It’s common for businesses embarking in internet marketing and social media to think they need to build their strategies around technology and not look at audience needs first. Every business needs an integrated marketing plan. Sometimes businesses see digital planning as a separate thing but ideally your online marketing plan should be integrated with wider business objectives so it is part of an overall marketing plan.
There are two models that provide a framework for writing an integrated digital marketing plan. The first is called SOSTAC® planning model developed by PR Smith. In plain English this approach means breaking your plan down into six parts: –
- S stands for Situation Analysis – which means where are we now?
- O stands for Objectives which means where do we want to go?
- S stands for Strategy which summarises how we are going to get there
- T stands for Tactics which are the details of strategy
- A is for Action or implementation – putting the plan to work.
- C is for Control which means measurement, monitoring, reviewing, updating and modifying.
You can use the SOSTAC® planning model to build a digital marketing template to fit your business needs and customer profiles.
The second model that’s useful for mapping out a social media marketing plan is Forrester’s POST method. The POST method helps define your social media goals, plan and prioritise your actions. By thinking this through you can create a clear purpose and vision, as well as implementing goals, strategies and tools that will help you to reach the people you are looking to connect with online. The POST method in a nutshell looks at:
- People – Start by looking at your customer’s social behaviours and attitudes. Who do you want to attract on sites like Facebook and Twitter?
- Objectives – Next decide on your social technology goals. Do you want to build relationships or, create brand awareness or improve customer service?
- Strategy – What strategies do you plan to carry out and what is your priority? Determine how your goals will change the way you interact with customers through twitter, a blog, LinkedIn or Facebook page
- Technologies – which ones will you use? Pick the most right technologies that will meet your goals you don’t have to use them all!
These methods will ensure your integrated digital marketing plan put audiences and customers first, identifying their needs and developing a plan with the right mix of online and offline channels to build strong relationships,drive leads and generate traffic to your website.