A great marketing plan highlights objectives, the budget, and how you intend to sell your product.
Online marketing is a prominent method because it allows companies to reach more of their target market easier. An issue with this, though, is marketers and companies tend to concentrate on vanity metrics rather than impressions and engagement percentages.
What does engagement have to do with marketing plans?
Engagement is the key to growing an active audience. It’s how to change people into customers. And it’s a metric that is easily forgotten when marketing plans are drafted.
Instead, engagement rates gets pushed aside in favor of follower counts and monthly visitors. These two metrics seem to be easier to record and are seen as ‘credible’.
Engagement metrics can easily be measured as well. When they’re high, it means you’re hitting the nail on the head with your marketing efforts.
On social media channels, a prominent method of online marketing, the key performance indicators (KPIs) are comments and impressions. The more, the better.
It’s these engagement metrics that need to be included your marketing plan. Because you can have millions of followers or likes on a page. But if no one is interacting (commenting, sharing, buying your product) does it matter how superficially ‘credible’ the numbers look?
No. At the end of the day, every business is trying to close a sale. But it’s not possible until you start monitoring engagement metrics in your marketing plan.
Why is engagement forgotten in a marketing plan?
Hard numbers are the easiest to track for all companies and marketers. On the other hand, engagement, without context, seems difficult to track. It also takes work because, in order to create engaged customers, you need to drop traditional marketing principles.
Despite this, it’s understood that customers are key. But too often, customers are seen as numbers (vanity metrics) instead of the brand ambassadors they can become; people who rave about your product and are active customers.
The problem is, engagement takes work. You’ve got to think like your customers to connect with your customers. Then you must measure the metrics, which seem difficult to do. But it’s quite simple.
Mentioned briefly above, here’s a bit more detail about the engagement KPIs to track in your marketing plan.
On social media measure: comments and impressions. Comments are from people who have something to say about the content you’ve posted. The content you use should be taken from your content marketing plan and is created specifically for your target market. Social media channels who use comments and impressions: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest.
Website traffic to measure: Unique visitors, comments, sales made directly through the website, and bounce rate. Unique visitors are individual people who come to your website (often from organic reach or from social media and marketing campaigns).
Bounce rate is a measurement to track how often these visitors stay on your website. High is bad (they bounce right out). Low is good (they’re staying and reading). Also track where these visitors are coming from (Google, social media channels, etc). Then measure the percentage of sales that came directly from the website.
How to make engagement a priority in your marketing plan
If you plan to use online marketing, even if it doesn’t include social media, make it your goal to interact with potential customers. Automation, while useful, is becoming quite the bane for customers because they are forced to engage with no one or worse — bots.
When creating marketing goals put an emphasis on tracking impressions, comments, and responses. Because you need customers who are brand ambassadors — people who want to see you succeed and will put their money where their mouth is to help be a part of that.
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