Poor planning could result in being trapped on a broken bridge.
Preparing a digital marketing plan for your eCommerce brand can be daunting. You need to create brand recognition AND drive sales, focus on speed to market, and keep ROI in check. It’s enough to make your head spin, though it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some steps we use at Relish Studio that can help your online marketing process.
Take a coordinated approach of audience assessment, goal setting, and budget review to set the stage for a multi-faceted campaign that will help you achieve success.
Step 1: Exploration
The first step is to determine your target audience or “personas” you would like to reach with your campaigns. There’s no point in developing a marketing strategy if you don’t know who your audience is. To define your target persona, it’s helpful to get answers to the following questions: Who uses your products or services? What influences their buying decisions? Where do they get their information? If you can establish answers to these questions, it will help you get a handle on how to reach your ideal consumer, and what language and tone will resonate well with them.
Step 2: Goals and Objectives
The second step is to identify the goals and objectives of your marketing campaign. The S.M.A.R.T. system is a great way to start this step. First, brainstorm and write down all your objectives, and then apply each of those objectives to each bullet below. A good way to start thinking about your goals is to use this format:
I want to increase __________ by ______________ (starting at this amount _________ and increase to this amount _____________) by this date _______________.
If an objective passes the S.M.A.R.T. system, it’s probably a reasonable and attainable goal.
- Specific: Is the goal specific? Not specific: “I want a lot of new sales”. Specific: “I’d like 10 new sales per month”.
- Measurable: Is it measurable?
- Attainable: Is it attainable?
- Realistic: Be honest with your goal. If you’re currently closing 5 sales a month, a goal of 10 million next month is probably not realistic.
- Timely: Decide on a reasonable time frame for your goal and stick to it.
Creating goals using this system will result in quantifiable, actionable items against which you can measure your success and progress. You don’t want to have wishy-washy objectives that, at the end of your campaign, aren’t easily quantified and may be up to interpretation.
Step 3: Budget
Next, look at your marketing budget. Do you have one? If not, how is that working out for you? Even if you have only a small budget for marketing your eCommece business, that’s fine. You have to start somewhere and doing a little, in a targeted, thoughtful fashion, will help move the needle for you. And you can always expand your efforts once you start to see a strong return on your investment! Try to establish a marketing investment that spans several months as this approach leads to stronger, longer-term success than dumping everything into a single push or ad buy. In the early stages, you will need to build your foundation on which your business can flourish.
Step 4: Execution
Step 4 is the execution phase of your digital marketing project. A successful marketing campaign is not a one shot deal, and you need to spread your budget over at least 3 months of effort to really capitalize on the opportunities you are creating for yourself by investing in your business’ digital marketing. Certainly, smaller budgets do not allow for engagement in all the many options and opportunities available for marketing online. If you’re budget limited, start with foundational items and build upon successes in future months. Some initial, foundational items include:
- Engaging: Build systems to help manage outreach and inbound lead generation.
- Investing: Spend time on organic, on-page SEO (including keyword research, benchmarking, competitor/marketplace analysis, etc.).
- Leveraging: Utilize localized search (particularly for smaller businesses seeking to capture market share in local markets)
Second-tier engagement typically includes more outreach and SEM to help build out your brand recognition. Some of these elements would include:
- SEM: Search Engine Marketing
- Social engagement: blog posts, social media interaction
- Content marketing: create great content for users to find via search engines and social media.
As you start to recognize successes with digital marketing, you can leverage additional outreach, including: blogger outreach to get your products reviewed online; increased social engagement with both volume and breadth; and events, promotions, and giveaways to drive leads and increase your brand recognition. As your audience builds, you can include email outreach as well to help drive sales and broaden your reach.
Want to learn more about building a professional web experience for your customers? Read our post on that very subject.
At Relish Studio, we love crafting digital marketing solutions for our clients. Our purpose is to work with companies to help their exploration and engagement, build qualified inbound leads, create brand reach, and attain sales objectives. Click here or call 720-316-7787 to talk an expert.