It is common for companies embarking on internet marketing and social media to think that they need to build their strategies around technology and not look at the needs of the audience first. Every business needs an integrated marketing plan. Sometimes companies view digital planning as separate, but ideally your online marketing plan is integrated with broader business goals to be 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 developed by PR Smith. In simple terms, this approach means dividing your plan into six parts: –
- S means Analysis of the situation – which means where are we now?
- Or means objectives which means where do we want to go?
- S means Strategy which sums up how we are going to get there
- T means Tactic what are the details of the strategy
- A is for Action or implementation – Put the plan to work.
- C is for Control which means measurement, monitoring, review, update and modification.
You can use the SOSTAC® planning model to create a digital marketing template that is tailored to your business needs and customer profiles.
The second model that is useful for designing a social media marketing plan is the Forrester POST method. The POST method helps define your social media goals, plan and prioritize your actions. By thinking about this, you can create a clear purpose and vision, as well as implement goals, strategies, and tools that will help you reach the people you want to connect with online. The POST method in a nutshell parses:
- People – Start by observing the behaviors and social attitudes of your customers. Who do you want to attract on sites like Facebook and Twitter?
- objectives – Next, decide what your social technology goals are. Do you want to build relationships or build 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 a Facebook page.
- Technologies – Which ones will you use? Choose the most suitable technologies that meet your goals – you don’t have to use them all!
These methods will ensure that your integrated digital marketing plan puts 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.