Chapter 2

Digital Marketing Plan

Creating the road map to your online success

This chapter of the Web Rocket is geared to helping you put together a complete action plan for your Digital Marketing Campaign.

Having a solid plan with set goals, metrics, and strategies in place is critical to creating an effective online presence.

Using our FREE Digital Marketing Plan Template, you will learn to identify the key areas that you will need to cover when preparing to launch, or build on your online business presence.

In the Digital Marketing Plan chapter you will;

  • Decide your overall Digital Marketing Strategy
  • Create a Website Plan
  • Identify an SEO Strategy
  • Formulate a Content Marketing Strategy
  • Produce a Social Media Strategy
  • Plan for Email Marketing
  • Establish a Paid Advertising Strategy
  • Understand Influencer Marketing

 

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Creating your Digital Marketing Plan - Let's get started!

In this first stage of the Web Rocket, we are going to take you through the creation of your Digital Marketing Plan.

Whether you are a start-up, small business or enterprise level company, everyone should have a plan in place to effectively manage their online presence. It is crucial to understand your target audience, competitors, and industry and have a clearly defined brand to promote and communicate your services and products.

You should understand how to effectively decide and monitor your business goals and have clear milestones in place to measure the effectiveness of your campaign. We will also address how to strategise for your website, Social Media, SEO, and advertising.

For each step below, you will find the relevant reading, guides and resources. Make your way through each step and complete your Digital Marketing Plan as you go in the template provided here. You can also use the completed example for reference.

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Please log in or create your Web Rocket account to access your resources and downloads. Once logged in, you will be able to view and download all resources and save your progress through the Digital Marketing Guide.

 
Step 1 - Create your Digital Marketing Strategy

What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?

Your Digital Marketing Strategy is an overview of what you want to achieve and acts as a guiding roadmap for how you are going to achieve it. It contains key research which will inform the strategic decisions for your digital marketing plan and promotional activities.

The individual sections of your digital marketing plan (for your website, SEO, social media etc) will have their own goals, metrics, and activities. Your digital marketing strategy provides you with a directed overview of your campaign and how it is being managed.

 

To get started with your Digital Marketing Strategy;

  • Open your Digital Marketing Plan Template.
  • Read through this article on How to create a digital marketing strategy >>
  • Explore the articles in the resources section related to each topic
  • Discuss the strategy with your team and complete the relevant sections in your template plan

 

In your Digital Marketing Strategy, you will learn;

  • Consider what you want to achieve from your Digital Marketing and how you will measure the performance.

    For each activity such as social media and SEO, we will identify a subset of objectives, however, for your overall digital marketing goals we will be looking at some top level data.

  • As part of your business plan, you will have conducted extensive research to give you insights into your target audience, competitors, and industry landscape.

    In your digital marketing strategy, we will include key information from this research to provide insights on how to build our campaign.

  • Audit and assess your current online presence. Review each of your current tactics such as your website, social media presence, search engine rankings and advertising assets. You will need to have a full picture of your current status and how well you are performing to decide how to move forward.

  • These are the marketing activities that you will include in your campaign to achieve your goals. These activities can include your website, SEO, social media, content marketing, paid advertising and more. Here you will decide the combination of avenues which are right for your business.

    You will need to assign team members, allocate a budget and set timescales for implementation.

 

Next steps for your Digital Marketing Plan

Once you have read How to create a digital marketing strategy >> and completed the strategy section of your plan template, tick off the step on your action list and proceed to the next stage.

From here we will create a sub-set of strategies for your campaign tactics to complete your digital marketing plan.

 
Step 2 - Create your Website Plan

What is a Website Plan?

Your website plan is a structured document that details the fundamental goals of your website and what you aim to achieve.

It should include market research and a full assessment of your current website. To assist with your strategy, it should also include a breakdown of core pages, architecture and key functions and process on your website.

 

To get started with your Website Plan;

  • Open your Digital Marketing Plan Template and go to the website plan section
  • Read through this article on How to a website plan >>
  • Explore the articles in the resources section related to each topic
  • Discuss the strategy with your team and complete the relevant sections in your template plan

 

In your Website Plan, you will learn;

  • Establish the key goals and purpose of your website. What are you hoping to achieve with your website for your business and digital marketing.

  • You should utilise your findings from your market research to explore similar websites in your industry and competitor websites. Assess and evaluate common themes and features which you can learn from and improve on.

    It is also important to look at your target audience and their priorities and preferences with regard to their online experience. This may guide certain decisions you will make for your own website.

