Think about it. How can you successfully use digital marketing tools and techniques to market your business if you don’t plan it out first?
A bit of careful thinking, planning and research will put you in good stead and ensure that your digital strategy is crafted from a position of strength and knowledge.
By sorting out your thoughts and ideas and streamlining them into a digital marketing plan you’ll know what you need to do and when – and that you won’t need to rush, panic or compromise on quality.
What should you think about?
Aim: this should be a short statement outlining what you want digital marketing to achieve over time for your business. It should be aligned to your business targets, goals and values. Whatever you decide that it is, you need to know exactly what you want from your digital strategy before you think about implementing it.
Objectives: Identify three or four specific objectives that will help you achieve your aim. They should be practical, realistic and, ideally, time-specific. Think of your objectives as the stepping stones to achieving your overall aim.
Who are you talking to? Before you plan what to talk about, promote and where, you need to know who you are trying to reach! Depending on your business, you may have a clear idea of who your customers are already but if you have a diverse customer base, you may need to spend some time identifying who you want to attract. Don’t forget, your audiences can also be collaborators and the media as well as those who purchase directly from you.
What will you say? Content is at the heart of your digital communications, whether it’s for your blog, newsletter, website, social media or the digital press. You need to ensure that it’s worth discovering, sharing, and it must do a really good job of explaining your business, your vision and values. It should also include strong calls to actions – what do you want your readers to do with it? Don’t forget you also need to talk to others and share their content as well – it’s a two-way street! Plan this out regularly – even if you hold a weekly editorial meeting with you, yourself or your team if you have one.
What will you do? This is the tactics and the fun bit! Once you know your purpose, what you want to say and who you want to engage with you can map out the tools to use in a To Do list. Think about precisely which platforms you will use, and which ones are right for your business – from a website, blog and newsletter to social media channels. Make sure they’re all presented well to represent your business in the best possible way and use them regularly!
My advice: Never underestimate the power of thoughtful planning. Knowing exactly what you offer and what you want to say, coupled with a sound insight of who you are trying to reach, and how you can reach them is critical in to make sure that your digital marketing works!