To start, let’s define what a marketing strategy is. I know this seems basic, but let’s start small. A marketing strategy is an overall plan that you, or your business, implements to reach and attract qualified leads or other goals you may have identified. This can include everything from traditional strategies to digital strategies.
So, a digital marketing strategy is a marketing strategy focusing on the digital side, fairly self-explanatory. Your business may have already implemented a digital strategy, or you may think your business does fine with traditional marketing, which it might at the moment. But trends show that more and more people and businesses are using the internet as the main resource in purchasing decisions and research. Meet your customers where they are – on the web, with a digital marketing strategy.
Now, let’s get started on the main points of what a digital marketing strategy is and what you should include.
To start, you need to understand who your consumer and target audience is. To do this, you should develop a Customer Persona. What is a customer persona? This is an overview of the specific individuals who you are marketing to. Developing a persona will help you tweak your message, and messaging style, to attract the right consumer. For more information on building Customer Personas, click here.
Identify your goals
This is key! Your marketing goals should be aligned with what your business goals are. Is it to increase exposure, or is it to increase sales? Each goal may have different ways of measuring success, different marketing tools, and different strategies to get there. Make sure to clearly define a goal using the S.M.A.R.T. technique: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Time-bound.
Audit your existing marketing strategies
You can divide this into three parts; Earned Media, Owned Media, and Paid Media. Take a look at each of these parts of your marketing strategies and see what parts lack and what parts you do well.
Earned Media, or free media, refers to publicity gained through promotional and advertising efforts other than paid media. For example, your business may be a top place to work according to Glassdoor. This is an earned media opportunity because you did not pay for the exposure, it was, simply put, earned.
When auditing your earned media think about what you as a business pride itself on. As stated above, is it that you are a great place to work? If so, what can you do to make that known?
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Owned media is the media your company owns. This includes things like blogs, social media profiles, a website, and images. Look at your efforts and see where you have fallen short. Do you have a steady schedule of blogs? Are your social media accounts up to date and active? Make sure to go through each aspect of your owned media and carefully see where improvement is needed.
Paid media is exposure that you pay for. Look at what you have done in the past and see what has worked and what hasn’t. Did you pay for a blog to be posted on the top of the page? What was your return like? Maybe you had better luck paying for a press release in your local newspaper.
A good way to audit these channels is to create a spreadsheet with three column titles for each Earned, Owned and Paid media. Then add each marketing strategy used in each of these columns. For example, you wrote blogs (owned), paid to boost blogs on top sites (paid), and received press attention in your local newspaper (earned). Once you have added your marketing efforts into each category, score the results in the column next to it. Then total your scores and divide by the number of media pieces in that column.
This will give you a general view of how you are doing in each of the three areas. DO NOT take this as an end-all to your data. Take this time to go into each area and see what was the type of media that lowered your overall score. This will allow you to see what is working for you and what isn’t.
Create a plan
The next step will be to start creating your marketing plan. This is what you are going to do and how you are going to do it. Did you notice from your audit that blogs worked well for you? Then you may want to consider creating blog content a high priority.
Once you have created your plan it is time to implement and measure your digital marketing strategy!