  • Conduct an assessment of your current website to highlight what is working and what needs improvement. A full website audit will provide you with valuable insights for your plan moving forward.

  • Identify the key features and functions of your website. What should customers and users be able to do and achieve on your website?

  • Make an initial list of significant pages, categories and areas of your website. This will assist when planning your SEO and content, as well as give you a clear idea of how to organise the navigation on your website.

  • Here you will plan the budget, timescale and implementation for your website project. You will also identify key tasks that need to be completed and which team members will be involved in the process.

 

Next steps for your Digital Marketing Plan

Once you have read How to make a website plan >> and completed the section of your plan template, tick off the step on your action list and proceed to the next stage.

 
Step 3 - Decide your SEO Strategy

What is an SEO Strategy?

SEO is how we manage our website structure and content (both on and off-site) to rank our pages higher in search engines such as Google & Bing.

An SEO Strategy is how we decide which actions need to be implemented in order to achieve higher rankings and ultimately gain more organic traffic to our website.

To understand more about what SEO is and how search engines work, check out our SEO Overview here >>.

Once you understand what SEO is, we can look at how to make it work for your website.

 

To get started with your SEO Strategy;

  • Open your Digital Marketing Plan Template and go to the SEO Strategy section
  • Read through this article, the SEO Strategy Guide >>
  • Explore the articles in the resources section related to each topic
  • Discuss the strategy with your team and complete the relevant sections in your template plan

 

In this section, you will explore the 5 Key Factors for your SEO Strategy;

  • Conduct extensive research to understand the key terms and phrases that your customers are using to find your services and products. These are the keywords you will want to rank high in search engines for.

  • The process of producing and optimising content for your website, targeting your chosen keywords and phrases. Create content to attract your customers and optimise for search engines with well sculpted Metadata.

  • This is the process of gaining links to our website, from other high quality, relevant websites. These links act as signals to Google that our own website holds value and is relevant to users.

  • Ensure that your website is well-structured, clean-coded, accessible to search engines, mobile friendly and optimised to load quickly.

  • A branch of SEO for those that have a focus on ranking highly for their local area. This includes targeting specific local search terms, gaining local citations and keeping a well optimised Google Business Profile.

 

Next steps for your Digital Marketing Plan;

Once you have read the SEO Strategy Guide >>and completed the section in your digital marketing plan template, you can move on to learn about content marketing strategy.

 
Step 4 - Formulate your Content Marketing Strategy

Creating high quality, valuable and relevant content to reach your customers

Content marketing is one of the most effective promotional strategies. It works in conjunction with all other aspects of your digital marketing and can lead to fantastic on-site conversions.

The process of content marketing is to produce and promote high quality content which answers questions or solves a problem for the reader. It may also act as an area of interest or play a role in the customer's research.

The creation and marketing of well-researched, valuable content can drive a great deal more relevant traffic to your website. It can also raise brand awareness for your business and position you as a trusted authority in your industry.

With the additional website traffic gained from content marketing, well-optimised and structured content can then lead to converting those visitors into customers.

To achieve this primary goal of content marketing, we need to look at 5 key aspects;

 

Content Plan

It's important to keep your content marketing consistent, relevant and valuable. You should be sharing new content frequently, and be addressing issues that are relevant to users at the time. There may be seasonal aspects to consider as to when you publish a particular piece of content.

For example, you do not want to be publishing a helpful article on Christmas decorations in February, or a top 10 restaurants for a Valentine's Day meal in July.

To get started, you should;

  • Create a Content Calendar >>, identifying key topics you may want to address at particular times of the year.
  • Stick to a schedule – plan to create a new piece of content every week or month, and work in the planning, production and promotion for the right times.
  • Assign roles – content production can be time-consuming when done correctly, so ensure you allocate enough time for the people implementing the strategy.

 

Content Research

You should first understand the types of questions, relating to your products and services, that people are asking using your previous Keyword Research >>

For example, if you are selling baby clothes on your ecommerce website, you will need to look at your keyword research and look at some of the questions being asked, such as;

  • "Temperature guide for dressing newborns"
  • "What to dress a baby for outdoors"

These are just two popular Google Searches that we found from keyword research. (remember, there are multiple ways to identify keywords and questions surrounding topics)

First do some research into the topic, gather your facts, unique perspectives, case studies and interesting information on the topic.

 

Content Production

Now we want to decide what kinds of content we can produce to directly answer these questions and provide value.

This content is not limited to our traditional product pages or service based pages. It can come in a variety of forms.

