The word “strategy” can sometimes be very intimidating and can create very unrealistic expectations of the things that you need to do in order to have a strategy. Nonetheless, having a proper digital marketing strategy can be crucial to the success of your business. According to Smart Insights and their report on “Managing Digital marketing”, 45% of businesses do not have a defined marketing strategy at all, and 17% of them have a marketing strategy but they haven’t integrated it yet into their marketing activities.
And this is somewhat understandable. 2019 is a time of digital chaos where content is being shared all over the place and people are glancing at it before continuing to scroll down. Sometimes just trying different things as seeing what sticks can show some results, but if you want to measure your results you need to have proper digital marketing in place.
A digital strategy is merely a framework, a plan of sorts that you follow in order not to get lost in this digital chaos we mentioned. And it really is easier than you think it is. Read the following steps on how to create an effective Digital Marketing Plan:
1. Set up your goals
This sounds simple enough, no? And it is also a very logical thing that you want to get out of the way first. If you don’t know what you want to achieve with this strategy, you won’t know how to approach the planning. Try using the SMART approach when it comes to defining each and every one of your goals or objectives.
Specific— think of what needs to be accomplished with the goals and be as specific as you can. Put objective such as driving more traffic to the website, generating more leads, improving the perception of your brand, or anything else pointed out specifically.
Measurable—find ways to measure the success or failure of your goals. Don’t forget to define your KPI’s. KPI is a key performance indicator and they are used to measure the performance. Figuring them out will allow you to follow the progress that you’re making. Decide on the tools that you’re going to be using like for example Google Analytics.
Attainable—set budgets and timelines that are realistic. It is very easy to get lost in how much money or time some action will take. That is why setting those things beforehand can mean a lot in terms of not overusing resources.
Relevant—don’t just go and state random goals that you have heard might help your business. Think about how much those digital goals are going to be relevant in reaching your business objectives.
Timely— set timelines and measure results in same time increments so you can see the progress from your efforts.
2. Define your ideal customers
In the past, qualitative and quantitative information about the customers that are being targeted was collected. Things like gender, age, location, occupation, etc. Nowadays, businesses are trying to build buyer personas instead. If might be a bit difficult to figure out buying personas, but it has been proven over and over again that the efforts pay off. There are some tools that can help out with that.
Know your HVC (high-value customers). This type of customers are people that are bringing the biggest value to your business and the people that visit your profile have to fit this profile. HVC are loyal customers that over time will generate a lot of profit for your business. If you analyze the traffic that your website is getting and it doesn’t fit in the profile of HVC then it’s pretty much unimportant. You will probably experience low conversion, and even if some of them do convert they won’t become loyal customers.
3. Identify key channels
You already know that the digital world is vast and hectic. There are many social media platforms, and new ones are coming up with a fast pace making the number of digital channels to keep growing. Many of the businesses think that the more social media that you use, the better it is for the company. This is not necessarily true.
You have to keep in mind your audience’s preferences when it comes to choosing which channels are best to use. If you have more audiences, just match them with their preferred social media platform and you will see success. The way to find this information is not too hard. You just need to ask your best customers that you want more of to answer these types of questions. Usually, your best customers will be glad to talk to you about these things. Understanding the way they think is crucial in acquiring more of the same type of customers.
4. Look into your competitors
A good idea is to see how your competitors are tackling this challenge since it is way easier to adopt an already proven digital marketing strategy. You can, of course, tailor it to your preferences and needs and make improvements that will suit your business model best. Don’t just copy their strategy, but merely look at the framework that they operate on.
Experimenting has always been the best way to see what works for your business and what doesn’t. However, you really have to be smart about it and not spend too many resources on it. That is why making your own mistakes it’s not always the best solution. But chances are, many businesses before you made those mistakes. That’s why you should always do thorough research before you attempt to try something new.
There are many other things that will need your devotion to the process of creating an effective digital marketing plan. Things like automating marketing, making mobile marketing work, using the right technology, blogging, differentiate, plan your tactics, figure out all the resources needed, learn from your past, be accepting of change, and many more. But once you start with the most important ones, the other ones will easily follow.