We hear it a lot, people jumping into a new channel with no real plan or real expectations. Whilst this can work for some companies, the realistic outcome for most companies is that they won’t get the most out of their digital marketing activity without good planning.
Here we look at some of the key benefits of putting your digital marketing plan together.
1. It Gives You Focus
Possibly the most important benefit of putting together a digital marketing plan is the focus it gives you. When some people think of a marketing plan they just think of a step by step guide of how the marketing is going to be implemented. The plan should not only help towards this but also give the strategy and reasoning behind what activity you’re going to be undertaking.
This means moving forward with your digital marketing you will know things such as: who your target audience is and where they are, the key selling points for your business, your businesses price point, as well as your expectations from any marketing activity. All these things will give you focus on how your marketing
It’s also important to remember that you can make adjustments to your plans and sometimes it makes sense to have both long term and short term elements in your plan. This allows you to be flexible in your activity and to change focus to what’s bringing the greatest return on investment.
2. You Get Realistic Expectations
Part of your digital marketing plan should be to understand what you can actually achieve from your digital marketing activity. There are a number of steps to take in order to get a good understanding of this:
- Understand the size of opportunity
- Know your current position
- Compare to your competitors
The first thing we look at is the size of the opportunity. How to do this will depend on the marketing channel. An example, looking at SEO, would be to do keyword research to understand how many searches are undertaken each month. You can then use click through rate (CTR) models (such as this one from AWR) to work out the maximum traffic you’d be able to gain from SEO. To put some numbers to this, if from your keyword research you found that there were 100,000 searches per month and the max click through rate is 32.75% then it would be unrealistic to expect more than 32,750 visitors to your website each month.
The next thing to consider is your current position. If you’re currently getting 100 visitors a month, it’s probably unrealistic to expect 10,000 visitors a month in a short time period (although not impossible). It also helps you to understand your market share and how competitive you are within each channel.
Finally is to compare your expectations to your competitors. If you’re planning an increase in traffic it may be worth looking at what growth your competitors and the top threshold of your competitors traffic in order to compare to the growth you’ve expected.
3. It Helps Plan Your Budget
Another key benefit is that it allows you to take a look at your digital marketing budget and plan how much can be used for different channels. This also allows you to further get more realistic expectations from different channels.
It is also something that key stakeholders will want to look at before wanting to go ahead with the plan and will help get their approval for it. It can also help with sourcing different implementations of your digital marketing plan as you’ll have a set budget that you need to work to.
Here are just a few reasons why you might want to write up your digital marketing plan. Of course we believe that it’s important for these documents to be highly flexible in order to adjust to your ever changing needs, but making sure you have an overall plan and strategy in place can really make a difference to the overall effectiveness of your digital marketing activity.