7 Steps To Creating An Effective Digital Marketing Plan

So you’ve created the perfect Facebook Image Post and and just uploaded it. You’ve boosted the post in the hopes that it’ll get the attention it deserves. But 3 days later, it’s got only a 3-digit reach, a handful of likes and hardly any shares.

Your blog posts that you spent hours perfecting are hardly being read, but you made sure you added H1 tags, a meta description and even alt tags for all the images in the post.

Insights show that your weekly newsletters are only occasionally opened. And the click through rate is worse than the open rate.

So what are you doing wrong?

Digital marketing is not an impulsive act and effective digital marketing requires a lot of analysis and premeditation. You first need to understand your strengths and weaknesses as an organisation and also your customers’ needs and wants. You need to have a clear picture of who your customers are, what they’re searching for and what they’re interests are. In this post, I outline 7 steps you need to take in order to create an effective digital marketing plan.

If you prefer a hands-on approach to creating a digital marketing plan, download this FREE beginner’s guide to creating a digital marketing plan.

1. Conduct a Situational Analysis

In order to effectively market your product(s) or services you need to first have a clear picture of your business objectives. Conduct a complete situation analysis of your business by examining the 7Ps: Product, Price, Promotion, Place, People, Process and Physical Evidence.

2. Analyse your Organisation’s Digital Presence

Understand you current online presence. Are your business listings consistent across the web? Does your website have a fast loading time? Is it mobile optimised? Is your business active on social media? Conduct a thorough analysis of your business’s digital presence using online tools such as Google Page Insights, Quick Sprout Website Analyzer and Similar Web.

3. Conduct a Competitor/Competitive Analysis

Research the competition. What products and services do they offer? What is their online presence like? Use the 7Ps model and well as online tools like Google Page Insights and Similar Web to conduct a competitor analysis and understand your competitive advantages.

4. Understand your Organisation’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

Once you have successfully analysed your business’s objectives, its online presence and its competitive advantage, use your research to outline your organisation’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is known as a SWOT analysis.

5. Identify Key Customer Groups and Create Marketing Personas

You cannot effectively advertise your products and services unless you know exactly who your customers are. Use existing customer data to identify key customer groups and create marketing personas. Creating marketing personas is useful for identifying target customer groups, their demographics, location and interest, which are crucial pieces of information for creating targeted advertising campaigns.

6. Identify and Set SMART Objectives

Identify the resources that are available to you and based on the SWOT analysis and the data you have collected from the other previous analyses, define a set of SMART goals that will form the basis of your digital marketing strategy. SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Achieveable, Relevant, and Timely.

7. Create a Tactical Plan

Tactics are the exact steps that you take in order to achieve your SMART goals. Keeping in mind the resources available to you identify and implement the tactics that you can use to achieve your SMART goals.

I’m a user researcher & product designer with a multidisciplinary visual arts background and 5 years working in e-commerce & SaaS.