Week 2: The Importance of Planning

Planning CalendarHow can you ensure you will have an effective strategy? Planning the different aspects of your digital strategy ahead of time will mean you’ll know what you need to do and when - and that you won’t need to rush and compromise on quality.


What Is the Aim of Your Strategy?

First of all, you need to identify the aim of your digital strategy - what do you want to achieve over time? Whether this is to increase your brand awareness, or the number of orders you receive, you need to know exactly what you want from a strategy before you implement it. This will give you a metric to measure as you go along, and will help you to effectively review the success of your strategy.


Who Are You Trying to Reach?

Before you plan what you’re going to promote and where, you need to know who you are trying to reach. Depending on your business, you may have a clear idea of who your customers are already (parents with young children, business owners etc.), but if you have a more diverse customer base, you may need to spend some time identifying who you want to attract.

Putting together brand cameos of your different target customers, complete with age, needs, interests, disposable income and a name, will help you and your team have a really clear view of who you are speaking to in your marketing - not everything has to be targeted to everyone.


Twitter Strategy

Which Digital Platforms Will You Use?

When planning your digital strategy, you need to think about precisely which platforms you will use, and which ones are right for your company.


Social

Retailers may want to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to reach their customers. Look at where your competitors are, but more importantly, look where your customers are. There’s no point being active on a platform where no relevant customers will find you - they won’t look for you, you need to look for them.


Email

If you have a database of customer email addresses you can use in your marketing, sending a regular email newsletter can be effective for notifying your customers and potentials of any news or offers you want them to know about.


Content

Not only can blog posts and guides be great for your search ranking, they’re great for reassuring new customers, and can be used to position you as a knowledgeable, helpful brand. Regardless of your sector, there will always be something you can write about, whether this is upcoming fashion trends, or how to bleed a radiator.


Digital Advertising

Depending on the level of competition in your sector, you might want to invest in digital advertising, such as PPC. This can be beneficial if you find that your site doesn’t rank very highly organically, but you should be careful with advertising, as if it’s not done correctly, you can continue to spend without seeing much of a return.


Magazines

Offline

If you use any offline marketing, don’t forget to include this in your strategy. If you advertise in a local newspaper or magazine, make sure that the imagery and copy you use reflects what you’re doing online. Don’t think of online and offline separately, all of your platforms should tie in together.


How Will You Resource Your Activity?

If you have an internal marketing team who have knowledge of digital, you may decide that they are the best option for taking care of your digital strategy - they already know your business well, and know how you want to market yourselves, so this can be beneficial if you are able to do this.

Alternatively, if your internal team aren’t experienced in digital marketing, or they don’t have the time for digital marketing as well, you may want to look into outsourcing your marketing to a digital agency. They will have a strong knowledge of digital marketing, and how to ensure an ROI, so you can rest assured that your strategy is in safe hands.


Our Advice

Never underestimate the power of thorough planning. Knowing exactly who you are trying to reach, and how you can reach them is paramount in ensuring a successful digital strategy. If you would like any help identifying the best way to reach your audience, download our guide on how to plan a successful digital marketing strategy, or send us a tweet @Statement, we’re happy to give you a hand.

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