Guide to Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy: What Should You Know?
Digital Marketing focuses on online marketing of a business or company through the website and other social media platforms. In an age where most individuals use the internet and have an array of online platforms to interact with, having a strategy is important to market oneself accurately.
Developing a digital marketing strategy is not easy due to the many available digital marketing options. Different factors are at play when creating the strategy and therefore having a custom approach to every business/company is important.
In the competitive business world, planning and outlining the steps to be taken to achieve marketing goals through the online mediums is key. The digital marketing strategy should be unique and demonstrate practical methods of sustaining the business.
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Steps to Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy
A digital marketing strategy comprises deliberate decision making process and actions that meet the digital marketing goals and how to achieve them. Noting that there is no “one size fits for all” way of creating a digital marketing strategy, the following five steps give a baseline and guide on how to go about the process.
Conduct a Situational Analysis
This involves conducting an internal and external auditing of the company’s ability and internal dynamics and the environment it seeks to operate in. This is important in helping understand the market and the actors that you are going to engage with. This analysis should be conducted in a threefold way:
- Defining Your Brand
Conduct an inward search on what your brand/company represents and seeks to achieve. It involves defining your digital marketing goals, how to market yourself, brand voice, unique selling points, value proposition etc. It gives you understanding on how your brand style guide will be useful in digital marketing.
- Buyer/Audience Persona
It entails gathering the audience’s information based on location, age, occupation, income, interests, social media platforms, challenges, their motivation etc. This helps you to understand them and adjust in a manner they relate to.
A buyer persona familiarizes you with your ecosystem and helps you get into the mind of the customers. The digital marketing strategy plan should focus on meeting the needs of the audience. Some of the tools available to help in defining persona include MakeMy Persona and Persona Generator.
- Competitive Analysis
Focuses on analyzing other actors in the market offering similar or related products/services and their digital marketing methodology. It is important to know what you are up against so as to position yourself better.
Competitive analysis focuses on their tactics, target audience, strengths and weak points, digital marketing channels, messaging and language, tone and brand personality. Competitive analysis also helps you calculate the market share and give you a step ahead on how to overtake them.
Establish Digital Marketing Goals
This is important as it makes you state the digital marketing goals to be met and where the actions will take you. Goals should be clear, suitable and measurable. For instance, “I want to achieve this and I’m going to do ABC to attain that”. They should be specific, concrete and be guided by the company’s short and long-term goals.
The SMART Model should be embraced by having Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely goals. In other words, they should be detailed, have numbers and a timeframe that can be used to benchmark and monitor progress. Goals should seek to obtain organic results and be measurable using the set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Vague goals should be avoided as much as possible.
Define the Digital Market Strategy
At this point, the aim is to identify and zero-in on the expected outlook of the digital marketing strategy. This should focus on the best practices, options and the valuable techniques in the specific industry. Defining this calls for knowing your target audience, personalization of objectives, positioning yourself accordingly in line with your value proposition and why customers should choose you.
Further, it involves evaluating your existing digital marketing presence; what you have already achieved, what you want to focus on and narrowing down on the specific marketing channels. Also, define your content strategy which is important for creating, distributing and managing original content.
This point of creating the strategy also involves determining the budget to be used on the process. Conduct a research on digital marketing pricing and determine the amount to spend on the activities.
Identify Digital Strategies, Tools and Tactics
This involves categorizing what best suits the strategy and forming a guide demonstrating how you intend for the strategy to be a success. Based on the digital marketing strategies selected, it’s important to formulate practical ways of how to execute them.
If its content marketing, create a content calendar that allows you to have long-term and traceable goals. For a social media campaign/posts, define what will be posted and the frequency of posting. If its customer engagement, plan on how to make it easier for them to reach you.
This step should also incorporate mobile optimization and make digital marketing strategies to be friendly for users owning mobile phones. Further, ensure that marketing tools are automated to make work easier and traceable.
Analyze the Results and KPIs
This focuses on analyzing the digital marketing strategy. Constant monitoring of the strategy to check how it’s working and whether the goals are being achieved or not is crucial. This involves measuring the performance of the digital marketing strategies online and determining whether the return on investments (ROIs) have been achieved.
Other areas to consider include checking whether the clicks are turning into conversions? Are you losing touch with customers and at what point? What is working well and what is not? Are the KPIs evident? Etc. One can conduct this tracking using tools like Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Google Search Console etc. Finally, inform the team on the progress.