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Writing an online marketing plan this can be done in 6 steps

Online marketing is a broad concept, so it can sometimes be difficult to determine your focus. One reason for this is that there are several online marketing channels, each with its advantages and disadvantages. In order to draw up a good plan, it is important to make a distinction for yourself between online marketing tactics, strategies and the objectives of your organization. First you set your goals, then you determine how you want to achieve them and finally you develop specific tactics to achieve your strategy.


Step 1: Mapping target audience

In order to carry out a thorough online marketing plan, it is important to determine in advance who these campaigns will be aimed at. Today, online consumers are almost constantly bombarded with online marketing campaigns. That is why it is essential to approach the right people in the right way. To do this, you need to find out who are the right people online for your product or service. After you have figured this out, you can adjust your tactics accordingly. The ideal way to understand your target audience is to create a buyer persona. You answer questions such as: Who are my customers?, What do they find interesting (lifestyle)?, What does their online behavior look like? Read more about mapping your target group here and use the free template (including explanation). Keeping your target audience in mind when designing, setting up and executing your online marketing campaigns ensures that all your campaigns remain relevant to your target audience.

Step 2: Overview online marketing channels

A logical next step for you is to map out the possible online marketing channels that you can use. Specify the following for each channel; how much time does it take to set up, run, implement and evaluate this channel. What are the possible results of this campaign? Will I achieve these results in the short or long term? Do I have the (technical) knowledge to set up and implement this myself? And of course the most important question: Do I reach my target group through this channel?

Step 3: Select your online marketing channels

If you are just starting to apply online marketing, it is useful for your overview and focus to start with two channels. In time you can expand to multiple online marketing channels. A good time to expand your channels is when you see positive results and steady growth in your current channels. In addition, it is also important that maintaining these channels is a process that is well controlled within your organization. The channels you start with will of course depend on the type of business you are in. In this article we focus on search engine marketing. We will therefore apply search engine optimization (seo) and the use of Google adwords as an online advertising option.

Some benefits of search engine optimization:

  • SEO attracts free and relevant traffic with high conversion potential
  • SEO is a crucial part of an (online) marketing mix
  • It helps people find your website

Some advantages of Google adwords:

  • Increase the number of customers and leads in the short term (almost immediately)
  • SEA provides paid search traffic with conversion potential
  • It offers the possibility to re-contact people who have been on your website and have not made a purchase, for example through a display campaign

Step 4: How do your competitors apply these online marketing channels?

Studying and learning from your competitors is essential, as it is possible to gain insight into the online tactics that work/do not work in your niche. You can use SpyFU to gain insight into the Google adwords activities of important players in your market. This tool provides insight into the keywords they bid on and, in broad terms, what these bids look like. Based on this, you gain insight into the keywords that are interesting for your campaigns and which your target group is focusing on. You then also apply this information when writing the advertisements.
To gain insight into how your competitors use search engine optimization (seo) as a channel, it is interesting to look at the keywords that bring your competitors the most visits. This also gives you insight into the keywords that are being ignored by your competitors. You can perform this analysis by using a tool such as SEMrush. Use SEMrush’s SEO Keyword Magic tool to gain insight into keywords that are interestingly filtered for high competition and low competition on these terms.

Step 5: Set SMART goals

Create specific objectives that provide insight into your ‘performance’, for example:

  • Increase organic traffic by 10% in 3 months
  • Increase number of registrations by 5% within 1 month
  • Increase the conversion rate by 5% within 2 weeks

Step 6: Evaluate the channels (monthly)

Tracking the results of your campaigns such as traffic and conversions can be done in Google Analytics. Keeping track of the number of impressions, your positions in Google and click through ratio can be done with Google search console. We recommend that you also consult Google adwords for this, mainly for your conversion rates, the number of conversions and impressions. If the numerical substantiation is not sufficient, it is always interesting to use heatmaps to gain insight into the visual insights of your target group on your website. A heatmap ensures that you gain insight into where people click on your website and how they navigate through your pages. Hotjar is a handy tool for using heatmaps.

Do you want free insights into how you can generate more sales online?

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