Mel is our Partner Strategy & Delivery Manager and also a CIM Chartered Marketer, a testament to her commitment to excellence in the field. But Mel’s contributions don’t stop at the office door. Beyond her professional endeavours, she leads an active life as a qualified run leader and dedicated volunteer. Her experience in these roles has streamlined her leadership and teamwork skills, making her an invaluable asset when it comes to collaborating on projects and ensuring their success. She also has a deep passion for the construction industry. Her love for this field goes beyond professional curiosity – it’s a genuine fascination. Her sharp insights, strategic thinking, and knowledge have made her a backbone in our team’s ability to drive results for clients in this industry. While orange might be a vibrant and energetic colour for some, for Mel, it’s a colour that isn’t to her taste. But that’s just another piece of her individuality that makes her such a fascinating member of our team. Mel will make sure that we can approach marketing challenges from all angles and deliver outstanding results for our clients.
Posted on 14/02/2022 by Melanie Comerford
Getting Started With Your Digital Marketing Strategy
The term digital marketing strategy may seem like another compilation of buzzwords at this point, but your digital strategy is fundamental for driving new business for your company. Whether it be increasing your visibility online, generating new leads or closing sales, your digital marketing strategy will help achieve these goals. Your strategy will also inform other decisions across your business, ensuring your outbound channels of communication are aligned with what’s happening internally.
Your digital strategy will serve as the foundation from which all of your marketing activities will be derived and organised. Often referred to as online marketing, digital marketing encompasses all marketing activities that leverage the power of digital devices. Whilst you can run with digital marketing without a strategy, it’s unlikely you’ll see the results you want. It would be similar to heading out on a month-long hike without a map… or supplies!
What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is an organisational structure that illustrates what goals your business wants to achieve and which marketing techniques you’ll utilise to achieve them. It empowers you to plot how your business is going to get from A to B by leveraging a mix of paid, earned and owned media channels. Whilst there can be a deviation from this roadmap as every strategy should remain somewhat agile, the strategy should provide structure and organisation for your marketing pursuits.
Other than your goals and tactics, your overarching marketing plan should encompass research into your target market. Learn how your ideal buyers engage with online media, as well as the needs, wants, and challenges of your target audience. This knowledge will help guide your decision-making, particularly when it comes to defining your brand messaging and the content you will create. Above all though, by carrying out research into your target demographics you’ll uncover the best ways in which your business can provide value to your prospects, leads and customers.
Finally, your digital marketing strategy should define how your business will measure success. How does your hard work translate into results for the business, and how does it correlate with your goals?
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve outlined the crucial steps for creating your digital marketing strategy further down in this blog.
The Best Digital Marketing Tactics
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation plays a critical role in any digital marketing strategy. SEO is the name given to the various activities that all contribute to enhancing your website’s visibility and compromises of three main areas, on-page, off-page, and technical. The three main areas all share two common goals: increasing your website’s traffic and improving the opportunity to convert your prospects into customers.
- Content Marketing
With the potential to tie in with the above, the content marketing umbrella applies to a broad variety of different tactics. Essentially it’s about delivering high-quality and engaging content for your audience. The primary goal is to provide value to your prospects, leads and customers with the aim of building trust and influencing them to purchase from you.
- Email Marketing
Think of email marketing as your modern-day approach to direct mail. With the potential for an ROI of 4,200%, it’s one of the best performing digital marketing tactics. Making a significant comeback over the last few years with huge advancements in Customer Relationship Management systems. Email marketing is much more sophisticated today, you’ll have the power to engage your users irrespective of where they are in their buyer’s journey.
- Social Media Marketing
Social media will continue to rise in popularity indefinitely. Having a solid social media strategy is key to reaching and engaging your audience. Whilst the ability to reach your audience organically may have depleted over the years, it just makes it more crucial to captivate your audience’s interest. Additionally, you could always supplement the shortfall of your organic presence with paid ads too.
- PPC & Paid Advertising
Leapfrogging over to PPC and ads. Paid media is the perfect medium to combine with your organic pursuits in search and social media. Paid advertising enables you to dominate additional online space alongside your native presence, securing more of the online real estate.
PPC and social ads can be a tricky place to navigate and get right, but with a well-devised strategy, it can have a major impact on your business. If you aren’t doing PPC already, you could be missing out on valuable traffic and revenue.
How-To Create Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Likely the biggest hurdle to your growth right now, getting started! Beginning to piece together your strategy can feel like an intimidating task but we’re here to tell you that it’s one worth doing. We’ve compiled the following steps to help walk you through the process.
