You will often hear people in business talking about creating or running their Digital Marketing Strategy, and it’s something that as a Marketing Agency ourselves, we tend to talk about all the time. But what actually is a Digital Marketing Strategy? In this article we are going to look at what it is, and also how you can start to understand how to create or maintain your own.
What is a Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy is a plan for reaching a specific marketing-related goal (or goals) in a focused and achievable way. It takes into consideration what your business is currently doing well and what you’re missing in regards to the objective you set, so you’re more likely to accomplish it. It’s a map. or a path. It’s like planning a journey. You identify where you are, identify where you want to be, and then work towards achieving that goal. Obviously this is a rather simplistic view, but still true.
Difference between a Strategy and a Tactic
A strategy is your destination — it’s the achievable, focused plan for getting you to your target. Tactics are concrete and definable steps within your strategy that ensure you reach your objective. If we look at the analogy of planning a journey, your strategy is your final destination, and your tactics are how you will get there, so your mode of transport, the roads you will take, the tolls you will need to pay, stopping points and the like. Tactics without a strategy are a bit like getting in a car and just driving in any direction hoping that you’ll arrive at your planned destination with no plans or maps to guide you.
What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
A digital marketing strategy helps your business achieve specific digital goals through carefully selected online marketing channels such as paid, earned, and owned media. Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy takes some time and planning but ultimately means that all the tactics you use are directed specifically to achieve the goals you have set. So, lets have a look at how we can create a Digital Marketing Strategy.
How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy
Marketing or not, there are three parts of any strategy:
- A diagnosis of your challenge
- A guiding policy for dealing with the challenge
- A set of targeted actions that are necessary to accomplish the policy
We are going to break things down into the steps you needs to be able to run through each of these.
1. Build your buyer personas.
For any marketing strategy – digital or not – you need to know who you’re marketing to. The best digital marketing strategies are built upon detailed buyer personas, and your first step is to create them. This is all about understanding who you want to market your services to, and who your services will appeal to. These two are not always the same so you need to identify which you wish to concentrate on.
2. Identify your goals and the digital marketing tools you’ll need.
Your marketing goals should always be tied back to the fundamental goals of your business.
For example, if your business’s goal is to increase online revenue by 20%, your marketing team’s goal might be to generate 50% more leads via the website than the previous year to contribute to that success. Whatever your overarching digital marketing goal is, you must be able to measure the success of your strategy along the way with the right digital marketing tools.
3. Evaluate your existing digital channels and assets.
When reviewing your existing digital marketing channels and assets to determine what to incorporate in your strategy, it’s helpful to first consider the big picture — this will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or confused.
Gather what you have, and categorize each vehicle or asset in a spreadsheet, so you have a clear picture of your existing owned, earned, and paid media.
4. Audit and plan your owned media campaigns.
At the heart of digital marketing is owned media — and it almost always comes in the form of content. That’s because nearly every message your brand broadcasts can be classified as content, whether it’s an About Us site page, product descriptions, blog posts, ebooks, infographics, podcasts, or social media posts.
Content helps convert your website visitors into leads and customers while improving your brand’s online presence. And when this content is search engine optimized (SEO), it can boost your search and organic traffic. If your goal is to generate 50% more leads via the website than last year, your About Us page is most likely not going to be included in your strategy, unless that page has somehow been a lead-generation machine in the past.
5. Audit and plan your paid media campaigns.
This process involves much of the same process: You need to evaluate your existing paid media across each platform (e.g. Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to figure out what’s most likely to help you meet your current goals. By the end of the process, you should have a clear idea of which paid media platforms you want to continue using, and which (if any) you’d like to remove from your strategy. Think about your audience again.
Wrapping it up
You’ve done the planning and the research, and you now have a solid vision of the elements that will make up your digital marketing strategy. Now it’s time to bring all of this together to form a cohesive marketing strategy document. Your strategy document should map out the series of actions you’re going to take to achieve your goals, based on your research up to this point.
Remember, the purpose of your strategy document is to map out the actions you’re going to take to achieve your goal over a period of time — as long as it communicates that, then you’ve nailed the basics of creating a digital strategy.
If you would like help auditing or creating your Digital Marketing Strategy, then click the link below and arrange an appointment when we can help you identify your needs and requirements.