Today's businesses know the importance of managing their online marketing to reach customers in the digital world. But you may be surprised at how many companies don't currently have an online marketing plan in place. About 46% of businesses have not created an online marketing strategy, and another 16% haven't yet integrated their strategy into their marketing plan. The truth is, creating and managing an effective online marketing strategy can expand and grow your audience and your revenue! 



No matter how experienced you are with the digital world, developing an online marketing strategy for your business can be a daunting and overwhelming task. Luckily, there are some easy steps you can take to help you make your plan. Here are some of the essential steps to help you develop a digital marketing strategy: 

  • Objectives and Goals. First and foremost, define what your objectives and goals are. Though you can certainly have some descriptive goals (.e., improving your brand image), it might be easier to start with quantitative or numeric goals. These goals could be increasing social media engagement or getting more followers, which you can easily measure. You can make informed decisions and track how successful your digital marketing efforts are by collecting clear and measurable data.  
  • Audience. Determine your brand's target audience. By targeting a specific demographic, you can aim your ads to your ideal customer and spend your ad dollars efficiently and wisely. Consider your product and what the ideal customer for your product or service looks like, using data points such as gender, age, location, interests, and even education level and monthly income. These data points can also help you create content that specifically appeals to your demographic. 
  • Strategy. Once you've determined your target audience and your objectives, it's time to select the strategy to use in your online marketing plan. You'll first want to set a budget for these campaigns so that you know what kind of strategy will work for a budget of your size. Then, decide which channels you'll want to focus on in your campaign. Do you want different paid social media ads? Which social media channels do you want to use - Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn? Do you want to improve your website with content creation, like blogs, videos, or photos? And how much of your budget are you spending per channel? Determine your strategy, which will ultimately execute your online marketing plan. 
  • Monitor and Analyze. Now that you have your strategy executed, it's time to monitor and analyze your campaign results. Did your chosen strategy help you meet your goals? How did they perform? Use the metrics to help you measure their success.
  • Improve! Whether your online marketing strategy was successful or not, use what you know to continue improving your online marketing plan. Didn't get the results you were looking for? Try to figure out what didn't work and what you need to improve upon going forward. Maybe your content and branding need work, or you're targeting the wrong kind of customer. Remember, the digital world is constantly changing, so you'll want your marketing plan to change with it. 


Mountain South Media, a division of The Smoky Mountain News, is here to help you develop your online marketing strategy. We are a full-service digital marketing agency, using our nearly 20 years of experience to ramp up our clients' online and mobile marketing by creating a focused digital marketing plan to achieve the right results for your business. Your online marketing specialist is one click away; contact us to get started today!