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How to Create an Internet Marketing Plan
Any entrepreneur with an understanding of the modern marketing landscape will have already considered the role of online marketing in their overall marketing strategy. Digital marketing isn’t just something that is going to be important in the future. It is already critical to generating momentum for a new venture and without a presence online, a new business will most assuredly be left in the dust of its competitors.
There are five foundational steps to follow before you can begin to structure your digital marketing strategy, which should preferably be completed in this order. Instant Offices have listed them below:
1. Competitor Research
This is no time to reinvent the wheel. Study your competitors’ successes and failures and use this to guide your own strategy. Not only will competitor research show you what kinds of content your audience responds to, it also often reveals which platforms work and which digital marketing components should be included in your strategy.
2. Establish a home base
While a website is an essential part of your brand’s digital presence, it is no longer a given that all roads should lead back to your website. Many brands are using a Facebook page as their primary platform, for example. A “home base” is usually where you are trying to drive users, via all the other channels you use. It needs to be meticulously managed, regularly updated and checked daily. It also needs to be stable and established before you start any other activities.
3. Identify core elements
There is a dizzying array of strategies, services, social media and advertising channels available to the digital marketer. It is a mistake, however, to attempt to leverage too many of these in any one campaign. Identify a maximum of four core components and map their roles out in your high-level digital strategy. This will help to avoid spreading your budget and your attention too thinly. Your choices will largely be informed by your competitor research and your budget.
For example:1. Paid Search > 2. Facebook Marketing > 3. Website > 4. Retargeting
4. Assign Roles and Responsibilities
The execution and management of an effective digital marketing strategy requires a surprisingly high number of work hours, on a daily basis. It is essential that all responsibilities are identified and assigned, so that this doesn’t have to happen when work commences. It is also critical that lines of communication are kept open between team members and that each person understands the “big-picture” strategy and their role within it.
5. Establish a Reporting System
Accurate, detailed reporting is what makes the difference between an effective digital marketing strategy and an expensive, frustrating mistake. It is the only way that you will reliably know how your strategy needs to be adapted and whether or not a channel or strategy is providing ROI. You should question the merits of any channel or strategy whose results cannot be effectively measured and reported on.
By prioritising these fundamentals early on in your digital marketing plan, you will create a solid foundation upon which to create a unique online marketing presence. Remember, your digital marketing plan will need to be highly flexible, requiring regular reviews and adjustments. This is the only way it will remain relevant in a space where the rules change as fast as the platforms.