What’s one of the first things you do when booking a holiday? You create a list of the main tourist spots and a plan regarding how you can maximize your time so that you can make the most out of your short escape.
You might not realize, but every aspect of your life requires careful planning.
The same stays true for your small business.
Sure, testing new strategies and exploring new technologies is an important component of what makes a business successful. But, digital marketing can easily become overwhelming and even counterproductive if you don’t set feasible goals and steps beforehand.
With an encompassing plan at hand, you can not only burn through the necessary steps to achieve your goals easier, but you can also measure the effectiveness of your actions.
Here are the most important steps to follow to create your digital marketing roadmap:
1. Make an Assessment of Your Previous Strategies
Reviewing your current and your past digital marketing strategies is one of the most important first steps you should take when building your brand’s roadmap. Whatever actions you might have taken before can prove to be a valuable knowledge that can help you build a strong brand.
Start by analyzing what web assets you might have and in what stage of maintenance. Look at your social media profiles, YouTube channels or past marketing campaigns. Make a list of all of these and write down specifically what worked, what didn’t, why, and you can improve that. Use tools such as Google Analytics or Google’s Benchmarking Reports to measure and compare your progress to your competitors. On this note, analyzing your competition and their online activities will benefit you a great deal as well.
2. Define Your Target Customers
Planning is not all about goals and numbers. It’s also about clearly defining and understanding your target customers.
Remember, great digital marketing always comes through understanding who you’re addressing and how to better cater to their needs.
To do that, you need to start painting a representation of your ideal customer (also known as a buyer persona.)
- Write down all information you have on your demographics (the Audience Reports tool in your Google Analytics can help you with this task;)
- Identify particular problems and needs you could cover;
- Look at all possible characteristics that might influence their purchase, such as goals, emotions, desire, etc.;
- Identify thought leaders that can influence them and include these influencers in your marketing strategy;
3. Set Your Goals
Not having a set of clear, specific goals is one of the biggest mistakes that can hinder your growth. Define your business’s grand mission or objective. For example, you might want your company to become number one in providing a specific service in your region.
The next thing you should do next is to break down this objective into smaller goals. Each of them should be as specific as possible, and together they should provide all that is needed to achieve your mission.
Don’t forget that you also need to know how to measure the effectiveness of your goals so that you can tweak them as you progress in your quest. Set clear deadlines, numbers, and expectations around your desired results.
4. Identify Your Means
Last but not least, you have to consider your resources, such as your budget, team, and digital channels. Proper distribution of your resources is paramount in achieving your goals and building an effective digital marketing roadmap.
Break your budget into smaller, specific expenses, such as promotions for each digital channel. Look at your current team and try to assess whether or not you might need someone new on the team or whether outsourcing might work best for your brand. Remember, each digital channel you choose to work with needs to have a strategy built around it too to be effective.
Now that you have a clear roadmap of your brand’s digital marketing, all you have to do now is start working on your plan. Make sure to keep a keen, analytic eye on the way it evolves.