The need for digital marketing has grown over the years as people spend most of their time online. Businesses have increased their budget for online marketing making it a highly competitive platform to promote products and services.
The best way to position your brand as the best option amongst your competitors is to come up with a digital marketing strategy that separates you from the pack.
A solid digital marketing strategy will help you reduce marketing costs, save time, and yield more returns on your marketing investment.
This article will give you a start to finish guide to help you create your next digital marketing strategy.
Let’s get to it!
What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is a step-by-step process that helps a company achieve its digital marketing goals. Building a digital marketing strategy involves taking deliberate decisions and choosing the appropriate marketing channels to run your campaigns.
Why Build a Digital Marketing Strategy?
Over 77.6% of small business owners use digital marketing to promote their business. This means without a digital marketing strategy, you can be online and still lose out on potential customers. To play in the highly-competitive digital marketplace you have to bring in your A-game.
Here is a simplified breakdown to help you get started with your digital marketing strategy.
Steps to Build a Solid Digital Marketing Strategy
1. Create buyer personas
To come up with a digital marketing strategy that works you have to understand who you’re trying to sell to. And the best way to understand your target customer is to create buyer personas.
A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer. It is built based on the demographics and behaviour of your customer along with their motivations and challenges.
Creating a buyer persona would help you determine the kind of marketing strategies and corresponding content you need for your campaign. It would also help you set the tone style and delivery strategies for your content.
How do you create a buyer persona?
Find out their demographic information, their career level, what a day in their life looks like, what their pain points are, what your product and services help them solve, and what they value the most.
How do you get this information?
Through online/offline research, surveys, interviews, your previous campaign analytics, and customer feedback. To get a broader view don’t include only your existing customers in your research pool; involve prospects and others who understand your target customer.
You can use any of these samples to build your buyer persona:
2. Examine your past results
Analyzing your historical data is a great place to start. Examine your digital marketing channels and see how you stack up against your top competitors.
From this data, you can also understand your customers better and see how well your previous campaign did. Note down what worked and didn’t work and find out why they did or didn’t work.
Don’t forget to check out what your competitors are doing online, analyze their SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and any other marketing channel they use.
With tools like SEMrush and SpyFu, you can spy on your competitors to find out their strengths and weaknesses so you can score your results correctly and move to the next step.
3. Set clear goals.
Your marketing goals should draw you closer to achieving your business objectives. Marketing goals and business goals should be aligned.
Do you want to attract new customers, grow your email list, and generate leads? Decide what you want to achieve with your digital marketing campaign and set SMART goals, meaning they should be;
Let’s say your business goal is to grow revenue by 50% this year, your quarterly marketing goals can be to increase web traffic by 50%, generate more leads by 40% and convert 30% of the leads generated.
Another good example can be to increase website leads by 10% through your blog for the next 3 months.
Whatever goals you set try to make it specific, easy to measure, and easy to achieve within a timeframe.
4. Understand your customer’s journey
The customer’s journey is the process every prospect takes before purchasing your product or service. The prospect can follow these three main stages: awareness, consideration, and decision stage.
Understanding your buyer’s journey will help you finetune your marketing strategy and also tailor solutions that meet their needs at every stage.
The three buyer journey stages:
- Awareness Stage
At this stage, the prospect identifies they have a problem. Most times would run a search, ask a friend, or ask their network on social media and online forums. Some prospects become aware of their problem when they come across a content.
- Consideration Stage
At this point, they’ve piled a list of solution providers and are trying to find the best product or service that matches their expectations.
- Decision Stage
Now they’re finally ready to place the order. Most customers would right away add to the cart if the payment process is convenient while others want some proof.
5. Map out your strategy
Map out the tactics you want to apply to help you achieve your objectives. For instance, if your objective is to generate leads, you can create a landing page optimized for conversions, then drive traffic to the landing page using PPC ads and social media marketing.
Another tactic can be to create gated content like an ebook or a white paper. Where users have to give you their email to access the content.
There are several digital marketing tactics you can combine to achieve your goals. There are no one-size-fits-all in digital marketing. Keep testing your campaigns and make improvements based on the reports and analysis you get from your campaigns.
6. Determine the channel and tools to use
To increase the chances of getting your campaigns in front of those you’re targeting, prioritise the channels your audience is active on and the ones you’ve been using to communicate with them.
Find out the tools and resources you need to get your campaign running.
For example, if you’re going to do content marketing you need keyword research tools, SEO tools, content audit tools, proofreading tools, publishing tools, and content planning tools.
7. Measure and analyze your campaigns
Set benchmarks and key performance indicators(KPIs) to help you track your campaigns. Clear KPIs will help you measure your progress while benchmarks are what you want to achieve.
For instance, if you’re running a social media campaign your benchmark might be a 20% increase in engagement, then the KPIs to measure that success can be likes, shares, comments, retweets, reactions, etc.
We’ll recommend you run a pilot phase of your campaign for 2 weeks then analyze the result. If you’re not getting the results you desire you can adjust your targeting and strategy. A/B testing is a good way to test two versions of your campaigns to know which is more effective.
The kind of digital marketing strategy you imbibe would be based on the industry you operate in and your target audience. Take note of what’s changing in your market and the effect of that change in your strategy.
As you analyze your campaigns you’ll also learn more about your customers, keep reviewing your strategy, and experiment with ideas you come up with.
We wish you good luck!