Some examples of great content formats can be;

  • Blog posts
  • Research articles
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Educational or tutorial articles / how-to guides
  • Downloadable resources and e-books

Relating to our research, we may produce;

  • A blog post entitled "How to dress a newborn baby for outdoors in all seasons"
  • A how-to guide, such as "How to dress your newborn baby for summer"
  • An infographic, showing the four seasons and demonstrating examples of appropriate newborn clothing, with advice and descriptions.
  • A recorded podcast or video interview talking through the subject, offering advice and education on the topic.

Remember, you are not limited to one content type. You may want to produce the blog article for your website as the core content. Then create a downloadable guide or e-book or guide version of the article.

You might create a video and then have it on YouTube, but also embedded in the article on your website. There are a number of ways to creatively use one content idea to produce multiple media types suitable for different audiences and platforms.

You can find out more about the different types of content at the Digital Marketing Institute >>

 

Content Optimisation & On-page SEO

It is important when creating any piece of content to remember that your core goal is to gain more relevant website traffic and convert those visitors into customers.

  • Add the core content to your website in the relevant area
  • You must create clear, relevant, informative with a well-structured, formatted and easy to read page
  • Ensuring you have optimised the page for SEO with the relevant key terms and phrases in headings and body text where relevant
  • Complete your SEO META Data including title tags, meta descriptions and ALT tags for images
  • Be sure that you have optimised the page for conversion

So in this example, when you are detailing "How to dress your newborn baby for summer", you should include links to some recommended products on your website. You are being informative and providing information, education, AND a solution to the reader's problem. Here is some more advice from the Content Marketing Institute about producing Content that Converts >>

You can learn more about Content Optimisation at SEM Rush >>

 

Content Promotion

Once you have your content produced and published to your website, you then need to decide where, when and how to promote each item.

  • Share across your social media channels - utilise strong images, embedded videos and direct links to the core article on your website
  • Reach out to website owners in your industry, with whom you have been building relationships (as identified in your SEO Link Building Strategy). They may find your content useful for their audience too and link back to it or share it across their network.

You can find out more about Content Marketing over at HubSpot >>

 
Step 5 - Decide your Social Media Strategy

A strategy to reach the masses on social media

Now that you have established your content marketing approach and have the beginnings of your content calendar underway, you should begin to formulate your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social Media Marketing is the process of using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube (to name but a few), for the purposes of promoting your business online and engaging with a growing and diverse audience. There are huge benefits to using social media for your marketing and promotion, but you should have a clear plan in place and a full understanding of how to get the most from the platforms.

To plan your Social Media Marketing, you need to consider some important factors;

  • Social Media can be used for a range of purposes including, raising brand awareness, driving website traffic, promoting products and services, engaging consumers, providing customer support and much more. Have a clear idea of why you are using Social Media to benefit your business.

  • It's important to have a clear idea of what we want to achieve from our campaign. Identify a clear set of measurable goals to track the performance of your campaign. Choose social media goals that align with your business objectives. You can learn aboutsocial media goals over on Buffer >>

  • Don't post and run! These platforms provide valuable tools that allow you to track and monitor the effectiveness of your promotional activities. It's also a great way to engage your users and monitor their reactions in a qualitative way, using that information to adjust your activities accordingly.

  • From your target audience research, you should have an idea of which social media platforms your audience are most likely to be using. These are the ones you need to target. You can explore the trends and statistic for social platforms to find out more.

    You should also consider the pros, cons, and tools available on each social platform as to which hold the most benefit and flexibility for your promotional activities.

  • Check out what your competition is doing. Learn from their success and how to improve where they are struggling. You can also investigate customer engagement and feedback in the social media setting.

  • If you are already using social media, you should evaluate your current activities and effectiveness. See where you can improve and build on your promotional activities.

We highly recommend reading more about Social Media Marketing over at HubSpot >>

 

Your next steps with Social Media

Later in the Web Rocket, using your strategy as a base, you will learn how to;

  • Set up or update and optimise your social media profiles
  • Produce a social schedule in conjunction with your content calendar
  • Create and optimise your social media posts
  • Engage with your customer base
  • Grow your social following
  • Monitor your social media activities and progress

 

 
Step 6 - Create an Email Marketing Plan

Keep your customers engaged with email marketing

Email marketing is the process of targeting your audience and customers through regular email updates and promotions.
This useful direct marketing tool helps you boost conversions and revenue by engaging subscribers and customers with valuable information and offers to keep them coming back for more of what you have to offer.

