How To
11 min read

How To Create A Digital Marketing Plan In 10 Easy Steps

Momina Asif
November 20, 2022

What you'll learn

What you'll need

This article discusses everything you need to know about creating a solid digital marketing plan and provides a step-by-step guide to creating one for your business.

The quality of your digital marketing plan can make or break your business.

With marketing budgets in 2022 increasing from 6.4% to 9.5% of company revenue, it's clear that successful companies realize the importance of investing in marketing strategies to grow their businesses.

However, it’s key that your digital marketing plan is well thought out.

For example, your team could make the mistake of running campaigns and creating content that doesn't resonate with your target audience and doesn't increase your revenue. 

What is a digital marketing plan?

Many businesses make the mistake of thinking a marketing plan is the same as a marketing strategy. Although these words are often used interchangeably, they mean different things.

A marketing strategy is the why behind your marketing efforts. It consists of different marketing techniques and processes that help you actualize competitive advantages. 

On the other hand, a digital marketing plan is a blueprint of a business's approach to organize, execute, and track its marketing efforts over a given period. It’s the missing link between strategic directions and the delivery of desirable results. 

Your digital marketing plan will map out marketing goals and the processes required to achieve those goals. It must be able to answer questions like:

  • Who are your customers?
  • What demographics do they fall into? 
  • What are effective ways of reaching them based on their preferred method of communication?
  • What products or services do you offer? How can you make them more accessible and desirable through digital channels?
  • How can you expand your market share with existing customers? Is it by providing better customer service on social media, newsletters, mobile apps, or paid ads?

Why do you need a digital marketing plan? 

Your digital marketing plan helps you prioritize your marketing efforts while ensuring a streamlined process with every team member on board. 

Here are five reasons you need to build a digital marketing plan today. 

Know your customers better

With an organized marketing plan that tracks qualitative and quantitative data, you get access to much more information. This helps you address your customer's pain points and get to know them better. 

It also enables you to deliver insights and make decisions quickly. 

Direct focus 

A clear digital marketing plan directs your focus and prioritizes your marketing tactics to achieve the most important goals first. 

With a plan, you can assess if you’re going in the right direction and whether you will have time to achieve those goals. 

Avoid silos 

When every member of your marketing team has access to the digital marketing plan, you ensure everyone is on board with the long-term vision. 

Even outside the marketing team, a solid plan ensures a vision that’s aligned with every department. This helps you share data across the organization and manage capabilities and processes.  

Assist with budget 

You need to know in advance what your marketing campaigns are and how much it will cost for them to succeed. Ask yourself:

  • Do you have the budget to pull these off? 
  • Do you have the talent in-house to help you with these processes?
  • Will you need freelance help? 

Improve your process 

Pre-determined KPIs and metrics measure the success of a digital marketing plan. 

They help give you direction to constantly optimize and improve your internal processes and create an environment of consistent growth and improvement.  

How to create a digital marketing plan 

Before writing your plan, remember to invest the time to create a digital marketing strategy. Without a strategy guiding you, your digital marketing plan is at risk of failure.  

Let's walk through the steps necessary to create a digital marketing plan for your business. 

Set definite goals

A digital marketing plan defines measurable goals and business objectives. 

Boosting your engagement rates and improving sales are examples of undefined goals.

Your goals must be clear and have a specific target to achieve within a given timeframe. This is why tracking your progress with metrics is key.. More importantly, your goals must be achievable. 

Here are some examples of measurable goals:

  • Increase engagement rate by X% by the end of Quarter 3
  • Double organic search traffic in 15 months
  • Increase customer retention from X% to Y% by Quarter 4

Build a buyer persona 

After setting your business goals, it's time to define your target audience. Without knowing who your marketing efforts are for, you can't decide what will work and what won't. 

To find who you are marketing to, build a buyer persona. Buyer personas represent your ideal customers and are created through research, surveys, interviews, and analysis of your business's target audience. 

Try to get accurate data whenever possible, because making assumptions about your audience can result in failure to achieve your desired outcome.

To get a balanced version of your buyer persona, talk to a diverse group of people, including:

  • Current customers
  • Prospects
  • People outside your contacts database 

Depending on your business and your product or service, you should have different things to ask your audience. Here are a few starting points to help you: 

  • Demographic Information: Age, location, income, job title 
  • Psychographic Information: Pain points, challenges, goals, priorities, preferences, hobbies, interests 

By combining these details, you’re on your way to creating a holistic buyer persona.

Define your brand identity

Brand identity is a composition of:

  • What your brand says
  • Your values
  • How you communicate your products and services
  • What you want the audience to feel when interacting with your brand 

It’s the image of your brand and your promise to your customers.

Before you define your brand identity, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your mission? Why did you start your business?
  • What are your values as a business owner? What are the beliefs driving your business?
  • What is your brand personality? 
  • What is your brand voice? 

Take your time to examine each of these components before defining your brand identity. 

Determine your budget 

Depending on which marketing tactics you decide to employ in your plan, you may need to invest more money to be successful.

Take note of whether you need freelance help or require a new full-time, in-house hire. Also, do an audit of all the marketing tools you have, and see if you need something more.

