5 Tips to Help You Develop Your Digital Marketing Strategy
You’ve been working on creating your digital marketing strategy for weeks, but you just can’t seem to get it to where you want it. Or maybe you know your business needs one, but you haven’t started yet because you’re unsure of where to begin. Or maybe you’ve had a digital marketing strategy in place for years, yet you don’t feel like it’s making much of a difference. Then it’s time to carve out some time to develop your digital marketing strategy and set your business up for success! I know time is valuable, especially when running a business, but trust me – it’s worth it to put a strong digital strategy in place.
In today’s digital heavy landscape, it’s crucial that your business have a presence online and a strong one at that. But you don’t want to go at it blindly… hoping eventually your brand’s message will reach your perfect customer and they’ll come running to your doors. You want to know who your ideal customer is and where you can connect with them. You want to define your goals, create content, and engage with your customers in a smart way. Developing your strategy will save you time and resources moving forward. So where do you start?
1. Assess what you (and others) have done before
It’s always helpful to begin by taking a step back. Look at what you’ve done before and see how it worked out. What was successful? What didn’t work too well? Learn from what you did well and your mistakes. Take a look at what your competitors are doing too. Learn from what’s working for them and take note of their mistakes.
A SWOT analysis focused on digital marketing can be very useful in this stage of creating your strategy. SWOT analyses are used often by businesses to assess their business strategy and the business landscape, so why not do it for digital marketing too?
Take a look at your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your marketing efforts. What are you doing well online and what could be improved? Conduct a website and social media audit to assess your strengths and weaknesses in those areas. When you find your weaknesses, invest time to fix them and make your online presence stronger.
Do some industry research and see what opportunities you could take advantage of. See what your competitors are doing to learn of any opportunities or ideas you could utilize in your strategy. Then look at what threats could affect your strategy’s success. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with areas that you’re already doing well in and areas you can improve, it’s time to dive into your goals.
2. Know Your Goals
Know your goals. You don’t want to spend time developing a digital marketing strategy that doesn’t align with your overall marketing and business goals. Keep the goals you defined in your marketing plan top-of-mind when working on your marketing strategy. Make sure the goals you have set are specific and measurable. If your main goal is to increase brand awareness by 40%, then your marketing strategy will look a lot different from a company whose main goal is to increase sales by 40%.
3. Focus on Your Target Audience
Regardless of your specific goals for your marketing efforts, your constant overarching goal is always to attract and engage with your customers and to get them to fall in love with your brand. You want your target audience to absolutely love your brand and be loyal to it. This happens by keeping them at the forefront of your digital marketing strategy.
Stay focused on reaching your target audience. How? First you have to really know your target audience. You can do research and create buyer personas to help you narrow your focus on your ideal customer and to make your messaging really resonate with them.
4. Choose Your Channels
Your target audience will help you in the decision making for which channels you want to focus on. Look at where they are and meet them there. Create the type of content that will draw them in and make sure you are publishing it where it can be found. For some this may mean you are active on LinkedIn and blogs on your website. For others it may mean you need to focus your efforts on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. Whatever it may be, choose the channels that will work best for connecting with your target audience and for your business.
Keep your resources in mind
Keep your resources in mind when choosing your channels. You may not have enough people or budget to dedicate time and energy to every channel your audience is on. It’s best to do a really good job on a few of the channels your audience is on than a mediocre job on all of them. I mean, just look at how many people’s jobs are to be YouTubers. They dedicate their time and energy to a couple of channels and are successful at it.
5. Build Out Your Content Strategy
Now that you’ve narrowed your focus on your target audience and selected your channels, it’s time to build out your content strategy for your digital marketing.
Keywords and Organic SEO
When creating your content strategy, your website will likely be part of it. You’ll want to keep the search engines happy or your website may never be found (except when viewed by your mom or best friend). To do this, keep search engine optimization in mind for all content on your website, be it blogs, e-books, or the copy on your homepage.
Do some keyword research to see what keywords related to your business get good search volume and try to incorporate those keywords in the content you make. Be sure to do so wisely and in a way that makes sense for the content you are creating, or it may hurt you more than help. Keyword stuffing, “stuffing” your content with keywords that may or may not need to be there, is frowned upon by search engines like Google. You can plan pieces of content around relevant keywords like making a blog post about puppy training that’s titled “Guide on How to Train Your Puppy To Fetch” with the goal of getting traffic from people searching for “how to train my puppy to fetch”.
It’s always a good idea to plan your content so you’re prepared for any upcoming big events for your business, holidays, or even new product arrivals you want to promote. This can be done easily with a content calendar like this one. Content calendars are great for getting organized but remember to be flexible. News and other things will come up that may require you to modify your existing calendar so you can highlight what’s current and relevant to your target audience.
When planning out your content, you want to create content your customers and target audience will care about. After all, you are making it for them. You can learn all about creating content your audience will love in our previous blog post “How to Create Content that Matters to Your Customers”. In addition to planning great content, you’ll want to create a strategy for the different types of digital media, such as owner, paid, and earned media.
Owned media is the digital media you create yourself and your business has complete control over. Simple, right? This is the content you create for social media, the blogs or news articles you post, your website, or any other digital assets your business owns.
Paid media is just that – media you pay for. This involves any channels you pay for to have your content or messaging shown. Examples include Google Ads, paid social media posts, sponsored content or any other paid digital advertising.
Earned media is exposure that your brand earns. It’s not paid for or directly created by you – sounds nice right? Well, it’s not that easy. You have to earn it. This can be word-of-mouth, like people talking about your brand on social media or leaving good reviews, or any press coverage or news about your brand.
No one type of content is “the” content you want to dedicate all your efforts to. All three are advantageous to your digital marketing strategy and can play a role in you achieving your goals. Plan in your strategy the content you will create for your owned media, and plan for what amount, if any, of paid media you want to invest in and what your strategy is for that. You can build a strategy around earned media too, even though there is less control over this form of content. You can invest in PR to try to earn press mentions and have exceptional customer service to increase positive word-of-mouth for your brand.
Now that you have some tips on developing your digital marketing strategy, go make it stronger than ever. Need some help getting your digital marketing strategy where you want it? Let us know and we’d be happy to help.