How to Develop a Digital Marketing Strategy
Why you need a digital marketing strategy
Here’s the short answer: As with any other business activity, you need an overall strategy to guide your planning and improve your performance. With its help, you will be able to make choices, taking into account the ultimate goal.
This is especially important in the field of digital marketing because this area includes many areas. What types of digital marketing do we know? These may include:
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- contextual advertising
- Social media marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
So what’s the main goal of a digital marketing strategy? It combines all of these elements into a single plan, saving you time, money, and effort.
How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy
Do you like what you have just read? Well, now you have to solve the problem of creating your own digital marketing strategy. It may seem incredibly difficult for you, but it is not entirely true.
Let’s start small and outline five simple steps to help you get on the right track. Consider this as a basic framework for your future strategy.
1. Study the audience
Before developing a set of marketing activities, you must understand whom you are reaching out to. Therefore, your first step should be to study your audience.
There are many ways to do this, but some of the more popular and effective ones include:
Analytics (on your website, email marketing platform, and social media)
Polls and feedback forms
Discussions with sales and customer support staff
These three ways alone will give you valuable insight into who your customers are, what goals they are pursuing, what challenges they face, and how your company can help them.
Armed with this information, you can create different buyer profiles so you always remember whom you are reaching out to and target your posts accordingly.
2. Set goals
Your overall digital marketing strategy should be tied to a big goal — something more specific and inspiring than “advertises the company” or “grow your audience”.
By working through each letter, you can set goals that will truly help you move in the right direction. For example, a SMART digital marketing goal might look something like this:
Grow our mailing list by 2,000 Q1 subscribers to get enough audience to promote our webinars.
If you want to use an alternative method, you can use the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) methodology to maximize your marketing results.
3. Assess past work
Developing a strategy is a pretty daunting task, and you may feel like you are doing everything from scratch every time, but this is not entirely true. You have been involved in marketing before (even if this activity was not too large-scale), which means that you already have some experience.
Analyze your past actions to understand in which cases you achieved the desired results and in which you did not. This will help you understand where you need to put more effort.
Plus, you get a great opportunity to collect content and materials – from social media illustrations to essential information – that you can reuse so you don’t need to do unnecessary work. For example, a quote from a previous blog post can be used as an illustrative Instagram material.
4. Think carefully about all the main points
No matter how high the flight of your creative imagination, there are always many insurmountable circumstances that must be reckoned with. Strategy development has nothing to do with dreams. Rather, it is an attempt to understand what you can achieve with the existing constraints.
And here you already need to think. The Digital Marketing Institute uses the phrase “identifying your resources,” which means that you need to consider the following factors:
Your budget. How much can you spend on digital marketing?
Your staff. Who is responsible for the result? Will you have to outsource some of the tasks or responsibilities to subcontractors?
Your channels. What marketing channels will you use, and what purpose is associated with each channel?
5. Make a plan
When you have all the basic elements in place — your audience, your goals, and your resources — it’s time to combine them into a single digital marketing strategy template.
Start with a simple calendar (whether in a spreadsheet or directly in Wrike) that brings all of these elements together. For example, you can schedule a single mailing list on your calendar and then start adding other snippets to it.
Be prepared for the fact that your initial ideas will eventually translate into something completely unexpected, but sometimes you just need to start moving forward to find the best possible path for yourself. As with any process, you will be going through trial and error!
Five digital marketing strategy examples to inspire you
Do you know the first steps you need to take to get started, but you feel insecure? Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration.
The following are examples of well-known brands that have focused their marketing efforts in three different areas: content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing.
Which area of digital marketing brings the best results? These brands have proven that there is no single answer to this question. It all depends on how you implement your plans.
1. An example of content marketing: Buffer
When it comes to content marketing, it’s hard not to remember the most popular social media post planner – Buffer. The company that created this service is often cited as an example of the “right” use of content marketing.
In the early days, company executives relied primarily on guest publications. The content they created was posted on many different sites because they wanted to make it recognizable. One of Buffer’s co-founders claims that this strategy helped them reach their first 100,000 customers.
However, they were unhappy about neglecting their own site. But in the years that followed, the company gained credibility in the industry by posting high-quality content on its blogs.
Did you notice that the previous paragraph refers to “blogs” and not “blog”? That’s right – they had two different blogs targeting different audiences:
Buffer Blog: Everything about social media, marketing, and Buffer features and updates.
Open blog: everything about remote work, corporate culture, and company development.