Like a well-seasoned pesto, your digital marketing plan has to do more than grab attention, it has to keep that attention. That first bite might be enough to savor that powerful punch of garlic, but if it isn’t peppered throughout the dish, say goodbye to that initial allure.

Marketing in the ever-changing age of social media, viral videos, content creation, and Google stirring the analytics pot every few months requires a plan with plenty of zest along the way to grab and keep your customers engaged and committed to your brand. The question is: Where do you begin?

Like a beautiful, multilayered bulb of fresh garlic, a stellar digital marketing plan should be easy, fun, and full of flavor. But don’t take our word for it; let the garlic speak for itself!

Embrace Your Mission. With more than 600 sub-varieties of garlic available in the world, you really have to pinpoint what you’re looking for in a bulb to make sure whatever you’re preparing makes a cohesive dish, right? The same goes with brands. Chances are there are hundreds, if not thousands, of brands doing what you do, so clarifying who you are is key. Red Bull pushes an extreme lifestyle, and Apple is the epitome of design, so what sets your brand apart from the rest? Are you the only local gourmet popcorn producer for 500 miles? Maybe your tattoo parlor specializes in organic inks and green initiatives. With a clear idea of what makes you unique and brings zest into the marketplace, your digital marketing plan’s personality will move mountains.

Get to Know the Competition. The thought of substituting garlic is — we know — appalling, but getting to know garlic’s competition can help you enhance your own use of the aromatic. When it comes to your competition, understanding how other brands use digital tools for conversions and customer acquisition will allow you to create a plan for tackling those same tools for your own brand’s digital domination. Analyze your competition’s digital marketing successes and failures, then prepare your own substitutions for flavorful campaigns. It also gives you the chance to take a look at an already-established audience that might find something unique and special in your brand.

Build a Community. It might come as a shocker, but there are people who are allergic to garlic, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find them poking around a garlic festival admiring the international bulb. When it comes to building your brand in the digital space, you have to remember that not everyone who interacts with you will end up becoming a customer. The key is to cultivate those relationships just as strongly as you would with your loyalists. You never know when someone who digs your content and engagement will sell your brand to friends and family. Plan to cater your content and energies to the curious, the questioning, and the already convinced. Like garlic lovers, brand evangelists come in many forms!

Keep it Simple. It’s been said that garlic is “absurdly” easy to grow, making it an easy addition to your burgeoning (or failing) garden. Think of your digital marketing plan in the same way. If you think simple, your digital adventures won’t get away from you. There are plenty of accepted means of easy-to-use modern marketing tools like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+, but you should also tap into the power of email marketing and creating fresh, engaging content. Encourage conversations on as many social spaces as possible, build hype around your brand, and watch your conversions and customer loyalty grow.

These tips might seem intuitive, but it’s easy for a digital marketing plan to run amok like wild onions in your prized rose garden. Keeping social sites updated and your blog full of engaging content can be a daunting task and managing customer service across platforms might make you long for the days of fax machines.

To keep your cool, just think of your digital marketing plan as a garlic-infused dish that you’re serving to a dozen uniquely discerning palates. Don’t over season or over think it, focus on balance and flavor, and always keep it fresh and fun.

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