Digital Marketing Planning: learn how to do it

Marketing Planning is a complex issue. There are many ways to organize and many different approaches. Still, there are at least a few things that every plan needs to have.

If you have never worked with marketing planning and need to make a plan, we want to help you. This article serves as a guide to answer your questions and forward the results. Check here.

Marketing Planning or Marketing Strategy

There is a huge difference between marketing planning and strategy. This is because, in fact, one contains the other.

Marketing strategy is a way of describing how a business will achieve a certain objective. This may involve content actions and predictions.

Meanwhile, marketing planning is a project that must include one or more strategies. Furthermore, it must predict a market positioning that the business wants to achieve through the actions it will take.

Step-by-step marketing planning

To carry out planning, you need to follow some steps that only work in the given order. For everything to work out, you need to not skip steps and be careful not to leave holes along the way.

Talk to us about each part of this journey:

Setting goals

The first thing to do is establish what the business objectives are for your marketing platforms. This may include:

  • Gain followers on social networks;
  • Increase the number of leads;
  • Improve the conversion rate;
  • Reduce spending per lead acquisition;
  • Among other things.

This isn’t always marketing’s solo work. It is often necessary to involve the entire business process, such as the sales team, administration and product delivery.

A plan can follow two paths. The first is to be more generic and cover a time window, for example: all strategies to be carried out over the next year. Furthermore, marketing planning can be more objective, covering how the presentation of a specific product to be launched or a single platform will be worked on.

Which of these two alternatives is better? It depends. If you don’t already have a more comprehensive, long-term plan, it’s important to do so. After that, you can cover only the changes made to this initial plan to include new products and ideas that have emerged.

When you set goals, you need to keep definitions and numbers in mind. If the company’s desire is to increase Facebook likes, it is necessary to know what increase is expected in how long. This does not mean, however, to stop creating more “free” objectives, but the ideal is that you have a way to measure the success of what you want.

2. Analyze the competition

Now that you know where you want to go with your marketing planning, you need to know what the obstacles are. The main one is competition.

Telling you to analyze the competition is vague. You need to know what you are looking for during this analysis. In this case, you might not even know who your competitors are.

The competition, in this case, follows two criteria. The first of these are direct competitors, who offer the same solutions to potential customers’ pain points and compete for the same market. But they are not the only ones that must be taken into account.

Also consider the options that offer different solutions, but that solve the same market pain points. After all, they are competing for the same demand as you.

Keeping in mind who should be analyzed, it’s time to check how the competition behaves on the platforms. This means noting the size of their audience on digital platforms, what keywords they are using , which of their competitors is the benchmark , among other issues.

With an objective analysis, it is easier to predict, for example, the size of the audience interested in the niche, which activities competitors consider most efficient and how to compete for the audience with them.

3. Determine metrics

Sure, you already know what the objectives are to be achieved, but marketing planning needs to be more assertive about how to get there. This means going further and setting smaller goals along the way to the final result.

Let’s say for example that your main goal is to gain three thousand more Instagram followers in six months. This can be divided with a goal of 500 followers per month, but is this the best way?

In the case of this example, let’s say your Instagram has been down for a while. It will take a while for your audience to “warm up” and understand that the content posted there is relevant and here to stay. Interactions may start lower. In this case, it might be better to set a lower goal in the first few months and make it up in the last few months!

The name given to these planning metrics are KPIs ( Key Performance Indicators). They are the way you will demonstrate to your supervisors that the planning is working.

4. Indicate buyer personas

The term buyer persona indicates examples of the audience you want to attract. While the target audience is a more comprehensive prediction, which indicates more internal variety, the buyer persona is a fictional character created to represent audiences.

When you work with the target audience, there is usually something linked to demographics such as: 35 to 55 years old, female, with a higher education degree and who buy little online.

A buyer persona is more defined and specific. For example: Marcela, 42 years old, graduated in law, is suspicious of online shopping because she has already had problems.

The importance of establishing a buyer persona in marketing planning is to give a “face” to the audience you want to speak to. The ideal is to include photos and narratives that relate to your audience’s pain points. Each pain point can be represented by a buyer persona, so you will know how to work with your content, publications and ads.

5. Create the strategies

Now marketing planning needs to be less about the present and start talking about the future. In this case, you will begin to determine the strategies to be followed. This means defining the entire plan and working with the data obtained previously about objectives, personas and competitors.

There are many ways to treat strategies. They can either move towards a more generic direction, covering all objectives with few actions, or determine their own form of attack for each objective set. This entirely depends on your team and how it works.

Our recommendation, however, is that you try to be more specific. Strategies that attack specific objectives are often easier to implement. It’s also easier to change something if you realize that the original idea doesn’t work.

It doesn’t have to be as complex or imaginative as you think. Often, just make beans and rice. For example: if you don’t post regularly on Instagram, just starting to post regularly may be enough to gain enough followers for more modest goals.

6. Define what will not be done

As important as explaining what will be done is saying what will not be done. If you believe that certain attitudes or paths could hinder initial marketing planning, you need to list them.

Let’s say for example that you are producing a plan focused on gaining leads. You decide to follow a strategy with the production of rich content for email marketing and posts that attract this material, focusing on production for the top and middle of the funnel. However, he believes that directing customers to bottom-of-the-funnel texts too quickly can be a problem.

In the case described above, it is not enough to say that content production should focus on the top and middle of the funnel. You need to warn them about this during planning, as they have no way of guessing your initial intention.

7. Set a budget

Now it’s time to have a real talk with your supervisor. He is certainly interested in everything you have defined so far, but he needs to know how these campaigns are justified.

Therefore, it is important now to talk about values ​​in a realistic way. Good marketing planning predicts expenses, ROI ( Return Over Investment ), and also how this money will be distributed.

8. Share responsibilities

Now that you know how much you’re going to spend, how you’re going to work and where you want to go, it’s time to know who’s going to do what.

Of course, you may be working at a company where you are the only marketing analyst. Still, that doesn’t mean you’ll be responsible for everything. There’s no point in planning, promoting, recommending and creating the content if you’re going to be doing everything yourself.

In this case, you could decide to include outsourcing the production of texts or rich materials, for example. There are platforms for this on the internet and it is best for small businesses that don’t need as much content. Just don’t forget to include this expense in your budget.

If you have a team or work with other people in an agency, it becomes simpler. This is because you already know who the writer is, who the designer is, etc. However, not everything is so simple.

It may be necessary to define those responsible for less specific work. Who publishes, for example? Who is responsible for boosting? Who has the authority to delete a post? Who responds to comments? Who participates in the meetings? Who keeps an eye on a metric?

It is important to keep all of this well defined, since a function without an owner is a function that will not be performed.

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