How to Build an Engagement Marketing Strategy Plan

Let’s start with outlining the strategic plan and building the team. It should be based around your objectives you have already identified and will help support the story you have been sharing. First identify some low hanging fruit that you believe you can deliver pretty quickly to show progress is being made. You will also need to create a gap analysis to determine where you have needs. Don’t be scared of the term “Gap Analysis”, no one is looking for a twenty page document just a high level outline of items that will be fundamental to building the foundation of the platform, team or improvements on customer experience.

 

Engaging your team and your peers for ideas on need and direction will accomplish a few things. First, it establishes a sense of trust with them that you value their opinion and they will appreciate the fact that they are engaged and you have asked them for ideas. Many of these ideas will likely surround your objectives you have identified and you can work to prioritize. Creating a backlog list (Excel spreadsheet) is a good way to do this with columns identifying details of each item.

 

  • Urgency of need or critical dependency
  • Level of difficulty (easy, hard, medium
  • Resources required (funding, IT, Vendor)

Then sort through the list, in this order, identifying a hand full of items that are critical, can be delivered in a reasonable time frame and currently have the resources to deliver. Keeping a good mix of easy and hard will allow you to deliver n bi-weekly sprint releases while still moving toward the larger end objective. I have ended up with lists of upwards of 300 items, which can look daunting but will help you manage incremental releases and be a strong foundation for building your plan. This will also help keep communications transparent when stakeholders ask the status of particular features and when they may be expected.

Step #4 – The Three P’s Plan, Prepare, Perform

[tweetmeme source= “brennels” only_single=false]There are many acronyms similar to the three P’s and this could very well be done in
parallel to steps #1 and #2.However the first #3 steps are definitely part of the planning process. Your social media marketing plan will need to include several phases and this step may need to be broken down into subsequent articles to really cover all the requirements.

Thinking back to when I was in this phase, I believe that I set my goal as being able to listen and engage customers but I didn’t have a platform to do that so I needed to start with building a community. During this time, others had their own agenda and went off and created a blog without any real strategy in place. This was difficult and was like having two bus drivers each trying to drive separate routes. Building your plan and subsequent strategy will help keep everyone on the same page and it will need to be reviewed, tweaked and used as a reminder to assure good communication.

Step #4 Building Your Plan

– Set Realistic Goals – Don’t set your expectations that you are going to create the next viral buzz or you will most certainly be disappointed. Start with something simple like creating a blogging strategy.

– Identify Your Influencers – Influencers are anyone internally or externally that are passionate about your product. Find them and engage them to build a relationship. You can do this by setting up a Google alert on specific keywords like your brand name.

– Identify Your Knowledge Experts – Within your company there are specialists who are experts on engineering, testing, customer support, marketing, etc… your product and brand. Ask them if they would be willing to participate and help write content and share their knowledge in their respective field of expertise.

– Communicate – You will need to communicate often in the beginning and then at least once a month to keep the momentum rolling. Engage your Marketing Communications team and ask if you can get 5 minutes on the next internal company call or meeting so you can share your plan and help recruit those who can help.

– Measurement – This is the most difficult task and the only thing your executive team is interested. How is this impacting our business and can we assign revenue to these efforts. This could be a book in itself so I will just mention one item to start with. Google Analytics – measure referring website traffic from your social media sites to events, seminars, webinars, press releases and or product announcements. After time your social sites will creep up into your top 50 then top 10 referring websites.

– Outline Your Strategy – Which social sites are most important to your business and which ones can have the most immediate impact. There are several, usergroups, blogs, communities, multimedia, networks, directory listings, so pick a few to start with but make sure to include all and have a strategy for each in your overall plan.

– Don’t forget SEO – I almost forgot, make sure to engage your web and or SEO team/vendor to include targeted SEO keywords in everything you do especially when creating your content. This will be very helpful to executing your plans as well as enhancing your visibility in the websphere.

This may not be the exact path or place I started but creating this plan and having short, mid and long term goals for executing your strategy will be critical to your success and will help gain respect amongst your peers. I will most likely need to elaborate on each of these areas of the plan so stay tuned for more info in future blog posts.

– Good Luck