Maybe you have decided that it is time to work on your online strategy after years of taking advantage of the many wonders of offline marketing. Or maybe you are just starting your business and you are thinking about advertising on all social channels. Why not? We are all social and digital, right? However, have you really thought about what your business or your brand needs? Well, here are 6 steps to create a professional digital marketing plan. Let’s get started!

What is actually a digital marketing plan?

Here we go. The first and most important question of all. You will be asking yourself many others, but none of them will be as relevant as this. Before you start doing something, you will need to know what this something is.

A digital marketing plan is a document that describes your company’s goals and how to achieve them. It presents a detailed strategy that contemplates the short, medium and long term objectives. Also the specific actions or tactics to reach them.

But before you start investing money in advertising, you will need to answer the rest of the questions. Ready?

1. What’s your brand identity?

Defining your brand identity is the first step to work on image and to understand what your digital territory should be.

What is it that makes your brand unique? What are your brand attributes? The essence of your brand? Your brand needs to represent the values and characteristics of your company. It has to project what your company identifies with. Let’s put it this way: it is the personality of your brand.

The personality determines the image of the brand and, also, the words and concepts that relate to the brand, as well as the virtual space that it occupies. A well defined brand always profits from brand equity, don’t forget it!

2. Who is your target?

Who would be your ideal customer? Would someone identify with your brand? Feel attracted to it? Even love it? Well, picture this person. Who are your potential clients? How do they live? Where? Are they men or women? Old or young? What are they main characteristics? And what’s their salary? Do they have a comfortable life?

Try to define your target as much as you can. It is an exercise of imagination, empathy and research. It is not enough to know that if you sell dresses, your main target is women. Though, you need to know how much money they spend on clothes every month. Also, what type of dresses do they buy the most. Are they on Facebook? Do they follow fashion influencers on Instagram, for instance?

Once you have a really good idea of who could not just buy your products, but even fall in love with your brand, you will have your buyer persona. Congrats!

3. And your goals? Do you know what you are looking for?

Apart from defining your brand and your target, you will need to have a very clear idea of your goals. What is it that you are looking for? What would you like to achieve in the short, middle and long term? Although you might have an idea of what you want, you should try to be more specific. For example, you want your brand to be successful. That’s good.

Now, what does success mean? Do you want a lot of people to buy your products? Or, for now, is it enough to drive users to your website?

4. But you need to think on your budget too!

Well done! You have a clear idea of what you would like to achieve. That’s not easy. It is indeed a huge step forward, because it means that you can start to work on specifics.

However, there is something very important that you’ll need to think about before setting things in motion. How much money do you have to invest in your brand? Depending on the size of the company, it could be challenging to determine your digital marketing budget. Small companies tend to dedicate more resources to production or to enlarge their teams, for instance. Whereas big companies usually make sure to put aside large digital marketing budgets.

No matter how much you have, you should think about your marketing budget like an investment. Do it and will end up seeing a fair return.

5. Time to think about your channels and actions.

Ok, so let’s recap. You know who you want to become. Also, who is your audience. You have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and how much money you have to make it possible too. It’s time to think about channels and actions then!

Since you know your audience, you know where to find them. But… Do you know what you want to tell them? Do you have a specific idea of what you want to offer? What do you want from them? Are you looking for a particular reaction? Sure, you are. It does not matter if you are thinking about a comment on your Instagram page or a sale. They are both actions and reactions that can be triggered by something you say or do.

So here is the thing: you need to figure out where and what to do to get your audience to perform a specific action. Also, you will need to adapt your tactics to the budget that you have available.

6. Set your timing & roadmap.

By now, you probably have it all organized, almost up and running, right? But one thing that you need to know is this: patience is as important as everything else.

So here is your last question: how long is this all going to take? Try to think rationally. Things take time. No matter how hard or easy you think they are, they take time, effort and work.

Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day! Try to imagine every process in detail, you that you can easily reckon how long things may take. Also, always keep in mind that things don’t always go as planned. Don’t set times that are too short. That can be really tricky and add some extra pressure that you, definitely, don’t need.

Now that you have the most important information to get the ball rolling, are you ready to start working on your digital marketing plan?

What is a digital marketing plan?

It’s a document that describes what your marketing goals are in the short, medium and long term, and the necessary tactics and methods to achieve them.

How can I create a digital marketing plan?

You need to establish your brand identity and your target audience and goals. You also need to set the appropriate budget for each channel and decide what actions you’re going to perform. Finally, you should also set your timing and a roadmap as well.