The short answer – Yes, absolutely, 100% you need a digital marketing plan.
The long answer – Tackling your brand’s digital marketing efforts without a plan means you’ll be going in blind. You can throw all the money, time and resources at your disposal into your digital marketing but, without a plan in place, you’ll be wasting your efforts.
A digital marketing plan helps you determine the most effective digital marketing strategies for your business and provide a guide on how to put those strategies into action. But before you can create a digital marketing plan, you need to know what you want your brand to say online.
To create a digital marketing plan you need to ask yourself:
What are my digital marketing goals?
How much can I invest in my digital marketing?
Who am I trying to talk to online?
What is my brand’s identity?
Firstly, what are my digital marketing goals?
What do you want to achieve from your digital marketing efforts? Over time, as your digital footprint grows, your goals will change and your plan will grow with your business.
When you’re initially starting out and trying to build your brand from the ground up, your goals may be to build a brand identity and create brand awareness. Then, as your brand begins to grow, your digital marketing goals may change to align with the growth, such as generating leads or sales and increasing your digital return on investment (ROI).
Goal setting is an important first step to ensuring your marketing plan is created with a focus on achieving your goals.
How much can you afford to invest in your digital marketing?
Determining how much you can invest in your digital marketing is important. It’s not just a financial investment, but rather an investment of your time and effort into executing your digital plan.
As the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money, so you’ll need to determine a marketing budget for your digital marketing efforts. It may not just be money spent on advertising, but possibly salaries for a dedicated digital marketer or agency fees for a dedicated team to execute your plan if needed.
Next, you’ll need to ask who will be in charge of implementing this plan? Will you be bringing your plan to life yourself? Is a member of your team taking on this responsibility? Or will you outsource to a dedicated digital marketing expert? This will not only tie into your financial investment but also your time and effort investment.
Who are you talking to? Defining your target market is key!
Defining your target market will help you create a digital marketing plan that gets your brand and advertising efforts in front of likely customers, without wasting precious resources on those unlikely to be interested.
Targeting a specific audience doesn’t mean that you must exclude people who don’t meet your specific criteria. Instead, honing in on a target market allows you to focus your message on the right audience – and the people who are most likely to buy from you. With a target audience definition to work with, you can spend less on customer acquisition costs, and earn more by reaching the most valuable leads in your network.
Your target audience will most likely take into account:
- Gender and age
- Interests and hobbies
- Family status (eg. do they have children?)
- Buying habits
- Job roles
When you know exactly who you’re talking to you know how to craft your messaging to best convert your potential customers to future customers.
Knowing your target market also means you’ll know exactly where they like to spend time online, ensuring you can talk to them on their preferred platforms too!
For example, if you’re a men’s clothing brand that wants to talk to men in their 40’s who wear corporate attire to their office job in the city, they probably won’t be spending time on TikTok or Pinterest, so there’s no point including those channels in your digital marketing plan.
And on the other hand, if you’re a tech accessory brand talking to men and women in their twenties studying at university, you’ll probably find them spending more time on TikTok and Instagram than reading their emails so you’ll need those channels in your plan.
What is my brand’s identity?
What is the message you want your brand to be sharing? Your brand identity focuses on your brand’s personality, as well as the values you convey to customers.
Brand identity goes beyond your logo – it’s everything from your colour scheme and font selection, to the tone of voice your communications take on, to the decision of whether you use ‘&’ ‘+’ or ‘and’ in your copywriting. It’s about crafting a personality that amplifies the core elements of your brand’s DNA. Ultimately, your product leaves an impression on your customers long after you’ve made the sale. Brand identity is the process of shaping that impression.
Take Coca-Cola for example, when you think of the brand you probably picture its well-known logo. But you also might think of the polar bear, the colour red, its “Share a Coke” campaign, or the classic ribbon-like imagery featured on its cans.
Two details that comprise Coca-Cola’s brand identity that you might not have thought of as being a part of their brand identity are:
- Coca-Cola’s brand identity begins with a white logo in script text on a red background. The red colour elicits confidence in the person who drinks a Coke, while the script typeface is all about enjoyment. Coffee, for example, is a drink you have before work in the morning. Coca-Cola is a drink you enjoy when you’re done in the afternoon. This is the brand’s “face”.
- Coca-Cola prints its logo on a uniquely shaped bottle that no other beverages use. This tells customers they’re not getting an imitation — this is the real thing. The brand develops credibility and trust this way.
Once you’ve answered these 4 key questions, you’ll have the basis for your digital marketing plan! Not only that, but you’ll also have a better understanding of exactly how you want your brand to communicate and what your brand stands for.
If you need some support putting your plan together, Feed Digital specialise in creating digital marketing plans that are simple to implement and define your brand. Get in touch with us today to learn more about creating and implementing your digital marketing plan!