Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital marketing consists of multiple facets and therefore marketers have a tough time when it comes to devising a strategy. Most often, marketers prefer working on an individual channel strategy for email, content, social media, etc. While it’s good to have channel-specific strategies, a 360-degree macro strategy will help you create a sound digital marketing campaign.
Step 1: Define Your Goals and Objectives
What is the final goal you are trying to accomplish? Identifying this will help you set the course for the rest of the strategy. Here are some of the common marketing goals to inspire you:
- To create brand awareness
- To increase sales and conversions
- To build thought leadership
- To enhance customer experience
- To launch in a new market
By further quantifying the goals, you turn them into objectives. The SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) objective framework is an excellent way to quantify your goals. For example, are you trying to create brand awareness? You can apply the SMART framework to this goal and create your campaign objectives:
- To increase your brand’s social media following by 20% by July 31, 2019
- To increase email subscribers by 15% by July 31, 2019
Step 2: Research Your Audience
It is necessary to understand your target audience before you begin any activity. When you know their interests, traits and preferences, it becomes easy to prepare a plan. Crafting 2 to 3 prototypes of the buyer persona is a good place to start. You can develop the personas in the following ways:
- Visit your analytics software and check the demographic and geographic characteristics of your audience. You will start noticing certain patterns that you can use to create buyer personas.
- You can interview your customers to understand their pain points, the type of content they prefer to consume, etc. to finalize the buyer personas.
Having buyer personas in place will help you prepare the brand narrative, messaging, marketing mediums and campaign ideas.
Step 3: Analyze Your Competition
The aim of this step is not to duplicate your competitors’ ideas, but to understand the dynamics of the landscape. When you monitor your competitors, you’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t. By analyzing their activities, you’ll understand what keywords they’re ranking for on search engines, what type of content they’re churning out, which social media platforms they’re most active on and what their advertising strategy is.
Pro Tip: Competitor analysis is not a one-time thing. Keep monitoring your competition frequently to stay on top of trends.
Step 4: Reverse Engineer Your Goals
This is the step where the rubber meets the road. Now that you have defined your goals and spent a significant amount of time in researching and analyzing your audience and competitors, it’s time to define the ways to meet your objectives.
Start by deciding on a marketing budget and allocating resources. Based on your goals and audience, identify channels that will help you meet your objectives.
For example, if your goal is to establish thought leadership in your niche, content marketing will help you get there. Start by devising a content marketing strategy by choosing topics that support your goal. The other marketing channels such as email and social media will act as complementary mediums helping you distribute your content.
Step 5: Implement and Measure
Once the strategic planning is complete, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Start by implementing the tactics that you know will help you achieve your goals. Along the way, measure the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) periodically to make sure your initial strategies are performing and to ensure that you’re on track.
Your KPIs should be in line with your marketing goals. For example, if your goal is to establish thought leadership through content marketing, your KPIs would ideally include branded queries in the search engine, backlinks from industry publications, most viewed articles, etc.
Pro Tip: You may not succeed at your digital marketing strategy in one go. Therefore, it is advised to adopt the ‘Test and Persist’ mindset early in the process. If certain activities are not showing any results, feel free to stop pursuing them. Instead, try a new method to find what works best.