You Don’t Need a Website, You Need a Digital Marketing Plan

Nothing beats a well-designed website when it comes to getting customers online, right?

Wrong.

Your website is just one part of getting more customers from the internet. Even the best-looking websites get lost in cyberspace without a digital marketing plan to support them. Yes, it’s the hub integrating your marketing and the delivery of your product/service. But you have to get people there first.

Unfortunately getting people to your site is usually the hardest part. It’s also the part that many web designers don’t tell you.

Why is it so hard? It’s quite simple…there are more than a billion websites on the Internet and increasing. Unlike in the earlier days of the internet, most of your competitors have a website too. Being online just isn’t enough any more.

When building your new website you need to ask two big questions…

Question 1 – How are your customers going to find you?

Here’s a hint – beautiful web design isn’t the answer.

You need to get the right message in front of the right people at the right time. That, of course, is where the digital marketing plan comes in…

The goal?

  • Get new prospects and leads
  • Convert those leads into buyers
  • Get those buyers to buy more or buy more often (or both)!

The first and most important step is market research. It needs (and deserves) a lot of time and attention. Unfortunately this is also the most forgotten step.

Find out who your target market is, where they hang out, and what problems you can solve for them. You need to know what stage of the buyer’s journey they’re at.   Have they just recognised a problem they need to solve?  Are they comparing alternative solutions? Are they ready to buy? Have they purchased from you before?

Then you can create your strategy to get in front of them at the right time.

Question 2 – How will you make them take action?

The other question is how will you make buyers take action once you get them to your site? Here’s a hint – beautiful web design isn’t the complete answer to this one either!

Don’t get us wrong…a good looking website is important. But it also needs to answer the right questions with the right message. It needs to provide a good user experience. It needs to provide relevant calls-to-action.

People want minimum effort and maximum pleasure. So make every step easy for them!

Again, the market research will tell you what your buyer’s problems are. You need to know what’s most important to them. Prioritise that message.  Make them want to buy from you. Then keep them wanting to come back for more.

The Digital Marketing Plan

To answer those two questions you need to plan your marketing funnel.

Let’s take a look at the digital marketing funnel and some of the tactics we can use at each stage…

Digital Marketing Plan Funnel

Your digital marketing plan should consider a set of tactics to capture them at each stage of the buyer’s journey. The right tactics differ for every niche, so there’s no magic bullet.

To find what tactics will work best for you, you need research, strategy and testing.

Successful websites require time, money or both

Many business owners are hesitant to put money and time into their website. This mindset doesn’t get results. You need to think of your website as an investment not an expense. A good website and digital marketing plan can consistently send you new leads and customers and grow your revenue exponentially.

Ask yourself this – Would you rather:

a) Spend $1,000 on a website that just sits there doing nothing

b) Invest $10,000 in a website and marketing plan that gets you $10,000/month in extra revenue with 6 months?

The days of the old school web designer is over. Businesses can’t get by with a cool-looking website.

The next time you talk to an agency to design a website ask how they ensure your website speaks to your customers’ pains and problems. Ask them if they know how to get your website in front of your target customers and keep them there.

If they don’t offer any sort of digital marketing plan…find someone who does!

Have you got any questions or suggestions about how to come up with a digital marketing plan? Let me know in the comments below!

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