There is no question that digital marketing is here to stay. It wasn’t that long ago that many small businesses didn’t bother with digital marketing. Brick-and-mortar companies knew they could rely on word-of-mouth and traditional advertising to keep their businesses in operation.
That’s no longer the case. No small business can afford to ignore digital marketing. If you want to make the most of your digital marketing, it’s important to create a digital marketing strategy.
What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
Let’s start by defining what a digital marketing strategy is.
Simply put, your digital marketing strategy is a big-picture view of how you intend to market your business online. It defines the general methods you will use to promote your company as well as defining your overall marketing goal.
For example, your marketing goal might be to increase your customer base by 10%. That’s a good, clearly-defined goal that can help you grow your business.
Your strategy might be to revamp your website, test individual elements to increase your conversion rate, start a blog, and use social media marketing to attract new customers.
That’s just an example, but it gives you an idea of what a strategy is. It’s important not to confuse your digital marketing strategy with marketing tactics. The difference is that a strategy is a big-picture view, and a tactic is a single thing that you do to advance your overall strategy.
An example of a tactic would be creating an explainer video to demonstrate your latest product. You might release the video on YouTube as well as posting it on your blog and sharing it with your Twitter followers. Each one of those things is a tactic. Using video marketing to expand your reach is a strategy.
Consider These 5 Things before Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy
Now let’s talk about the five things you need to consider before creating a digital marketing strategy.
- The first consideration is your overall goal. We mentioned this earlier, but you need to think about what you want to achieve. For example, you might want to increase your profits by 25%, expand your business to a second location, or attract enough new customers to justify adding a new salesperson. You should always have a clearly-defined goal for everything marketing tactic you use online.
- The second thing you need to consider is your target audience. It simply isn’t feasible or worthwhile to try to appeal to the entire internet. Your products won’t appeal to everybody. What’s more, a small company shouldn’t expect to compete with online behemoths like Amazon. You need to focus your efforts on the people who are most likely to buy your products. That might involve evaluating:
- Demographic information, including your ideal customer’s age, gender, marital status, income, and level of education.
- Psychographic information, including your ideal customer’s political leanings, interests, and hobbies.
The more you know about your ideal customer, the better able you will be to create content that will appeal to them.
- The third thing to consider when developing a digital marketing strategy is where to find your ideal customers online. Here again, it’s a question of maximizing the return you get on your investment. If your target audience is mostly affluent middle-aged women, marketing on Pinterest is a smart choice – but marketing on Snapchat isn’t. You need to think about where your target audience is most likely to see your ads and content online, and then focus your attention there.
- The fourth thing to consider is what other tactics you might use to achieve your goal. For example, if you don’t have an email list you might decide that building one is a good goal to have. You know that other business in your industry have been successful with email marketing. Once you know that you want to try email marketing, then you can decide what specific steps to take to move toward implementing your overall strategy.
- The fifth and final thing to consider is what your marketing budget will be. While it is possible to do a great deal of digital marketing for free using social media and blogging, it is virtually impossible to get everything you need from your marketing strategy without spending a little bit of money. You should think about how much you are prepared to spend to achieve your goal.
Once you have worked through these five things, you can sit down and create a detailed marketing strategy to help you reach your digital marketing goal.
Creating a digital marketing strategy is a must if you want your online marketing efforts to be a success. As you work out your strategy, you can determine how much money to spend on each tactic you intend to use. Then, all that’s left is to implement your strategy and track the results to maximize your profits.