March '20

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6 THE SHOP MARCH 2020 I t can be pretty scary to think about your company's future. The next couple of months, the next year, the next few years—where will you be? What will your profits look like? How can you keep up online? Competition can be worrying, but with a well-researched digital marketing plan in place, you're more likely to succeed in reaching your goals and getting rid of those sleepless nights thinking about your busi- ness's future. WHAT'S A DIGITAL MARKETING PLAN? A digital marketing plan (or digital mar- keting strategy) is the plan of action that's implemented to help you achieve your company's goals online. It does this through carefully selecting online marketing chan- nels, including paid adverts, social media exposure and many others. All of these channels are used to help increase your company's ranking on search engines, as well as improve visitor numbers, conversions (how many people book in/ buy from you) and, ultimately, your sales. So, how do you create the perfect digital marketing plan—one that actually works and provides you with all the assistance you need to meet those conversions? ANALYZE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE When developing your digital marketing plan, it's important to first carry out both an internal and an external SWOT analysis of your business and its online presence. A SWOT analysis looks at the Strengths, Weak- nesses, Opportunities and Threats for your company, competitors and the industry. You shouldn't go rushing into the plan- ning stage completely blind, which is why analyzing your digital presence's past strengths and weaknesses can help you improve your business going forward. Some of the questions you should be asking are: • Is your website customer-oriented? • How is the customer's browsing experience? • Do you update your blog and products/ services often? Everything you need to know to maximize the return on your investment. By Barry Alt • What is your website's current ranking on the search engines? • If you depend on local business, what does your local SEO landscape look like? • What is your social media presence like? • If you've already done some online advertising, what worked? What didn't? Asking yourself these questions will help you realize what your online strengths and weaknesses are. PRO TIP: Be brutal. Be honest. Don't look at your current online efforts through rose- tinted glasses. The more honest and critical you are now, the better your online pres- ence will be in the future. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT It's important to know what you want to achieve for your business. Define what your overall objective is and then match your dig- ital marketing plan to your grand scheme. Think big and work toward your end goal. Setting and measuring your Success Met- rics will help with maintaining what you Building your business with Instagram: instagram-for-business

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