7 steps to create a coherent digital communication plan

 Do you want to set up an effective digital communication plan in order to send the right message to your target audience?

Social networks, search engines, videos, infographics, blog articles, algorithms, we can very quickly be left behind in the face of the abundance of possibilities offered by digital communication ...

It's not that easy to structure everything and it can quickly turn into a happy mess ... (to be polite)

If you are like me, your marketing ambitions are often going to be ambitious while budgets and resources are more often than not limited.

As a blogger, digital communication is an integral part of my daily life.

In my job, I talk every week with digital marketing managers from different backgrounds to advise them on the priority actions to take according to their budgets.

In this article, I offer you 7 simple steps to structure a logical communication plan with your digital marketing.

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Step 1: Analyze the starting situation

You will not be able to give a coherent direction to your communication plan without carrying out an internal diagnosis of the existing in your digital marketing strategy.

Quantitative elements

A first piece of advice, don't be fooled by your impressions, take concrete elements such as:

The number of marketing leads generated per period (month, quarter) and per channel

The progression of your website traffic

The number of followers on your social networks

Qualitative elements

I also recommend that you perform a SWOT analysis to better understand the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of your business and your current digital strategy.

This analysis, both qualitative and quantitative, will allow us to better understand the ecosystem in which the company operates and answer a few questions:

Is Your Website Best Serving Your Audience?

What navigation experience do you offer?

How often do you update your blog?

What is the current positioning of your site on search engines on key terms?

And what is your presence on social networks?

Do not hesitate to also challenge your marketing position through a perceptual map in order to identify the gaps between your objectives, what you want to communicate and how your target perceives you.

Step 2: Set a goal in a budget

The communication plan generally responds to a problem.

This must be understood and unique to allow an appropriate response. here are some examples

Prepare the marketing of a product or novelty;

Build a new image (sustainable, social, innovative…);

Promote a specific or complementary service (reputation);

Reposition a brand following an incident: press release, bad buzz …

If each team member wants to solve a different problem through the same communication, it will be difficult to build content or choose a suitable medium.

To assess the quality of your plan's response to the problem, you will need to set objectives that will serve as indicators.

These objectives, which are intended to present, promote, sell, link or support, must be “SMART”, an acronym for:





Temporarily defined.

For example, if your goal is to convey a new brand image, your communication will need to be built on a number of communication actions, KPIs that must remain consistent with your resources and your schedule.

Your budget constraints

You can always go through one or more external providers to execute your communication plan if you lack human resources and expertise.

While this solution has the advantage of accurately pinpointing the cost of the operation, it does not necessarily guarantee success.

The success of a communication plan is first and foremost about understanding your market. If your specifications are imprecise, even the best agency will have difficulty launching effective actions.

For a budgeted Excel template, feel free to adapt this template.

Step 3: Identify your target

Remember a principle, when you don't feel like you're talking to you, you aren't listening.

This principle also applies to digital communication.

It is about favoring the qualitative over the quantitative.

Your target must be qualified otherwise you will waste time (and money) with prospects who will never become customers.

Build your target using a persona that you define according to socio-demographic criteria.

This “ideal customer”, whose age, gender, location, socio-professional category, lifestyle or purchasing behavior, you can define will guide the construction of your plan.

You will be able to build communication in line with this profile on content, container and channel.

For example, if they're a store buyer, advertise an applicable online and in-store promotional campaign with a printable voucher instead of a link.

If he is in his 60+ age group, prefer email / email to the TikTok network.

In Btob, do not hesitate to use your sales reps prospecting files for more consistent targeting.

Step 4: Write the message

In order to ensure consistency, you need to identify a clear message that will embody your main line of communication.

As the name suggests, all of your content should take this route, which is the guiding idea, not the slogan, even if the slogan is it's spokesperson.

UBER, for example, builds on the idea of ​​collaborative consumption.

The majority would not have access to a driver if they did not share the driver pool, or even the race within UBERPOOL.

The "sharing economy" is a frequently used axis (Vinted, Ouicar, etc.), it makes it possible to engage the target in a community according to the principle of coherence, described by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence and Manipulation:

The consumer is then engaged and stakeholder.

Editorial slant

The editorial line is simply a set of style and structure rules that ensure consistency in an organization’s communication when creating content.

It will thus guide your choice of subjects, the semantics that will challenge the target on its problem, the existing solution and your service to solve it.

