps to attract new customers and engage with existing ones.
- Online Affiliates Strategy: Which online affiliate network you will be using and what commission/payment structure you will be offering. Define technicalities and challenges in relation to tracking and monitoring.
- SEO Strategy: write down changes and/or additions to your website to increase rankings on top search engines: Google. Identify your “low hanging fruit” keywords you would like to optimise your website and online content for search engines.
- SEM Strategy: Your Adwords and Bing paid campaigns, objectives and optimisation strategies.
- Digital Growth Strategy: (aka word of mouth – WOM Strategy): It is fundamentally important for any business to define strategies (growth hacking) to incentivise existing customers to bring extra new customers to your business. Here you will list what a “referral program” will look like and schedule activities to increase referrals from customers. Image every new customer refers on average two customers a day. You will have here a “growth hacking” machine! To do this, you have to have a formalised referral strategy. In this section you will determine when your brand will ask customers for referrals, and what reward you will be offering.
- Influencer Marketing Strategy
- Potential Partners Strategy. In this section, you will write down any agreements, partnerships or join ventures you have or you are planning to help reach new customers or better monetise existing customers. You might find complementary brands – services or products – that could be quite lucrative to partner with as they might have an established customer base that you could tap into at a very affordable prices. Think about what customers buy before, during and/or after they buy from your company. The companies who sell these products and/or services could be great partners. Document such companies in this section of your marketing plan and then reach out to try to secure them.
DIGITAL MARKETING TACTICS
Your digital marketing tactics will confirm what exact executions
Campaigns you will be launching to reach your customers at specific purchase phases: awareness, comparison, preference, trial, purchase, evaluation, recommendation, education, rewards, For example for the trial or purchase phase you might want to promote digital campaign that include: key promotions, special deals and offers. Timely offers will help your customer base to grow quicker and incentivise past customers to buy again from you. Offers can include free trials, money-back guarantees, packages (e.g., combining different products and/or services) and discount offers.
REQUIREMENTS AND RESOURCES NEEDED
Last phase during the execution of your marketing plan is to ensure you are measuring progress, tweak your Digital Marketing template accordingly and have your success metrics ready to be compared with your initial baseline.
On this section you will list all the expenses you will incur and provide an indication of your expected results will be in terms of new customers, sales. The idea of a financial projection is to define which promotional expenses and other marketing executions you expect will give your organisation the highest return on investment (ROI). This section should also sets you on the task of writing down your set of goals (e.g., your goals for your referral program) for which your company should strive.