It’s the planning time of the year. With just a few days to spare before 2020 marketing efforts kick in, it’s time to take a close look at your digital marketing plan and maximize its potential as a key growth driver for your business.
Successful marketers don’t just repeat their previous year’s efforts. They treat each year as a new opportunity to build brand awareness and gain customers based on what’s worked in the past. As you try to do the same, make sure you take note of these 8 things to consider when crafting your digital marketing plan for 2020.
8 Digital Marketing Plan Considerations
1) Learn From Past Mistakes
When it comes to digital marketing, you have to be brutally honest. Simply repeating what you did last year, or operating based on hunches for what worked, won’t be enough. Instead, you can only succeed if you learn from and build on your past mistakes.
Start with a simple SWOT analysis that helps you identify your digital strengths and weaknesses. That should lead to a more in-depth look at items that worked and areas that still need improvement. Take the guesswork out of the equation and instead use your past work as a learning opportunity.
2) Treat Every Year as a Baseline
Every year starts with a growth goal. You want to increase your reach, maximize your audience awareness, and gain conversions. But not everything you do works out, and it’s important to adjust to the reality you’re in as of the time you build your plan.
Your digital marketing efforts, and business situation in general, might have progressed or regressed from last year. You might have added new product offerings to the equation or tried to enter a new market. Your 2020 marketing plan should be tailored towards the reality as it stand right now, treating the year in the rear-view mirror as a baseline for what lies ahead.
3) Take a Closer Look at Your Audience
Every marketing plan needs to include a comprehensive look at the audience you’re trying to capture. At the same time, you should not just roll over your audience definitions and insights from previous years into your new plan. Just as the strategy as a whole needs a closer look, so does your target audience.
An evaluation of what did and didn’t work should always be done with audiences in mind. Building a new plan is also an opportunity to dig deeper: create buyer personas that go beyond location and demographics by providing insights, motivations, and pain points.
4) Don’t Forget About Your Competitors
The competitive environment is never static. Over the past year, new firms may have entered your space, while others exited. The competition you already know may have shifted strategies or target audiences. As you build your digital marketing plan, be sure to include a section on your competition that reflects this new reality.
Competitive research can be multi-faceted, ranging from simple qualitative looks at other companies’ social media accounts to in-depth competitive keyword research for Google ads. The larger environment is already part of any SWOT analysis, but getting specific on your closest competitors helps you better understand it in detail.
5) Set Your Goals and Timeline
No digital marketing plan is complete without goals, which should guide everything you do in the current year. These goals should be based on all of the above factors, but they also need to be SMART:
Goals that are structured in this way are far more than just a way to evaluate your digital marketing efforts at the end of the year. They also help you set benchmarks, allowing you to track your progress towards achieving them throughout the year and enabling you to make adjustments where needed.
6) Build Your Channels
Part of your digital marketing plan should be an exact outline of what digital channels you plan to focus most attention on in the coming year. No business can successfully build a presence on every social media network, search engine, and content platform. Instead, you need to prioritize.
Again, simply repeating last year’s initiatives is not good enough. Instead, perform an analysis of your efforts on each channel, and compare it with your audience’s needs and preferences. That helps you drop some channels that just didn’t work while adding new opportunities you may never even have considered.
7) Designate Evaluation Times
The potential of the right goals is magnified once you dig into the ways in which you can use them for tracking your progress. As part of your 2020 digital marketing plan, you should formalize the exact ways in which you intend to measure your efforts throughout the year to stay on track for achieving and surpassing your core goals.
These evaluation teams may be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or all of the above. Regular check-ins allow you to make corrections that range from minor to major, avoiding potentially costly mistakes or money sunk into advertising efforts that clearly don’t work.
8) Choose Your Team
Do you know who will be working on executing your plan and achieving your goals? Write it down here. Distribute key responsibilities across anyone in your business who works on or is connected to your marketing efforts.
That might include a project manager, specialists for each area, and more. The key is setting both responsibility and accountability standards. A RACI chart could be a great tool to make sure that everyone involved in the larger marketing effort knows exactly what they’re doing, and what they should be aware of.
Ready to Build a Better Digital Marketing Plan in 2020?
Building a digital marketing plan is complex, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. The above steps help you break down the process into digestible steps, making sure that you optimize your efforts in building a better marketing plan.
You don’t have to do it alone, either. Especially when it comes to choosing your team, outsourcing the bulk of the work might actually make sense. Of course, you need the right partner, which is where we come in. Contact us for help in building and executing a great digital marketing strategy for 2020 and beyond.