Check out 9 indispensable tips to help you create an effective short-term (month or quarter) Digital Marketing plan for your company!
Many companies find it difficult to plan their next steps in Digital Marketing. It takes time and dedication to define and organize your goals, projects, activities, goals, analyze market data, etc. And because of the daily activities essential for the business to run, planning ends up not being prioritized.
However, knowing exactly what, when, and how to do it is essential to success. It is very important to define where your company wants to go and what it wants to achieve. Otherwise, any path and outcome will do, and daily activities become irrelevant to success.
Thus, good planning in Digital Marketing is essential to direct the company’s path to achieve the expected results by the end of the year. But where to start?
Blue World City has already talked here at Resultados Digitais about the importance of setting long-term goals, as shown in the Digital Marketing Planning Kit, a guide with tips and guidelines for carrying out actions for a year. However, in order to achieve these goals, it is important to break the Digital Marketing goals and actions into short-term intermediate stages, thus having a better direction of the path and a forecast of its reach in the long term.
So, in this post, I’m going to share some essential tips to help you in this short-term Digital Marketing planning (month or quarter).
1 – Have an annual Digital Marketing plan
Know where you want to go! This can help you analyze your current outlook, define goals, projects and activities, and put together a timetable of these actions to put into practice throughout the year.
We know that making an annual Digital Marketing plan takes time and dedication. However, it is a very important activity, as it is at this point that you diagnose the current situation of the company, find problems and solutions, and define the objectives and goals for the year. In order to focus on the company’s actions in order to achieve these goals.
2 – Ask the right question
It is important to analyze the previous period (month or quarter) and keep track of everything that was done: monitor the value of the investment in marketing, the strategies, and projects that were put into practice, the results (achieved or not), the problems and difficulties faced, etc.
We’ve already talked here on the blog about the importance of the questions you can ask to better understand the situation of your company in Digital Marketing for the creation of an annual plan. The same must be thought about in the short term.
Here are some questions that can help you understand the current state of the company and which way to go:
- What is the number of monthly visitors?
- Do we use Landing Pages to make offers?
- Are banner promotions (calls-to-action) on the site and paid media (Google Adwords, Facebook Ads) directing to these pages bringing results?
- Are we using email marketing to relate to the Leads base?
- Do we have a marketing automation flow?
- Is the sales process well defined?
- Are sales targets being met?
Analyzing and answering these questions is fundamental for us to be able to see the company’s reality, the mistakes and successes of the executed strategies and projects, and to have a direction so that we can change the results in the next period.
3 – Search for information about your market
The decisions are taken in your annual Digital Marketing planning to influence everything from the planning to the execution of actions. Thus, your actions need to be consistent with the current market situation and how your company positions itself in it.
Know and analyze your competition and other companies that are inserted in your market (suppliers, customers, intermediaries). But, as the market is not controllable and can change over time, it is important to always analyze these possible changes, their impact in the short term and trends for the future.
From the moment you know your market better and constantly seek to update this information, you will be able to add a differential to your products/services to reach an even larger number of potential customers, adapt to the scenario and obtain better results.
4 – Follow the execution of the work
Always analyze data and review the company’s diagnosis. The sooner you detect a problem or difficulty and start taking action, the less negative impact can be and the less brusque efforts to remedy it.
An important point in this monitoring is to define the data that will be analyzed, who will analyze it and how often it will occur for each one. This is information that will always be different and will depend on the metrics you choose to analyze.
Choosing the most important metrics will depend a lot on your market and your current reality. Keep in mind that the analysis you do daily is not the same as the monthly and that, for example, the sales area will not analyze the same metrics on a weekly basis as the marketing area.
Here at Resultados Digitais, we monitor daily, weekly and monthly, with metrics that impact the different areas and others that impact the company as a whole. This practice helps us a lot and increases the chances of achieving the expected results in the period.
These metrics are important because they provide a diagnosis and provide predictability for a company’s growth. So remember that once you know where you’re going and keep your eyes on that point on the horizon, it’s much easier not to get lost on your way there.
5 – Use brute force
Even with good Digital Marketing planning and assertive execution, there are several factors out of control that can lead to a bad period and make it difficult for the company to reach the goal.
If your company follows the data and the evolution in the short term, in general, this type of result is not something unexpected and over the days it is possible to know how close and likely the company is to accomplish it. Therefore, it is common for managers already in the middle of the month to start realizing that they need to do something, but they do not know exactly what to do.
Some of the possible strategies we’ve already talked about in another article about how to go after the goal. In it, we mention 5 possible paths if you need to run to a plan B. Use these tricks to run after the loss:
- Launch of new materials;
- New emails;
- Guest posts / Partnerships;
- New Posts;
- Media purchase.
One of the important points discussed is about investing in sponsored links and paid media to get traffic. Organic traffic is very important, however, if you don’t invest in sponsored links, you will lose the opportunity to impact, in the short term, in channels and places where your persona is, and that probably your competitors are already present and you are not.
