Introduction: The Definitive Guide to Developing a Digital Marketing Plan

Posted in Digital Marketing by Frank Cowell

Why did we write this guide?

Digital marketing is the powerhouse methodology that aligns all of the digital marketing activities around driving traffic, generating leads, and nurturing leads for systematic, measurable results. While we are able to succinctly state the value proposition of digital marketing, it's important to understand that the success of any digital marketing program will greatly hinge upon the quality of the up-front planning. At Elevator, we have found that most planning is either overlooked or short-changed. Because of this reason, we developed The Definitive Guide to Developing a Digtial Marketing Plan so that the digital marketing programs we develop start off on the right foot.

Who is this guide for?

This guide is for founders, CMOs, Marketing VPs, Marketing Directors, and anyone else interested in driving more traffic, generating more leads, and nurturing more leads into opportunities through the digital marketing methodology. If you want your marketing to contribute substantial growth opportunities for your company, then this guide is for you.

How should this guide be used?

Each chapter is independently useful and can be read separately. But, to get the most out of this guide, it’s best to read it in its entirety, and then go back and complete the exercises in each chapter. Of course, you'll want to bookmark this page so you can come back and use this guide as a reference whenever needed. You'll also want to download our Digital Marketing Plan PowerPoint Template, the very template we use at Elevator to develop comprehensive digital marketing plans for our clients.

Here's a high-level overview of the Digital Marketing Plan process:

  1. Hold a Workshop-style Session with Your Team
  2. Compile Feedback and Conduct Additional Research
  3. Develop Digital Marketing Plan Deck
  4. Present to Your Team
  5. Refine the Digital Marketing Plan as Needed

The key to inbound marketing: plan your work, then work your plan

Chapter 1: How to Conduct The Discovery Phase

Before diving in to the specifics of your plan, you'll want to take an inventory of where you're at and where you want to go. This process is called "Discovery" and it involves analyzing and documenting specifics around your goals, objectives, positioning, offerings, key metrics, marketing, sales, and more.

Read Chapter 1 Now »

Chapter 2: How to Develop A Targeting Strategy

Now that you have the "lay of the land," you'll want to identify and document your key target market segments which should include the related buyer personas. All great marketing programs start with tightly-focused audience targeting and digital marketing is no different!


Chapter 3: How to Develop A Content Strategy

With your target audiences defined, the next step is to define how you're going to engage them with valuable content. This includes developing an editorial mission, the evergreen topics and sub-topics for establishing authority, and “bottom of the funnel” topics aimed at "ready now" leads.


Chapter 4: How to Develop A Traffic Strategy

You now know who you want to reach and how you want to engage them. The next step in the process is to figure out how you're going to get in front of them. This includes research on and suggestions for activities around SEO, social media, and paid media.


Chapter 5: How to Develop a Lead Generation Strategy

Now that your target audience is on your website and engaging with your content, you'll want to have a game plan for how you're going to convert these visitors into leads. At this stage, you'll develop ideas around content/offers for generating leads at “top” of the funnel, “middle” of the funnel, and “bottom” of the funnel. Additionally, you'll want to define a methodology for developing future lead generation content/offers.


Chapter 6: How to Develop a Lead Nurturing and Marketing Automation Strategy

Now that you have leads coming in, you'll want to leverage marketing automation technology to guide those leads through five specific communication sequences. With a strategic marketing automation plan, you'll systematically establish authority and generate sales opportunities.


Chapter 7: How to Define and DOcument Measurement & Reporting Protocols

Knowing what to measure, how to measure, and how often to measure is critical — you have to know what success looks like right from the start. The key is to stay strategic and focus on the big picture numbers such as Visits, Leads, MQLs, Opportunities, and Customers.


Chapter 8: How To Define and Document Technology Requirements

Technology will play an important role in powering in your digital marketing program — at this stage, you'll want to identify and document key sales and marketing technologies to include CRM, Sales Enablement, Marketing Automation, Analytics, and Integration.


Chapter 9: How to Define and Document Logistics

The final step is to ensure that you identify the people, time, and budget required to successfully execute your digital marketing program.


About Frank Cowell

Frank Cowell is President at Elevator, a digital brand strategy agency based in the San Diego, California area. He works regularly with CEOs, CMOs, and VPs of Marketing who are looking to create amazing brand experiences while driving inbound leads. A self-taught programmer with a deep understanding of technology, Frank enjoys a unique blend of brand development and marketing savvy that enables him to offer fresh perspectives on often-complex marketing concepts that he distills into actionable, easy-to-understand language. An energetic and entertaining speaker, Frank presents regularly to regional and national organizations on topics related to branding and digital marketing.
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The Inbound Marketing Content Strategy Workbook

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