I wanted to write this article as a result of several engagements I’ve had during lock-down. I’ve noticed that it can be very easy for people to engage in all manner of digital activity without first appreciating why they are doing it and setting goals for what they are hoping to achieve from it.
If you are looking to grow your online presence, taking time to create a solid digital marketing strategy will focus your activity and help your business thrive. An online marketing strategy will boost your online visibility, drive more traffic to your site and help you generate more leads/sales.
If you don’t have time to create a digital marketing strategy, our experienced team can do this for you, but for small businesses with no budget, reading this article will at least get you thinking about how to approach your digital marketing in a more focused way to achieve the best results.
What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
Your Digital Marketing Strategy is an overall blueprint that governs all your online marketing campaigns, and should be referred to when considering changes to your website, your social media and email campaigns, digital advertising (such as Facebook or Google ads), online customer support and any other outreach you do online.
Why do I need a Digital Marketing Strategy?
In the absence of an online marketing strategy, you are essentially shooting blind. You wouldn’t know if you are targeting the right audience, the right marketing channels and the right time.
Operating without a strategy online is like a small geographical business advertising in a local London newspaper – it may look good, it may even reach a massive audience and be seen by thousands of people – but it won’t make a difference to your business.
Having a digital marketing strategy removes the guesswork, ensuring your campaigns reach the right audience through the right marketing channels at the right time – getting you ahead of the competition.
Digital Marketing Strategy Vs Digital Marketing Campaign
Many people tend to confuse the two terms and use them interchangeably.
A digital marketing strategy is a blueprint or a master plan that helps achieve your digital goals. A digital marketing campaign, however, refers to the specific tactics and actions used to achieve the goals outlined in your strategy.
So your digital marketing strategy defines the what, why and where whereas the campaign is all about how you will achieve your strategy. Both go hand in hand and are essential to achieving your marketing goals.
What should my digital marketing strategy cover?
A digital marketing strategy outlines a series of steps and actions using online marketing channels to achieve specific goals. A carefully designed digital marketing plan paves the way for launching and growing your online marketing strategy successfully.
Your digital marketing strategy document should consider:
- Your business purpose, products and history
- Previous performance
- Your current marketing efforts
- Your goals and objectives
- Your target audience
- Current market issues and challenges
- Your ‘tone’ of voice
- Your branding guidelines
- Your competitors
- Timeframe and Goals
- Steps and actions to fulfil the strategy
- Check-in points and review stages to assess the performance and success of your strategy, techniques and the overall plan
Identify your audience
No two online marketing strategies are the same, and all the above steps are necessary – but perhaps the two most vital steps are to identify the target audience (or audiences) you hope to reach, and to set realistic, measurable goals to determine success.
How do I define my audience?
A good guide is to look at your best customers – the ones who spend the most and require the least amount of your time to support them, and your best market sectors. It’s possible to create several campaigns to reach different audiences, but your strategy should define who they are.
What goals should you set?
This will depend on the unique needs of your business, your goals and your budget.
However, a solid internet marketing strategy will outline the following goals:
- Short-term (for example, more social media followers by date)
- Medium-term (for example increase leads by date)
- Long-term (for example increase sales by date)
The short and medium-term goals should act as checking points and will help achieve your long-term goals.
Your strategy document will be unique to your business and there’s no place for a one-size-fits-all strategy. However, by doing this step, your efforts will be more focused and you will be able to measure success.
A digital marketing strategy gives all your online marketing efforts the best chance of success, helping you and your team focus your efforts on achieving your goals, increasing the chances of your campaigns succeeding.
If you’d like help creating an effective digital marketing strategy for your business, contact us today.