The Practical Online Marketing Plan

Growing a marketing plan

You know that digital marketing is vital for your small business. Your clients, potential clients, and competitors are all online – so you need to be.

But maybe it seems overwhelming, and you might not know where to begin. This is where an online marketing plan can come in handy. It doesn’t have to be a long and elaborate technical document; we’ll show you how to make a quick and simple (but effective) guide.

Start with the following, step by step:

1)      Define your business and ultimate goal.

a)      What industry does your business fit into? For example, if you sell handmade jewelry, you might use Pinterest to showcase your beautiful designs. If you run a consulting firm, a blog could be the best option to explain your services.

b)      What’s your overall mission? Do you want to: earn more money, build brand awareness, grow your customer base, or become a ‘go-to’ company?

c)      What are your short-term goals? Establishing an online presence, expanding the variety of items you sell, or reaching a certain number of sales?

2)      Outline your customers’ profiles.

a)      What are the demographics of your current customers? (Do they live in areas that have easy access to the Internet, are they in an age group that’s always online?)

b)      What platforms do your current and potential customers use?

c)       This is a good place to work with a market-defining story.

3)      Strategize and summarize.

a)      What’s your online marketing target? Do you want to concentrate on social media, your website, SEO optimization, or online ads? (Of course, some of these are linked and you could crack down on more than one).

b)      What strategies will you use, and how will you execute them?

c)      Are you only going to work with free online tools and services, or are you willing to spend a certain amount of money?

d)      What platforms are you most comfortable with using (social networks, blogs or vlogs, community forums, Google AdWords, etc.)?

4)      Finally, create your plan.

a)      Format it as a table, list, or calendar schedule. Use headings such as ‘Platform’, ‘Tactics/Strategies’, ‘Budget’, and ‘Frequency and times of posts’. Divide the plan into sections or rows/columns.

b)      Analyze your answers to the questions above, and decide on your approach accordingly.

c)      Use the plan! And try to update it at least once a week, if not more often.

d)      Monitor your metrics; see what’s getting you results. Modify or do away with anything that isn’t working. Google Analytics is a free and valuable tool which monitors your website.

By the way, if you want to focus particularly on social media, HavePresence can tailor a business plan just for you. This includes expert assessment, useful tutorials, detailed instructions about posting, advice on analytics, and much more. We simplify it so that you don’t have to stress about it.

However way you go about it, making an online marketing plan can help you focus on and strategize for immediate goals. It could also save you time and effort in the long run; so make the best out of it for your business.

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