As a business owner big or small, we all should have a digital marketing strategy. In today’s world, people consume more information via mobile devices than any other medium.
What is Digital Marketing?
Why Digital Marketing matter?
What is a Digital Strategy?
How to develop Digital Marketing Strategy?
So, What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilizes the internet and online-based digital channels such as social media, search engines, blog posts, emails, and any other form of a digital channel. Digital Marketing utilizing desktop computers, mobile devices, and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services.
To simply put it…
Digital Marketing is a form of marketing that involves using electronic devices.
Why digital marketing matters?
Here are a few facts about digital marketing..
- US consumers spend more time on their mobile devices than they do watching TV.
- Buyers are constantly on Digital Channels. So, why not advertise where your buyers are spending most of their valuable time.
- Digital advertising expenditures in the United States will increase by 85% by 2023.
- U.S. digital ad spend will grow from 108 to 201 billion dollars a year within the next few years.
- More than $87+ billion were spent on mobile ads in 2019, projected to reach $146 billion by 2023.
- You have the capabilities to narrow down your targeted audiences.
- Digital marketing is data-driven, make smart advertising decisions based on facts and numbers.
- Digital ad targeting and retargeting enables tailored ads to your targeted audience.
Now, let’s not say that traditional marketing is not important or it’s not effective. Both marketing methods are important in a cohesive marketing campaign.
So, what is a Digital Strategy?
When we talk about digital marketing strategy, it’s a plan that you use to achieve specific digital goals via selected online marketing channels including earned, paid and free media.
A digital marketing strategy is different from a marketing strategy.
A marketing strategy comprises a plan that allows you to reach a particular marketing-related goal using a focused and achievable action. It looks at how your business is currently faring and what you may be missing that prevents you from achieving the objective you set.
Some of the digital marketing strategies include the following:
- Advertising on particular social media channels like Instagram and Facebook ads
- Publishing a blog
- Organizing a webinar
- Optimizing your content for search engine results (SEO)
- Creating giveaways and contests
- Offering free educational resources like whitepapers and eBooks
- Doing a product podcast
- Partnerships with influencers
- Content marketing
So, a digital strategy is simply a series of actions that you plan and pursue to achieve your digital marketing goals. If you want to invest in digital marketing, then you need to have a digital marketing strategy as a measurable guide.
How Do You Develop a Digital Strategy?
For a successful digital marketing strategy, you may want to plan ahead. When designing a digital campaign follow these steps:
- Define your brand
- Build your buyer personas, – create customer/client profile
- The purpose – The purpose of your campaign
- Create SMART goals
- Evaluate the existing digital channels
- Set your budget
- Track & Analyze Results
Define your brand
Before starting a marketing campaign, you should define your brand. This can be as simple as working with a graphic designer to create creatives for the campaign, listing unique selling points, updating all your social media profiles to make sure all your digital assets have the same brand uniformity (color scheme, logo, brand personality, tone, etc.).
You as a business owner don’t want multiple versions of your logo or color scheme when starting a new marketing campaign. This will give your consumers the wrong impression of your business.
You can also use the SWOT analysis on your business prior to starting any campaign. Click on the link to download the template.
Building Buyer Personas
Regardless of whether you are doing digital marketing or not, you should know who your marketing to. Your digital strategy will be built upon your buyer personas. This is your initial step to take. So, make an effort to organize your audience segments.
While buyer personas may not necessarily be your ideal customers, they do represent your real customers. You can create buyer personas by interviewing your target audience and doing surveys. Consider using real data to help you get good results from your buyer personas. If you make assumptions, your marketing strategy could head in the wrong direction.
Your persona should involve a mixture of prospects, customers, and individuals outside your contacts, but who align with your business’ target audience.
Background – Start with what you know about your consumer’s background – The Likes, Dislikes, Profession, Family, etc.
Demographic – You can use demographic information Gender, Age, Income, Location
Relatable Identifiers – Other details that you think might be important to know
Using this information allows you to create buyer personas who are highly valuable for your brand.
What is the purpose of this marketing campaign? This should be very clearly defined. The purpose should fit into one of these four categories:
- Customer Acquisition
- Customer Loyalty
Create achievable goals! if you set up unachievable goals then your setting up yourself to fail. This is very common with most small business owners. When a marketing campaign begins, they want instant success.
What is S.M.A.R.T. goal?
S – Specific – Be specific, provide details
M – Measurable – Make it trackable
A – Attainable – Set a goal that’s possible to achieve
R – Relevant – Be honest with yourself on what you can deliver
T – Time – Give yourself time to achieve your goal.
Think about what are your short term and long term goals. Do these goals align with your business?
Evaluating The Existing Digital Channels
Owned media refers to the digital channels or assets that your company owns like your website, blog content, social media profiles, and blog imagery. These are the channels your business completely controls.
Owned media may also include some off-site content hosted outside your blog or website. If you have rights over that content, it may be seen as your owned media.
Earned media is the exposure that you earn from word-of-mouth marketing. It may be content you distributed on other sites as guest posts, a customer experience you delivered, or any PR work you did. The recognition you get from your efforts is what may be referred to as earned media. You could earn media through press mentions as well as positive reviews and testimonials.
Also, when audiences are sharing your content via social media channels, it’s another way to earn media.
Paid media is the channels you pay for so that you grab the attention of buyer personas. Think of Google AdWords – you pay for the channel to place ads targeting your audiences. You can also consider social media posts as well as native advertising where you have sponsored posts placed on other websites. Any medium where you have to pay so that you get increased visibility may be regarded as paid media.
So you can see, these three parts – earned, owned, and paid – can be intertwined to help achieve your digital goals.
How much are you willing to spend to achieve the marketing goal? A Marketing Budget can make or break a marketing campaign. It’s important to outline how much you’re going to spend on the whole marketing campaign.
Once you have determined that, then break it down into how much is allocated for each marketing channel, if you have multiple channels.
For example Marketing Campaign budget: $5,000 a month
1. SEO – $2,000 / month
2. PPC – $1,500 / month
3. Social Media – $1,000 / month
4. Email – $500 / month
On average, most small businesses spend around $2,500 a month on digital marketing.
Track and Analyze
If you don’t track and analyze your campaign results then your throwing money away. Monitor and measure the performance of your digital marketing strategy. Use the following tools, which are free to use Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Search Console, Google My Business, and Facebook Ad reports,
Analyze your data quickly and adjust your campaign to reach the right customers.
Once you have done the planning and all the research, it is now time to solidify everything. A cohesive digital marketing plan will feature clear profiles of the following:
- Your brand will be more defined
- You will have a Buyer Personas
- Your purpose for this campaign
- Created achievable goals
- Assessment of the existing assets
Your marketing strategy should be able to map out various step-by-step actions that you will take to attain your goals. A spreadsheet is among the tools you can use for an efficient format for the plan. You can try mapping out the actions based on earned, owned, and paid media campaigns. For example, in January, you can create a blog that you continually update every week for the rest of the year. In April, you have a new eBook that goes along with paid promotions. Come July, you prepare a business event that helps support your content. In September, you dwell on earned media to drive more traffic by doing press releases.