When planning an email marketing campaign, we need to understand;

  • What are the types of email marketing?
  • Which tools are available to us for email marketing?
  • Email marketing best practices
  • Our goals from email marketing
  • Our audience and how to target them effectively
  • How to align our email marketing with our content and social media calendars
  • How to produce effective marketing emails

Whilst email marketing can be a valuable asset, we can all agree that over the years, due to substantial spam and misuse, it has certainly gained a questionable reputation. We've all experienced tirades of unwanted spam finding its way to our inbox.

This is why it is extremely important to adhere to best practices, target your audience specifically and provide something of value to stand out from the crowd.

To find out more about planning your email campaign, check out this article from MailChimp >>

 
Step 7 - Decide your Paid Advertising Plan

Secure lead generation with paid advertising

In digital marketing, paid advertising gives business owners the opportunity to promote their services and products by way of online adverts.

There are several platforms available to which you can distribute your budgets and efforts to guarantee exposure to your target audience, based on their interests, intent or previous interactions with your brand.

The 4 main methods of paid advertising are;

  • Paid Search Marketing: Also known as search engine marketing (SEM), this method delivers text and image based ads to users searching on platforms like Google and Bing.
  • Paid Social Media Marketing: Social Media Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter & Instagram provide extensive tools which allow you to sponsor posts and produce targeted adverts based on interests and demographics.
  • Display Marketing: Similar to SEM, display networks serve ads to visitors of other websites that have the Display Network enabled.
  • Influencer Marketing: Working with influencers – people with large social followings and influence – businesses are able to strategically promote their offerings to relevant audiences.

Whilst paid advertising can lead to "quick wins" in terms of lead acquisition and website traffic, it can be a risky and costly strategy if not executed correctly.

You may wish to hire a PPC or Digital Marketing Agency to manage any paid advertising segment of your campaign, or you might be looking to manage this yourself. Either way, we recommend doing some extensive learning before you hire a company or undertake the task yourself.

Take a look at this article from Brafton on Paid Advertising Strategy >>

You can also get some tips for paid advertising success from the Digital Marketing Institute >>

 
Step 8 - Establish an Affiliate Marting Plan

Commission-based sales driven marketing

Affiliate marketing is an advertising model in which a company pays third-party publishers to generate traffic or leads to the company’s products and services.

The third-party publishers are known as affiliates, and the commission fee is an incentive for them to find ways to promote the company.

As a performance-based model, this method can often yield positive results at a reasonable cost and with a lower barrier to entry.

As with anything, there are pros and cons to affiliate marketing, so we recommend you do some reading up before including this into your digital marketing strategy.

Read more about Affiliate Marketing here >>

Companies can independently seek out willing affiliate partners and set up contracts directly with them.

Alternatively, as a business, you could look to take advantage of one of the existing affiliate networks already in place. An example of one such Affiliate Network is AWIN >>

 
 

Your very own FREE Digital Marketing Checklist

Are you a new start-up, looking to prepare for your digital marketing journey? Or an existing business ready to review and improve your current online presence?

We bring you Web Rocket. An interactive, step by step resource, guiding you through your digital marketing process. This FREE online resource is a collaborative project brought to you by industry professionals, sharing expertise in their relevant fields.

Web Rocket covers every aspect of your Digital Marketing, from preparing your business and branding, to building your website, implementing SEO, and planning your content and social media strategy. We also look at Search Engine Marketing, website analytics, email marketing and much more.

We take you through the process with your personal check list, reading lists, guides and downloadable resources in which you can save your progress as you complete each stage. Web Rocket ensures you cover everything you need to know when getting ready to launch a new business or review your existing presence.

 

Web Rocket will be launching February 2022 - if you would like to pre-register for the course, please enter your details below and we will email you when your free account is ready to access.

 

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Course Contents

Here you will find a brief overview of what to expect from each stage of the Web Rocket. Each stage has a series of modules which you can follow through to completion, tracking your progress along the way. Once logged in, you will be able to use this area to view your progress overviews, visit your stage action lists and complete your modules.

Get involved

The Web Rocket is a collaborative project developed and updated by industry professionals

If you have skills and expertise in the areas covered in the course, we always welcome new contributors to enhance our reader's experience.

The digital marketing landscape is vast, and covers everything from web design, social media and SEO, to photography, printing, and PR. Our readers not only need informative content, but they also will benefit from reliable contacts across the industry.

That's where you come in!

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Why not share your knowledge as a featured expert in your field? We will publish your articles, resources, and guides as part of the Web Rocket course for the benefit of our readers.

Key Areas

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  • Social Media
  • Photography & Videography
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Google Analytics & Campaign Management

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