How To Create A Digital Marketing Plan For Your Business (+ Free Template)
Digital marketing is an exhaustive process. And if you truly want to get great results from it, you must start with a digital marketing plan.
So here are ten steps to building a digital marketing plan for your business and here’s a digital marketing plan template that you can make a copy of and fill out as you follow the steps.
For the purpose of this digital marketing plan and template, we’re just sticking to the most important digital marketing goal: increasing leads (and revenue).
Digital marketing plan step #1: Assess your current position
First things first.
Before you start making your digital marketing plan, spend some time to understand where you currently are in your digital marketing efforts.
So, find these:
- The number of monthly visitors to your website
- The number of leads you generate (or the number of people who fill out the contact form or call you via your website)
- The number of sales
No matter what product or service you sell, these are the three basic metrics every digital marketing plan begins with.
You should be able to easily find these out if you’ve installed Google Analytics on your website.
Digital marketing plan step #2: Set business goals
Now that you know how many leads and sales you generate, write down how many leads and sales you want to generate.
So, for example, you might say that “I want to grow my sales from 100/mo to 250/mo” or maybe “I want to grow my leads from 500 to 1000/mo.“
Know that such goals don’t realize overnight (or in a month or three) but over a year (or a quarter if you’re lucky), you’ll start seeing results.
Digital marketing plan step #3: Learn about your audience
Now that you know what your goals are, it’s time to take a deeper look at your audience.
You need to learn more about your audience because you need to identify the right digital marketing channels and tactics that will bring more of them to your website.
So let’s take an example.
Suppose you offer legal consulting.
Now, broadly your target audience is anyone who needs legal help.
But let’s drill a level deeper.
And assume that instead of just offering any legal consulting to everyone, you only offer legal consulting as it relates to child custody and you only serve clients in Ontario.
So technically, your target audience now shrinks to just the local Ontario people.
And instead of “everyone who might need legal consulting,’ your target audience becomes divorcing couples mainly (from Ontario).
Just notice how the target audience changes if you apply a few filters.
By doing such deep research, you can spend all your digital marketing resources on bringing just the right traffic/leads to your website. And not generic audiences seeking legal help (say on family matters or property or corporate matters!).
You get the idea, right?
Digital marketing plan step #4: Choose the right digital marketing channels
Once you’ve identified your target audience, it’s time to choose the right digital marketing channels to market to them.
So let’s think about how these divorcing couples might approach finding the right legal help.
This step is all about brainstorming.
Let’s just type in the keyword “child custody lawyers ontario ca” and see what comes up.
As you can see, many ads come up:
Ads mean Pay Per Click (PPC).
So PPC becomes one of your digital marketing channels
As you scroll down from the ads, you should see a bunch of directories. Directories mainly mean SEO (local SEO).
So SEO becomes the second one of your digital marketing channels.
Let’s now go to some more search results.
As you might notice, there are a lot of organic results as well in the first few SERPs. So let’s click on one of the search results and see what the websites that rank well are doing digital marketing-wise.
As you can see, this one website from the top-ranking ones posts a lot of content.
Content/blogging means content marketing.
So content marketing becomes one digital marketing channel you must add to your digital marketing channels.
Likewise, just use insights from your competitors to identify the different digital marketing channels you must use.
Digital marketing plan #5: Choose the right digital marketing tactics
Once you’ve identified your digital marketing channels, pick a few digital marketing tactics that work for those channels.
Running local PPC ads and retargeting can help with the advertising digital marketing channel.
Directory submissions, building local citations, optimizing local business listings can help with the local SEO channel.
And adding a blog and writing keyword-optimized content can help with the content marketing channel.
Digital marketing plan step #6: Build your sales funnel
This step of the digital marketing channel is mostly about understanding the “big picture.”
So, for example, if you bring 1000 visitors to your website, what do they do on your website? Do they just read some content and bounce back?
Or, are you collecting their emails (so you can reach out to them with child custody matter tips and other educational content)?
Do you then send these subscribers offer emails? For instance, an email offering 15-mins of free consultation?
What happens to those who come to your office for a free legal consultation ? Do you make them an offer? Follow up with them?
So basically, in this step, you need to understand what’s really happening on your website and how you’re going to convert the traffic you generate from the above steps into leads.
Digital marketing plan step #7: Set KPIs
KPIs — or key performance indicators — are the metrics that you can use to measure the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns.
So before you execute your digital marketing programs, take some time to identify a few KPIs.
In this case, your obvious KPIs are going to be:
- The increase in the monthly traffic to the website
- The increase in the number of leads generated
- The increase in the number of sales
Note: In most of the cases, your goals will naturally translate to your KPIs. So, you can choose to set the KPIs after you’ve set your goals (in step #1). We’re adding this step here because by now, you might have discovered a few more KPIs that might need tracking in addition to the obvious KPIs.
Digital marketing plan step #8: Roll out your digital marketing campaigns
Now that you’ve picked the digital marketing tactics you’ll be using and the KPIs, go and actually do the tactics you decided upon.
Digital marketing plan step #9: Analyze
After you’ve consistently done all the digital marketing tactics you chose for about three months or so, visit your Google Analytics account (and any other performance-measuring system you might have), and see how you performed against the goals you had set.
Digital marketing plan step #10: Improve
In this step, you need to identify your digital marketing tactics that got you the best results.
For instance, if you find in your analysis from the above step that local directories sent the best traffic and the highest quality leads, you can choose to double down your efforts on that step.
Likewise, if you realized that blogging isn’t so effective at generating traffic or leads, you can bring down your frequency of posting.
Wrapping it up …
Starting with this detailed digital marketing plan template is a great way to kick off your digital marketing efforts.
But if you don’t have the right skills in-house or if you’ve limited resources or time, check out how a digital marketing agency like ours can help. We specialize in using digital marketing to grow our clients local and service-based businesses.
If you’d like to know more about how we adapt such a general digital marketing plan for a specific client’s services or industry, reach out.
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