You might be familiar with industry terms like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), or inbound marketing yet wonder if these tools can help you achieve success online. In this article, we will define digital marketing strategy, and show you how to create and implement an effective online digital marketing strategy in four easy steps.
What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is a detailed plan for businesses to conduct their advertising or engage in marketing online.
Your digital marketing strategy guides all the activities of your business online—where your business needs to be, who it needs to be reaching, and how it can grab the attention of your audience effectively. Think of it as a comprehensive guide for a business’s digital growth.
Your business should have a general strategy, guiding overall digital marketing goals and activities, plus a set of tactics to employ for specific campaigns.
Note that there is no one-strategy-fits-all digital marketing plan to use for your business. Get ready to create new strategies for your digital campaigns or adjust your current marketing strategies to adapt to new digital marketing trends.
Set digital marketing goals
Every digital marketing strategy has a specific goal or goals it intends to achieve. By outlining your goals, defining your audience, understanding digital channels, and choosing your tactics, you can come up with an effective marketing strategy.
Your goals can range from increasing sales to driving traffic to your website, increasing brand awareness, generating new leads, or increasing the number of your followers. Whatever your aim is, you need to make sure you have well-defined written-down marketing objectives. You need to ensure that your digital marketing goals are SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Let’s take a look at each one…
Don’t just say you want to get more views on your website – be specific. Who do you want to view your website? What action do you want them to take after viewing your website? Do you want organic traffic or paid traffic? Do you want to seek out customers (outbound marketing) or implement strategies, so customers come to you (inbound marketing)?
Whatever digital marketing tactics you employ for your business, you need to be able to look back and check your growth against metrics. It is not enough to say you want to make more sales in November.
You must set milestones against which to check your campaign’s growth. You must have systems to calculate increases or reductions in sales volume. The benefit of digital marketing is that results are a lot easier to measure than with traditional marketing.
You can set measurable goals like “increase daily sales volume to 20 orders per day with values of at least $500.” You can then choose what analytics tool will work best to measure the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy.
If you set unreasonable targets, you might become discouraged when you cannot reach those business goals within the set time. Look at the competition. What are the marketing milestones of businesses similar to yours? Determine which goals are actually attainable. Conduct an audit of your business, goals, market, and competitors to see which digital marketing goals are achievable for you.
You need to set goals that are relevant to your business and that have a real impact. Don’t chase digital marketing goals that will not translate to relevant growth for your business.
Ask yourself these questions: Does your business need to increase its conversion rate optimization (increase sales) or increase lead generation (get more followers)? Do you need to increase brand awareness or brand loyalty? Do you need to drive traffic to your website or specific landing page, or do you need strategies to keep current visitors coming back?
It’s not just an overused cliché—in digital marketing, time is money. Ask yourself whether your goals need to be long-term or short-term. Set realistic timelines to help you stay focused on your goal. Can your objective be achieved within the time set? No one can build Rome in a day, so be careful not to set too short deadlines for more complex or extensive marketing goals and campaigns.
Define your audience
“Know your audience” is one of the most repeated—yet rarely followed—pieces of advice given to marketers. Its importance cannot be underrated. Many marketers make assumptions when defining their audience and creating user personas or customer profiles.
Tools to zero in on your target audience
You can use tools like Facebook Audience Insights or Google Analytics reports to analyze who your current customers are and what they do online.
Ask questions about who currently patronizes your business and if they are the target audience you would like to reach. Create digital sales funnels and identify what your customers would need at each stage.
You need to be specific when trying to define and understand your audience. Don’t just say “I want to reach married folks between 25 and 40.” That’s not even half the battle. You need to go further to understand what makes these married folks in that age range tick. What information are they reading online? What social media platforms do they prefer? Where do they live? What do they search for online? What topics are they interested in? Who do they listen to?
Answer these questions about your target audience, you will already see clear pathways to your optimal digital marketing strategy. For example, if your target audience uses Twitter above all social platforms, and reads TechCrunch, you can determine the best platforms to use for your inbound marketing strategies.
Understand digital channels
Every digital channel has weaknesses and strengths that come with its content format, ad packages, and pricing model. You need to understand the different digital channels available to you and determine which one works best for your audience, and in what context. Let your chosen channels work in line with your marketing objectives. It’s idealistic and expensive to run your digital marketing strategy across all digital platforms so you need to understand which channels to focus on for your online marketing strategy. Here is an overview of digital marketing channels.
Search Engine Marketing
SEM allows you to reach customers instantly. You can pay to have your site show up on specific search engine results based on keyword searches.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is creating tailored content—social media posts and social media ads—for each social media platform to increase brand awareness, drive engagement, and even convert sales. Start by creating a social media marketing strategy and find a reliable 3rd party app, like UNUM, where you can organize your creative assets, plan posts, and monitor your brand's performance.
Email marketing is essential for reaching out to existing customers. It can help make your customers aware of your latest items or offers by integrating them into your marketing automation efforts. It can also play a pivotal role in your marketing strategy with lead generation, brand awareness, building relationships, or keeping customers engaged between purchases through different types of marketing emails.
Programmatic advertising, otherwise known as programmatic ad buying, is the process of using software to purchase digital advertising. The traditional form of buying ad involves tenders, quotes, proposals, and negotiation. In contrast, programmatic buying uses algorithmic software to purchase and sell online display space.
Website optimization is the process of using tools, advanced strategies, and experiments to improve the performance of your website, further drive more traffic, increase conversions, and grow revenue. (If you need a website, create a free one —> today.page)
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the process of improving a website or web page, so it increases organic traffic quality and quantity from search engines. Successful SEO means a web page will be more likely to appear higher on a search engine results page (SERP).
A type of paid online advertising, display media consists of text, image, video, audio, and motion ads, which display on websites, apps, and social media platforms. These ads can appear in several sizes, including banners, and reach users across the web.
The process of creating content to grow and advertise your brand across all channels. Branded content can include website content such as landing pages, product descriptions, and blog posts plus social media content such as social media posts or ads, influencer collaborations, user-generated content, and direct marketing such as notifications or emails.
Decide what digital marketing tactics to employ
Now that you understand your business goals, your audience needs, and the nuances of different digital channels with this information, you can choose what digital marketing tactics to employ. Is content marketing your best bet? Do you need to focus on improving your ranking in search engines? Do you go the organic route or use paid advertising channels? Do you need fresh content, or can you repurpose preexisting digital content?
Note that you can run multiple digital marketing tactics for your business at a time, but you need to prioritize them to help you focus your efforts and spending. Once you have followed these steps, you can outline your comprehensive marketing plan and start implementing your strategies. You will find that research is more than half the work.
Social media content marketing strategy
Social media is fast becoming a huge part of all digital marketing strategies. Generating leads, followers, brand awareness, and brand loyalty organically is what every brand strives for. Keep your social media accounts fresh and up to date with themed posts, prompts, user-generated content, giveaways, offers, and behind-the-scenes content.
If you’re stuck, here are some great digital strategy and content marketing ideas. These templates are filled with digital strategy and social media campaign ideas such as posts, captions, and hashtags, ready for you to use!
- Marketing Playbook: Hero's Journey
- 30-day Challenge
- Small Business 101: Take your business to the next level
- Questions To Ask
Digital marketing strategy takeaways
Doing your homework will make outlining and implementing an effective digital marketing strategy will be a piece of cake. You should also make space in your strategy for regular evaluation to see if the digital strategy still works.
Check your Google analytics and any other analytics dashboards to gather valuable information to tweak your marketing strategy. You can use a single third-party app like UNUM to view all of your social media analytics dashboards in one place, so you don't have to toggle between multiple apps.
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