How to create, fine tune and maintain an agile Digital Marketing strategy?
Your digital marketing strategy is the series of actions that are going to help you achieve your goal(s) using online marketing.In simple terms, a strategy is just a plan of action to achieve a desired goal, or multiple goals.Depending on the scale of your business, your digital marketing strategy might involve multiple goals and a lot of moving parts, but coming back to this simple way of thinking about strategy can help you stay focused on meeting those objectives.
Digital Marketing Campaign- your digital strategy is the series of actions you take to help you achieve your overarching marketing goal. Your digital marketing campaigns are the building blocks or actions within your strategy that move you toward meeting that goal, it’s a tactic that sits alongside your other campaign to form your strategy.
Seven building blocks to help you create an effective Digital Marketing strategy to set up your business for online success-
1. Build your buyer personas- Buyer personas represent your ideal customer(s) and can be created by researching, surveying, and interviewing your business’s target audience. It’s important to note that this information should be based upon real data wherever possible, as making assumptions about your audience can cause your marketing strategy to take the wrong direction.Your research pool should include a mixture of customers, prospects, and people outside your contacts database who align with your target audience.
a. Quantitative (or Demographic) Information
* Location- You can use web analytics tools like Google Analytics to easily identify what location your website traffic is coming from.
* Age- Depending on your business, this may or may not be relevant. It’s best to gather this data by identifying trends in your existing prospect and customer database.
*Income- It’s best to gather sensitive information like personal income in persona research interviews, as people might be unwilling to share it via online forms.
*Job Title- This is something you can get a rough idea of from your existing customer base, and is most relevant for B2B companies.
b. Qualitative (or Psychographic) Information
* Goals- Depending on the need your product or service was created to serve, you might already have a good idea of what goals your persona is looking to achieve. However, it’s best to cement your assumptions by speaking to customers, as well as internal sales and customer service representatives.
* Challenges. Again, speak to customers, sales and customer service representatives to get an idea of the common problems your audience faces.
* Hobbies and interests- Speak to customers and people who align with your target audience. If you’re a fashion brand, for example, it’s helpful to know if large segments of your audience are also interested in fitness and well-being, as that can help inform your future content creation and partnerships.
*Priorities- Speak to customers and people who align with your target audience to find out what’s most important to them in relation to your business. For example, if you’re a B2B software company, knowing that your audience values customer support over a competitive price point is very valuable information.
2. Identify your goals & the digital marketing tools you’ll need- Your marketing goals should always be tied back to the fundamental goals of the business. Whatever your goal is, you need to know how to measure it, and more important, actually be able to measure it How you measure the effectiveness of your digital strategy will be different for each business and dependent on your goal(s), but it’s vital to ensure youre able to do so, as it’s these metrics which will help you adjust your strategy in the future.
3. Evaluate your existing digital marketing channels and assets-When considering your available digital marketing channels or assets to incorporate into your strategy,The owned, earned, and paid media framework helps to categorise the digital vehicles, assets, or channels that you’re already using.
a. Owned Media- This refers to the digital assets that your brand or company owns — whether that’s your website, social media profiles, blog content, or imagery, owned channels are the things your business has complete control over.
b. Earned Media- This refers to the exposure you’ve earned through word-of-mouth. Whether that’s content you’ve distributed on other websites, PR work you’ve been doing, or the customer experience you’ve delivered, earned media is the recognition you receive as a result. You can earn media by getting press mentions, positive reviews, and by other people sharing your content on social media.
c. Paid Media- This refers to any vehicle or channel that you spend money on to catch the attention of your buyer personas. This includes things like Google AdWords, paid social media posts, native advertising and any other medium for which you directly pay in exchange for visibility.
Your digital marketing strategy might incorporate elements of all three channels, all working together to help you reach your goal. If your owned and earned media are both successful, you might not need to invest in paid. If your owned and earned media are both successful, you might not need to invest in paid. It’s all about evaluating the best solution to meet your goal, and then incorporating the channels that work best for your business into your digital marketing strategy.
4. Audit and plan your owned media- The heart of digital marketing is your owned media, which pretty much always takes the form of content. Every message your brand broadcasts can generally be classified as content. Content helps convert your website visitors into leads and customers, and helps to raise your brand’s profile online and when it’s optimised, it can also boost any efforts you have around search/organic traffic. You’re going to need to use owned content to form your digital marketing strategy. To build your digital marketing strategy, you need to decide what content is going to help you reach your goals.
Process to follow to work out what owned content you need to meet your digital marketing goals:
1. Audit your existing content- Make a list of your existing owned content, and rank each item according to what has previously performed best in relation to your current goals.The idea here is to figure out what’s currently working, and what’s not, so that you can set yourself up for success when planning future content.
2. Identify gaps in your existing content- Based on your buyer personas, identify any gaps in the content you have.
3. Create a content creation plan- Based on your findings and the gaps you’ve identified, make a content creation plan outlining the content thats necessary to help you hit your goals. This should include:
* Promotional channels
* Why youre creating it
* Priority level
* Budget information (if you’re planning to outsource the content creation)
* Time estimate (if you’re producing it yourself)
5. Audit and plan your earned media- Evaluating your previous earned media against your current goals can help you get an idea of where to focus your time. Look at where your traffic and leads are coming from and rank each earned media source from most effective to least effective. The idea here is to build up a picture of what earned media will help you reach your goals, and what won’t, based on historical data.
6. Audit and plan your paid media-This process involves much of the same process: You need to evaluate your existing paid media across each platform to figure out what’s 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.
7. Bring it all together- You’ve done the planning and the research, and you now have a solid vision of the elements that are going to make up your digital marketing strategy.
* Clear profile(s) of your buyer persona(s)
* One or more marketing-specific goals
* An inventory of your existing owned, earned, and paid media
* An audit of your existing owned, earned, and paid media
* An owned content creation plan or wish list
Now, it’s time to bring all of it together to form a cohesive strategy document. By taking this approach, you’re also creating a structured timeline for your activity, which will help communicate your plans to your colleagues.
Your strategy document will be very individual to your business, which is why it’s almost impossible for us to create a one-size-fits-all digital marketing strategy template. 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.