The idea of jumping into sharing content and marketing across digital channels can be exciting, but it requires more than just a passing thought. Success digital campaigns begin with a plan, not on a whim. Strategic content and digital marketing plans must be carefully thought through and aligned with other internal things, such as the goals of the organization.
To create a strategic content or digital marketing plan that helps you reach your goals, follow these seven steps:
You cannot decide where you need to go if you have no idea where you are. Perform a SWOT analysis on your company as well its previous and current situation and strategies. By clearly identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, you can work wisely.
Set Goals: SMART Short, Medium, and Long Term
It is difficult to reach your goals when you are not sure what your goals are. For a truly effective strategy, you must define your business goals by using SMART goals.
S: Specific things you want to accomplish, i.e. increasing visits or customers.
M: Measurable numbers of website visits, social post clicks, conversion rates, and so on.
A: Be sure that you can reach them with what you have available to you.
R: They should be relevant to your business goals.
T: Add them to a timeline using the date you want them complete.
In addition to being SMART, the goals should cover short term, medium-term, and long term timeframes.
Define Your Target Audience and Truly Know Them
Most marketers know that defining your target audience is a hugely important step, but that should not be the end. Defining a group does no good if you know nothing about its members. After you have identified your target audience, take time to study them and truly get to know them as you would a friend or someone with whom you are in a new relationship. This will help to ensure that when you speak to your audience, they can believe that you truly understand them, and they can trust you more.
Decide on Channels to Use
There are many channels through which you can use your strategic and digital marketing plans. Having a company website is definitely important, but this should not be the only channel you work through. Consider social media platforms, too, and be aware that each platform works differently. They also attract a different type of audience.
One key to success through social channels is working on those that attract your target audience and letting go of those that do not. It is much better to focus on two social channels that will help you that to spread your focus over those that will not. Determine the social channels you will work through and learn those platforms well.
Set Timeline and Roadmap
Your timeline and roadmap should involve a lot of information.
First, as basic as it may sound, you should identify in a written plan when different events will take place throughout the year that you do not control. These include things such as Christmas and other holidays, company events, industry events, and so on. These should be included in your plan because many of these things will affect the steps you take throughout the year. For example, if Christmas is your highest sales month, you know that you need to focus on preparing for that throughout December and most likely November, as well.
You also want to plug your goals in around the events you cannot control. Establish a good timeline and roadmap for when you should work on each of your goals and how your content and digital marketing strategies should be handled during those times. Though plans may change, having an established plan helps things run much more smoothly.
Develop Content Schedule for Each Channel
After you have decided which channels to use, developed your timeline and roadmap, and determined your goals, you can decide what content needs to be posted on each channel. Because you have already laid out a timeline, you know when you need to begin Christmas posts when you need to add to your strategy thanks to changes in the industry, and other content specifics you need to focus on.
After you have plugged that content into your schedule, you can begin to add in content that revolves around your SMART goals. If, for instance, you will be launching a new product in June, you might start posting things about it in April to build up the hype.
Set a Budget and Stick to It
As important as all other strategies listed here is this: you need to set a budget for your content or digital marketing plan. Then, you need to do everything in your power to stick to it. Budgets within organizations are vital to be sure that it runs well. If the organization spends more money on one thing than is budgeted for it, the extra funds must be taken from somewhere else. Before putting your plan into effect, know what you can spend and stick to that amount.
A strategic content or digital marketing plan has the ability to take a company to its goals, and sometimes even farther. If you are ready to develop a plan, it is not always wise to go it alone. Instead, gather leaders in your organization to discuss their ideas. Though finalizing the plan may be entirely up to you, a good brainstorming session with others can steer you in the right direction to make a successful plan. Once the plan is complete, have others give feedback on it.
Above all, be willing to adapt if something is not working. Otherwise, you just might stall your company’s growth. Set aside time to analyze your strategy on a consistent basis. Determine what is working and what is not, and what changes you need to make. The willingness to adapt when necessary just might be the most important part of creating content or digital marketing plan.