Setting Your Goals
Step 1 is what your strategy is all about, achieving your goals! To put your best foot forward, you need to have a strong grasp of the reasons for developing your strategy in the first place. Outlining your goals at the start of this process will make the rest of your planning easier and ensure strategic alignment. A good place to start is by noting your overarching business objective down. Then assign secondary goals that will help you achieve these ‘bigger’ objectives. These secondary goals will then formulate into your marketing objectives.
Another buzz term to add to the mix; SMART goals. The SMART framework supports you to create goals that are focused and achievable. Each of your goals should hit the following criteria:
An example of a SMART goal could be as follows: “To increase social media referrals by 45% in the next 6-months”.
Researching Your Audience
Conducting research into your target market is a fundamental step in ensuring all of your marketing communications are aligned with your target audience. For your digital marketing strategy to succeed, you need to gain a thorough understanding of who you’re marketing to.
The best way to do this is to conduct persona research and good news for you, we’ve created a downloadable template to walk you through this process. Essentially your buyer personas are a semi-fictitious representation of your ideal customer. By conducting this research you’ll uncover unique insights about your ideal buyers that will ultimately become the backbone of your digital marketing strategy.
Your persona development research should uncover important data that suggest how and in what ways your buyers like to communicate and how they prefer to consume content. This information will help you identify which channels you should leverage and how you should craft your brand messaging. This will help you to target and adapt your content in a way that resonates with your audience.
In addition to your persona research, you should also map a buyer’s journey for each of your persona profiles. You can use the research you’ve already done to do this. The goal of this is to identify the journey your buyers will go through before and after their purchase. From there, you can accurately map your digital marketing activities to each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Selecting Your Channels
Your persona research and buyer’s journey will support you with this decision making. Establishing which channels your business will leverage in your digital strategy is essential to gaining visibility and meeting your audience where they are.
First things first, audit your Owned, Earned and Paid channels, use this framework to categorise the digital assets your business already has. Once you’ve compiled this list, you can move on to analysing the performance of these channels.
Next, you’ll need to examine your current analytics, which channels are performing best? You can use tools like Google Analytics and analyse the Acquisition report to see where most traffic to your website comes from. Additionally, you can cross-reference this data with each social media platform analytics for further insights.
If you’re starting afresh, you can use just your persona insights to make your channel selection. Essentially what you want to do here is create an omnichannel approach, utilising multiple channels but without spreading yourself too thin! We always recommend starting smaller and then expanding and experimenting with other channels over time.
In addition to this, you should also consider the time and resources you can allocate to each channel, these will be vastly different if you’re working solo in comparison to a team. The work required for each tactic varies too, SEO for example is likely to take up more of your time than scheduling posts for social media. Bear this in mind when planning out your workload.
Implementing Your Digital Strategy
You should now be in a position where you feel well organised and prepared to launch your marketing strategy. Regarding the steps leading up to this point, you may need to adapt or add steps in the process to suit your business, that’s completely fine. This is simply a guide to help you on your way.
You can now begin to implement your various digital marketing tactics. Be cautious not to proliferate above what you or your team can handle; remember, bite-sized chunks and then build-out. You’ll also want to ensure everyone across your business is aligned with this new strategy and those who need to be consulted have been.
Whilst we’ll always hope for the best, you should always prepare for the worst. You should remain agile to make quick and snappy changes but only if absolutely required. In an ideal scenario, you should collect at least a month’s worth of data before deciding whether to pull the plug on certain activities. In certain situations. particularly where the budget is allocated, quick and reactive adjustments may be required.
Remember some tactics will take more time to come to fruition than others, think of your digital marketing strategy as a marathon instead of a sprint, where after each month your efforts will build up momentum.
A crucial yet often overlooked step in your strategy. It’s time to review the success of your digital marketing strategy. You should be monitoring the performance of your channels and marketing campaigns every day, we would suggest doing a full strategy analysis or marketing report each month. Your report should give a holistic view of all of your marketing pursuits alongside their performance.
You’ll need to cross-reference the performance of your channels with your previously assigned marketing objectives. Whilst it can be disheartening to not achieve your targets, this part of the process is all about refinement and optimisation. Marketing as you know is all about continual testing, trialling, and improvements.
To drill down into your marketing analytics there are lots of tools you can use, all of which will have different depths of information for you to sift through. To get the most out of your analytics, really take the time to work through the data. This will likely be a time-consuming task but these insights will help guide and advance your strategy in the long term, maximising success for your business.
Loop Digital – The Digital Marketing Agency
Creating a digital marketing strategy solo can be a daunting task, that’s why we’re here to support you. Our digital marketing experts will work in partnership with your business to build a bespoke digital marketing strategy that is formulated around your business, goals and target market. Discover the digital difference, get in touch with our team today.
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