Are you struggling to build an effective marketing plan? Did you know that almost 69% of the world’s population, comprising 4.9 billion people, are active users of the internet? This means they are searching for information and products online. Google processes more than 63,000 search queries every second, which translates to almost 6 billion searches in a day. Moreover, 97% of Gen Zers use social media to look for information on products they shop for. While the marketing potential is huge, there is stiff competition for attention. To reach out to this vast audience and grab their attention, you need an outstanding marketing plan. Here are 5 steps to create one.
Step 1 – Define Your Digital Marketing Objectives
This is crucial for your marketing plan as it will influence several factors, including the direction of the efforts and the amount of funds to be invested in the marketing activities. The marketing goals stem from the business objective. The goals can be to spread brand awareness, educate customers about a new offering, enhance brand engagement, generate online sales, attract talent for hiring, or set up partnerships. You can execute a brilliant strategy only after you’ve drafted the marketing plan.
Step 2 – Identify Your Target Audience
The target audience will impact several factors, like the platforms on which you need to have a presence, the content types (articles, infographics, ads, explainer videos, video tours of products, ads, etc.) you will share, tone of voice, etc. While the most effective way is to carry out customer interviews, this could be highly time-consuming. Instead, you can find out more about customers by reading online reviews, identifying industry trends, and analyzing the target audience of your direct competitors.
Once you have done this, you can create personas, taking into account demographics (age, gender), location, shopping habits, job roles, and interests. Without this step, your marketing will have generic messaging. With adequately defined customer personas, marketing activities can be focused, and the messaging can resonate with your different target audiences.
Step 3 – Set Your Marketing Goals
Start with the end in mind. First, think about the long-term goals and then break them down into short-term targets. By setting goals, you can create a path to walk on. When doing so, set SMART goals, or goals that are specific, measurable, aspirational, realistic, and time-bound. For instance, if your marketing objective is to generate online sales, your goals may include the number of visitors you need to attract to the website, the number of user registrations you need and the number of conversions from visitors to sales. You can even have different goals for different target personas.
Step 4 – Determine the Marketing Activities
Once you know your target audience and marketing goals, you can determine the marketing tactics to adopt. For instance, if your goal is to increase website traffic by 5% every month, you’ll need to consider activities like keyword analysis, website content, sharing content on authoritative sites, social media posts, and PPC campaigns, as well as how much of each activity to include.
Step 5 – Set Your Marketing Budget
Your marketing budget will depend on all the above factors plus an analysis of what competitors are doing. Some companies set their marketing budget according to their current sales. The common thumb rule is 2%-5% for B2B companies and 5%-10% for B2C companies. However, you may instead consider the sales channel and the operational costs for all the activities.
A marketing plan is never set in stone. It’s always a good idea to continue to evaluate and analyze the marketing performance at regular intervals and tweak the plan accordingly.