A Strategy Is More Than A To-Do List —
5 Steps to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
There are over 3.5 billion people online and the current marketing reality is that digital is impossible to rule out.
No growing business can afford to walk around in the dark without a clear plan to follow and expect to generate successful results.
A digital strategy provides the framework your company needs to make the best decisions for strategy development and implementation.
See below 5 tested steps to create an effective digital marketing strategy:
1. Determine Your Customer Base
These are the people who repeatedly purchase the goods or services provided by your business. They may also be called the business’s target market with their behaviours well understood through past experience or thorough market research. They are the main source of revenue of your business.
The foundation of any marketing strategy is a firm understanding of the business’s customer base, including demographics and psychographics. This is integral to successful lead generation and increased conversions.
The better you are at having a clear focus for your target market, the better results you will have by eliminating irrelevant prospects.
Where are your customers?
What channels do they utilize?
Can you be found on those channels, active and engaging with your prospects?
You need to:
- Study Customer Profiles
- Analyse Customer Buying Cycles — Existing & Future Cycles
- Observe and Predict Customer Behaviour
- Define Customer’s Channel Preferences
2. Understand Your Customer’s Pain Points
Research what customers are saying about you and your competitors to look for the source of their pain. The best way to understand what the customer is going through is to walk in their shoes.
This is really the only way to understand their problems and devise the means to solve these issues. This will also help you to create a plan that offers clients what they need and what your competition is lacking in their own product or service.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the problems that my customers have?
- What do they need to fix it?
- What can I do to resolve the problems or make it better?
3. Define Value To Your Customers Using Unique Value Propositions
A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered. It’s the primary reason a prospect should buy from you.
In a nutshell, your value proposition is a clear statement to the customer that is relevant, has quantified value and shows unique differentiation.
- Relevancy explains how exactly your product or service solves customers’ problems or improves their situation.
- Quantified Value delivers specific benefits of choosing your product or service.
- Unique Differentiation tells the ideal customer why they should choose you over the competition.
A well-crafted value proposition ensures conversion optimization and ultimately improves your customer lifetime value.
4. Determine Your Business Goals
The growth goals behind your strategy will move your business forward. By determining how much business you want to generate, you’ll have achievable goals to stay focused.
Some guidelines to goal setting are:
- Evaluate your current position and audit current marketing funnels
- Set core goals and supporting goals
- Create goals to ensure short term wins and long term wins for future growth opportunities
- Be specific & realistic with your growth plan
- Leverage existing databases & networks
After you have defined projected business outcomes you have to establish lead generation models to achieve set goals. Let’s be honest, without the support of a lead generation strategy, your growth will be sluggish.
5. Get The Right Mix of Digital Marketing Channels
Digital marketing involves many channels that need to be utilized to ensure optimum results. You can’t rely on social media or SEO alone, it simply does not work that way anymore and you would be losing out on the myriad of opportunities that an integrated approach offers.
All digital marketing channels should be designed to work together by:
- A targeted SEO strategy that is bolstered by a content marketing plan for improved search rankings and customer engagement.
- Using email marketing to generate leads, conversions and re-marketing.
- The use of various pipelines to benefit from affiliate marketing.
- Implementing inbound marketing to attract viable leads.
- The use of online advertising channels, including social media ads to create visibility and encourage direct user engagement
After you have done all of the above, set your budget and give it your all! When setting your digital marketing budget, don’t view it as a cost but an investment that will definitely pay for itself as your business grows due to you reaching your defined goals using digital.
When implementing a strategy, do not be afraid to fail and do not become discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. For beginners especially, it may take some trial and error to find the best process to generate the expected results and remember you can always ask an expert.
Whether you create your strategy on your own or you ask an expert, the good news is that through this process, you are creating your own lead generation machine.
Creating the system that works is the hard part but as soon as it is in place…. all it requires is a little maintenance.