Do you really need a Digital Marketing Plan?

Results oriented digital marketing

These days, buyers rarely pick up the phone when salespeople call. They expect to research, short-list and decide on purchases, on their own with the help of the Internet over salespeople. Even top end B2B buyers do much of their research online prior to having contact with a salesperson. That is why a thorough digital presence is so important.

For B2C, a large percentage of purchases happen online these days. According to PowerRetail Australians’ online spending increased by 15.2% compared to the same quarter last year. That equates to $4.98 billion online from July to September 2015. So being present where your customers are is essential.

If you’re like me, you probably assume that everyone has a digital marketing plan given the benefits that you can achieve (see those later in this blog). However the latest research from Smart Insights shows an increase (46% last year to 50% this year) in those companies that are performing digital marketing without a defined strategy

Digital Marketing Strategy

source: Smart Insights

50% of organisations doing digital marketing with no defined strategy seems like a surprisingly large percentage to me. What do you think?

However, not having a plan doesn’t necessarily mean that these companies are not achieving benefits from digital marketing. Even though they may be gaining benefits, it is clear that when you have a plan you can achieve even greater benefits.   Why? Because a plan does the following:

  • It clearly defines the goals that are needed to be achieved, so everyone on the same page. This also helps to get the business buy-in
  • It gives you a set of KPIs that you can measure your success by
  • It enables you to allocate resources – budget, staff, time etc.
  • It provides schedules to work from – e.g. social media schedule, content schedule
  • It provides focus and direction
  • It defines your target audience (buyer personas) which greatly assists in setting up your digital campaigns,
  • It highlights gaps that need to be filled (e.g. content gaps)
  • It defines your unique selling points
  • And many more…

Outline of a Digital marketing plan

As with any marketing plan, a good basis is SOSTAC® planning model. SOSTAC stands for:

  • Situation analysis – the current digital environment
  • Objectives – business and marketing objectives,
  • Strategy – what are you trying to achieve
  • Tactics – the tactics to get you there, what are the platforms you want to be on? Why? How often do you want to post/email/blog? What ROI do you expect from paid media?
  • Action – who does what, this is your action plan
  • Control – measurement, your KPIs and conversion ratios which should have a direct correlation to your objectives. This enables you can see how you get from the overall objectives to the detail KPIs

Understand your objectives

What are your businesses objectives? Align your digital marketing objectives with your business objectives so that management can relate and see the importance of digital marketing. Are your marketing objectives brand awareness, customer retention or customer acquisition? This will form the basis of your KPIs.

Review your website

Review your website to make sure it’s both Google-friendly and user-friendly. There are many tools you can use to audit your website. Some free options are: Google page rank, Google Webmaster Tools, Yoast SEO, Hubspot’s Website Grader, Screaming Frog SEO Spider , SEO Audit Tool by Found, SEO auditing tool . If you want to get serious, some paid options are: SEMRush, Majestic,

Understand your conversion ratio

Conversion ratio

Most digital paid media will charge on a cost per click (CPC) or cost per thousand of impressions (CPM). Therefore you need to know your conversion rate to get a feel for the budget that you require. This will drive your tactics, budget and your KPIs.

Understand your buyers

Buyer Personas help you understand your buyer’s interests, likes/dislikes, where they go for information and how they like to be sold to. Buyer personas give you the foundation to understand and begin your digital marketing strategy. The great thing about digital marketing is that it enables you to have very targeted marketing tactics. Buyer Personas form the basis for this targeting. Read more about Buyer Personas in our blog, then you can download our buyer persona template.

Keyword Strategy

It’s imperative to ensure you have a keyword strategy. Keywords direct traffic and can affect the success of your digital campaign. There are many tools that can help you with your keyword strategy such as Google Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool, Bing Keyword Planner

Search Engine Marketing

Evaluate the benefits of search engine marketing for your business. For example, Google AdWords, Bing Ads with positioning your website in high on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). Some free tools that can assist are GTMetrix, SEOToolset, Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools

Social Media

Having a social media strategy is critical to all modern businesses. Even if you are a B2B company, you should consider LinkedIn. B2C companies have many options to consider depending on their buyer personas and objectives. Not only is it important for buyers to see that you active on social media, social media sends traffic to your website and increases your SEO rankings. As Sprout Social states: “While Google hasn’t stated that social media directly influences its search algorithm yet, there’s evidence to suggest that it does”

Content Strategy

Once you have understood your buyer’s journey and mapped your buyer personas to buyer stages (you can read about this in our blogs) you then map content to each buyer persona at each stage of their journey and this forms part of you your content matrix. See our content matrix template.

Email Marketing

These days, you hear more about social and less about email marketing. However, according to ExactTarget 77% of readers prefer being marketed to via email than any other channel.

Competitor Analysis

It’s important to know what you do well and what you can improve upon. One of the best ways to do this is to compare against your competitors. Create a SWOT analysis against your competitors. Use tools such as http://hitwise.com/, http://compete.com/, http://rivaliq.com/ to assist your review

Benefits of digital marketing

Fast

Digital marketing provides a fast response time so you can see your results in real time and make adjustments quickly

Reduced Cost

You can achieve more with less with digital marketing. You can set your budget on cost per click or cost per impression and spend as little as $20 a day if you like. Typically a click will cost between $1-$10 (in rare occasions more). According to Hochman Consultants the average price per click on Google Adwords as dropped since 2010

Average cost of PPC

source: Hochman Consultants

WordStream have benchmarked CPC to the US price and reviewed worldwide pricing accordingly:

Worldwide PPC Costs

Source: WordStream

The US average cost per click in Google AdWords is between $1 and $2 on the search network. The average CPC on the Display Network is under $1.

Australia’s CPC is only 2% less than the US

Quick to modify

You can see your results in real-time, modify your campaigns to suit, run A/B testing to see what works and change things on the fly.

Greater exposure for the $$

With digital marketing, you can touch thousands for little cost, so it’s great for brand awareness

Measurable

It’s easy to set KPIs and track against them. You can easily see how you have performed

Evens the playing field

It enables you to compete with larger competitors since it has a lower cost of entry.

You only pay for what you want

You can pay per impression or per click. You don’t have to pay until you get what you want i.e. impressions or clicks

ABOUT US

Results 2Day’s aim is to help you maximise your digital marketing potential. With the ultimate objective being a serious positive impact on the business’ bottom line. We create or update digital marketing strategy plans for you. We strongly believe a good digital marketing strategy can transform a business and we look forward to assisting you with yours.  We also provide social media listening tools and services for either in-house use or we can create the reports for you. Please contact us on (02) 8354 1554 to see how we can assist you.

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