Digital marketing is any type of marketing conducted over the Internet. A digital marketing plan, however, is a marketing plan which outlines your objectives, steps to accomplish them, and evaluation tactics.
And all these elements focus on digital marketing and the available digital tools.
Due to the expanding nature of the internet, digital marketing has developed a wide range of options, making it difficult to know what approach will best suit you. Hence, developing a proper digital marketing plan is so important to modern businesses.
“Why specifically modern businesses?” you might ask.
Because over half of the world’s population nowadays is using the Internet. Therefore, every marketing plan in Malaysia should incorporate a digital strategy.
After all, marketing has historically relied on being at the right place at the right time with your customer, and today your customers are online.
Without delay, let’s get into the steps of creating a practical digital marketing plan to elevate your business.
1. Define your goals
What is it that you want your marketing to accomplish? In general, there are nine goals that most businesses will go with when creating a marketing plan, and they are:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Generating high-quality leads
- Acquiring new customers
- Increasing website traffic
- Establishing industry authority
- Boosting brand engagement
- Increasing customer value
- Increasing revenue, and;
- Improving internal branding
Many food-based brands in Malaysia, for example, aim to increase sales straight away. Just look at how enticing limited-time-offer advertisements from KFC or Mcdonald’s are!
On the other hand, makeup brands aim to increase their customer value, relying on testimonials from their satisfied consumers to market their products for them.
Once you’ve decided what goal is best for your digital marketing plan, you should then make sure that it’s SMART.
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. A SMART goal incorporates all of these to help focus your efforts and increase the chances of achieving your goal.
Another important thing to know is who your target audience is to better inform your digital marketing plan.
Different age groups are online at different times and different places, and as previously mentioned, marketing heavily relies on timing and placement. If, for example, you fail to evaluate your audience, then your advertisement may never reach them.
2. Conduct a SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique to help you identify your plan’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Consequently, by identifying these core characteristics of your digital marketing plan, you will be able to perform a fact-based analysis. Therefore, you can determine the likelihood of its success and avoid any possible failures.
3. Analyse the market
The next, perhaps most predictable step in this list, is a thorough analysis of your market.
In general, a market analysis is a thorough assessment of a market within a specific industry. There are several basic questions that you should be asking when doing this analysis for your digital marketing plan;
- What are my customers’ buying habits?
- How large is my target market?
- How much are customers willing to pay for my product?
- Who are my main competitors?
- What are my competitors’ strengths and weaknesses?
Truly, understanding what will and won’t provoke positive reactions in your consumer base is crucial in ensuring your strategy’s success.
In addition to this, you should also be looking at trends within the digital marketing world. Certainly, being aware of the next big things can help you compete and stay ahead of the game.
4. Choose your digital channels
Choosing the right channels for marketing is not only a matter of deciding what would best suit your brand. It’s also about how you want them to be delivered.
Do you want to use video formats like trailers for your product or service? Then perhaps Youtube or TikTok would be the platform for you.
Poster-like information, on the other hand, would be suited for platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
Furthermore, you should keep in mind the various advantages and disadvantages of each platform that you plan on using. For example, Twitter is a unique marketing platform that allows quick customer service and provides a way for community engagement.
5. Create your digital marketing budget
A digital marketing budget can be allocated across multiple channels. Furthermore, it should include team salaries, production costs, customer relationship management (CRM), etc.
For this reason, even a generous budget can be eaten up quickly under a scope this vast.
You should start identifying all required expenses when planning your digital marketing budget.
Of course, even within a single country like Malaysia, every brand is unique. Therefore, there’s no one-size-fits-all magic method.
Your industry, size, location, and history are all factors you should consider.
For instance, SMEs and small businesses should be spending between 7% and 8% of total revenue on marketing both online and offline. On the other hand, larger businesses and corporations tend to spend up to 15%.
6. Create a content strategy
A content strategy entails creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain your audience. In the world of digital marketing, content is king, so developing a strategy for its creation is essential.
Firstly, identify the types of content that will resonate with your audience.
Once you’ve identified this, you’ll need to determine what topics to cover. With this intention, you need to know your audience’s interests, understand your industry, and recognise the competition that exists within.
Additionally, knowledge of SEO would be undeniably helpful when creating content and increasing traffic flow to your channels.
So make sure to understand it well.
7. Create a social media strategy
Social media strategies are an outline of the specific actions and tactics for social media platforms to achieve marketing goals.
Hence, a social media strategy that is aligned with your brand’s overall marketing objectives is key. A good social media strategy must build a strong brand identity, establish loyal customers, and ultimately drive more conversions and sales.
However, that alone is not enough to create a solid strategy.
Regularly monitoring and updating the social media strategy based on audience feedback and analytics can ensure its continued effectiveness.
To conclude, there are seven steps that you should be following to structure a successful digital marketing plan.
You need to define your goals to analyse your market before choosing suitable digital channels. Afterwards, create a budget and develop strategies for both content and social media.
Remember that a digital marketing plan is similar to a prepared strategy when going into battle. It is worth noting that a battle can and will change on the fly, as will your consumer base and market.
Of course, such things are out of one’s control. Therefore, continued analysis and adjustment are crucial to any Malaysian business’ success.
So remember to always optimise your plan!