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An Annual Digital Marketing Plan- What, Why and How?

What is a Digital Marketing Plan?

Aspiring to grow your business but don’t have an annual digital marketing plan? Remember, “a goal without a plan is just a wish.”

A digital marketing plan is a document that specifies marketing goals to be achieved within a specific time frame through various digital channels.  Broadly, this plan includes details about funding, channels, timelines, and tactics. It reveals your current situation, the projects/ methodologies that you should drop or adopt, your short-term and long-term goals, and the plan Bs and Cs you can rely on. If all of this is well thought-out and documented, a business can uproot its marketing challenges and achieve its business goals efficiently.

Why do you Need an Annual Digital Marketing Plan?

A survey revealed that marketers were found to be 414% more likely to report success when their plan was documented.(1) Because they are organised, have a strategic direction, and have defined their objectives, businesses with a marketing plan have a higher chance of success.

Let’s Find Out the Importance of a Digital Marketing Plan:

  1. It helps you define departmental goals
  2. It lets you prepare an ROI-driven budget
  3. You are able to hold your staff/ outsourced parties accountable
  4. You have clearly defined target audience, their characteristics and preferences
  5. The management of resources is optimal
  6. It enables consistency and transparency

Why an “Annual” Plan?

An annual plan can bring together the best of both short-term and long-term strategies. Short term strategies are developed to address urgent requirements, like boosting sales during the festive season or promoting a new product. On the other hand, long-term strategies aim at the accomplishment of greater business goals like increasing profits and expanding the customer base. Usually, a long-term marketing plan is in place for at least six months to one year.

What are the Major Components of a Digital Marketing Plan?

  1. Website Design/ Revamp

Website Design and Revamp - Channel Technologies

Whether your business is B2B or B2C, the center of all your marketing efforts will always be your website. It serves as a representation of your company and offers you a chance to inform your target audience of everything you offer and believe in.

However, having a website is not enough. It should address the growing needs of the online buyer as well as be aligned with search engine algorithms.

While making a digital marketing plan, it’s important to analyse your current website content and perform SEO audit, anaylse user experience, check if it’s visually outdated, and examine whether it matches your changing goals or conversion needs.

  1. Blogging

Blogging - Channel Technologies

A significant element of content marketing are blogs. Blogging creates brand awareness, helps you understand customers’ needs, gives you good engagement on social media, helps you get traffic and even convert that traffic into leads, and plays a significant role in getting backlinks. But given the abundance of online content, how to break the clutter? Strategic planning plays a crucial role here.

While making a digital marketing plan, you must figure out what, when and how to post keeping in mind the changing expectations of your target audience as well as changing search engine algorithms. Your blogs need to reflect the knowledge, authority, and trustworthiness that users and search engines need.

  1. Email Marketing

Email Marketing in Digital Marketing Plan - Channel Technologies

It’s safe to say that emails are one of the most cost-effective ways to engage audiences. But does email marketing work in today’s times? Well, 77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement during 2021-22.(2)

Depending upon your needs, you can plan to send emails for several purposes like marketing your offers, nurturing leads, promoting your brand using newsletters, and building a rapport by wishing your customers on their birthdays/ anniversaries.

The frequency of emails that you decide on while making a digital marketing plan will depend upon what kind of business you’re into, who your clients are, where they are in the customer life cycle (Acquisition, Conversion, Retention, Loyalty), and what would be the subject of your emails in the coming year.

  1. Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing - Channel Technologies

With 4.59 billion(3) social media users worldwide, social media marketing is considered to be one of the most powerful ways to interact with current clients and attract new clients. It gives you ample opportunity to humanize your business, generate leads, boost brand awareness and even drive traffic to your website.

Your digital marketing plan should specify the format, topic and frequency of posts along with all the engagement tactics that you plan to use for communicating and tracking down your existing customers, leads, and prospects. Though there are several channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Display Network, Instagram, and YouTube), the ones that you choose to market yourself on will primarily depend upon your goals, resources, the current positioning of your target audience and your competitors.

  1. Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization part of Digital Marketing Plan - Channel Technologies

SEO, in simple terms, is the process of optimizing a website in a manner that it appears in the organic search results. It forms an important part of a digital marketing plan, particularly an annual one because it takes about 6-12 months for SEO marketing to bring a measurable impact on rankings.

An ideal digital marketing plan is one that indicates all the activities related to on-page, off-page, and technical SEO, directories and citations, and link building.

Before you begin to document your plan, identify the list of topics and keywords to be targeted, find out if any new pages are required, create a blogging calendar, figure out if any old content needs to be optimized, and watch out for evolving keyword trends and new search criteria.

  1. Paid Advertising

Paid Advertising - Channel Technologies

Businesses, instead of waiting for audiences to find them organically, sometimes buy advertising, that enables them to target people specifically based on their location, search words, interests, demographics, prior internet engagements, and other pages visited. Usually, paid marketing includes Google Ads, banner ads, and social media ad campaigns.

These paid marketing strategies are pay-per-click, which means you only pay when a user clicks. You select a maximum budget, and the advertisement runs until the budget is exhausted. Another type of paid marketing that’s trending these days is influencer marketing. Here, a business collaborates with an online influencer to promote its goods or services.

Once you have a budget decided, a digital marketing plan would typically highlight the channels for running ad campaigns, the number of ads per month, and also the number of landing pages that need to be created.

How To Create An Annual Digital Marketing Plan?

If you are wondering how to go about all of this? Read on to find out how you can make a yearly digital marketing plan for your company step by step:

  1. Analyze your performance over the last year- what all worked and what didn’t.
  2. Study the current digital presence of your competitors.
  3. Establish clear digital marketing goals, the SMART ones- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
  4. Map a strategy as to how you want to achieve those goals- define a target audience, do market segmentation, analyze your value proposition and make a content strategy (concerning keyword research and content calendar).
  5. Select the digital marketing tactics and channels that you would use.
  6. Finalize a budget considering your revenue and all the above factors.
  7. Identify performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of the strategies and make real-time changes.

Conclusion

To improve your business results, developing a clear plan and maintaining focus becomes a mandate. Now that you know a digital marketing plan is a matter of digital tactics, digital channels, investment and timing, all you need is to get the right combination of these. But with rapidly changing digital market trends and algorithms, it’s easier said than done!

Precisely why you need experts who can take off the load and leverage their expertise and experience to make the best use of your marketing dollars.

Looking for digital marketing services anywhere in India? Channel Technologies can be your dependable partner at every stage of your marketing from reviewing your current position to developing an integrated digital marketing plan to executing every bit of it!