“Some XYZ Platform is getting more popular, and I should definitely start posting on it!”
Is this how you go about your digital marketing strategy?
Brands today are simply chasing the most popular marketing trends without giving them much thought. That is okay when you think about short-term success. However, only a solid and clear strategy would help you earn success indefinitely.
Every successful brand is committed to its digital growth, working day and night to build thriving digital marketing campaigns. This process demands utter focus and consistency.
The significance of digital marketing continues to grow. As more people are spending time on the web, marketing budgets are also shifting in that direction. With the increasing opportunities in digital marketing, it is easy to fall into execution mode and simply begin working on building a strategy.
Nonetheless, investing in your strategy is one of the most effective ways to increase your digital return on investment. A well-defined strategy eliminates waste, focuses your efforts, and expands on what is already working.
Before getting into how to strategize digital marketing or its significance, let’s take a minute to understand what a Digital Marketing Strategy means.
A digital marketing strategy is an action plan that outlines how to reach your target audience through one or more online marketing media. It includes a step-by-step guide and specific digital marketing objectives required to achieve the marketing goals.
Why You Need A Digital Marketing Strategy?
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Well-strategized digital marketing campaigns provide you with instant results. However, brands can also spend their resources more wisely by planning ahead of time.
A prevalent fear that almost every brand has – is wasting its time and money on marketing campaigns. However, not knowing enough about your marketing goals and decision-making process can be even more disastrous.
You can seamlessly test and confirm specific marketing data points to build a well-defined strategy. In addition, having a clear digital marketing strategy enables you to evaluate your marketing assumptions, which is especially useful for targeting specific audiences. Simultaneously, you build a foundation for consistent marketing growth.
Some questions might hover over your head while planning a campaign.
Are we focusing on the wrong KPIs?
Did we start with unrealistic goals?
Was our competitor analysis flawed in some way?
When you have a well-framed digital marketing strategy, answering these questions becomes much easier.
Building A Successful Digital Marketing Strategy
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The Digital Media landscape and its algorithms are ever-evolving. The always-changing digital media scenario can get a bit overwhelming when you plan to expand your business horizons.
You might wonder how to fine-tune and effectively create a perfect strategy for your business goals and stay agile to match the evolving media landscape. For this purpose, we have listed some steps and suggestions to lead you toward the perfect digital marketing strategy.
Get into the Demographics
Knowing who you are trying to sell your products to is critical if you want to use your resources more efficiently. No matter the budget, the more you are aware of the demographics you want to reach, the more finely you can tailor your marketing materials to appeal to them.
It is a far more effective strategy than toying around with the hit-and-trial method.
Begin by determining who is currently purchasing your products. Your current customer demographics may differ from those you want to reach with your marketing.
You can create a clear vision of your ideal customer by determining the age group, locations, and income range of those who want to purchase the product you are selling. Of course, before that you will need to calculate your market size so that you'd know what number categories to expect so don't overlook this step in the beginning.
Suppose you are selling women’s bags. It is possible that the target audience for your product might be women, 20 to 60 years old, living in parts of the U.S. with a monthly income of $2,000–8,000. You might now have a brief idea of the marketplace you are targeting.
If you want to reach new audiences and expand your reach with your latest marketing campaign, you must ensure that the new direction you intend to take will not alienate your existing customers.
Nevertheless, you need to understand their behavior and personas to learn how they spend their time online. Here, the next step will come in handy for you.
Determine Customer Personas
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A persona is a detailed description of your ideal customer. It includes information such as their interests, priorities, behaviors, and goals. Your target demographics can be pretty broad, but the customer persona is relatively well defined.
When companies consider broad target demographics, this type of information is frequently overlooked.
However, knowing your customers is the cornerstone of developing long-term customer relationships. The more you know about someone, the more likely you will connect with them; the same is right for brands and buyers.
Creating buyer personas entails more than making qualitative assumptions about what your customers are like. It requires cold and complex data and quantitative methods to make the necessary qualitative assumptions.
The key takeaway here is to research first and then create the customer personas, as, without proper research, your assumptions can become biased.
Set Your Goals
Setting appropriate goals ensures that your digital marketing strategy is simple to monitor and update. The real question is how to set these marketing objectives.
When most people consider setting goals, they tend to concentrate on qualitative objectives. For example, a qualitative goal might be to improve your brand's image or market position.
It's easy to see why these goals are problematic. Qualitative goals are especially challenging to quantify because they are abstract. These abstract concepts are rarely helpful in a digital marketing strategy for a typical company.
