A digital marketing strategy is essential for every business owner who wants to use the massive opportunities provided by our online world to grow their business.
There are so many ways you can do digital marketing that without a clear strategy you will find yourself doing the digital equivalent of throwing spaghetti at the wall. Wasting time on lots of different activities to see what sticks, with no way of knowing which of these are right for your business.
6 Steps to Creating Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Here is a straightforward 6-step process for you to work through to create your digital marketing strategy and ensure you get the best return on investment for your marketing efforts.
Don’t worry about making it perfect. Opportunities to review and refine your plan are built into the process. The main objective is to get something down on (digital) paper…
Step 1: Set goals
Lots of people jump into digital marketing with goals like ‘get 1000 likes on my Facebook page’ but these types of goals mean nothing in and of themselves. You will often hear them referred to as vanity metrics: they make you feel good but they have no real impact on your bottom line.
The types of goals you need to set at this point are clear business goals. Metrics that measure how digital marketing is growing your business. Good examples would be:
- Get at least 2 quote requests every week via the website.
- Increase the number of warm leads on my email list to 1000 by the end of the year.
Step 2: Get clear on your target audience
The next step is to think about the type of people you are trying to reach via your marketing.
Business owners often find this step difficult because it can feel like, by deciding to target a specific group of people, you are reducing your potential target market. In fact, the opposite is true. If you try to appeal to everyone, you can end up appealing to no one.
Take some time to create a description of a typical person in your target audience (referred to as a customer avatar or buyer persona in marketing speak). Think about who they are, where they hang out, how they spend their time and what they like. You can even give them a name.
Now every time you create a piece of content for your marketing, imagine you are speaking to this person. You’ll be amazed at how much easier this can make things.
Step 3: Get clear on your positioning in the marketplace
This is the final step of preparation before we get on to the action steps of your strategy.
Take some time to note down what is special about your business. Why should somebody choose you over your competition? How do you want to be perceived by your customers? What values are important to you?
This will help you to get your messaging right and attract the right people to you.
Step 4: Select specific tactics and activities
Now you’ve done the important groundwork of steps 1 – 3, you can get down to the real guts of your plan and you should find it relatively easy.
Here you get to choose the specific marketing strategies that you believe will help you achieve the goals you set in Step 1 by reaching the audience you defined in Step 2.
You can start with a quick audit of your current activities. Keep those that are working for you; throw out those that aren’t.
Think about one-off and recurring tasks, e.g. improving the quote form on your website (one-off task) and adding a new article to your website each week (recurring task).
For each one-off task, set a deadline.
For each recurring task, define a schedule.
Step 5: Decide how you will measure your results
You’re probably feeling excited at this point and keen to implement your newly planned strategy but, before you jump in, think about how you will measure your results.
- Make a weekly note of how many leads you received via your website contact form.
- Get Google Analytics set up on your website so you know where your traffic is coming from. This makes it easy to see which social media platforms are sending traffic your way.
- Ask all your new contacts how they discovered you.
Step 6: Schedule a time to review and tweak your digital marketing strategy
Finally, put a date in your diary when you will review your progress. You need to make it long enough that your strategies have time to start showing some results but not so long that you’re wasting time on doing things that aren’t working.
We would suggest 3-6 months. At that point, you can look to cross off any strategies that simply aren’t working for you, double down on those that are, and decide if there’s anything new you want to add into your marketing mix.
Put Your Digital Marketing Strategy Into Practice
Phew! You’ve done the hard work and you’ve got your shiny new digital marketing strategy in place. It’s time to put it into practice.
If you’ve gone through the 6 steps carefully you’ll probably find it easy to implement because you’ve done all the hard thinking upfront.
At this point, you decide which things you want to do yourself and which things you would prefer to delegate to another member of your team or outsource completely. It’s so much easier to do this when you have a clear plan of what needs doing.
If you need some help with defining or implementing your digital marketing strategy, book in for one of our free consultations and we can have a chat about it.