Imagine you just landed your dream job in a marketing agency and your first assignment is a product that needs to show more sales per week. The product has been losing customers and your agency is their last resort. All you can think of, while listening to the brief is, “how to create a digital marketing strategy that will do something the company hasn’t been able to achieve yet?”
We think you need a plan. A solid digital marketing strategy process.
Digital marketing campaigns are not like traditional marketing campaigns, they require time and patience. They don’t give you results over-night most probably because they have too many working parts.
Whether this is your first time on a marketing team or you are here looking for a refresher on the steps needed for digital marketing strategy development, you are at the right place. This article will list down all the steps you need to implement a strategy and get those dollars rolling in.
Define your Business Goals
This seems like the obvious first step. But in any marketing strategy, digital or not, this is where it all begins. Maybe you want to increase your followers by 50%, or showcase your brand to new customers, or sell 60 more products per week, no matter what goal you set, outlining it from the outset is important.
Some of the most common goals for a digital marketing strategy include:
- SEO marketing
- Social media reach
- Paid marketing
- Email marketing
- Brand awareness
And you can set more.
Do a Market Research and Competitor Analysis
Once you have a goal set start with a market research. A market research helps you figuring out where your target market is. You need to know where does your buyer currently hangs out and what is so appealing about your competitor at the moment. Unless you are launching something totally new and unique, employing a blue ocean strategy, it is highly unlikely that there are no competitors for your product.
Look for answers to the following questions when researching your competitors:
- What kind of products in the market is attracting buyers?
- What kind of content in the market is working for competition?
- What is generally popular in the market?
Do the following after you complete you market research:
- Create your Unique Selling Proposition
- Write down what will you be selling
- Write down who your market will be
Identify your Target Market
Once your market research is complete and product is identified, the next step is understanding who would be the ideal audience for your product. There is no point running a campaign for the entire world or by randomly selecting variables. The results of such digital marketing strategies tend to remain random as well.
Niche down your target market and figure out who will be the likely group of users, the demographics of these users, their general behavior patterns and psychographics. Once you have all mapped out, you have your target market identified.
For example, if your product is a shaving kit worth $500, your target market will be men who have beards, are well-groomed and spend time on themselves, could be from 16- 60 years of age and probably be earning well to afford the kit.
One step forward into understanding your target market is developing personas. Creating a buyer persona renders a perception to the target market. You will understand the following in detail about your buyer
- What they do for a living
- Do they have a family and how do they live
- Do they make money
- Their age and profession
- Their gender
- Where are they from
- They type of content they value
- Do they visit other websites
- What are their goals for visiting websites
- What are their desires and fears
Most of this data can be pulled from Google Analytics and this profile will create an image of the buyer. You can also add graphs, charts and visual images which will create an in- depth analysis of your ideal buyer.
Choose your Channels and Set your Budget
This step is two fold. Let’s look at it one by one; however, the choice of channels will affect the budget you will come up with. You can choose Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn or email marketing to run your digital marketing campaign. However, even with a combination of channels, there will be one channel that will be central to the goal that you set in your digital marketing strategy.
Once you decide on the number of channels decide what kind of money you will be spending on the campaign. If you will be pushing organic growth, you will creating content that brings in traffice and sales organically and budgeting accordingly. Conversely, if you would be doing paid advertising then each platform will offer differing returns and costs which will affect the budget significantly.
Create Your Content
Your content focuses on the marketing campaign goals you set out in the first step.
- If you want your product to show up more in organic search results, your content will be a series of blog posts that features them.
- If you want to execute a video marketing campaign, your content will feature a series of edited and finished videos which will be posted on your chosen channel.
Remember your content is your asset. Anything your create has a permanent value and will be visited and revisited multiple times. However, while running a digital marketing campaign your content assets will evolve as your data comes through.
Analyze Your Marketing Campaign
As you execute your digital marketing strategy you will be able to see a lot of data that you can make sense of by putting them into legible charts or graphs, or just use third party tools like Google Analytics. Most marketing tools have in-built analytic tools that give you insights into how your campaign is performing.
The best way to make sense of these tools is to go back to your goals and see which numbers correspond to achievement of goals and which need to be worked upon.
Look for answers to questions like:
- Did the campaign increase traffic (brand awareness) to the product page?
- Did the press notice the new product (brand awareness, social media reach)?
- Were there more purchases (paid marketing, social media reach) as a results of the campaign?
- Which Facebook ads (paid marketing) lead to increased sales?
The analysis can lead to discouraging and encouraging results and there is a good chance of the numbers being equally so. Use the analysis to learn what can be improved in your digital marketing strategy and experiment further.
Monitor, reallocate and re-market
Digital advertising is not about running one campaign only, it is always a series of campaigns that get better with time, multiple campaigns or A/B tests that gather data from different segments.
Monitor the progress of your campaigns to reallocate budget to the successful campaigns. Once you know which digital marketing strategy is making you money, add more money to that campaign to drive better results. Reallocating money from unfruitful campaigns to profitable ones is not a guarantee of verifiable future returns, but you will make sure you aren't spending money on campaigns that don’t work.
Re-marketing is a process of running ads to people who have already viewed your ad. It is like recall advertising from traditional media, only in re-marketing you have multiple platforms on social media that you can choose to re-market on. This also allows your ad to be seen again and again eventually leading to a sale.
While reallocating and re-marketing it’s vital to refine marketing campaigns as you go. As you re-market with a higher budget, you eventually plug in holes and get the most out of your money spent. You also tend develop new channels and add new strategies widening your target market and finding new ways to attract them. However, be wary of repetitive content that may start building up momentum. It may be a good idea to showcase old content with a refreshed look but old static content without any touch ups will mar your re-marketing efforts.
So what is a digital marketing strategy?
It is a step-by-step program that begins within your organization, involves a lot of research and expands into audience interaction. The key to an effective campaign is to create and achieve the goal you set out. You can always tweak, change, alter or scale up. However, the steps mentioned above need to be followed to achieve success in designing campaigns with effective digital marketing strategy.