Consider quantitative objectives
For example, you spend your ad budget to create content that promotes your brand positively and promote it across multiple channels. However, if you do not prioritize clarity and data collection, you will be left with nowhere to proceed. You might get a lot of traffic, but you won't know why or how much of it converts.
Find measurable goals instead of focusing on the abstract. For instance, the goal can be to increase the conversion rate of your products by a certain percentage over the next few months.
It's understandable that increasing the frequency of social media posts, creating video ads, and writing a monthly email newsletter can help with this.
The difference is that you set targets that are simpler to evaluate for each quantitative goal and can be broken down into components that allow for experimentation.
If the goal is achieved, you will have data showing the specific action resulting in the conversion increase. If not, you will have precise data indicating which marketing components did not work correctly. In any case, you'll have the knowledge you need to run a successful marketing campaign in the future.
The aim should be to set clear, measurable goals, identify the key performance indicators that matter to your brand, and set goals that allow long-term experimentation and growth.
Assess Your Existing Assets
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You must evaluate the current digital marketing media and assets to identify what to incorporate into your strategy. For that, it will be helpful to consider the big picture primarily.
To have a clear picture of your existing owned, earned, and paid media, you should collect and categorize each medium or asset in a spreadsheet. This process will make reviewing marketing channels less intimidating.
To understand how this framework works, let’s get into what these channels are and how they can be utilized to create a digital marketing strategy.
It refers to the digital assets that your brand or company owns, such as your website, social media profiles, blog content, or imagery. Owned channels are those over which your company has complete authority. According to the HubSpot State of Marketing Report 2021, Website is the #2 channel used in marketing, behind social media.
This includes any off-site content you own that isn't hosted on your website (for example, a blog you published on WordPress).
Earned media is the exposure you gain through word-of-mouth marketing. Earned media is the acknowledgment you receive from your efforts, be it for the content shared on other websites, PR work done, or customer service provided.
You can gain media coverage by receiving press mentions, positive reviews, and people sharing your content through their networks.
Paid media is any vehicle or channel that you spend money on to attract the attention of your buyer personas. It includes Google AdWords, paid social media posts, native advertising, and any other medium for which you pay to increase your visibility.
Now that you might better understand what this framework entails let's look at how these three interact within it.
Suppose you have owned content on the landing page of your website to help generate leads. To accelerate the number of leads, you might make it shareable so that your audience can share it on their social media accounts. As a result, your landing page will receive more traffic.
To help your content gain success, you might post about it on your Instagram profile and sponsor to have it seen by more people in your target audience. That is paid media.
This is how the framework's three parts can work together. Nevertheless, you may not need to invest in paid media if your earned and owned media are already performing well.
The takeaway is to think about the best solution for achieving your goal and then incorporate the most effective channels for your company into your digital marketing strategy.
Build The Strategy
By now, you might be done with finalizing your target audience, determining their personas, setting qualitative and quantitative goals, and evaluating and auditing your media channels.
So, what is left to do?
Now you can predict what your future campaigns are going to look like. Then, all that is left to do is create content for these campaigns and bring the scattered pieces of your digital marketing strategy together.
Within a year, you'll have a collection of data points that are simple to interpret and even simpler to incorporate into effective marketing campaigns.
In terms of content creation, there are generally two schools of thought. First, sometimes your audience wants to be amused. Fun content can be a strong tool if it is brand-appropriate and you are confident in your content creation abilities.
The other school of thought involves educating your audiences. Consumers have pain areas that need to be addressed regardless of industry. They will typically have industry-related pain points for which you may not be an immediate solution. Educate your audiences with thought leadership content, make rich media ads, and publish blogs.
To engage with customers, you do not need a large advertising budget. You simply need to create marketing content that feels genuine and beneficial. If you can accomplish this, you will be able to create genuinely compelling marketing campaigns.
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On the ending note, let’s first understand that the path to creating a successful digital marketing strategy is not going to be easy. It will intimidate you with a plethora of media channels to focus on and a bunch of metrics to track.
Nonetheless, let's suppose you successfully followed the abovementioned steps. In that case, you will be in a state to leave behind all your competitors and outshine as a brand/business in digital marketing.
Creating a robust strategy will take your full attention and focus. Shower this attention on knowing your audiences in the best way possible, establishing tangible and achievable goals, and committing to long-term growth by collecting valuable data points and testing your assumptions regularly.
Fortunately, even in a case when you do not have the budget for hefty marketing campaigns, your digital marketing strategy will guide you as a savior. The best solution is to find what your customers love the most about your brand and make them believe in its genuine development.