The start of a new year usually brings new expectations for business owners and marketing teams. Creating a digital marketing plan can be a daunting task, but remembering the basics is what digital marketing firm LP Media Group recommends.
“It’s tempting to just throw a plan together so you can get started on the work,“ said LP Media Group president Lindsey Perkins Wade. “But it pays off to take a deep breath, step back and consider a few things before you jump straight to implementation.”
In order to achieve a company’s desired goals, the firm recommends following these five tips when creating a digital marketing plan.
1. Start with a goal to achieve or a problem to be solved.
Everything in the plan needs to have a purpose. Identifying what needs to be accomplished up front makes decision-making that comes later in the process easier. For instance, if Twitter isn’t helping a company achieve its stated goal, then it’s clear the platform doesn’t belong in the plan.
2. Review current accounts and analyze previous results.
An audit should be part of the process when creating a new plan, determining what has worked in the past and what could work in the future. The analysis also includes a review of all existing social media profiles and a list of what needs to be updated, removed or retired. Ask what purpose each platform is currently serving and if they can help the team get closer to the specified goal.
3. Assess resources.
People, time, skills and equipment all need to be considered when creating a digital marketing plan. It’s OK to be ambitious, but make sure the plan’s content is realistic. Including four blog posts a month in the blueprint won’t work if the company doesn’t have a writer on staff or the budget to hire one. Don’t create a plan that is impossible to reach given the available resources.
4. Keep the plan focused.
No company can do everything, so don’t try. Maybe a staff member loves playing with new social media platforms, but the company’s target audience usually falls into the laggards category rather than the early adopters. This makes it impractical to spend time and energy building a presence on every new platform that might end up fizzling.
5. Document the plan.
Don’t only discuss what the company will do. Create a master document, and make it accessible to all employees through Google Docs or a shared drive. According to a study at Dominican University of California, writing down goals is one of three crucial tools that is proven to lead to achievement.
Then, once a plan is finalized, make sure to schedule weekly meetings to check progress. The same study shows that public commitment and weekly accountability help people accomplish more.