Do you have a digital marketing plan in place for your business? If not, taking a step back and documenting your digital strategy is one of the best things you can do for your business.

In this post, I’ll cover 3 components of strategic marketing plans that are often overlooked but essential to include.

#1 Outline the Goals, Strategies, Objectives, and Tactics for Your Business.

Most of us tend to use the terms below interchangeably but the more you break down the specifics of each, the more you can align your planning with your actions.  Here is a little 101 on what each term actually means:

  • Goals – the primary outcome you want to achieve
  • Strategy – the approach you will take to reach your goals
  • Objectives – the measurable steps to achieving the strategy
  • Tactics – the specific actions you will take to meet the objectives

Here are examples of what each category might look like in a digital marketing plan:

  • Goals – increase awareness of your new restaurant to people in your neighborhood
  • Strategy – promote your business with social media marketing
  • Objective – increase the reach of your Facebook posts by 300%
  • Tactic – plan a series of posts showcasing your restaurant’s menu, opening night party, and employees throughout the month and boost all of the posts $5/per post to an audience of people who live within a 5-mile radius of the restaurant

#2 Perform a Simple Brand Audit to Guide Your Digital Marketing

You can see right away how outlining the goals, strategy, objectives, and tactics can take a goal from a concept down to a focused action plan. You probably aren’t going to be able to get that granular with every one of your goals in your digital marketing plan, but outlining all your goals, strategies, and objectives will pave the way to more concrete action items.

It is wise to have a concrete understanding of your brand, messaging and identity before you roll out a marketing plan. Depending on how much work you have done in the past, this could include a variety of things. I recommend pulling anything brand-related into this section to get a full picture of what you are marketing.

Some things to include here are your logo, brand colors, tagline, fonts, messaging, product/service offering and names, plus some information about how you relate to others in your niche, such as positioning, USP (unique selling proposition), and how you differ from your competitors.

Lay all of this out in the digital marketing plan so that everyone on your marketing team can create online marketing materials that are in line with your brand.

#3 Map out Your Digital Marketing Funnel

One of the most often overlooked components of a digital marketing plan is a sketch of the digital marketing funnel. The marketing funnel for your digital marketing plan is similar to a general sales funnel, but it focuses more on the customer journey online.

It’s definitely worth taking a step back to recognize what paths your customers will likely take to go from vaguely aware of your business to an advocate for your business.

For example, how are they reaching your website? From SEO, social media marketing, email marketing? And what happens when they arrive on your website? Are you offering an opt-in incentive to add them to your email list and then warming up your list to sell them your product or service from there? Or are you driving them straight to a sales page to make a purchase? What is your plan if they don’t purchase? Are you using remarketing ads to remind them of your product? 

There are a lot of important questions you should be addressing before you decide to send out your next newsletter series or set up your next Facebook ad. To recognize the path of your online customer, think through the 7 steps of a traditional marketing funnel and then list the main digital marketing channels that are in play for your business.

Below is an example of a B2B business I recently worked with that you can use as a guide for your own business planning.

Ultimately, your digital plan should outline all of your basic marketing channels, including your website, social media, email marketing, SEO, digital advertising, and online reputation management. By including strategic components like the ones mentioned in this blog post, your digital plan will serve as a valuable resource as you promote and brand your business online.

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