The document provides a roadmap for your digital content creation efforts:

Your target audience appears as the cornerstone of all content

The content creation process is simplified for the various stakeholders

Your content consistently conveys a voice and an identified brand identity

Step 5: Define the budget and frequency Budget

Only the expression of a precise need and a realistic objective within the framework of an accessible budget can make it possible to formalize a digital communication plan.

Do not skimp on the pre-diagnosis phase to clearly identify the problem to be solved and align the different communication strategies that you want to activate.


Your different productions will have to be positioned in terms of timing and recurrence.

For this, you can draw inspiration from the seasonality of the markets (swimsuits in summer, chocolates at Christmas, etc.), but also international events or events specific to your market which will serve as a framework for your communication:

Sales ;

Vacations ;

The fashions weeks;

Days reserved for people (women, fathers, grandmothers, etc.);

The Chinese new year ;

The days of struggle (diseases, poverty…);

World days with or without ...

These events can punctuate your calendar, so I recommend that you pay attention to them and plan them ahead.

No question of launching a communication on a new insecticide during the day against cancer or a new dating service for married men during women's day… Unless you are targeting the (bad) buzz.

The frequency of your communication is also a pillar, its regularity is more important than its intensity.

A bad example would be to start a blog with a daily publication comprising several elements (video, interview ...) if you are not able to keep up this pace over time.

You risk being forced to space out communications, the Internet user will remain frustrated at no longer receiving content at the same rate and risk unsubscribing.

On the contrary, if you communicate through quality content, with a clear frequency, you will create an interest and an expectation in relation to your next communication action.

Over time, you can even make your posts a date with your community, as long as you stay consistent.

Step 6: Determine the means of communication Canals

The multiplication of exchange platforms and mobility offer a wide choice of channels for communicating about the company:

Social networks ;


Websites and chatbots;

Mobile apps;



Radio waves;

TV channels;

Search engines and their SEO.


Your communication formats, editorials, press releases, spots, etc., are defined according to your target.

For example, if your go-to medium is a weekly newsletter, your content should be dynamic and varied.

On the contrary, if you use a quarterly medium like a white paper, you will write denser and more contextual content: balance sheet, forecast, strategy.

If your target consists of journalists responsible for relaying your event, the press release is ideal. If you want to advertise a promotion for a limited time, a post on your social networks will give a result at minimal cost.

If you have considered a communication plan, it is because you are waiting for a before and after, for example by directing your target to a cheaper product, more rewarding or offering a sense of belonging or a lasting commitment.

In short: “You have this problem, there is this solution, that's good, we have it”.

In the composition of your content, the video format is acclaimed and is even the subject of numerous Internet user requests on Google:

The contents are more viewed and shared;

Two thirds of companies use this medium to reach their target.

Step 7: determine your KPIs

At the end of your communication plan and the campaigns carried out, it is essential to take stock of the feedback.

Your first reaction is to check some simple indicators:

Number of followers / members;

Number of likes;

Number of visitors to the site;

Number of sales;

Evolution of the average basket;

Number of loyalty card subscriptions;

Number of returned items (if your communication concerns improving a sales and consulting service).

The key performance indicators, called KPIs, make it possible to refine the measurement of the effects of the communication campaign, in particular with regard to the SMART criteria.

The more your communication plan will support your notoriety as perceived by your customers, the more you will retain and strengthen your community.

The notions of belonging and sharing of values ​​have become central to networks.

Analysis of the results will therefore remain your best tool for determining high ROI actions on which to focus to guide your future communication plans.

What is a digital communication plan?

A digital communication plan is a document that groups together the actions planned to communicate about a product, service or company event. This plan describes the profile of your targets, the timing of the message (s) and the preferred communication channels for transmitting information.

What does a digital communication plan contain?

In your communication plan, you must identify: The short, medium and long-term objectives The reasons (why), the content to be activated to achieve these objectives (what), the timetable, the formats and the digital media to use (when , where and how), The roles (who does what) as well as the budget to be planned.

What is a communication plan for?

The communication plan is used to identify, articulate and execute priority communication strategies to ensure optimal reach of your message. It allows you to crystallize ambition and resources in the form of a concrete action plan. This plan (quarterly, biannual or annual) makes it possible to coordinate, finance your actions and measure their results.

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