Creating Your Internet Marketing Plan

By: Megan Corwin

For large corporations, a marketing plan is a huge document detailing strategies for the fiscal year. It may include competitor analysis or a sales forecast. While these elements are important to a large business, do you as a small business owner (without a well paid marketing staff) have the time or energy to devote to putting together a huge document? Unless you are trying to get a financial loan, probably not...

But that doesn't mean you should totally scrap the idea. A marketing plan can be a wonderful tool to help you refine your focus.

You've heard the old saying "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." That's because when you don't plan you lack intention and attention.

My suggestion is to create a "micro-plan." Open up a new document and take an hour or two to answer the following questions.

“Micro-Plan" Questions

What is your purpose for being online?

  • Awareness

  • Sales

  • Community

What % of your overall marketing to be done online?

  • How much time do you expect to spend marketing on internet?

What strategies will you use?

  • Contests

  • Forums

  • Free reports/e-book

  • Newsletter

  • Pay per click advertising

  • Banners

  • Articles/content

  • Viral marketing

Timeline

Assign a project date to each of the strategies. Will they be one time events (contest) or something you need to do frequently (forums)? While you are thinking about it, schedule your projects in your time management system or planner.

Analysis

  • How will you track the success of your marketing plans? What is your ROI?

Budget

  • What is your total yearly internet marketing budget?

  • Assign a $ to each of the strategies you will use.

A successful internet marketing strategy begins with a plan. The time you take to put together your "micro-plan" will be well worth it to your business.

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