You need to focus on achieving your marketing goals, but how do you do that? Here’s a guide to creating an internet marketing plan to help your business!
Online content creation is 62% less expensive than traditional marketing tactics. It’s clear that an internet marketing plan should be considered as part of your marketing schedule.
The question is, how do you create an internet marketing plan to get the most out of your efforts? With less than half of businesses being sure their marketing is meeting the needs of their target audience, it’s important to make sure you have a clear marketing plan before spending your money.
How can you be sure you are putting your money where it needs to go? By creating a strategic internet marketing plan to meet your overall marketing goals you can increase your reach and conversions more effectively.
What is a Marketing Plan?
Your marketing plan is one part of your business plan. It is the marketing strategy where you set clear goals and methods to meet those goals.
The marketing plan is where you determine the call to action, or what you want your target audience to do. To create an effective marketing plan, you first have to understand what you want to get out of it.
To get the most out of your marketing efforts, there are some questions to start with:
- What is the goal and how can I best achieve these goals?
- How can I make my business stand out from my competition?
- How can I be clear about what I’m offering customers?
- Does my plan take outside forces into consideration?
- Is my plan focused, targeting a specific audience?
- Do I have clear calls to action?
- Is the marketing plan being used when making decisions?
An effective marketing plan needs to have specific goals with clear methods to reach those goals. It needs to be as specific as possible. Trying to be all things to all people will work against you in marketing.
Creating the Internet Marketing Plan
It is especially important to be specific with your goals when creating an internet marketing plan. To create content that will resonate with customers, you have to understand who those customers are and how to reach them.
Finding Your Target Audience
The first step to an effective internet marketing plan is to understand who your target audience is.
If you have never taken the time to create a customer avatar, now is the time to do so. What is the customer avatar?
The avatar is the fictional customer you create based on the demographics of those you want to reach. This is the ideal customer for your business.
- Where do they live?
- What is their age range?
- What are their level of education and financial status?
- What are their hobbies and interests?
- What are their pain points?
- What would make them interested in your product or service?
Get as specific as you can about who you want to reach. Try to create a picture in your mind of Jane or John Customer. By understanding who your customers are, you’ll be able to create content that will resonate with them.
One mistake businesses make is trying to be general to reach a larger audience. This doesn’t work. You may get a larger audience to start, but these people will not turn into sales unless you show them how you can help them as an individual.
Set a Budget
Before you start creating content, make sure you know how much money you can spend on your internet marketing. Take a look at your marketing budget, and determine how much will be spent on the internet marketing plan.
A good rule of thumb is to allocate at least 5% of the marketing budget on online content. To set your budget, you need to do a little research.
Where are you most likely to find your target audience? Where are your competitors spending their efforts? What type of content seems most effective for different platforms?
Once you’ve done the research, take the time to allocate an amount to spend for each platform you want to use:
- Social Media
- Online Ads
Some of this may change as you go along, but it’s a good idea to start with a budget in mind.
A note about social media: If you don’t already have a social media presence, it’s best to pick one or two to start. Make sure you understand the platforms and are seeing a good ROI before turning to other areas. Do your research and pick social media platforms where your target audience is likely to be found.
Take Inventory of Your Current Internet Marketing Strategy
Before you start plastering the internet world with ads and promotional content, first take a look at the content you already have. A strategic internet marketing plan includes providing content that speaks to the pain points of your target customers.
Look through the content you have and make sure your addressing those areas of interest. Do you have material that shows how your product or service can address issues of importance to your customers? If not take the time to plan content to fill in those missing areas.
Make sure your content is informative and visually appealing. Look for ways you can update current content to appeal to your audience.
The internet marketing plan isn’t just about where to market. You need to have a strategic marketing schedule with your content. Take the time to plan out the content you want to provide to get the most out of those efforts.
Pay Attention to SEO Strategies
The best way to get your content seen by a larger audience is to implement SEO strategies. SEO is about the keywords you use to help search engines find and categorize your content. SEO strategies are about showing your relevance to a particular market.
One, often overlooked, an aspect of SEO practices is local SEO. You don’t just want to be relevant to a particular market, you also want to be relevant to your target area.
Local SEO strategies help you show up in localized searches. You can learn more at https://www.thehoth.com/local-seo/.
How can you make sure your content shows up in localized searches?
- Claim your business on Google my Business
- Get your business on local directories with up-to-date contact info
- Make sure you have easy to find contact info on your website
- Embed a Google map to make it easier to find your business
The point is to make it as easy as possible to find your business contact info.
Using proper keywords to help show relevancy is also important. You want to use keywords for content as well as location to get the most out of your SEO efforts.
Internal and external links are also useful to increase your online presence. Getting listed on directories, writing guest articles with links back to your website, linking to other relevant info in your articles, these are all ways to build up your SEO ranking.
Your presence on social media can also help with your SEO strategy. Make sure you include links to your website on every social media platform you use. If you can link to a specific article or page this can also help.
Continue to Measure Your Marketing Strategy
Just because you have a marketing plan in place doesn’t mean you’re done. Continue to analyze your strategies and make sure they are meeting your marketing goals.
Pay attention to what content is resonating with your audience. Pay attention to which strategies are converting to sales. Put analytic tools into place so you can see what’s working and what’s not.
Don’t just keep throwing money into a strategy. If it’s not working the way you expected, move to something else. A marketing plan is not set in stone.
Use the analytics tools on social media sites to see what content is getting the most attention. Remarket this material occasionally to get more use out of it. Throw out or update content that’s not picking up interest.
Don’t just write the internet marketing plan, use it. Your plan should be easily accessible and regularly consulted to make sure your efforts are reaching the goals.
Staying Informed of Internet Marketing Trends
To ensure your internet marketing plan works for you, it’s important to stay up-to-date with new marketing trends. Content strategies change regularly on the internet. If you don’t pay attention you could find yourself left behind.
With new platforms emerging regularly, and existing platforms changing the way they present your content, you need to include trending research as part of your marketing strategy.
It’s not just the platforms you want to watch. Pay attention to the trends around how to present your content. Infographics and videos are the stars these days, but that may not last. For your business to grow online you need to be able and willing to change with the times.
Would you like to make sure you don’t miss out on changes to digital marketing? DigitalVTech makes a point of keeping up with all digital trends. For the most up-to-date information on ongoing and upcoming trends for social media and other internet marketing strategies, check out more of our blog.