We have been discussing evergreen digital marketing strategies and why it is important to implement one in your business. To understand how you can effectively implement a digital marketing strategy, it is important to go back to what digital marketing means in its essence. We can define digital marketing as an umbrella term for marketing products and services using digital technologies on the internet. You are essentially taking traditional marketing frameworks and transferring them online.
In this post, we discussed that a strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a specific goal. A strategy or plan is pertinent for any business, whether brick-and-mortar or online businesses. A well-thought-out strategy includes a detailed plan of attack to reach specific goals. After a determined length of time, reviewing your results from the goals you’ve set will give you a great understanding of where you can tweak your next strategy and how you will continue to pivot in your business to achieve success.
You cannot assume that just having your business online will gain much recognition without building a following. You would be surprised how many small business owners have yet to implement a digital marketing strategy. A common misconception is that creating an Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account automatically creates a form of strategy. However, this is just that, a misconception, and those who have created solid strategies, likely benefit the most from social media marketing.
There are many different areas to focus on when developing your strategy. Think about each section and how you will create your strategy to grow your business. So grab your pen and paper, and let’s get started!
Creating A Digital Marketing Strategy in 7 Steps
1| Evaluate Your Company + Your Brand
The first and most important step is to look at your company and its brand. You need to take a step back and objectively consider all of the areas in which your branding will directly affect a digital marketing strategy. Is your company branded to align with small business owners? Do you have the support staff to carry out your marketing objectives? Are you in a position to share your brand with the world? Do you need to undergo a rebrand before marketing your business online? Have you considered the process by which you will nurture your leads?
These are all questions to ask yourself before you begin a digital marketing strategy. There is no point in spending the time, effort, and funds creating a strategy that will not work. Instead, take the time to create a process from the beginning to the end of how your buyer’s journey will look like. There, you will often find the answers you need to determine whether or not your brand is ready to undergo a marketing campaign. This is reverse engineering, and it must be done often. Think of where you want to be and work backward in determining the steps necessary to get from point A to point B.
2 | Identify Your Ideal Customer by Building a Customer Persona
When building a presence online, you need to figure out whom you are trying to reach. Sure, everybody could benefit from what you have to offer, but having a detailed image of who your product or service will benefit from will help narrow down your audience. This will, in turn, allow you to focus your marketing efforts on specific subjects online. Consider this: If you sell to everyone, you end up selling to no one.
When discussing customer demographics, we need to look at as many factors as possible. You have the basic foundational items to consider: Age Group, Gender, Race, Marital Status, and Social Status. You can gather detailed information through online surveys of your current followers, and you can even gather through each of your social media profiles via user insights. While these cannot always be trusted, you will get a good sense of who is attracted to your products or services. You can get a clearer picture of your ideal customer persona based on this and on who you have created your products and services.
3 | Set SMART [Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely] Goals
Creating goals is easy, and you can create a goal based on almost any area of your business. The goals that matter, however, are those that you can pursue strategically and tactically. To create these goals, you need to consider the following factors.
You need to be able to create SMART goals. So let’s look at what type of goals those are exactly. You will also want to make sure that you establish your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), as these will give you something to measure that is directly related to your goals. An example of a KPI would be “social media engagement” or “sales from the email list.” As for your SMART goals, these can be defined as follows:
- Specific: These goals are simple and clear, answering the What, Why, and How of your strategic marketing plan.
- Measurable: Like any goal, your goals should be measurable so that you can understand what is working in your marketing campaigns and what is not.
- Achievable: Your goals should challenge any possibilities, but you also want to remain cautious.
- Realistic: Achievable goals must be realistic about your market’s current conditions and target audience.
- Timely: Goals should have a time frame, which creates a sense of urgency and allows you to work based on tension to remain active in pursuing your goal.
4 | Choosing the Right Channel To Execute Your Strategy
Traditional marketing calls for clear-cut, direct, or indirect methods to target audiences. However, with the landscape changing online, it has allowed small business owners to venture into territories that put them directly in of their ideal audience members.
This is why digital marketing is so important. You can create authentic brand loyalists by simply replying to a tweet or a comment on a post. At SoVerve Marketing Group, we recommend that you focus on email, content, and social media marketing strategies. Once you have created consistency among these, we recommend you move into paid advertising. Below is a list of the most popular digital marketing channels.
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Pay Per Click Advertising
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
5 | Set a Marketing Budget, Based on Your Goals
Having a digital marketing budget is necessary. Depending on your goal, these can be set to several hundred to several thousand. This is why establishing the “why” behind your marketing strategy is important. A marketing budget will cover the cost of promoting on social media, email marketing, etc. You will also want to consider the cost of running a marketing campaign on platforms like Facebook. Also, you will want to invest in analytic tools and programs that monitor your progress closely.
Lastly, it is important to consider investing in a marketing team to execute your plans. This should be the goal of any small business owner to either hire an external team of experts or build a marketing team of experts. Either way, it is important to consider the following: sales copy, social media management, advertising campaign setup and management, email marketing integration, and much more!
6 | Create Consistency by Delivering High-Value Content
Whether your goal is to generate leads, build brand awareness, or engage with your community members, the main focus should always be to create high-value content consistently. For instance, if you deploy a social media marketing strategy, you will want to consider your posting times and schedule—the same for an email marketing strategy. You will want to consider when to send email campaigns based on a user’s interactions with your products and services.
This can all be done with the help of a content calendar, which is why we recommend creating one during this step. A content calendar will keep you focused and committed to delivering high-value content. More so, it will keep you from creating content, to create content. It will keep your vision of the goals you have in step three.
7 | Evaluate Your Data and Pivot Accordingly
If you reach step six, then you would think you are done. However, the seventh and last step is often overlooked and not properly considered. A vital part of any strategy is analyzing your efforts. This is the step that many do not like, and we go back to step five, where we recommend hiring a team of professional digital marketers to execute your strategies.
Analyzing your data is difficult because you may not know what you seek. This is why you need to establish your Key Performance Indicators early on. Here are some of the data and KPI reports we like to look at and measure:
- Social Media Metrics
- SEO Metrics
- Sales Metrics
Putting All of the Puzzle Pieces Together
As you see, many steps exist to implement a digital marketing strategy effectively. It doesn’t matter if you have been in business for one week or seven years; the gist is the same; every business needs a digital marketing strategy to compete in today’s market, especially for those wanting to grow online.
Keep track of your progress and goals, then compare and contrast. Make subtle changes in promotions and campaigns to see what brings in more engagement. However, make sure not to do this often. Give your strategies at least 30-90 days before making changes. Remember that your growth depends on the next strategy you create. Strategies will become easier in certain areas but will need your creativity in others to remain competitive in your industry. You will also want to remain innovative in using various marketing channels. Digital marketing is ever-changing, and to be successful at marketing your service, you will need to be diligent in your efforts.