The Online Marketing Plan
Before we launch an online marketing campaign we gather information we will use to put everything together. Understanding your organization, your goals, and your audience is the foundation for successful online marketing.
Define Your Goals
Clear goals for your organization, your departments, your staff, your offerings, and your marketing efforts are the skeleton for your marketing plan. Without them your efforts won’t hold up. Invest time in exercises that include your entire organization in defining your goals to ensure your people are on the same page and you are on the right track.
Describe Your Audience
Get to know the people you serve. Understand their needs and desires. Find out where they spend their attention so you can meet them there. Learn their habits. Listen to their feedback. When you can describe your audience with this kind of clarity you can make sure your marketing is getting greatest return on investment.
Identify Calls to Action
Vagueness doesn’t work in marketing. Don’t get me wrong, subtlety can be extremely effective, but a vague idea of what you want customers to do will not get noticed. Give your customers a clear call to action: something they can do right now. If you already know your audience, you can tie this into their needs and desires.
Craft Your Brand
A logo is not a brand. A slogan is not a brand. A jingle is not a brand. An identity defines a brand. A strong identity defines a strong brand. A weak identity defines a weak brand. Make sure your brand is crafted from and understanding of your organization, its goals, its audience, and its outcomes.
The best marketing content comes from a careful process of understanding the organization’s brand then putting that into words, images, and experiences for the audience. When content is driven by trends and cliches its power is dissolved and its effect is short-lived. Better to craft content deliberately with professionals who understand your organization and its intentions.
Going to market is much more complex than building a website and hoping for the best. With carefully-crafted content built around a strong brand tailored to strategic aims for a specific audience identified by an organization with a strong sense of its offerings and purpose a marketing plan can take various forms across medium and encounters. Audience experiences across advertisements, social media, sponsorships and, yes, your organization’s website will prime them to become customers.
Build experiences for your audience across time targeting different aspects in different ways. Anticipate seasonal changes in audience needs and drive a targeted campaign toward those needs. Respond to events in the world with an effort that reinforces your commitment to and understanding of your customers. Build out new offerings strategically with marketing campaigns that improve your market viability.
Throughout the lifecycle of your campaigns track their performance. When you understand your audience and they are not hitting your targets for calls to action, assess the strategy behind the campaign and pivot if necessary. Totally flop? Better to catch that early and redeem the opportunity while it’s still fresh out of the gate.
With a marketing plan developed over time with an understanding of your organization and its audience you’ll build more than a website; you’ll build a rock-solid foundation for ongoing success in your industry.