For small businesses, creating a digital marketing plan can feel like a daunting task. There are so many moving parts and it’s hard to know where to start. But with a little bit of planning and some expert tips, you can create a digital marketing plan that will help your small business succeed.
7 Steps to Create a Marketing Plan for Small Business
Step 1: Define the market
Before developing a digital marketing strategy, define the market. Identifying top competitors and their sales volume; defining a specific target group; and defining a clear target audience.
Step 2: Create a brand strategy
Brand strategy is about understanding your company’s strengths and weaknesses as well as what it means to your customers. Take into consideration your company’s mission statement, values, core values, and personality.
- What is your company’s target audience?
- What needs will this target audience have?
- Is your product geared towards a certain niche?
- How will you be able to communicate with them in the future?
- What are your company’s biggest differentiators and why should potential customers care about them?
- What is the best example of what sets you apart from other brands in that field and why should people choose your brand over theirs?
Think about the stories, benefits, and experiences of working with each company. If you have time, create a list of other brands in the industry and why you should choose them over yours.
Step 3: Set Your Goals
As a small business owner, it’s essential that you set goals for your digital marketing plan. Without goals, you won’t be able to measure the success of your marketing efforts and you’ll miss out on valuable opportunities to improve your campaigns.
To set goals for your digital marketing plan, start by identifying what you want to achieve. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Drive more traffic to your website? Generate more leads? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.
For example, a goal might be “to increase website traffic from social media by 10% over the next three months.” To make sure this goal is SMART, ask yourself the following questions:
Is it specific? Yes, the goal is specific in that it states which platform (social media) and metric (website traffic) will be increased.
Is it measurable? Yes, website traffic can be measured using analytics tools like Google Analytics.
Is it achievable? Yes, a 10% increase in website traffic is achievable if the current level of social media activity is maintained or increased.
Is it relevant? Yes, this goal is relevant to the overall objective of generating more leads through the website.
Is it time-bound? Yes, the goal should be completed within three months.
By setting SMART goals for your digital marketing plan, you can be sure that your campaigns are focused and effective.
Step 4: Choose your digital marketing methods
There are many digital marketing methods that small businesses can use to reach their target audiences. The most effective method will vary depending on the business’s products or services, its budget, and its goals.
Some common digital marketing methods used by small businesses include search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
SEO is the process of optimizing a website for Google search with the goal of earning higher web traffic levels and improving the visibility of the site. Content marketing involves creating and sharing helpful or entertaining content online (such as blog posts, infographics, ebooks, etc.) in order to attract and engage potential customers. Social media marketing entails promoting a business or its content on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Email marketing entails sending newsletters or other promotional emails to a list of subscribers in order to generate leads or drive sales. PPC advertising is a form of paid digital marketing in which businesses place ads on search engines or other websites and pay each time their ad is clicked.
To determine which digital marketing methods are right for your small business, consider your budget and what objectives you’d like to achieve through your online marketing efforts. Once you have a better idea of what techniques you’d like to use, research how to implement them and make sure you have the necessary tools.
Step 5: Create Compelling Content
Once you’ve chosen the right digital marketing channels for your business, it’s time to start creating compelling content. The type of content you create will depend on the channel you’re using. For example, if you’re using social media, you’ll want to create posts that are interesting, informative, and visually appealing. If you’re using email marketing, you’ll want to create newsletters that are concise and offer value to your subscribers.
No matter what type of content you create, it’s important to make sure that it’s high-quality and engaging. The best way to do this is to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and think about what they would want to see. Would they prefer long-form articles or short blog posts? Videos or infographics? By creating content that appeals to your target audience, you can be sure that your digital marketing campaigns are successful.
Step 6: Set your budget
As a small business, you have to be careful with your spending. You need to set a budget for your digital marketing plan and make sure you stick to it.
There are a few things you need to take into account when setting your budget. First, you need to consider what your goals are. What do you want to achieve with your digital marketing plan? Once you know your goals, you can start to allocate funds towards different areas of your plan.
For example, if one of your goals is to increase website traffic, you might want to invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This can be a fairly expensive endeavor, but it will be worth it if it helps you reach your goal.
Another thing to consider is how much money you can realistically afford to spend on your digital marketing plan. You don’t want to overspend and then find yourself in a difficult financial situation later on. Make sure you set a budget and stick to it.
If done correctly, a digital marketing plan can be a great way to help grow your small business. By taking the time to set a budget and determine what your goals are, you can create a plan that will work for you and help you reach your target audience.
Step 7: Measure results
As a small business, you may be wondering how you can measure the results of your digital marketing plan. Luckily, there are a few key metrics that you can track in order to gauge the success of your plan.
First, take a look at your website traffic. Are more people visiting your site since you launched your digital marketing plan? If so, that’s a good sign that your plan is working.
You can also track leads and sales generated from your website. If you’re seeing an increase in the number of leads or sales, that’s another indicator that your digital marketing efforts are paying off.
Finally, take a look at your brand awareness. Are people talking about your brand more since you started marketing it online? If so, then you know you’re on the right track!
All in all, creating a marketing plan for your small business is not as daunting as it may seem at first. By breaking it down into smaller steps and brainstorming with your team, you can come up with a comprehensive plan that will help you achieve your desired results. And, if you need some help getting started, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional marketing consultant who can guide you through the process.