Companies that are looking for ways to grow their brand and stand out from the competition need to establish one fundamental aspect of their business plan before anything else. What is this vital component? A custom digital marketing strategy.
Notice that we say "custom digital marketing strategy." Each business has its own specific goals, target demographics, and unique selling points; therefore, it only makes sense that each business will have its own unique marketing strategy.
Perhaps you may wonder:
- What exactly does a digital marketing strategy involve?
- Is forming one a complicated process?
- What steps would one take to create a strategy that is truly effective?
The following information will provide answers to these questions.
What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
While the term "digital marketing strategy" may sound intimidating at first, in principle it is actually very simple. A digital marketing strategy is simply a plan of action to bring out a desired result, or achieve a specific goal or goals.
It is important to note here that we are talking about overall or overarching strategy in this article, as opposed to tactics, or micro-strategies. What's the difference? An example of an overarching digital marketing strategy could be a plan of action focused on the objective of generating 15% more leads from the company's website. In contrast, generating SEO-driven content and implementing a social media marketing initiative would be two tactics the company could utilize to help accomplish that overall goal.
How to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
There are 3 basic steps that you'll need to go through in order to create a truly effective marketing plan for your business.
1. Set Your Goals
The Roman philosopher Seneca once said: "When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind." For the context of our discussion, what this means is that without a clearly defined objective, it is impossible to create an effective marketing strategy.
How can you set beneficial goals for your company? There are several factors you'll need to take into account, such as:
- What is the company doing well?
- What are some areas of opportunity?
- Who is our ideal customer, and how does he/she interact with a business like ours?
- What resources do we currently have available, and do we need more?
It is important in the goal-setting process to use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timed) method to select the best benchmarks of success. For instance, you could have the goal to generate 15% more leads from your website within a period of 6 months.
2. Identify Which Tools You'll Need
Once you've set your goals, you'll need to identify which marketing tools will be most suitable for the task at hand.
For instance, if we stick with the goal of generating 15% more customer leads from the company website, then the creation of SEO-driven content that captures inbound traffic would likely be a big priority in your marketing efforts. On the other hand, brand exposure initiatives via social media may be more peripheral to your primary objective, and therefore less important.
3. Audit Your Performance
After your goals have been set, and your marketing efforts have been set in motion, the final phase in the cycle is to look back and analyze the performance of your marketing tools and techniques.
- Did your company achieve its goal?
- Which marketing tools were more effective in helping to reach this objective?
- If you fell short of your goal, what was the root cause?
- What can you do differently in the future?
Detailed analysis of your KPIs in this way can help you continually improve your marketing efforts down the road.