Marketing in simple terms can be defined as establishing the right connections with the right people at the right time. This implies meeting your customers where they already spend their time: the internet. In today’s market, this is emphasized by the fact that digital communication channels have gained particular importance in the success of a project. Forbes’ 2020 data clearly states that nearly 55% of the world’s population has access to the internet, making it a market with more than 4.2 billion users.
Further, the trend increasingly favors mobile commerce. This is evident as 51% of digital commerce is carried out through mobile devices. Not only is it of utmost importance to establish a strong mobile presence, but also to optimize your content so that it is mobile-friendly for your target users.
While most business owners worldwide understand the essential importance of digital and mobile platforms, there is still a lack of awareness amongst businesses that have not adopted an integrated digital marketing strategy that charts the digital transformation of their operations and digital contribution to overall growth and engagement with their target group.
Launching any digital marketing initiative without a properly organized and cogent plan will ultimately lead to failure. When it comes to digital marketing, it is critical to get it right at the outset because it can significantly impact your company’s potential and branding.
The question you will likely be asking now is, “How do I start developing a digital marketing strategy?” When you have a small team, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the endless tools and options available. To help you adopt a strategy and tactics that are the best fit for your business, we have put together this step-by-step guide to construct an effective digital marketing plan in just eight simple steps.
Before learning more about the plan, it is important to grasp the meaning of digital marketing. Digital Marketing Strategy is a broad term that encompasses many digital oriented tactics to effectively communicate to and convert a target audience for a product or service. A digital marketing strategy is a step-by-step, actionable plan for attaining your company’s digital marketing objectives.
A digital marketing plan can comprise, among other things, corporate objectives, digital strategies to achieve those objectives, competitive landscape analyses, timelines, budgets, digital channels, and more. Businesses use digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, websites, and even mobile applications to engage with present and potential customers. Experience further dictates that digital marketing efforts will be wasteful and unproductive unless you have a well-defined plan in place.
These two terms are often confused with one another, but in fact have distinct meanings and associations. As previously mentioned, your digital marketing strategy is your action plan—the steps you will take to achieve your goal. Your Digital Marketing campaign, on the other hand, is the actual action that is taking place. So, in a nutshell, strategy is the “talk,” while the campaign is the “walk.”
For example, suppose your digital marketing strategy’s ultimate goal is to produce more leads through social media. In that case, you might execute a Twitter-based digital marketing campaign that contributes to achieving this business goal.
Now that we have covered the basics, let us turn to the many components of a digital marketing plan, as well as the particular steps to take as you construct your strategy.
1. Define your goals
Before you begin strategizing, you must first determine what you want to accomplish with your marketing approach. A CoSchedule study states that marketers who defined their digital marketing goals were 376 percent more likely to succeed than marketers who did not.
Additionally, marketers who are well-organized were 397 percent more likely to report success. Clear, measurable, and attainable digital marketing plan objectives help you identify and measure precisely what you want to achieve. Narrowing down to basic details and being as specific as possible is the best practice when setting goals.
Be sure to include specific dates that can act as progress markers. You can use the SMART goals framework to help you design this aspect of your digital marketing strategy: clear, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals.
2. Design Buyer Personas and Competitive Landscape
For any digital marketing effort to be successful, it is essential to know who you are targeting. Using buyer personas to segment your audience and then creating personas for each section will help you figure out which marketing efforts will be most effective. Depending on whether you are a B2B or B2C business and your product/service pricing, your customer persona information will differ.
Furthermore, it is also valuable to understand what your competitors are doing. Which social media platforms do your top competitors use? If their digital marketing methods are currently more successful than yours, go where they are and review their strategies in order to catch up. Another idea is to search for gaps – where your competitors are not investing time and money. Take advantage of this potential to expand your audience.
3. Determine the digital channels you will use to reach these goals
You will need to determine the key digital channels you will be employing before you can build a content plan. Your channel selection should be based on your target audience, objectives, and budget. Consider where your audience spends the majority of their time when defining your digital channels. If you are in the B2B world, you might want to concentrate on LinkedIn or webinars. Instagram influencer marketing may be a good option if your target demographic is younger.
Concentrate on providing value to your audience using the media they prefer. If you do not get the outcomes you want, you can always adjust your strategies along the way.
4. Create a Content Strategy
At this point, you will build a customized marketing strategy for each channel that attracts your customers. Content strategy is critical for generating, distributing, and maintaining original material that attracts consumers and establishes the brand as a reference point in the minds of the target audience.
A series of actions including keyword strategy, social media posting, and a well-defined content calendar will make up your strategy. Each of these elements will respond to a specific aim. Your content strategy will also include a detailed timeframe to measure the actions.
5. Decide on a tone of voice for each channel
The tone of voice is how your company’s personality emerges – the overall image that customers get when they see and hear about your brand. While the audiences in different marketing channels may differ slightly, it is vital to maintain a consistent tone of voice across all channels. According to Forbes, a consistent brand presentation across platforms can improve sales by 23%. So you will need to plan your tone of voice carefully and intentionally.
Your social media strategy is an important contributor to your overall digital marketing plan. Normally, it translates to a plan that lists out your current social media presence, defines or re-defines the objective of each social media channel after the analysis, followed by the determining the exact tactics to attain the objectives, and finally laying out the metrics or KPIs to measure your progress.
These objectives should align with your company’s overall digital marketing strategy. Increased traffic, better SEO, enhanced brand loyalty, healthier consumer satisfaction, and much more can be achieved by consistently utilizing the correct social media marketing approach.
7. Build an SEO strategy
Without a doubt, having a defined and targeted Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plan is crucial to attracting visitors to your website. It is also a commonly recommended practice to integrate your SEO into your overall digital marketing strategy to generate high-quality results and create a long-term impact across your company’s digital touchpoints. Search engine optimization (SEO) reaches out to your target audience via search engines and provides them with solutions to their questions, concerns, needs and desires.
It will not only help you increase conversions but will also ensure that your marketing activities are coordinated. You should also keep in mind that combining SEO practices with social media platforms and PPC can produce better results than when used independently. This is true especially in the case of SEO efforts such as competitive keyword research, on-page optimization, landing pages, site structure, and backlinks.
These will not only help you get more reach across multiple channels, but it will also help you optimize your individual marketing tasks.
8. Develop an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar, as the name suggests, is a documented timeline that sketches out when and what content will be published, the ideal platforms ideal for each piece of content, how frequently and with which distribution strategy (i.e., Organic or Paid) the content will be disseminated.
Scheduled content pieces, planned promotional activities, partnerships, status updates and revisions to approved content are generally some of the elements included in the editorial calendar. It also promotes responsibility, ensuring that you hit deadlines and properly execute the plan throughout the year. A calendar also helps ensure that you reach each of your target audiences on a regular basis throughout the year.
Break down your calendar into each month of the year and plan out 12 months ahead of time. This will give you a general structure and enough time to prepare and execute each delivery.
To conclude there are two essential terms you must take note of in order to build a solid foundation for a successful digital marketing campaign: goals and specifics. Make explicit goals and then explain the steps you will need to get there—the more specific, the better!
And now that you have this guide, your marketing will be a lot more effective, and you will get better company marketing outcomes.