We have been discussing evergreen digital marketing strategies and why it is important to implement one in your business. In order 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 to have for any business whether it be a brick and mortar business or an online business. 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 make pivots in your business to achieve success.
You cannot assume that just by having your business online, that it 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 for their business. A common misconception is that by creating an Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account you’ve automatically created a form of strategy. However, this is just that, a misconception and those who have indeed created solid strategies, likely benefit the most of 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 take a look at your company and its brand. You need to take a step back and objectively consider all of the areas in which a digital marketing strategy will be directly affected by your branding. Is your company branded to align with small business owners? Do you have the support staff in order 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 you begin marketing your business online? Have you considered the process in which you will nurture your leads?
These are all questions to ask yourself before you begin carrying out a digital marketing strategy. There is no point in spending the time, efforts, and funds creating a strategy that quite frankly, will not work. Instead, take the time to create a process from beginning to end of how your buyer’s journey will look like. There, you will often find the answers you need in order to determine whether or not your brand is ready to undergo a marketing campaign. This is what we call reverse engineering and it has to 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 you are building a presence online, you need to figure out whom you are trying to reach. Sure, possibly everybody could benefit from what you have to offer, but having a detailed image of who your product or service will inevitably benefit 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 we talk about 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. Based on this and based on who you have created your products and services for, you can get a clearer picture of who your ideal customer persona is.
3 | Set SMART [Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely] Goals
Creating goals is easy. You can create a goal based on pretty much any area of your business. The goals that matter, however, are the goals that you can pursue strategically and tactically. In order to create these goals, you need to consider the following factors.
You need to be able to create goals that are SMART. So let’s look at what type of goals those are exactly. You will also want to make sure that you establish your KPI’s (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. They answer the What, Why, and How of your strategic marketing plan.
- Measurable: Like any goal, your goals should be measurable so that you can gain an understanding of 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 have to be realistic to the current conditions of your market and your target audience.
- Timely: Goals should have a time frame. This creates a sense of urgency and allows you to work based on tension so you remain active in the pursuit of your goal.
4 | Choosing the Right Channel To Execute Your Strategy
Traditional marketing calls for very 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 replying to 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 that 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. These can be set to several hundred to several thousand, depending on your goal. This is why establishing the “why,” behind your marketing strategy is so 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 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. If you deploy a social media marketing strategy, for instance, you will want to consider your posting times and your posting 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 and which is why we recommend creating one during this step. A content calendar will also let you stay focused and committed to your overall goal of delivering high-value content. More so, it will keep you from creating content just to create content. It will keep your vision on 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 one that 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 not always easy, because you may not know what you are looking for. 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 there are many steps to effectively implementing digital marketing strategy. 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 in order to compete in today’s market, especially for those having the desire to grow online.
Always keep track of your progress and your 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 you start making changes. Remember that your growth depends on the next strategy you create. Strategies will become easier in certain areas but will need your creative in others in order to remain competitive in your industry. Plus, you will also want to remain innovative in your use of various marketing channels. Digital marketing is ever changing and in order to be successful at marketing your service, you will need to be diligent in your efforts.