What is it about the New Year and New Year’s Resolutions? For me, like for many others, the New Year represents a fresh start. You have an idea or wish that you convert into a goal and set a deadline to achieve it. The same principle applies when it comes to your business: you set up goals that you translate into marketing activities and based on these activities, you create a plan.
Here are five steps you should take in order to develop a digital marketing strategy:
- Set objectives
- Define the target audience
- Select the desired digital channels and define the content to be used on each channel
- Set a timeline for each action
- Measure and adjust
Let’s break them down one by one.
Before you decide on your digital marketing projects and activities, take a moment to review your business goals. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to become a thought leader in your field? Do you want to increase your brand awareness? Do you want to increase your market share? Or maybe you want to get more customers and increase sales…. Perhaps even expand your networking opportunities?
Once you establish your business goals, see how you can leverage digital marketing.
Define the target audience
Each of your digital marketing activity should be created with your target audience and existing clients in mind. The best advice I can give you here is:
Know your customer as well as you know your best friend.
Make sure you research your audience. That research will help create the right type of content, email campaigns, and social media strategies that will engage your audience and help achieve the goals you set up.
Select digital channels and define the content to be used on each channel
Now that you have established who your audience is, you know where to find them. That applies to the digital world, as well as offline. For digital, it will help you define the social platform you have to be present on in order to connect and start a conversation with your potential and existing customers.
Make sure you take some time to look into what your competition is doing. See on which platforms they are present, what their message is, how they position their services and the type of content they are producing. This will help you have a better understanding of the market and audience and help you come up with fresh ideas.
Set a timeline for each action and budget
Your time is precious. By setting up a timeline for your digital marketing activities, you will not only save time but also quickly realise if you can manage these tasks by yourself or if you will require external help. Furthermore, by planning everything and having a person responsible for each activity, you are making sure you are not forgetting anything.
The secret to an effective timeline is simplicity and organisation. Create sub-timelines for complex tasks, mark milestones, deadlines, and high-level overviews for more transparency. If your budget allows, outsourcing the most time-consuming activities is a good solution.
Measure and adjust
Nothing in life is set in stone and that applies to marketing, as well. As you start implementing your strategy, it is imperative to measure as you go and see how your audience reacts. If the reaction is positive, stick with your plan. In case the outcome is not the desired one, it is time to go back to the drawing board and make the necessary adjustments. Also, it is possible your company’s priorities change, and your marketing efforts need to reflect that as well.
Schedule recurring progress reviews to assess the digital marketing strategy performance. Make a note of what is working and what areas need improvement. Do not forget that a plan is a living thing that needs adjustments and updates constantly.
Never underestimate the value of an established digital marketing plan, as it will keep you focused on your tasks and your business on the right track.