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Why Do You Need a Digital Marketing Plan? 

One essential and often overlooked part of developing a digital marketing plan is not matching your traditional offline sales strategy with your new online sales strategy. Many times when I talk with companies I find their sales process online doesn’t match their off line strategy. Your online sales strategy should reproduce your proven in-person sales process. Here are some examples of the common sources of problems and frustration in creating a digital marketing strategy.

Are You the Solution to the Buyer’s Problem?

When your prospect client begins their online journey they may not know the solution, but they do know they have a problem. They may have issues or problems that you can help them with but your online presence must lead the prospect to trust that you understand their problem and have the solution. And your digital plan must do that while speaking in different ways, to different audiences using different platforms.

Be the Expert

Your online presence should build trust in the prospect client by establishing your “chops” as an expert. A technical buyer with a broken machine may want to see how to fix the problem and may even want to try it themselves. You can show them how to fix their problem using a video. Then if you supply the parts for the machine, you can get the sale. If you service the machine, you may get the call when the buyer figures out repairing it themselves may be over their head. 

What’s important to a green buyer is different. They’ll look for information on how your products affect the environment. Or if you’re a service, the environmentally conscious buy wants to know chemicals you’re using. Anticipating and answering your prospects questions builds the prospect’s confidence in your business. 

The cost-conscious buyer may be looking for price options and the value of the different options. Even a bargain seeker will pay more for your product or service if your online presence establishes your creditability and builds trust.

Don’t Speak Geek!

It helps to use an outside digital marketing consultant to help you think and speak like your prospect instead of using jargon you may commonly use, but only people in your industry may understand. 

I was working with a nonprofit water activist client. They protect a river and watershed. They used the word watershed often on their website. When I surveyed prospects that were in their target market area, 90% did not know what a watershed is! Using the wrong language results in low conversions rates and low ROI.

Stick with What Works!

Does your digital sales process follow your proven person-to-person process? You may have a personal style that builds confidence, or a specific line of questioning when selling person-to-person. Does your website reproduce the same procedure? Does your online presence skip establishing a connection and go straight for the sale? 

You have to hook them first. A good digital marketing plan builds trust in the viewer by presenting a clear, logical site structure that easily guides your prospect through the same sales process that has proven effective for you in person. 

If your product or service is complex or technical, your digital marketing plan may focus more on content and sales support. This can mean you are more of a candidate for content marketing (blogs, videos, “how to” guides, etc.) versus paid advertising campaigns.

Good First Impressions Ain’t Enough!

I’ve had people tell me their business is on Google’s first page when someone searches for their product or service so they think they don’t need help. Of course you need to show up and get read in your prospect’s initial search. But you also need to stay in front of your prospect throughout their search. 

They need to see you in their search engine results, but do they see just your website? Or does your online presence show your prospect different aspects of your service, product or business on different web platforms? Do you show up on review sites, other expert or association sites? These are called touch points. You need 6 to 10 touch points (depending on who’s stats you looked at). 

Think of it as a basketball game. The one who made the basket gets the praise. But in reality many players touched the ball, and the basket would not have been made without them. Those touches, or Key Performance Indicators (KPI), need to be measured. 

You can have many Key Performance Indicators (KPI). An example of a goal would be downloading a PDF or case study. When budgeting for digital plan implementation, or setting marketing goals, you will need to allocate resources to each KPI. What if you are a manufacturer but do not sell direct? An example KPI would be determining how many people visit your “Where to Buy” page. Or how many visitors downloaded a PDF about your products.

Different target audiences speak and use the web differently.

Are you using the same message and online channels for all age groups? Females from the ages 25 to 35 do not use the web the way teens or seniors do. The different personas in this age group not only talk differently, but use the web differently. They use different social platforms. Female clientele may use Pinterest more often versus male clientele who may look first for a DYI blog or video.

Explain your value in different ways on different platforms

Are you talking to a technical buyer or a green buyer? Or is it a cost-conscious prospect? The technical buyer will want more details on how things work. The Green buyer will want to support green products or a company that practices green process. The cost-conscious buyer will need to see the value in paying you more if your price is higher. What questions are different buyers asking? Do you have content to answer their questions? 

Ready for higher conversions? Let’s do a digital plan review.