Everyone’s going digital; I’m sure you are too. Whether you are new to digital marketing or a new business entirely, creating a digital marketing strategy is going to be one of the most important steps you’ll take towards a profitable marketing campaign.
Even if you’ve tried digital marketing earlier and are now looking to up your game, you’ll find these steps useful. The steps are designed to help you develop a digital plan that really works for you, and doesn’t just make you look pretty on digital space.
Depending on your industry and stage of business, you may opt for one of these two routes:
Route 1: What-How-Budget (WHB)
What: Define what exactly you want to achieve through digital marketing first. While defining objectives, it is important to state them specifically, in measurable and quantifiable terms. For examples, instead of saying “Increase online sales”, a more effective objective would be “Increase online sales by 20% in the next six months”. Similarly, instead of saying “Brand Awareness”, an objective like “Reach out to hundred thousand potential customers in NCR”.
It is also important that your objectives are realistic and achievable. You may want your sales to jet off to surpass your competition, but do you have the bandwidth to enable that? To set realistic objectives, it is important to have a clear idea of your current scenario & related figures – like monthly online registrations, daily website traffic, extent of current reach, etc. Based on your current readings, set objectives that are foreseeable over a specific period of time.
How: Once your objective is clearly defined, you need to device a practical plan to achieve it. The plan will include defining your communication strategy, identifying target locations, specifying buyer personas, selecting the right activation platforms and defining timelines for every phase of the plan. Every objective will require a specific plan of action.
Budget: This involves assigning the right budget to execute the plan of action. Again, it is very important to be realistic in your budgeting. Before assigning the budgets, it is important to study the ROIs of your current marketing budgets and understand the standard returns in your industry on the platforms and timeline you have chosen. Based on this data, define a specific budget for the plan. You may further want to divide the budget phase-wise and make it platform-specific.
The WHB route works for businesses that have been around for a while and already have long-term business objectives in place as well as a set process for marketing budget allocations. If you are a newer business, bootstrapped startup or attempting digital marketing for the first time, the BWH route may work better for you.
Route 2: Budget-What-How (BWH)
Budget: Define how much money you can allot to digital marketing. Again, this cannot be determined in isolation. You should have a fair idea of industry standards. Too little allocation will be able to achieve nothing and you’ll only be putting your money to waste. Too much allocation will hit your already tight resources. If you think you do not have enough budgets to match industry standards, create a step – by – step plan for marketing spread over a broader period of time, utilizing one platform at a time. Strategic planning of resources is much easier and effective in digital media than in traditional media. Understanding standard marketing spends and their relation to ROIs will not only help you determine an optimum budget but also prepare you for what to expect from the investment.
What: Based on your budget allocation, current performance of your digital assets and standard return on investment, determine clear objectives you want to achieve with digital marketing. Again, it is imperative that your objectives are measurable and quantifiable. Only then will you be able to record, compare and optimize performance.
How: Once your budget and objectives are set, you have already determined the start point and the end point. What you now need to do is draw a roadmap to take you to your destination. If you are unsure of the performance of a particular media, don’t put all or a majority of your budget in it. Use A/B testing and multiple ad sets to determine the effectiveness of different platforms for your business. Analyze the omni channel nature of audience response and optimize budgets on the most successful media towards meeting your objectives.
Can’t decide which route to take for your digital media plan? Give us a shout on mail or phone (contact details in header). Don’t worry, we don’t charge for advice.