In all walks of life, those with a plan will generally outperform those without one. If you do not have an internet marketing plan for your business, you are missing out on money that could be coming in. You may miss out on golden opportunities for growth, allow your competitors to get ahead, and generally just start to stagnate in your industry.
Any business that has an internet marketing plan will have set targets and a strategy to meet them. Using a well-thought out plan can help your business lower its marketing costs, increase sales, boost brand awareness, and stay one step ahead of the competition.
There are many reasons to form an internet marketing plan but the most advantageous are the following:
- Most consumers shop online in one way or another
- You can enjoy two-way communication
- Consumers prefer a more personal user experience
- Internet marketing plans allow you to drive traffic, leads, and conversions
- It can greatly increase brand awareness
There are few companies that do not operate online in some form. Even companies that heavily rely on their physical entities for the sales will use the internet to help market their business. A good example is email marketing, something that can benefit the company and the consumer. Who doesn’t like to receive special offers via their inbox?
What You Need When Creating Your Own Internet Marketing Plan
First, it is important to understand that developing an internet marketing plan can be quite time-consuming. Therefore, using a professional internet marketing company to do this for you might be the best option for your business.
- Set Your Core Objectives
The first step is to understand your objective when creating an internet marketing plan. Are you about to launch a new service/product and wantto market it? Is your main objective to increase your online visibility, brand awareness, or to improve your conversion rate?
Whatever your objective, smaller goals will have to be achieved along the way to reach it. For example, if you wanted to increase your brand awareness, you will have to do things like double up on your social media marketing, use paid advertising, or strengthen your current SEO strategies.
As you work your way through each goal, the pieces will start to come together to achieve your ultimate objective.
- Identify and Locate Your Target Audience
No internet marketing plan will succeed if you do not have an understanding of your target audience. Who are they? Where can you find them? What demographic are they? What social media platforms do they use? What can you do to attract them?
You are likely to have a basic understanding of the types of people that would be interested in your products and services. If you sell DJ equipment for example, your target audience is likely to be males between the age of 16 to 35. They will probably use platforms such as Twitter and SoundCloud. The key is to know how to reach them, speak in their language, and convince them to check out what you offer.
- Evaluate What Your Competition is Doing
By learning as much as you can about what your competitors are doing, you can mimic what is successful and learn from any mistakes they are making. For starters, you should be using tools such as Ahrefs, Moz, and Serpstat to identify the sort of SEO strategies they are implementing. What keywords are they targeting? Can you target those keywords more efficiently and outrank them?
How aggressive is their social media marketing? Is it working for them? Could you tap into their followers and convince them that your products and services are better?
- Which Channels and Strategies Should You Use?
There are so many channels under the umbrella of internet marketing that you can use and they all offer different short-term and long-term results. Understanding how each can be of benefit to your business will help you to formulate the correct strategies. How will your target audience react to certain channels? For instance, you are more likely to get results using social media marketing than email marketing if your target audience is young.
Of the many channels used for internet marketing, the following are the most common:
- SEO (search engine marketing)
- SMM (social media marketing)
- Email Marketing
- PPC (pay-per-click)
- Content Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
The Key Takeaway
When you are able to put all the above together to create an internet marketing plan, there is a good chance that you will start to see the results you were looking for. Of course, this all depends on just how good that plan was. It takes a lot of time and expertise to formulate and put into action a plan that can be classified as an outright success.
This is why it is best to use a pro marketing company. A firm that has experience and previous success at coming up with the best internet marketing strategies. Unless you have your own experienced in-house online marketing team with the skills and experience needed, doing it yourself has a good chance of failure.