Whatever your business, whatever your sector, knowing how to create an effective digital marketing strategy is imperative. While digital marketing can look deceptively simple, it's not as easy as just having a website and publishing the occasional blog or social media post.
To really drive online success and reach the right audiences online, you need to implement a carefully planned digital marketing strategy.
What does an effective digital marketing strategy look like?
1. Identify your audience
Every digital marketing strategy should begin with incisive audience targeting based upon a solid foundation of market research. You can identify your target audience in a number of ways; for example, you may look through your sales history or conversion data to determine which users are in-market for your product or services. You may want to survey and identify audiences you perceive to be your target demographic to understand more about their objectives, needs and goals. Once you've started conducting thorough research into your audience, you can compile a persona that encompasses age, gender, location and psychographic patterns. Once you've identified exactly who it is you're trying to reach, you can think strategically about the best ways to reach them.
2. Define your marketing objectives
Your objectives will determine the entire trajectory behind your marketing strategy. Before committing to a particular strategy, you should be able to answer exactly what the goals for your marketing campaign are and how you hope to achieve them. While the goals of a particular marketing campaign might relate specifically to a single product line or service, they should always relate harmoniously with the overall top level goals of your business. Have clear KPIs in mind before launching your campaign so that you can accurately measure its success later on.
3. Assess which channels would be most useful to you
Which marketing channels are you currently using? It's important to assess your current digital marketing arsenal before honestly evaluating how effective method would be for helping you achieve your campaign-specific goals. The most effective routes to audiences vary greatly from sector to sector, so there is no one-size-fits all here. You may want to focus on PPC, SEO, Social Media, Digital PR or implement holistic strategy that encompasses the full breadth of your marketing channels.
4. Putting your plan into action
Once you've mapped out your digital marketing plan, it's time to start running your campaigns. Because the most effective digital marketing strategies are multi-faceted, it's important that you co-ordinate your campaigns across multiple channels. Before you start running your campaigns, it's wise to plot out every action necessary in a document shared amongst your team members to ensure that all your efforts align harmoniously, and that nobody steps on anyone else's toes.
5. Learn from your data
Digital marketing is an ever-evolving field, which means there is always room for continuous improvement. It's important to carefully monitor and analyse your results both during and after your campaign, so you can determine exactly what works and what doesn't. Did you achieve your KPIs? Did you have any unexpected benefits? Was the customer journey what you expected? Did any channels underperform? The answer to these questions will provide a valuable basis for re-working your strategy going forward.