Foundations of a Digital Marketing Strategy in 10 Steps

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Digital marketing means promoting your website online. These websites for digital commerce in B2B or B2C sectors compete to get the right attention from their target audiences using various methods.

Google Ads, SEO, email, social media, and other forms of marketing require a careful strategy to integrate and plan so your business present a cohesive message and a successful campaign. Online marketing has evolved since its inception about 20 years ago, with the addition of different forms of audience connection, as well as more advanced algorithms for SEO.

This greater spectrum of avenues to reach audiences has also led to increased expertise in connecting with potential leads. There are 6 main areas of digital marketing that need to be considered as part of an effective overall digital marketing strategy.

Online marketing can be categorized into 6 main disciplines:

  1. Search engine optimization (SEO) – Using content to promote your website to the first page of search engines.
  2. Email marketing – Using email to connect with new and existing customers is one of the most cost-effective methods of marketing.
  3. Native advertising – Or advertorials, is online advertising content that resembles the editorial content of the website or publication being promoted.
  4. Content marketing – The creation and publication of content aimed at your target audience that adds value to their experience with your brand.
  5. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising – PPC is a marketing strategy that means you only pay for advertising when a user clicks on your ad.
  6. Social media marketing – This means promoting your brand and digital business on social media platforms using a combination of advertising strategies, like content, advertorials, and paid advertising.

10 Steps to a Digital Marketing Strategy

Developing a digital marketing strategy takes time. The more research and data investment you make in the early stages of the process, the more successful a campaign will be. While the process of researching and market evaluation is constant, if you take the time to report on your data and understand market trends, the greater longevity you’ll reap from your campaign.

Step 1: Creating a Customer Persona

Your customer persona is created using qualitative and quantitative data you’ve compiled from your business and from industry information. This information includes age, gender, occupation, interests, and location which allows you to create a profile of your potential customer.

Knowing who your buyer makes it easier to find leads, communicate with customers and create the products and services that are most appealing to your target market.

Step 2: Identifying Goals and Tools

Defining measurable goals gives your campaign meaning. Without quantifiable goals your campaign is likely to lack focus and direction, making it difficult to see where you need to make course corrections when strategies lag or fail.

Measurable goals are written as quantifiable targets that are easy to understand, such as:

increase website traffic by 20 percent in the first quarter of 2022 by posting weekly blogs that include interactive elements, such as quizzes, puzzles, and questionnaires.

This provides measures as well as clear instructions for content creation.

Step 3: Focus on Content Creation

Content continues to reign as king in digital marketing. Blogging is one way to create quality content for a site and expand your content marketing strategy. It helps to drive traffic to your site, engage your audience, promote your site on SEO, and generally place you as an industry leader if you are willing to share your expertise.

Creating quality content in a variety of formats, such as articles, white papers, videos, infographics, images, and interactive media invites your audience to engage with your content and learn about what your brand has to offer.

Step 4:  Evaluate Your Digital Marketing Channels

Analyze the success of your existing digital channels and determine which ones should be your focus, if you need to cull some channels and if you need to start using new ones. From your website to social media channels, there is a large amount of territory to cover on the internet, but that doesn’t mean your brand needs to be present on every channel.

Evaluating your channels and exploring the possibility of new channels is important for focus on your communication with audiences and creating a cohesive campaign that works as a unified whole. Your social media channels, email, website, paid advertising, and content marketing should all work together in one campaign so that audiences are seeing different presentations on different mediums, but receiving the same message across the board. This is costly, so selecting your channels should be based on reach.

Step 5: Automated Marketing

Marketing automation will ease pressure on teams and allow you space to focus on creation and strategy improvements. Content marketing, email marketing, lead generation, and more can be automated with the right CRM and other supportive software.

Step 6: Mobile Optimization

People are increasingly using their mobile devices first, or even exclusively, to research and shop. If your website is not optimized for mobile devices across a range of os, you are going to lose connection with important leads.

Step 7: Clear CTA

It should be really easy for customers to understand how to contact your business, take action and make purchases. Don’t bury the lead. Moving from social media to your landing page should be clear and smooth. Placing items in a shopping basket, making edits, and processing payments should be easy, secure, and fast.

If your user experience is not perfect, no amount of strategy will improve sales. A/B test your site and learn what CTAs work.

Step 8: Use the Right Technology

There are tools that can help you during every stage of the digital marketing process, including tools that help you identify your goals and those that help you track where traffic is coming from. Automating much of the repetitive tasks, such as posting, replies, and updates, means that your campaign is kept up to date. There is technology to support all aspects of your marketing, from SEO assessment to automated reporting, it is easy to find the tools that will elevate your digital marketing, and many of them are free for small businesses.

Step 9: Confirm Your Differentiators

Each business, to be successful, requires a unique selling proposition. You need to define your USP and use it to separate yourself in the marketplace. Your competitors will have their own USP, which you should be aware of, and then determine what makes your brand the right choice for your customers.

Once you have determined your USP, you need to use it to underpin your advertising. For example, if your USP is that all your produce is locally sourced, this needs to be part of all your marketing. It needs to be discussed in your blogs and promoted on your social media. You should give your audience information and give them a reason to choose your brand over your competitors, even if you have a higher price point.

Step 10: Track Your Process

You need to track your strategy to know if it is effective. Using the measures that were identified in step 2, you should be assessing results on a regular basis to ensure that your campaign stays on track and is connecting. It is important that teams are aware of current affairs, industry trends, and conversations that could have a negative or positive impact on business. You must be able to adjust quickly and know if a campaign is right.

Forming a solid foundation for your digital marketing campaign to rest on will ensure a greater possibility of success. Many growing businesses choose to hire marketing agencies to guide their digital marketing or take on aspects of their promotion to ensure success. Marketing is a complex and arduous task, that when done correctly based on data and testing, can secure your brand and accelerate your growth.

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