When the pandemic forced many businesses to close their brick-and-mortar locations, successful entrepreneurs doubled down on their digital marketing plan. Here’s how you can too.
The pandemic forced many businesses to shift their focus online and left them to come up with creative solutions to selling. Pivoting their company was the only way to survive, and many found success when they shifted further into a digital strategy.
If you’ve decided to take this leap forward, here are a couple of things to keep in mind when you’re integrating the ‘new digital normal’ into your marketing and sales efforts — and creating a smart digital marketing plan on a budget:
1. Determine your business goals
Would you get in the car without knowing where to go? Similarly, when you’re creating a marketing plan, you need to know what your business needs to accomplish before you set that plan into action.
Start by asking yourself the following questions related to your company:
- Do I want to increase sales?
- Do I want to connect with different customer segments and increase brand recognition?
- What are my long-term revenue and profit projections?
- Are there new products or services that should be added to the mix?
Then look at things from your customer’s point of view. How would they answer these questions:
- How was my experience dealing with that company?
- How would I describe this company? Do I really know what they do?
- Do I trust them?
- Would I buy from them again?
- Would I recommend this company to a friend or colleague?
Establish your short and long-term goals based on the answers to these types of questions, and stay focused on that ‘prize.’ Ensure your entire team knows what these goals are, and connect their individual KPIs to the higher-level objectives.
2. Understand your market
You need to know your market fit to build an effective marketing plan (and then budget for it). When you understand how you stack up against your competition, you can better establish which strategies you need to compete with and apply them to your roadmap.
Start by running a competitive analysis to research what others are doing, including what kind of market share they hold in digital channels. You can use tools such as SpyFu and SEMRush to analyze the keywords they rank for, what kind of traffic they receive on their websites, and research how they position on search engines.
This knowledge is essential to stay ahead of the curve and build strategies that capitalize on your findings. Competitive analysis isn’t about “spying” on your rivals though. It’s about learning from their victories and their mistakes to proactively save your business time — and potentially wasted efforts.
This step will improve your overall knowledge of your industry by analyzing the pros and cons of different company’s processes, products, services and sales. This will help you modify your digital marketing plan and determine how to fill gaps to deliver better results.
There are so many different directions you can go with digital marketing, but narrow in on the tactics that match your desired outcomes and a better ROI.
3. Who do you want to work with?
In-house vs. outsourced team. This is a significant factor that will influence your digital marketing plan and budget.
There are many advantages of hiring an in-house marketing team. The obvious benefit is that you have complete control over how your marketing is executed. There can also be stronger collaboration amongst various departments across your company, and you’ll be building a company culture that can have many spinoff advantages.
However, the obvious disadvantage of relying on your in-house marketing team is that you’ll need to dedicate a lot of time and resources to sourcing, interviewing, hiring and training that staff. You also have to prepare for drawbacks such as running into the same creative execution time and again and dealing with turnover costs. If a team member leaves, you’ll need to have a process to quickly replace them to keep your plan on track.
Alternatively, there are some advantages to working with vendors, contractors and outsourced teams. First, they tend to be more specialized and come with extensive experience and skills to execute the marketing plan. It’s up to them to stay on top of current trends, marketing best practices and bring new ideas to the table — so that is off your plate. They can also offer guidance and help you through any obstacles or failures that you may face during the execution of your project.
It can take time to bring an external group up-to-speed with your products, solutions, company workflows and various people they’ll need to work with. In addition, it can be hard to find a truly trusted outsourced team who understands your goals and vision — so this should be a high priority.
Up next, you may want to do a deeper dive into your digital marketing tactics and mix in order to focus the right time and resources. By reviewing these few things as part of your digital marketing strategy updates, you’ll be able to match your next action items with your intended goals — and develop an outstanding digital marketing plan. Naturally, you’ll also review your budget and need to ensure you have the working capital to execute these strategies — and that’s where we can help further.