Smart Insights did a study where they found out that 46% of brands did not have a defined digital marketing strategy, while 16% had one but had not integrated their digital marketing strategy to their marketing activities. Having a plan is important because it will help you in growing and innovating, measuring results, and learning from your past mistakes.

1. Knowing What You Want (and Setting Objectives)

Nailing your mission: It is important to start by defining the mission and objectives of your business – the digital marketing plan needs to follow the grand plan.

What objective do you want the digital marketing plan to help with? If you answer that (let’s say your company is looking to be the number one option when it comes to buying computer parts in Europe, or being known as the search engine that plants trees) then this becomes the mission of the company.

Setting and Measuring your KPIs

It is important to be specific when it comes to KPIs, and this is going to require identifying the figures that will be used in holding you accountable.

You need to be realistic with KPIs. One way of doing this is to analyse your previous efforts with digital marketing – this is important because it will help you know your current results and also know what to aim for, while also helping you set expectations that aren’t too high.

2. Analysing Your Past (and Learning from Your Mistakes)

It is not a good idea to get started with the planning phase of your digital marketing plan while in the dark. You should be looking at your current and past digital marketing strategies, including their successes and failures. You will be able to set the best KPIs for your company. This makes it even better to combine the first and second step.

Select a period you are going to analyse (the time period you choose needs to be same as the length of your new strategy) – you can choose to analyse the previous month, quarter, or even the previous year.

How Do You Analyse?

Choose a time period you are interested in analysing, then go to the Google Analytics calendar then have it match the timeframe. You can give Benchmarking Reports by Google (you can find this in your analytics account) a try. You are going to get a comparison of progress with your competition.

You also need to have a look at the marketing strategy of your competitors – creating an analysis spreadsheet where you will have their activities online (tools such as SEMrush can prove helpful when identifying a competitor’s SEO strategy, the keywords giving them the most traffic)

3. Keeping in Mind Your Audience (and Speak Their Language)

Planning should not take your focus away from your audience. You know who your audience is, but this is one of those things many people forget to think about because all their focus is on KPI setting, channel selection, and budget fretting.

Do not make any mistake: your audience needs to be at the centre of your digital marketing plan. It should be looking for ways of satisfying their deepest desires and catering to their emotional needs. How can you do this? You can do this by creating a well thought and fleshed out persona.

Developing Useful Personas

You should begin with the basics and noting down any demographic information you have about the target consume – such as gender, age, and location. The next step will be digging deeper and identifying any problem they might be having that you can help them with.

You are going to delve into their goals, emotional desires, fears, and aspiration, and also note down what makes them tick (you have to look at both the conscious and unconscious desires)