If you are marketing anything online, you should be building an online marketing plan before you get down to work. Spending time planning can be compared to spending time sharpening an axe. If your axe is dull, you’ll spend far more time and energy on chopping than if it is sharp, and you’ll expend far less energy sharpening the blade than the difference between these. In other words, making a plan isn’t that difficult, and it will save you considerable time and effort.
Many people shy away from planning because they think they don’t really know how to do it. Of course, if you’ve ever planned a vacation, you know how to make a plan. So, all you need to get started in making an online marketing plan is to know what you need in the plan. That is what this article will give you.
The first thing you should do in creating your plan is to determine who your target audience is, and where you are likely to find them. Are they using social media? Do they congregate in forums? Are they most likely to be using a search engine to find what they need within your niche? This research phase is necessary for the other planning activities.
Once you’ve completed this preliminary research, you’ll need to decide which techniques you are going to use to reach your target audience. If your they are looking for different types of information, you may consider planning article, podcast, and video marketing campaigns, providing the information they are seeking.
Social media techniques, paid advertising, and any other marketing technique you can think of can be considered. The idea is to decide on which techniques to use, and then make a plan related to each technique. So, if you are planning an article campaign, you might plan to create 5 new articles each day for each of 5 directories. If you want to get even more in-depth, you can determine topics to be covered and other important details.
Now that you know which techniques you’ll be using, you need to determine a budget. If you are doing all of the work yourself, and using only cost-free techniques, then your budget would be $0. However, if you want to use any paid advertising, or if you want to outsource some of the work, you’ll need to decide how much you can spend.
With the budget laid out, your next step is to choose goals that are specific to each campaign, as well as overall goals. These goals should be specific, measurable, actionable, reasonable, and time constrained. In other words, increasing your sales is not a goal, it’s a desire, but increasing sales by 1%, month over month, within the next 90 days, is a goal.
The last step in building an online marketing plan is to implement the plan. You’ve laid out the specifics, created your map, and now it’s time to start working toward achieving the goals you put in place. When the time constraint is reached, and not before, it is time to reevaluate your plan and make improvements.