Businesses involved in internet marketing and social media often believe they need to build their strategy around the technology, rather than thinking about the needs of their audience first. Every business needs an integrated marketing plan. Sometimes businesses treat digital planning as a separate thing, but ideally your online marketing plan should be integrated with your wider business goals, so it’s 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 the SOSTAC® planning model and was developed by PR Smith. In plain English, this approach means dividing your plan into six parts:-
- S stands for situation analysis – Which means where are we now?
- O stands for Target Where does this mean we are going?
- S stands for strategy It summarizes how we will achieve this
- T stands for Strategy Here are the details of the strategy
- A is for action or implementation – Put the plan into action.
- C is for control This means measuring, monitoring, reviewing, updating and modifying.
You can use the SOSTAC® planning model to build digital marketing templates to suit your business needs and customer profiles.
A second model that is useful for developing a social media marketing plan is Forrester’s POST method. The POST method helps define your social media goals, plan and prioritize your actions. By thinking about this, you can develop a clear purpose and vision and implement goals, strategies, and tools that will help you reach the people you want to connect with online. The POST method in a nutshell is:
- people – Start by looking at your customers’ social behaviors and attitudes. Who do you want to attract on sites like Facebook and Twitter?
- Target – Next decide your social technology goals. Do you want to build relationships, increase brand awareness, or improve customer service?
- strategy – What strategies do you plan to implement and what are your top priorities?Determine how your goals will change the way you interact with customers via Twitter, blog, LinkedIn or Facebook page
- technology – Which ones will you use? Choose the most appropriate technology to achieve your goals, you don’t have to use them all!
These approaches will ensure that your comprehensive digital marketing plan puts your audience and customers first, identifying their needs and planning the appropriate mix of online and offline channels to build strong relationships, engage prospects and serve you website generates traffic.