Many small businesses really struggle with the concept of using digitally marketing for their business.  Most of them think it is going to be a quick fix or the silver bullet which will shot their business to the top, with little or no planning or vision in sight.  However, the truth is that it involves planning and action to make digital marketing work for your business.

CC-BY image by Sprott Money https://www.flickr.com/photos/105572614@N04/10304333036
CC-BY image by Sprott Money https://www.flickr.com/photos/105572614@N04/10304333036

So to ensure that your business grows and shines using digital marketing, follow these six simple steps to create your 2017 Digital Marketing Plan:

Step 1: Know your marketing message

Digital marketing is not a separate activity from what you do in your business.  Everything you do in your business is part of your marketing, from the way your present your office/shop front or website, to how you package your products / services, to the way you communicate with your customers.

In order to ensure that your digital marketing message is ‘on brand’ in everything that you do, you need to set the benchmark about what it is that your business does and how it does it.  Think about ‘Google’ – it aims is to make finding and using information on the internet simple – and don’t they live up to it.  

CC0 Public Domain from https://pixabay.com/en/photos/brand/?image_type=illustration
CC0 Public Domain from https://pixabay.com/en/photos/brand/?image_type=illustration

They do this by having a clear vision and mission about what they want to achieve, and then they share this with their customers and staff.  Then, everything they do and any decision they make is through this lens of thinking … That they make finding and using information on the internet simple.  

Step 2: Know your customers really well

Once you have determined the clear vision and mission for your business, you then need to focus on knowing how your product/services satisfies your customers’ gain or pain points.  

Consider the following to determine whether your product/service meets your customers’ gain or pain point:

Gain points

Pain points

Gain points happen when someone is looking to satisfy a desire or be altruistic, such as:

  • Human desire
  • Personal interest
  • Socialise / network

Think – holidays, hobbies, leisure activities or high end brands like Apple or Harley Davidson

Pain points happen when someone really needs to do something, such as:

  • Human need
  • Solve a problem
  • Meet compliance / mandated

Think – every day living, meeting regulation or legal requirements, or being  unwell

Once you understand this, you then need to know the language your customers use when they think about trying to satisfy their gain or pain point. You then use this language to target your main marketing message.

Consider the following to determine your product/service’s targeted marketing message:

Gain points

Pain points

I really want the iPhone 7 so I’m seen as being cool and hip I really need a mobile phone so I can communicate with my children when they travel home from school on the bus
 

Targeted marketing message:

Chic, forefront of technology, premium

 

Targeted marketing message:

Reliable, easy to use, cost effective

You then need to determine at what point of the customer buying journey you will be targeting with your marketing message.  

Will it be to:

  1. build brand awareness
  2. enable people to become familiar with what you do
  3. allow people consider if yours is the right product/service
  4. help people to purchase from you
  5. maintain customer loyalty 

Which part of the customer buying journey you are targeting will change depending on what you would like your customers to focus on at different times of the year or as your business develops eg brand awareness to purchasing your products/services to providing special deals/offers to existing customers.

Step 3: Know when your customers really needs you

Your customers will often need your products/services at different times of the year or at different times or stages of their lives.  These can also be the peak times for your business.  

For example, in retail, these peak times can be Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and/or Christmas.  Retailers know that they need to be well stocked with the right type of product for each of these peak times. They also know that they will have to ensure that their key marketing messages (inline with their overall marketing message) are spot on for these different times eg ‘Spoil your mum this Mother’s day’.

CC-BY Image by Dan4th Nicholas https://www.flickr.com/photos/dan4th/2312622098
CC-BY Image by Dan4th Nicholas https://www.flickr.com/photos/dan4th/2312622098

So determine when it is that your customers is looking for your type of product/service. Then put your time and budget into funnelling people into purchasing based on these times.

Step 4: Know where your customers hang out online

You then need to know where your customers frequent online and what they do online.  This will help you work out what digital marketing you should be doing.

The following are some examples of the types of digital marketing presences you should consider depending on your customers’ online activities and/or where they are at in their buying journey:

Your customer’s online activity

Your digital marketing  presence

Research Google Adwords / Adsense

YouTube

Your website / blog

Read blogs and online articles Your blog

Google Adsense

Twitter

eNewsletter

Socialise / Share their lives / Follow  others Instagram

Facebook

Snapchat

Tumblr

Network LinkedIn

Online groups – Google Groups or LinkedIn and Facebook

Twitter

Step 5: Know how to get your customers’ attention

The internet and social media are very busy places, with lots of white noise which people need to trawl through.  So what is it that catches your customer’s eye when they are trying to satisfy their pain or gain point?

This is usually a combination of text and visual (images/video) or audio.  As people filter through thousands upon thousands of messages every day, they are usually looking for keywords which link to satisfying their gain or pain point.  

Consider the following:

Gain points

Pain points

I really want the iPhone 7 so I’m seen as being cool and hip I really need a mobile phone so I can communicate with my children when they travel home from school on the bus
 

Targeted marketing message:

Chic, forefront of technology, premium

 

Targeted marketing message:

Reliable, easy to use, cost effective

Key or filter words:

Latest, stylish, bleeding edge, like no other

Key or filter words:

Simple, affordable, dependable

Step 6: Know your plan of action

It’s important that you plan the what, when, how and who of your digital marketing.  To help this, download this digital marketing plan template to create your 2017 Digital Marketing Plan.

Also, consider who will do this work.  Will your business’s digital marketing be something that you do yourself, or will you have someone on your team do it, or will you outsource it.  Whichever you choose, remember to stick to your business vision and marketing message, oversee the process and measure the impact.

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If you would like to learn about being successful online contact us now (email or 0400 732 270) to find out more about how you can take these six simple steps to creating 2017 your Digital Marketing Plan.

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Six simple steps to creating your 2017 Digital Marketing Plan
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