Whether you are a new start-up or have an established business, effective marketing is going to be front and centre of your operation. Getting the balance right, however, is about more than just choosing a few channels to focus on and hoping for the best.
Your digital marketing strategy needs to be carefully thought out and fit for purpose. Scattergun approaches rarely work and often waste marketing budgets with little or no return.
Here we look at how to create a digital marketing strategy that is data driven and truly tailored for your target audience.
What is a digital marketing strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is a plan for leveraging various online channels such as SEO, paid media advertising, and content marketing. It allows you to maximise your resources and marketing budget so that every penny is well spent, helping to forge strong and durable relationships with your audience.
The key to a successful digital marketing strategy is setting achievable and specific goals that are aligned with and ladder up to your overall business goals.
Why does your business need a digital marketing strategy?
It’s motivational: Developing a digital marketing plan makes you look more closely at all aspects of your business and how everything fits together. You must consider your audience and what their needs are, dig deeper into what your competitors do well, and look at niches where you can boost conversions.
You get good data: Marketing doesn’t work unless you measure your success. This gives you a lot of useful data about what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to hone your approach and improve that all-important return on investment. Data is critical in refining your digital marketing strategy sales funnel and growing your customer base.
There’s less waste: A digital marketing strategy gives you structure and alleviates low returns that can often become the norm when you are making uninformed choices about where to advertise and promote your brand.
B2C vs B2B digital marketing strategies
The structure of your digital marketing will depend on whether you sell direct to customers or to other businesses.
In general, a B2B digital marketing strategy has a longer lead-in than B2C. For the former, we are often dealing with someone in a professional business role where decisions have to be ratified and negotiated. In B2C, the consumer is the only one making the buying decision more often than not.
B2B digital marketing strategies not only take longer, they also cost more per sale. For example, if you are selling a software platform to a large corporation, you may have to convince not just the CEO but department heads as well as the procurement office and HR. Each of these may well need individual marketing approaches to bring them onside and that costs more time and money.
How to create a digital marketing strategy
What is a digital marketing strategy if you don’t have goals? It’s just a random series of activities that don’t have a purpose. If any succeed, it’s purely by chance. To solve this problem for your business, you need to develop clear and concise SMART goals:
Specific: Each goal in your digital marketing strategy needs to be simple to understand and direct. It can’t be vague or wordy.
Measurable: You should be able to describe or illustrate what success looks like, and how you will measure this based on KPIs.
Achievable: The goal needs to be attainable within the time limits you have set.
Relevant: It needs to be purposeful for your business, and realistic.
Time-Bound: The goal needs to be achievable in a specific time frame.
The key to setting goals for your digital marketing strategy also depends on understanding at a much deeper level who your target audience is. If you are developing buying personas or an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), they need to reflect reality. You must understand how and why your customers (both existing and new) are buying your product or service. All this needs to be based on research and data collection and not your best hunch.
Ideally, you need a digital marketing strategy funnel where you target customers with the right message at the right time of the buying cycle. This can be more challenging if you are putting together a B2B marketing strategy where you are trying to convince a group rather than a single individual but it’s not impossible.
The next step to create a digital marketing strategy that works is choosing your channels and, more importantly, how these are going to integrate with each other.
Multi-channel digital marketing strategies and channel integration
Multi-channel digital marketing strategies allow you to have reach across different types of media while still delivering the same coherent message. For example, you may have social media activity, your website and blog as well as video messaging in your marketing mix.
It’s critical to understand how each channel or platform you select works. Twitter and Facebook are both social media channels but each requires slightly different types of content. This is because the length of content for both channels differs vastly, and also because users are in different mindsets depending on which of the two platforms they are interacting with. Understanding how to leverage this while maintaining consistency is one of the key benefits of having a digital marketing strategy in place.
Multi-channel digital marketing will largely be influenced by your audience. You need to be where they are hanging out and creating the content that they need and want.
Multi-channel digital marketing strategies help you cast a wider net and maximise any customer engagement. It allows you to build a consistent brand message and get your key marketing points across whether you’re creating a PPC (Pay Per Click) advertisement or producing a YouTube video.
A coherent digital marketing strategy is essential for any business and delivers a wide range of benefits. It allows you to focus on key channels that deliver a strong return on investment and ensures that your brand message is consistent and transferrable across different media. It also ensures that you reach your target audience at the right time of their purchase journey, and with the right content.
Without a digital strategy, your business is likely to stumble through its marketing activities and any success is likely to be by pure chance rather than skill. Get your strategy right, however, and you can expect to maximise your investment in time as well as money and grow your business more efficiently.
Get in touch with us today if you would like to find out more about digital marketing strategies and how we can support you with yours.