Gone are the days when traditional marketing methods (newspapers and billboards ads) were the most effective ways of endorsing a business, brand, or product. No denying or refusal to the fact that digital marketing has surpassed the old-fashioned advertising methods. Business building requires not only a strong digital marketing strategy but also a right one.
After all, internet has become a part of daily routine not for consumers but also enterprises, as majority of the content consumption is happening on the digital platforms. In order to keep up with this shift, it is more important than ever to build an online presence of the brand and business. And for that, one needs to develop a solid, extraordinary and strong digital marketing proposal.
Yes, there are plenty of options available when it comes to digital marketing, and it can be overwhelming and stressful if not categorical panic-inducing to choose one. According to research, almost 49% of the organizations are into some form of digital marketing but without a strategy, perhaps, digital marketing is no easy task. No need to worry, as we are going to discuss how to create an effective, comprehensive and outstanding digital marketing plan that will surely take you on a flight to success and goal accomplishment.
Now the question arises how can one successfully craft a brilliant digital marketing plan for your brand or business?
Digital Marketing Strategy
Now, you must be wondering what digital marketing is and why business building is top of the corporate digital marketing strategy. Well, digital marketing strategy is a term that incorporates a whole lot of stuff, which can be overwhelming to tackle along, especially when you are a beginner to digital marketing.
Hence, in simpler terms, a digital marketing plan is a step by step process that guides the company towards completion of their digital marketing goals. Of course, a digital marketing is achieved through online marketing platforms such as social media, paid media, digital publishing and affiliate media.
Furthermore, the strategy involves a very detailed and deliberate decision making process highlighting the appropriate digital advertising goals and channels required to achieve them.
Hence, it’s a daunting task, we have created this guide that will help you build an outstanding digital marketing plan in just 7 easy and clear steps.
7 Steps to Build an Actionable Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital marketing campaigns are the building blocks and actions that move your closer towards your specific goal, so the main seven steps in creating a successful digital marketing strategy for your business are highlighted below:
1. Identify your goals
As stated earlier, the digital advertising strategy is an actionable plan aimed at achieving specific goals, so it’s essential to determine the primary goals beforehand.
Before you start strategizing it is necessary to create a detailed and specific set of goals and to help with this, a simple and quite effective criteria is SMART
Indeed, SMART is commonly used aide-mémoire tool that offers the following benchmarks:
Remember – to set your objectives that align with your fundamental business goals, some of the examples of digital marketing strategy may include:
- Generating qualified leads
- Building brand awareness
- Growing subscribers
- Increasing online revenue
For instance, if your business building goal is to increase 20% of the online revenue by then your digital marketing goal should be to generate 50% more leads through online portals or websites in order to contribute towards the success of the strategy.
No matter whatever your goals are, make sure they are specific and achievable. Not to mention, one should be able to measure the success rate of the strategy along the way to determine whether you are following the right strategy or not. This can be done with digital marketing tools that determine the progress of the strategy and make amendments when needed.
2. Evaluate Existing Digital Presence
Even if it’s close to being non-existence, still, it’s important to understand where a brand stands – providing the big picture.
This step will provide support to focus on current goals requirements. When reviewing your existing digital marketing
assets and channels, gather and categorize each asset on a spreadsheet – giving a clear picture of your already existing, owned, paid and earned channels.
If you aren’t aware of digital marketing channels then they include website, email marketing, content marketing, social media channels and pay per click advertising.
3. Understand The Digital Sales Funnel
The digital sales funnel is the buyer’s journey starting from stranger and ending to being a loyal, repeating customer. A brand having a strong digital presence has the power to use this funnel effectively to attain their digital goals. The digital marketing strategy must address each step of the funnel with appropriate tools to acquire relevant results.
If you are wondering, what stages come under digital funnel and how business building strategies are design then here’s the list:
4. Build Your Buyer Personas
For any marketing strategy, no matter its digital or not, one needs to know who are they one being targeted.
And yes, the best digital advertising strategies are built upon researched and detailed buyer personas.
The buyer personas represent your ideal customers and can be determined by conducting an in-depth research, survey or even by interviewing your target audience.
It’s important to note that all of this information should be based on real data and not estimates, as assumptions can have a bad impact on marketing strategy. Therefore, your research pool must include a mixture of prospects and customers who fall under your target audience characteristics.
Now comes the question, what kind of information you should gather from your personas in build the digital marketing strategy.
5. Locate Your Customers in The Funnel
One needs to locate customers that are present at different stages of the funnel.
Some starting points that can help in identifying customers helping you with business building:
- Demographics such as location, age, income, etc.
- Psychographics such as hobbies, goals, interests, priorities, etc.
Moreover, one needs to identify what is making the target audience buy from you. For that you need to ask questions.
Once you get hold of the above data, you should start to move forward and target your distinctive groups of potential customers through diverse marketing channels.
6. Create Content Plan
In this stage, one needs to develop a very specific marketing strategy for every channel that will attract customers. So,
what sort of content is needed to achieve the digital marketing goals, one must be wondering.
So, remember, the strategy is a series of actions that respond to a specific goal and it also has specific timelines in order to make actions have measurable deadlines.
To help you start, some of the actions could be:
- Develop a keyword strategy by identifying important keywords and improving optimization
- Creating a content calendar with traceable and long-term objectives. Each actionable item
must have an author, keyword, topic, tags, priority level, promotional channel and publication date.
- Posting on social media, keep in mind, conduct proper research and homework before publishing on social media platforms. Also keep an eye on your frequency and content.
- Using CTAs and Widgets in the digital marketing strategy to keep your consumers engaged with brands and products.
- Business building by applying marketing automation tools that will not only be efficient but will also save time.
Moreover, a content plan must clearly state ways of filling the gaps identified and clearly outlining all that’s necessary to hit your goals. Not to forget, must include budget information, if you are planning to outsource or a time estimate when producing in-house.
7. Keep A Track Of Your Digital Marketing Strategy’s Performance
Last but not the least, once the strategy is in place, add this step at different intervals or even best, add it to your calendar.
You may call it the ‘troubleshooting stage’ as it includes analysis and evaluation of your strategy’s performance at every single step.
The last mistake anyone wants to make while executing the digital strategy that doesn’t bring positive outcomes is to realize later that it all could have been fixed a long while ago.
So, it is essential to assess your performance at every stage. And, the analysis part of the strategy involves questions such as:
- How are your target audience interacting with your content and other media?
- Are you progressing towards your digital goals?
- Are clicks turning into conversions?
- Is there mobility across the channel?
- What’s the reason behind customers losing interest and engagements?
Well, what’s working well… and what’s not.
Undeniably, these analytics can be the difference – helping the business to change their strategy if things aren’t working well along with learning from the things that didn’t work out as intended.
With these results, one can also opt to create graphics using data visualization tools that help with goal tracking, comparisons and presentations.
On the end note.
The digital marketing strategy is very personalized and individual to your business and it is impossible to create a one-size-fits-all plan. Certainly, there’s a lot of work involved in developing a successful online business building marketing plan, but having a comprehensive, well-researched and well-thought strategy can surely make the entire process much easier.
Remember, the purpose of your plan is to map out actions required to achieve your digital goals over a certain period of time. But, here we are sure that we’ve nailed the basics of creating an outstanding digital marketing plan.