We know that for some companies there is a budget limitation, but if your company has a budget or budget can be revised, buying media can greatly accelerate results.
So, if necessary, use brute force and increase investment in your campaigns. Or, if you haven’t done it yet, start investing! Don’t forget that you have monthly goals to reach and if you’re not getting enough traffic, if done right, this is a great short-term option.
If you still don’t work with ads or have questions about how to optimize your campaigns, here are some articles that can help you with that:
- Lead Generation with Google Adwords: A Detailed Guide to Creating an Effective Campaign
- How to define how much to invest in an Adwords campaign
- How to create ads for B2B businesses
And if you want to know more about how to make a good budget, download our free “How to Build a Digital Marketing Budget” Kit, which contains an eBook and a spreadsheet for CEOs, entrepreneurs and marketing directors to plan their investments in Digital Marketing.
6 – Prioritize the projects to be executed
Once the situation has been diagnosed, also review the projects to be carried out. Here is the time to assess what has been delivered and what has not yet been delivered. Think about what can be improved and where the main delivery difficulties are and prioritize the projects that will give you the greatest return.
Analyze if any projects are too complex and if you don’t have the right resources and people to carry them out. If necessary, adapt to something that is within your reality.
For example, you don’t need to have the best eBook possible to publish it. As long as the content is relevant to your Persona you may be able to achieve your result with less effort than you expected to allocate.
Or, you don’t need to have a video studio to do a webinar. With a room, a computer and the help of Google’s Hangout On Air tool, you can have a great online discussion with people, just like we do here at Resultados Digitais.
In the Annual Planning Kit eBook, there are some examples of projects that can be planned and executed according to your company’s objectives.
7 – Review the goals
Analyze current data and compare it with a plan. Will the answers from when I performed the annual planning remain the same? What has changed? How were projects prioritized? What is working and what should I adapt in my planning so that I have the results I initially expected for the year?
Even using brute force and chasing the goal, understand that these are emergency actions, not rules to be followed constantly. Even if the planning and execution are done well, in some cases the goal is simply too difficult and all the work may still not be enough.
So, if necessary, be more realistic, learn from mistakes and avoid making them again. Tailor your goals (up or down), projects (simpler or more complex), and, in the last case, your goals for the year.
This is not to say that all planning must be changed. The review is mainly to see where you’ve got it right, invest in it and make your planning more flexible to be more predictable.
Know that stones and mists may appear on this path and, sometimes, it will be necessary to make detours or even change the final destination. However, it’s better to keep this in mind and make some clear change of course than not being able to leave your current location or still get lost along the way.
8 – Record your planning
In order to facilitate the targeting of other people in the company, it is important that the short-term planning is registered somewhere and is easily accessible.
This makes it possible to make it clearer and easier for actions to be prioritized when there are questions about the direction, in addition to controlling possible deviations from the route without any reason that may arise over time.
Another extremely important point for your Digital Marketing planning to be achieved is the establishment of deadlines for the execution of actions. A detailed schedule, which separates the project phases within the period (month or quarter), can be the key for the company to reach the proposed goals in the short term.
What we suggest is that you have or, if you don’t already, create a spreadsheet for this purpose and that you take time within the period to review it.
The Kit also has a spreadsheet that accompanies the eBook, where we list, in chronological order, the projects and activities for each objective to help define your company’s priorities. You can use this same spreadsheet to review and record your short-term Digital Marketing plan.
9 – Communicate to the entire company
It is essential that the entire company has a clear understanding of the priorities, goals and actions for the coming months and how they are directly related to the achievement of the company’s objectives at the end of the year.
So, treat the employees involved as if they were customers. Don’t forget their opinion in planning and make them participate in the stages of the process, especially when it comes to getting ideas and solutions for problems that may arise.
Don’t forget that the metrics to be analyzed are different depending on the frequency and area of the company. Therefore, make clear the metrics that each one must follow and respond to, and their influence on the achievement of the company’s annual goals.
>> Read more: How to make a Marketing and Sales plan: the complete step-by-step
Periodic diagnosis of your company, understanding market changes, and monitoring the execution of the work are very important for you to get an overview of the best actions to be performed and the value of the investment in each one of them to achieve the objectives of the company by the end of the year.
The secret, however, is to know how to analyze the results, prioritize the projects to be executed and take advantage of everything that Digital Marketing has to offer for your company. Using brute force when necessary.
For this reason, periodic measurement (month or quarter) should be a mandatory activity. The numbers on paper can guide the next necessary steps and collaborate in a possible decision to restructure the planning, with the revision of annual goals and projections.
Also, don’t forget to record your planning and results and communicate with the company about possible changes and associated metrics. They will be key points for short-term execution and the direction of strategies for the next period.
I hope that with these 9 tips, which are essential for any short-term results planning in Digital Marketing, you can get a better sense of how to direct your efforts and achieve the results you expect in the period.
And, do you have any other tips to collaborate with short-term results planning?
I would be very happy with your comments and suggestions.