What is a digital marketing strategy, and how do you create one?
Here is a short guide on what a digital marketing strategy looks like and how to make sure digital marketing helps your business grow.
Do you sit down regularly and ask what strategies, tactics or activities are going to make the most significant impact on your business? You should.
There are five stages to keep in mind when kickstarting digital marketing campaigns.
Do your marketing objectives align with your business goals?
Many people, eager to make an impact with digital marketing, tend to jump into a campaign without having entirely determined what they hope they will achieve.
Like anything in life, without clearly defined goals your marketing efforts will wander.
Goals vary from business to business but may include generating traffic to your website, generating leads, social media engagement and online product sales.
The goals you set yourself should follow the ‘SMART’ structure. The more focused they are from the start, the more successful you can expect your campaign to be.
SMART means specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-sensitive
Specific – Your goals should be defined so that everyone on the team knows what the aim is.
Measurable – Ensure that your goals are measurable and decide how they will be measured.
Achievable – While reaching for the stars is a great long-term, for now, you need to be sure that the goals you set really can be achieved. Setting unattainable goals puts your team under unnecessary stress and damages morale. Goals should be challenging but not impossible.
Relevant – Take some time to align your marketing goals with those of your business on the whole. Your goals should have a clear rationale which works in tandem with your sales and marketing plan.
Time-sensitive – Put a time frame on what you want to achieve. Not only should your goals be achievable, but this should be possible within a reasonable period as defined by your business requirements.
Define your audience.
You may have heard this one before, but it’s so important to build out detailed audience personas before starting any digital activities.
If you don’t know your target market intimately, you’re going to find it difficult to provide value to them. Create profiles including topline demographic information:
2: Age range
3: Where they work
4: Job titles
To create a defined persona, it’s necessary to look even deeper:
1: What social networks do they use?
2: What brands do they engage with?
3: What sites teach them? ?
4: What are their goals?
5: What are their challenges?
Tip: To help you make informed decisions about this, take a look at your current customer base, who are engaging on social media, or visiting your website. Google Analytics and the social analytical tools can provide insights in this regard. Use the tools that are already out there.
Audit your website.
Is your website, your online shop window. Is it up to scratch? It should be when you are driving traffic to it through a digital marketing strategy.
These are the main things to check:
1: Is it representative of your brand?
Consistency is key when creating a strong brand. Take the time to check that your design elements are the same across all of your online platforms; this includes colours, fonts etc. There should be no doubt that your readers are on your page, it should look, feel and sound like you and your business brand, always.
2: Is it search engine friendly?
There are plenty of SEO techniques which can help to ensure that search engines can find your site quickly. While it is beyond the scope of this article to explore these in depth, you should at the least know what words your audience searches for to reach sites like yours.
3: Is it mobile responsive?
Your website must be fully compatible with mobile devices. 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site.
4: Does it convert customers?
All our efforts in a digital marketing strategy are focused on attaining one key deliverable, that is, conversions. It doesn’t matter how successful we have been in all of the other steps if this step is lacking our efforts can appear fruitless. Keep in mind that a conversion can be any goal as determined by you; it does not have to be a sale. It could be getting the potential customer to sign up for your newsletter or to make a phone call.
A persuasive call to action (CTA) tells them what they need to do to arrive at the situation where you have solved their problem.
Create great content.
Content is the fuel that should drive your digital marketing strategy. By creating valuable, high-quality content, you’ll attract the right visitors, who are likely to convert into leads.
Content comes in all shapes and sizes, and the more tailored you can make it to your audience, the more successful your digital marketing campaign will be. Your content can consist of blog posts, infographics, quotes and social media content, or any combination of the four.
Measure your success.
Once you have put all the elements of your digital marketing strategy in place, take a step back to check that everything looks and works as it should. The tools available in digital marketing make the process a lot more targeted than traditional marketing. We can monitor our efforts in real time and make changes as needed. If you make a change on a platform like Facebook or Google, they take effect in minutes. Analytics yields a vast amount of information about the traffic visiting our sites, and this information is invaluable regarding past mistakes and building upon successes. It is your audience speaking to you and is the most valuable insights tool out there.
All this may seem like a lot to digest. Just think of it in small bite size pieces. Take each step at a time and then build on it.
This guide was written by Karl O’Brien, the founder of Effector.ie, a web and social media agency based in Dublin focused on using digital tools to generate business results. Learn more at Effector.ie.