French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
In digital marketing, developing a thorough plan is equally important as defining your objectives. A plan helps you understand if your goals are tangible, timely, and how to distribute your budget accordingly.
Each brand requires a unique digital marketing strategy, and thus, a tailored investment plan. Here, we will show you how to create your personalized digital marketing plan with Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.
Download Your Digital Marketing Investment Plan Template
We’ve created this plan to be adaptable to any brand’s budget. Use this as your base and adjust according to your specific marketing strategy.
Determine Your Digital Marketing Channels
In order to create campaigns that are effective at achieving your goals, you need to develop a tactical approach based on research and data. This means being intentional with the channels you choose to invest money in.
Determine the channels and platforms where your target market is most likely to encounter your brand and with the highest likelihood for conversion. For content, Quicksprout offers a guide to determining the best channels for getting in front of your audience.
The CAMPAIGN TYPE column keeps your channels organized. Replace the channels listed on the template for ones that better suite your needs, or leave blank the ones that do not serve your band.
Prioritize Your Channels
Some campaign types will be more fruitful than others. Allocate your effort and spend accordingly.
Out of a total of 100%, distribute the amount of weight you will dedicate to each channel using the WEIGHT column. This percentage is entirely subjective, but serves as an aid in measuring which channels are of most importance to your strategy.
Identify Specific Campaigns and Targets
Within each channel, you will have specific campaigns, each of which has a corresponding target. Here is where each plan starts to take its individual shape, as you will have to add, delete, and adjust your cells according to your brand’s digital marketing strategy.
For example, you may plan on running a Lead Generating Display Ad on the Google Display network, targeting men ages 24-45, living in urban neighborhoods, and with incomes of +$150k. Your plan will start to look something like this:
However, if you plan to run additional Lead Generation Display Ads targeting other demographics, you may want to add another row to reflect those campaigns. The result will be like so:
Schedule A Budgeted Timeline For Your Campaigns
Use the section on the right side of your template to signify when each campaign will take place.
If you have already established the media spend (Projected Cost) for a particular campaign, you can allocate it evenly or dynamically throughout your timeline. Conversely, you can work backwards by specifying a weekly budget and total these values in the Projected Costs cell using the spreadsheet’s summation feature.
Play around with the colors to find a visual representation that makes the most sense for you.
Determining Your Projected Clicks
You’ve set your campaign budget and distributed it throughout the course of campaign activity. But how can you know the outcome?
There is no guaranteed way to know how many clicks, and what the average cost per click will be for a campaign. Many factors go into the success of a PPC campaign, including competition, strategic placement and targeting, and bid.
This is why your digital marketing plan includes two separate values: Projected Costs and Actual Costs. Actual costs can only be known after a campaign has finished. But, there are some helpful resources you can use in the meantime.
To estimate the reach of your PPC bid, use Google AdWords’ bid simulator tool. To learn more about average CPC for your industry, check out this article from Wordstream on Adwords Benchmarks, or this article for Facebook Benchmarks. Likewise, you can use these tools to determine an adequate budget from start.
Now that you have established your investment plan, you are ready to implement. However, just because you’ve mapped out your journey, does not mean you are invincible to bumps in the road.
Digital marketing is an iterative process. Let us be your co-pilots.