When it comes to digital marketing, small businesses need a plan in order to succeed. While you already may have some of the tools you need to take action on a consistent basis, are you actually performing the daily, weekly and monthly tasks in a strategic way to get results for your business? Creating an action plan to successfully follow strategy will guarantee greater brand awareness, more traffic to your website and ultimately more leads and new business. Generating new customers using this simple digital marketing plan outlined within this article.
Creating Simple Digital Marketing Plan For Your Small Business
The first part of your marketing plan should be setting the intent for your business. Identify your “why” — why does your business exist? What is the purpose? What’s important for your to accomplish with your business and services? The intent portion of your plan outlines a vision for your marketing plan as a whole, including specifically an area stating your goals. Without this being complete you cannot build a strategy that will hit your goals.
Your Intent To-Dos:
- Put your vision into writing. Create your mission statement and value proposition.
- Identify your 30-60 day SMART goals: specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely
- Ex: We will build our email list to 1000 subscribed by March 1, 2021
Researching and outlining what you already know about your business is crucial to building out your marketing plan. This portion of the plan will help you in identifying strategies that best reach your ideal client because you have a clear idea of who they are, what they are looking for and how you can speak to them. In this section of your plan, you will likely include any buyer persona research you have completed as well as data from past campaigns to support your thoughts and definition of your target audience.
Your Insight To Dos:
- Write down who your ideal client is and why
- Make notes on what you already know about your audience
- Ex: Data from social media insights, email open/click rates, buyer journey
Now let’s get to the nitty gritty part of your marketing plan – what do you have to work with and what do you need in order to take action. This bit can be time consuming, but understanding your marketing tool inventory is the most valuable part of creating a marketing plan that will save you money and allow you to budget appropriately. Here’s how to complete this part of your simple digital marketing plan:
- Review current content (online & offline): Brochures, flyers, old emails, website pages, handouts from sales events, videos, photos – these can all be used as digital marketing content. Figure out what you have to work with by writing every little piece of content down into a spreadsheet and making note on what it is, where it lives and when it was created, as well as who it was created for/who received it.
- Identify what needs to be improved, updated, and what can be directly recycled. This gives you a clear picture of low hanging “to-dos” you can use within your strategies to hit different goals you’ve identified.
- What tools do you have in place?
- What are you already using (and are happy with) as far as software and tools go for digital marketing? For example: website platform, email marketing tool, social media scheduler.
- Team Roles & Scheduling
- Who do you have on your team (if anyone) that can help with tasks? What are their skills? If it’s just you, what are you capable of and what do you need to outsource.
- Delegation & time blocking are a great way to get things done. Use this part of your marketing plan to think through scheduling. You don’t have the exact tasks that need to be done yet, and that’s a good thing. Understanding how much time you have (as well as how much time your team/outsourced experts will give) will feed into how you build your action plan with realistic expectations for tasks.
Ok now the good part – what do you actually need to get done?
- Start by using the infrastructure section and take the recommendations and improvements you noted and prioritize. Prioritize recommendations and improvements based on strategies that will help you hit the goals you’ve identified in Intent.
- Your action plan should be for the first 30-60 days, and revisited only after the set time period.
- All tasks within your action plan should be goal focused and have specific timelines including, draft, due & publish/distribution to keep everyone accountable.
Don’t put too much on your plate! That’s why we recommend starting by prioritizing recommendations and improvements you can make to current infrastructure (content) and recycling as much as possible so that you aren’t spending a ton of money or time recreating.
What you need to strategize and take action:
- A content calendar (here’s a free template!)
One big mistake many small business owners make with their marketing plan is that they forget about it completely or keep changing everything within it. You should only rework your marketing plan if the data shows it to be necessary. Strategies should be given a fair chance at success, digital marketing takes time! If something isn’t working within the first 2 or 3 days of launch, that doesn’t mean you should go in and change it all or scrap it. We recommend revisiting your plan after 30 days, using data to make decisions on next steps.
After 30 days, review your results and how you are progressing towards your SMART goals. Make appropriate adjustments to your plans and strategies based on those results. Focus on reporting that is directly related to your goals — do not get distracted by all the other possible data you have access to.
What you need for analyzing results:
- A reporting dashboard (we have a great template you can download and use in Google Sheets)
Your Completed Simple Digital Marketing Plan
Congrats! After you’ve worked through these steps you will have a simple digital marketing plan for your small business. If you are looking for a more advanced way to take your marketing to the next level, feel free to reach out to us about our master classes & small business marketing course!