Staying focussed on the bigger picture is something I’ve written about before, but it’s a recurring issue when it comes to planning. I’m finding many people caught up in the NOW and not thinking much about the WHERE and HOW of the process.
Usually expressed with some frustration, clients and workshop participants want to know how to achieve greater followings, how to get people to like and share their content, how to bump up the page of a Google search or how to get more web traffic.
What’s also been overlooked is WHY do you want to achieve those things and how are you going to know when it happens? (This is where I tell you being able to be found online doesn’t instantly translate into sales unless you’ve got all your ducks in a row.)
I was once asked by a business owner, “If I come to your workshop will I be able to sell my stuff on Facebook?” The honest answer was “No”. There’s an awful lot that happens between getting your page set up and funneling your target market towards a sale…and it doesn’t happen in three or four hours.
Yet, he was thinking in the right way – his eye was on the prize. He knew where he was heading and he wanted to be clear about where social media might fit into his plans to get there.
I concluded long ago that multi-page marketing plans with a page index and lots of sections and words were a waste of time. No one reads them and no one uses them. My old mantra of keeping DRAFT on a document until it was finished with still stands, but my marketing plans have become much simpler – often a couple of pages of diagrams and flow charts, maybe a matrix and a simple calendar with milestones.
I can’t write these plans though without my client telling me what it is they are ultimately trying to achieve. I know some like to keep their confidential business information close to their chest, but it doesn’t help those of us trying to sort out your marketing and communications – it’s like working in the dark.
Working backward, your digital marketing plan needs to meet the objectives of your marketing plan and in turn, your marketing plan needs to meet your business objectives…and they must be measurable!
There’s a whole industry built around making marketing complex – you only have to spend a few minutes on social media to see it. Most of it is designed to make marketers look indispensable and to make business owners and managers feel like they can’t do any of it for themselves.
That said, being effective as a marketer or communicator – isn’t something that happens overnight. It has taken every bit of the last 21 years for me to gain the knowledge I have. Being open to new ideas and doing it repeatedly for not only oneself but other businesses across a range of sectors and industries is how one develops experience, insight and a sixth sense about what will or won’t work.
While there are foundation best practice principles you should follow, there is no formula for success (despite what the click bait will have you believe), particularly in digital marketing. It’s competitive out there and to cut through requires sound knowledge, best practice, creativity, experimentation, patience and above all – planning.
Keep your eye on the prize and with some smarts and persistence, you will see the results you desire.
If you need help to get a digital marketing plan in place for your business, connect with me to see how I can help you.