How to prepare a digital and social media marketing plan
We’re often asked about putting in place a digital and social media marketing plan – who to target, which media channels to use, what content to prepare, and how to make sure it’s delivered as planned.
So we’re sharing here Aubergine’s digital marketing plan and how we developed it, to show how a little bit of preparation and planning can make what seems a daunting task, into something that’s effective and that you can easily deliver.
1. Who are your target audience(s)?
We identified three main audiences for our communications:
- medium sized businesses in London, Milton Keynes and the Beds / Bucks / Herts / Northants areas
- small and medium sized businesses in Leighton Buzzard, our local area
- existing clients
2. What role does communication have for each channel and audience?
We don’t try to do everything, everywhere. We have a focus for channels and messages, from:
- reputation, demonstrating our expertise
- personality, showing what we’re like as people and to work with
- sales, either highlighting individual services or cross-selling services alongside other work
3. What action are we trying to achieve?
We look at the short, medium and long term effect of our marketing plan:
- enquiry, such as calls and emails about specific services
- interaction, such as likes shares and comments of our posts
- discovery, such as reading more articles on our blog
- invitation, such as asking us to present to conferences and meetings
4. What do we need to prepare?
When you clarify what needs doing, it makes the first step of creating it easier. We set out guidelines for the ideal content:
- blog articles, usually 4-6 paragraphs with one supporting image (using an image template to simplify and speed up the process)
- white papers, usually 12+ paragraphs
- website launches, usually 1 paragraph with one supporting image (using a social media optimised image at the right size for the best display on mobile)
- advice updates, usually a 1 paragraph precis of our blog articles with one supporting image (using a social media optimised image at the right size for the best display on mobile)
- web security warnings, usually 1 paragraph with clear instructions on what to do to counter the issue
- presentations, usually a Prezi version of our blog articles or white papers, with a more visual approach to demonstrating our points
- Personality is as important as expertise in our marketing, so we also put out messages to help people see who they’ll be doing business with
- Spotify playlists, to show what kind of music is playing in our studio; we also ask our followers for suggestions / takeovers of what to listen to
- Spam warnings, from the clever to the downright hilariously bad spam we regularly receive
5. When does it need to be ready?
We use Trello for all our internal process management – project work in the studio; sales; marketing; it’s all on there, and this makes sure our plan is documented, allocated to the right person and they get automated reminders to make sure it’s done in good time:
- a separate Marketing Board
- with lists for each month
- and each task with a date and allocated to an individual
- when a task is completed, the date is changed according to our schedule and moved to a subsequent month if needed
- we get reminders via Trello ahead of when a task is due
6. What does it look like, by channel, audience and message?
Here’s a link to our plan, which we agreed on together before setting up on Trello to ensure its delivery.
Marketing is what we call, using the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People theories, a “2nd quartile” task – important but not urgent. We know we need to do it, but it’s easy to put off to another day, especially when there’s more urgent client projects to complete. When a plan isn’t set down, it’s even easier to put off – a task that’s not clear is difficult to start.
Yet when you’ve spent a relatively small amount of time going through the steps outlined here, created your plan and scheduled it, the task becomes much easier.