Creating a digital marketing strategy can seem overwhelming, especially if you’ve never had one before. There are many aspects of digital marketing and fitting the pieces together is not an easy job. It is an important one though.
Organisations without a digital marketing strategy may struggle to grow, to connect with customers, and to establish their brand. The majority of business today happens, or at least starts, online. Your digital presence can help you succeed or be an anchor holding you back.
To fully take advantage of all that digital marketing can do, you need a strong strategy. You should know how each and every element of your digital presence fits into your strategy and how it helps you achieve your goals. Don’t let it intimidate you. These five steps can guide you through the process and help set you up for success.
- Set clear goals and objectives
At the heart of any good strategy are clear goals and objectives. It’s hard to make a plan if you don’t know what you want to accomplish. Start with the big picture goals for the business overall. Do you want a certain market share? Do you want to grow your client base in a certain sector? Do you want to hit specific profit goals?
Think about both long term and short term goals. Where do you want to be in 10 years and what do you want to accomplish in the next 365 days? These goals can be broad, but try to be as specific as possible.
Set quantifiable goals and share them with everyone in the organisation. Keep them visible and a priority so that everyone knows what you are working towards.
- Evaluate your marketing current efforts
Once your goals are set, take a look at your current marketing strategy, whatever that may look like. Is it moving you toward your goals or just spinning your wheels?
For example, if your goal is to keep current clients active with you for longer, it wouldn’t make sense for your campaigns to focus on free trials for new clients. Objectively evaluate all areas of marketing and see what is working and what’s not. Keep the strategies that align with your goals and ditch the ones that don’t.
- Create buyer personas and understand your audience
This step is arguably the most important. Your goals will give you a destination, but need to listen to your customers to get there. You could come up with the best strategy in the world but if it doesn’t resonate with your target audience, it will be ineffective.
One of the best ways to help you understand your audience is with buyer personas. Personas provide a helpful profile of your ideal customers. They include things like gender, age, lifestyle, values, and motivations.
For example, if you sell running shorts, one of your personas could be Caitlin, a 25 year old living in Melbourne who runs around her city to train for a half marathon. She is willing to splurge on shorts but wants to make sure they are worth it. She wants shorts that keep her cool and comfortable while offering durability and fashion.
These personas make it much easier to get into the mind of your customers and understand what messages will resonate with them through which channels. Caitlin, for example, would probably be most receptive to messaging about the shorts performance attributes and would benefit from seeing them worn by others on Instagram.
Create a few of these personas for each market segment you are targeting. Let these insights guide you as you form an action plan for your strategy.
- Outline an action plan
Now it’s time to put the pieces together and get to the heart of creating your digital marketing strategy. You’ve set goals so you know where you’re headed, and your personas provide a roadmap of how to get there.
Your action plan should fill in the blanks. What specific steps will you take to achieve your goals? Let’s say that your goal is to raise brand awareness of your running shorts in female long distance runners. Your personas indicate that they care about performance, durability, and fashion and respond well to social media marketing. Your action plan may include an awareness campaign or an influencer campaign on Instagram.
Don’t forget to include all aspects of digital marketing and integrate them together. Look at things like SEO on your website, your email content, and paid ads. Each of these aspects should complement and support the others to form one complete strategy.
- Measure and adjust your digital marketing strategy
As you implement your new digital marketing strategy, it’s important to monitor and analyse performance. Your goals should include quantitative performance indicators against which you can measure your progress.
Remember, digital marketing results take time to fully play out. Commit to your strategy for at least 3 months before evaluating. Then, look at your performance indicators and how those compare to the goals you set. Are you on track?
If it’s working, great! Keep going and enjoy the success. If you’re not quite hitting your mark, make some adjustments. Are you getting impressions but not engagement? Maybe change your messaging. Are customers visiting your site but not converting? Maybe check your landing and product pages for performance and content. Digital marketing is a fluid process full of adjustments and changes. Let your strategy guide you, but stay flexible along the way.
Creating your digital marketing strategy is a tough job, but it’s essential for your success. Follow these five steps to make it a little easier and reach out to our team if you need help along the way.