For newcomers to digital marketing, it may be difficult to figure out what to focus on at first. There’s now so much to trudge through, from content marketing, business marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, chat marketing search engine optimization, and so on.
This guide shall help you create a solid digital marketing plan for any type of business and how it can be used to achieve your marketing goals. When you’re done, reading this, you should know the basics and feel more confident about the challenges ahead.
Digital Marketing Plan: The Difference Between Goals, Strategy, and Tactics
First of all, before you dive deep into digital marketing for oil and gas, you must first know the difference between goals, strategy, and tactics. Knowing the distinctions between each is important because these terms get mixed up all the time.
A goal is the overarching result you seek to achieve. It’s the reason why you’re creating a digital marketing plan for your business in the first place and is what you want to focus on first.
A strategy is the thinking of the big picture of how you may be able to achieve that goal. It’s like drawing a map with a route you choose to take in order to reach your destination.
A tactic is a specific action you take to accomplish a chosen strategy. Tactics are the small things you do day by day to get you closer to accomplishing your goal.
Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy
Analyze Your Current Situation
Preparation involves analyzing your current situation and assessing what you have to work with. A SWOT analysis is a useful tool for strategic planning, giving you a map for all the factors that can affect your business, including both internal and external factors. You list your strengths and weaknesses, then the opportunities and threats that you can expect to come your way.
Define Your Target Audience
Upon gaining a better understanding of your own business and the market, it’s time to know your target audience. This is done by researching the market and finding out the common demographics of regular customers.
Demographic information include the age group, gender, and income bracket of your regular customers. You can also record more detailed information like what common hobbies and interests your customers have, and even down to their common interests and personality traits.
Once you’ve gathered that information, you can then create your buyer persona—the personification of your target customer.
Write SMART goals
Once you know your market and target audience, you should then write down specific goals for your marketing plan. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
It’s not enough to say that you want to have more customers and more revenue. You should get even more specific, like boosting your social media following by 15% in three months.
Your goal should be measurable, which means you should be able to track your performance and track how it goes up or down over time.
Making your goals attainable means being realistic and being able to control the factors involved in attaining them.
Having a relevant goal means accomplishing it actually works into attaining your long-term goal of earning more revenue and growing your business.
A time-bound goal gives you the impetus to take action right away. Nothing makes a goal less motivating than not having a deadline, which can then make you procrastinate.
Define Your Marketing Strategy
Now that you have determined your target market, you must now come up with the strategy for approaching that market. The main question here is what your business has to offer your buyer persona that your competitors aren’t already offering them.
That is your unique selling proposition, or USP. That’s the reason for them to choose your business over your counterparts.
Set Your Budget
Before you can commence with your digital marketing campaign, you must first determine how much money you’re willing to put into marketing. Decide on the different things that marketing budget will go to, including paid ads, marketing software, events you host and/or attend for publicity, and even employing digital marketing services Grande Prairie.
Digital Marketing Strategy Template
A digital marketing plan is made of six basic parts, with each part detailing various aspects of the business that are relevant in determining how to market it.
- Business Summary
This section is a summary of the business, from the company name, where it’s physically located, and its mission statement (or main long-term goal). You may also include the aforementioned SWOT analysis here to show what the business may be capable of in its marketing.
- Business Initiatives
This section lets you segment the goals of each department of your business. Those goals are basically sub-goals that are meant to push your business towards the main long-term goal (the big picture) detailed in the business summary.
- Target Market
If you haven’t done market research at this point, you should do it now. This section is for determining who your target customer is, represented by your buyer persona. You also analyze your competition, determining what they have in common, what they’re doing that’s working out for them, and what they’re not doing that may work well for you.
- Market Strategy
This section is where you write down how exactly you will market your business. That includes your unique selling proposition, which is what will give customers a reason to go to your business instead of your competition. This also includes the “7 P’s of marketing”—product, price, place, promotion, people, process, and physical evidence.
This is not where your product price and business financials go. This section is exclusively for your marketing budget—the money you allot to pursue the initiatives and goals detailed in the preceding sections.
- Marketing Channels
The last section is for the places you plan to market your business in. Since this is a digital marketing plan, you should focus more on online channels like search ads, social media marketing, and so on.
The plan is the foundation of a digital marketing campaign that has good potential of becoming successful. Of course, every niche has its different traits and quirks. Certain marketing tactics would work well in one niche, but not in another.
Finding those tactics that works for your business is an artform that you’ll want to get good at over time.