Everything is going digital, but as a business owner, you probably already know that. There is nothing consumers love more than convenience, and what's more convenient than shopping from where ever you are whenever you want? To keep up with customers' ever-changing needs and wants, having a strong digital marketing strategy has never been more important. But many people don't realize that a digital marketing strategy is so much more than a pretty website and a couple of funny social media posts. But how exactly do you create an effective digital marketing strategy that gets you the results you want? The digital marketing experts at Encompass Online Marketing Ltd. are here to tell you! In this blog, we will tell you 6 steps for creating a successful digital marketing strategy. Read on to learn more!
What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
Simply put, a digital marketing strategy is a plan designed to make the most of your digital marketing efforts. Digital marketing focuses on increasing your online presence in digital marketing channels. Digital marketing channels include search engines, social media profiles, your website, email campaigns, paid ads and even customer reviews. These channels have proven to be very effective for marketing your business. While traditional marketing channels like TV and radio commercials, print ads and billboards are still effective, if you're not taking advantage of digital marketing channels, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to reach more people. Your digital marketing strategy should lay out what you want to accomplish and have actionable goals and how you will get there. This might sound complicated or overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be! These 6 steps will help you create a digital marketing strategy to increase leads and sales and ensure you get the best ROI from your marketing investment!
6 Steps for Creating a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy
No two digital marketing strategies will be the same. But that doesn't mean these steps won't work for all digital marketing strategies! Here are our 6 fundamental steps to help you build a successful digital marketing strategy for your business!
Set a Goal
Before you start developing your digital marketing strategy, you need to know exactly what you want to accomplish. This sounds simple enough, but for this step, you will need to lay out a set of very detailed and specific goals. Using the SMART goals criteria is a great way to do this! SMART goals are a very helpful and effective tool used for setting objectives. The SMART goal framework uses the following criteria for setting goals:
Getting more views on your website is not considered a SMART goal. Getting 12% more visits to your website through ads on Facebook for the next three months is a SMART goal. The SMART goal framework will help you identify these goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them! If you want to learn more about creating effective SMART goals, you can read our blog here.
Assess Your Current Digital Marketing Presence
Even if your digital marketing presence is close to nonexistent, it is helpful to understand what you have accomplished and what needs work. Assessing your digital marketing presence will help you understand what you need to focus on to achieve the goals of your digital marketing strategy. To do this, you need to look at your main digital marketing channels:
- Your Website
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing/SEO
- Pay Per Click Advertising/ Search Engine Marketing
Figure out which of these channels is driving the most traffic to you and getting you the most leads. Then rank each channel from most effective to least effective (so far), decide which ones would like to focus on and work towards building a stronger digital marketing presence on those channels.
Understand the Digital Sales Funnel
The digital sales funnel is essential to understanding your buyer's journey from a new to a repeat customer. A business with a strong digital presence can use the digital sales funnel to help them achieve its digital marketing goals. The stages of the digital sales funnel are as follows:
- Awareness- Make potential customers aware that you exist. A great way to do this is through social media ads ranking high in search engines through effective SEO.
- Interest- Create an interest in your brand. Who are you? What are you all about? What sets you apart from the competition? How can you solve the customer's problem? You can do this by providing helpful and relevant information that lets them know how your product or service will benefit them.
- Action- Do business with the customer. The main goal of the sales funnel is to get the customer to take action. You can use calls to action to let the customer know what you want them to do, such as making a purchase. Giving them an incentive like a discount is a great way to do this.
To effectively utilize the digital sales funnel, you need to understand each stage and the appropriate tools that complement it. If you want more information about how to create a digital sales funnel for your business, check out our blog about it here!
Create Buyer Personas
Knowing your audience is arguably the most important of any marketing strategy. How can you market to someone if you don't know who they are? There are many ways to figure out your target audience, but one of the most helpful is to put yourself in your customer's shoes. Once you have an idea of who your ideal customer is, you can then make some assumptions about what they want and need. To create an effective buyer persona, you'll need to know where the person shops, which marketing channels they are most likely to use, what they need, what their expectations are and how you can solve their problem. This can be tricky, but once you have it down, you can market your product or service more effectively!
Develop a Content Plan
For this step, you will need to develop a specific content marketing strategy for each digital marketing channel you will use to attract customers. Each channel will require different content. Your content strategy should be made up of a series of actions that relate to your specific goals. You should also include a specific timeline so that you measure the deadline of your goals. Some examples of content strategies are:
- Keyword Strategy- Research and identify relevant keywords that will improve your SEO so you can rank higher in search engine results. This can be used in website content and blogs.
- Create a Content Calendar- A content calendar allows you to have easily traceable long-term goals. Your content calendar should be very specific. You will want to include things like posting dates, keywords, topics and potential tags.
- Social Media Posting- Use the research you have conducted (such as target audience and competitor research) to determine what kind of content you should post on different social media channels and how often to do so.
- Use Calls to Action- It is essential to include CTAs in your digital marketing content so customers know what action you want them to take and make it easier for them to engage with your content.
Developing an effective content plan can be tricky, but with a combination of audience and competitor research and trial and error, you will be able to create a content plan that your customers will respond to.
Analyze Your Results
Once you have your digital marketing strategy in place, you need to analyze your results to ensure it is effective. How are customers interacting with your content? How close are you to reaching your goals? Digital marketing analytics will help you understand what parts of your strategy are working and which aren't and give you insight into what you need to do differently. If you don't analyze your results, you know if your digital marketing strategy is working, and your efforts will be wasted. There are many free tools available to help you track digital marketing analytics, such as Google Analytics. Knowing how your digital marketing strategy is performing will allow you to make adjustments where you need to and ensure it is working the way you want. If you want to know more about why analytics are so crucial for your digital marketing strategy, read our blog about it here.
Encompass Online Marketing Ltd. Can Help You Create a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy
We know this is a lot of information to take in. But if you want your digital marketing efforts to be successful, you need to have a strong digital marketing strategy in place. If you don't know where to start, we can help! At Encompass Online Marketing Ltd., we create effective digital marketing strategies that get our customers the results they want. If you want more leads and sales, contact us today! We'll help you grow!
Written By: Trenton Ross