The Power of Digital Marketing Planning

The idea that planning is a good and prudent thing to do has been drilled into us since childhood. Our parents spouted any number of truisms on the subject. I can still hear them echoing in my ears today...

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."

"A little advance planning would have been nice, Kaitlyn. Now what are we supposed to do with 30 unsold boxes of Girls Scout cookies?"

(Ok, your parents probably never gave you that last one). ;)

The point is- we all sort of know instinctively that creating a good plan is important.

But WHY exactly is planning so important? It comes down to 3 main reasons:

REASON 1: You'll reach your goals faster.

We've all had those days (or weeks) when we seem to be hanging on by the seat of our pants. The editorial calendar goes out the window, and we manage our workload reactively. In short, we're drifting without much direction. 

That's natural- sometimes things fall apart for a little while. Hopefully we re-group and get back on track ASAP.

Because we know that being "on track" means we're proactively and intentionally moving toward our goals. 

Giving yourself a clear plan is like using a map on a road trip, rather than just wandering there using some vague inner "feeling" about where we're headed. The driver with the plan is gonna get to the final destination much faster than the aimless drifter.

REASON 2: The planning process will get your head in the game.

Just the mere process of making a strategic plan has some awesome benefits.

By thinking through all the complex issues related to your goals, your constraints, threats to your business, and your unique strengths - something magical happens. You're somewhat transformed. You become keenly aware of where you are, where you're headed, and how you plan to get there.

So even on days when you don't pull out your planning documents to reference, you still have your sense of direction about you. If an opportunity comes your way, you instinctively know whether it fits into your master plan.

REASON 3: Planning eliminates overwhelm and generates momentum.

For many of us, too much uncertainty or openendedness can be paralyzing.

We can't plan for everything, but planning for most reasonable scenarios brings a sense of comfort.

Getting everything down on paper ('cause things can get complex) frees up our mental energy to focus on putting the plan into ACTION. We can look for creative opportunities within the bounds of our strategic plan. We can focus on creating real growth, without worrying whether we're even moving in the right direction.

Planning allows us to move past any unproductive overwhelm and instead start building momentum toward the achievement of our goals. 

What should your Digital Marketing Plan include?

In my mind, a good Digital Marketing Plan (or any kind of plan) MUST start with a solid strategy and a set of SMART goals.

To that end, my online course, The Profitable Digital Marketing Plan, organizes the planning process into five different steps:

Customers

(Because a good marketing strategy should always start with the customer!) You'll want to identify your target audience, what they want, and how they shop for your type of product or service. This is going to leave you with some of the most important foundational, strategic elements of your Digital Marketing Plan.

Topics to cover:
• Your Ideal Customer
• Sales Cycle / Decision Journey

Company

Here, you'll make sure your business is built to profit from your target audience. You won't necessarily need to re-engineer your whole business. But you will want to make sure it's designed to fit your audience's expectations.

Topics to cover:
• Your Product or Service
• Your Competition
• Your Pricing
• Your Positioning
• Your Brand

Conversion

This is where the hardcore PLANNING comes in. You'll map out HOW you'll turn your target audience into real, live, PAYING customers through digital marketing channels that are right for YOUR specific business. You'll also make sure you've got the right goals to evaluate your progress- and the right web analytics in place to actually track it.

Topics to cover:
• Business Goals
• Digital Channels
• Funnels
• Web Analytics Basics

Content

Modern marketing is all about providing the right information to your audience to help them along the decision journey toward purchase. You can provide that information and do that coaxing with CONTENT. So in this stage, you'll plan the types of digital content to produce, making sure everything you put out there (1) resonates with your ideal customer, and (2) furthers your strategic goals.

Topics to cover:
• Content Personality
• Content Moods
• Content Marketing Framework

Implementation

Something that often gets left out of a Digital Marketing Plan is the part about how to actually GET GOING and put your plan into consistent ACTION. This is where you'll take your shiny new plan - and start makin' money! ;) There will never be any doubt in your mind about what to work on next.

And believe me, that's a good feeling...and that's the power of a good plan.

Topics to cover:
• Using Your Master Digital Marketing Plan
• Planning for Growth
• Putting Your Plan Into Daily Action


Ready To Try It Yourself?

I've developed an comprehensive online course to guide you through setting your own digital marketing strategy - The Profitable Digital Marketing Plan.

Once you complete this course, you'll have in your hands a working strategy for making digital decisions to amp up your sales and grow your business. And you can do it in as little as 2 weeks!

Who's this course for? This course will super-charge your biz growth trajectory even if:

  • You're on a pretty tight budget.
  • You don't really know what digital marketing is all about- or how to make it profitable.
  • Digital marketing is too complex, and you don't have time to figure it all out on your own.
  • You're stressed out by how to drive sales online.
  • You don't feel very tech-savvy. (Like, at all).