Also, put a specific budget aside for any advertising, sponsorship, or promotions involved in your marketing plan. 

Define your marketing channels 

Depending on the goals you set in step one, it's time to see which channels are best to achieve them. 

If your goal is to double website traffic in the next fifteen months, you’d need an SEO strategy and a content strategy. Some other marketing strategies include: 

Do an audit of your existing marketing channels and see how to incorporate those into your plan. 

First, gather what you have and categorize each asset by owned, earned, and paid media framework. 

  • Owned media: All the assets and channels your brand owns, including website, social media profiles, blog content, emails, or imagery. Your business has complete control over owned channels. 
  • Earned media: The exposure and brand awareness your brand earns through word-of-mouth marketing. This includes the content you’ve distributed on other websites (e.g., guest posts), press releases, or customer experience (reviews and testimonials). 
  • Paid media: Any channel you spend money on to get the attention and interest of your target audience. It includes Google AdWords, paid ads on social media, and native advertising (sponsored posts on other websites).  

By assessing all three channels, recognizing what's working for your brand, and delivering results, you can create a strategy incorporating those that work best for your business. 

While defining your marketing channels, it’s important to be on social media platforms where your audience is most active. For example, businesses with a younger audience (Gen Z) should consider TikTok and Instagram. 

69% of Americans use Facebook, so it's a great platform for reaching a diverse audience. With 58M+ companies registered on LinkedIn, it is the ideal marketing channel for those in the B2B industry.

Remember, however, that your metrics and data should guide which channels you use. It’s not good to make assumptions about your audience, but use common sense when you’re first starting out and gathering data.  

Create a content strategy 

Nearly 40% of marketers say content marketing is essential to their overall marketing strategy. 

Depending on your goals and the channels you choose, your marketing plan will highlight a content strategy that should include:  

  • Content type: Blog posts, infographics, ebooks, whitepapers, YouTube videos 
  • Content volume: How much will you create per month or per quarter? It depends on your workflows and the short-term goals you set for your content team. 
  • Responsibilities: Who is responsible for creating what in the team? Will you be working with freelancers to get help with content development? 
  • Metrics: The goals and KPIs that will track your progress, including organic traffic, social media traffic, email traffic, and referral traffic 
  • Content distribution: Determine which channels you want to distribute your content to, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or email newsletters.  

Select your digital marketing tools

Now that you have predetermined goals and marketing channels, it's time to decide which marketing tools and platforms you need to deliver results. 

Your company might already use a tool for email marketing or social media marketing. Do an audit and see whether the tools’ features are adequate or if you need to upgrade to another software. 

Some tools you might need include: 

  • CRM: HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho
  • Email marketing service provider: Mailchimp, Klaviyo, ActiveCampaign
  • Social media scheduling platforms: SproutSocial, Hootsuite, Buffer 
  • Content tools: Copy AI, Grammarly, Hemingway App 
  • Graphic design tools: Canva, Figma 

Metrics to track  

Monitoring your results is the most crucial part of the digital marketing plan.

According to HubSpot, only 35% of marketers say that understanding the ROI of their campaigns is "Very Important" or "Extremely Important." So, while you want to consider ROI, it’s not the only metric you should track.

By having specific KPIs for all marketing initiatives, you can see what's working, what's not, and where you can improve things. Some of these metrics include the following:

  • Overall website traffic: Measuring website traffic provides insights on which campaigns are working and when.
  • Page views: Total number of pages viewed helps you understand if your entire site is of value or if only certain pages are.
  • Conversion rate: Conversions may mean different things depending on the campaign, like an actual sale, a new subscriber, a completed download, a lead entry, etc. 
  • Social reach and engagement: This is the measure of how many people on social media saw your content and engaged with it. 
  • Email metrics: Email open rates, click-through rates, deliverability, and spam rates are all important to measure the success of your email marketing.

If your efforts aren't producing the results you want, you can alter and optimize your strategies to help you accomplish your goals. 

Responsibilities of the team

A marketing plan can be a great way to streamline processes for your team. It makes it easy to coordinate every aspect of marketing activities at your organization. 

So, dedicate a section for specific responsibilities of team members and their roadmap to achieving their goals. Also, be sure to set individual KPIs for all of them. 

This will ensure everyone is on-board with your marketing vision. It’ll also let them know where to focus their energies to drive the best results. 

State your plan's omissions 

Many people miss adding this section to their digital marketing plan, but stating what the marketing team will not be focusing on is an essential part of your digital marketing plan. 

If there are strategies or tactics you aren't using, add them to this section. By adding the omissions, you ensure your marketing plan is tightly focused on your goals. 

What's next? 

With this step-by-step guide, you’re on your way to creating a holistic and effective digital marketing plan. 

Remember to take your time, do in-depth customer research, and build detailed buyer personas to develop a solid marketing plan. 

Keep track of all your marketing efforts and continue assessing which techniques are working and which aren't. 

Finally, be sure to take advantage of’s free writing tools once you start implementing your plan. They can help you generate content ideas, email subject lines, and so much more!

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