Planning an effective marketing strategy for your business involves thoroughness and a consistent focus, and as well must be digital because users and target audiences are always online and joining every new platform. Businesses must take advantage of this by building very detailed and rich digital marketing strategies, and regularly committing to fast-paced growth. It might seem like something complex, but it isn’t if you know what you want and what you are doing.
In this article, we would address what you need to know to create an effective digital marketing strategy.
What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
A Digital Marketing Strategy is a plan that contains details on how to use online platforms and marketing channels to establish an internet presence, reach your online audience, and secure more leads and conversions. It contains a list of steps and marketing goals the business aims to achieve through a marketing campaign.
What is a Digital Marketing Campaign?
A Digital Marketing Campaign is the actions that make up your marketing strategy, to move you forward to your marketing goal. For example, if the goal of your marketing strategy is to build brand awareness on social media, then you might run a digital marketing campaign on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. If the goal of your marketing strategy is to convert new customers, your marketing campaign might include running paid ads on search engine result pages or native advertising.
Why You Need to Have a Digital Marketing Strategy
Having a digital marketing strategy is important because it helps you to organize the different marketing campaigns so that they all work towards achieving your marketing goals. It also provides you with protection against spending resources anyhow because proper planning has taken place.
A marketing strategy helps with planning your time and ensures that you do not waste time on running campaigns that you don’t need to achieve your goals. It helps you put all the important things in focus through proper analysis.
It helps you test and confirm some specific marketing points and helps you to gather more information on your target audience. It allows you to test marketing assumptions and theories, and to determine which would work better in the future, thereby helping you build a foundation for continued marketing growth.
With a planned digital marketing strategy, it is easier for you to pinpoint what might have gone wrong in your marketing campaigns and to also focus on the right key performance indicators (KPIs). Errors are easier to detect and correct when you have a marketing strategy on the ground.
Steps to Planning a Digital Marketing Strategy
- Identify and evaluate your measurable marketing goals. The first step to creating a marketing strategy is to identify your marketing goals. Your marketing goals should be directly in sync with your business goals, or else your whole marketing strategy will become ineffective. Your goals should be well-defined and measurable; everything in your marketing campaign must be measurable so it is important to have a plan with specifics. Your goals can be to raise brand awareness, make more sales, increase traffic organically, get more followers on social media, or get more email subscribers. After identifying these goals, it is advisable to further with more specifics e.g., increase follower count with a particular number for a particular social media platform. Make sure to break your goals down to how you want to achieve them while giving the number of specifics if it is required. For example, if your goal is to increase traffic organically, you can break this goal down to; publishing new blog content weekly using a particular keyword, getting higher rankings for a particular keyword, updating existing blog posts, and running an email campaign to get more subscribers to your blog. You can start by specifying your business goals and then translate these goals in terms of digital marketing goals.
- Identify your target audience and build their buyer personas. You can start this step by first analyzing the data that you already have. Dig into your Facebook Insights, Google Analytics reports, Google Ads reports, and any other data you might have. You can also use any data that you might have on prospective customers. What you need to do is to specify the characteristics of people that might be interested in your business; you need to know who you are marketing. Collect information on their location, age, income, and job title (if you can). Getting information on their goals and challenges is not a bad idea also; you can get information on this by speaking to real customers or people who have direct contact with customers like customer service reps, receptionists, sales officers, and so on. Through this, you can also get information on their hobbies, interests, and priorities. Make sure that you understand their needs and search intent. Collating all these data will give you a clear picture of who your customers are, and how you can draw their attention and satisfy their needs and will prove to be highly valuable for your business.
- Create a content marketing library. This is the point where you determine the digital marketing tools to use in your campaigns. After getting a clear picture of who your audience is, it is time to determine what tools will work best to attract them and make them commit to your business while fulfilling your marketing goals. These marketing tools or assets can be blog posts, images, videos, podcasts, logos, and any other thing you can publish on your website and social media pages.
- Evaluate your current digital channels. It is essential to review your existing digital channels and assets to determine what to incorporate into your marketing strategy. Categorize everything you have in a spreadsheet to determine your owned, earned, and paid media. Owned media are the digital assets or channels that your company owns, that is your website, landing page, social media accounts, blog, and so on. Earned media is the recognition that you earn through word-of-mouth marketing, it is the exposure you have gotten because of good customer experience, guest posts on other websites, and so on. Paid media on the other hand refers to any channel that you have spent your money on to catch the attention of your target audience. Evaluating these three channels is essential to determine how your marketing strategy would go. If your owned media has high traffic on it, you might want to incorporate it into your marketing strategy and still use your paid media to get more exposure to your target audience. Incorporate the channels that work best for your business into your strategy.
- Plan your owned, paid, and earned media campaigns. Planning your owned media campaigns is the most important part of marketing. It always comes in form of content which you must ensure is as catchy and helpful as possible. Putting very good content on your website, your social media pages, and your blog will help you cement your brand’s online presence and reputation, help with SEO to boost organic traffic, and convert visitors into leads and customers. Be specific on content that will help you to reach your goals to avoid wasting time and energy on what is not important. Audit your existing content, identify gaps in it, and create a plan for the new content. For your paid media campaigns, you need to first audit your previous campaign and use the data gotten from it to decide on the next step to take. Decide on what platforms to drop and what platforms to focus on and continue using e.g., Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and so on. Do the same for your earned media to decide on what is best to achieve your current marketing goals
- Use remarketing and personalization. It is important to follow up on users that already know your brand but are not customers and users that are existing customers also (read more about remarketing here). With retargeting, you can show specific ads to users who have visited your website before but did not convert. It has a high conversion rate and costs less than other forms of ads. When combined with the element of personalization, retargeting is more effective and will help you maximize the return for money spent on your paid ads or SEO.
- Evaluate your digital marketing campaign. Now that you have done all the research and decided on the steps to take and platforms to use, you are all set to kickstart your campaign. You should bring all the elements of your campaign together in a strategy document that maps out the step-by-step actions you are going to take to achieve your goals.
- Monitor closely and take reports. Gather all the data you can to be able to point out where any problem might have risen from in your strategy, for future purposes. Take reports regularly and follow your strategy strictly till the end.
The work of planning a digital marketing strategy can be very daunting at first; there is usually so much to do and so many channels plus all the evaluation and data to track. If it is too much for you to handle you can outsource to a digital marketing agency (contact us at the Dik3n Team). And if you want to handle it yourself bear in mind that a strategy is very important to have. Take the time to understand your audience, your goals, and the platforms and channels that you plan to use. Experiment with your plans frequently to be sure that they will be effective enough and commit to collecting every data that you can to make your strategy robust and effective.
If you can successfully and diligently do all these, you can achieve your marketing and business goals and outshine your competitors.