The arrival of digital technologies has created new ways of promoting online, selling and distributing products. Also, the emergence of social networks has created a favorable environment for the aggregation of the communities.
If you own a business in the present day, you need an online presence. This brings us to the online value proposition – what exactly is being offered to the customer?
The online proposition can offer some of the online advantages such as immediacy, interactivity, and additional information, maybe even virtual experiences or virtual testing.
But, with so many digital options to choose from, you first need a plan. This is where an effective digital marketing strategy can help.
What is a digital marketing strategy?
In simple terms, a strategy is just a plan of action to achieve a desired goal, or multiple goals. For example, your overarching digital marketing goal might be to generate 25% more leads via your website this year than you drove last year. This is your digital marketing goal and in order to achieve it, you need a digital marketing strategy.
The digital marketing strategy is different from a digital marketing campaign. Often, these two terms are used as synonyms, but they are by no means the same thing. Digital marketing strategy is your action plan, more precisely the steps you need to take to reach your marketing goals. The digital marketing campaign is actually the accumulation of actions required for this plan, through PPC, content marketing, search engine marketing, or e-mail marketing.
What is a digital marketing campaign? Comparison between strategy and campaign
A digital marketing campaign is represented by the building blocks or actions within the digital strategy that is created for achieving a goal. For example, you might decide to run a campaign sharing some of your best-performing content on Twitter, to generate more leads through that channel. That campaign is part of your strategy to generate more leads.
How to structure a digital marketing strategy
There are no standardized forms for planning and delivering a digital marketing strategy, but one of the ways to approach such a task, if given to you, is the following:
Use a data-driven approach to review your current digital marketing effectiveness, customize analytic data and create a strategy of prioritized improvements to how you deploy digital marketing media, technology, and data to increase leads and sales.
Assuming you are clear about what objectives you are you are trying to achieve. There is a tactical matrix that was developed a few years ago which analyzes how good each communication tactic is at moving prospects/customers through various stages of the buying process including Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Post Purchase Relationship Building, Post Purchase Repeat Sales.
Build awareness using the 6 key online marketing techniques which will drive visits to your site:
1.Responsive, Up-To-Date Website Design: A good site should always begin with the user. Essential elements of creating effective online experiences? It’s simple: Function + Content + Form + Organization + Interaction.
2. Leverage Email Marketing: It’s a valuable opportunity to grow your business. Emails can help you stay in touch with potential and current customers who are interested in your products and services
3.Set Up a Blog and Update It Frequently: The management of text, rich media, audio and video content aimed at engaging customers and prospects to meet business goals published through print and digital media including web and mobile platforms which is repurposed and syndicated to different forms of web presence such as publisher sites, blogs, social media and comparison sites.
4.Search Engine Optimization: Marketers who understand the ranking processes can boost their position higher than their competitors and so achieve higher levels of traffic.
5.Search Engine Marketing: Search engine marketing is arguably the most important digital marketing channel for customer acquisition. The challenge of search engine marketing is that businesses that can gain visibility on the first of the search engine results pages will gain more clicks than those on other pages.
6.Social Media Marketing: It’s important to have a powerful presence on social media, so organic posts and social media advertising should be a part of your social media marketing strategy.
Encourage interactions on your website or social media to help you generate leads for the future. Which approaches on your website encourages interaction? Targeting, techniques, and timing are three key aspects of traffic building. Traffic quality is high if site visitors are within the target audience for the web site and if they respond in line with the communications objectives. More than that, traffic building involves combining new digital media channels and traditional offline communication techniques to promote the web site proposition and so encourage visits. Achieving the correct mix of traffic building techniques is vital, but difficult.
Use retargeting, nurturing and conversion rate optimization to remind and persuade your audience to buy online or offline if phone and face-to-face channels if these are important to you. How can we create sales through moving customers from interaction with our brand to purchase?
Increase sales from existing customers by improving personalized communications using the web, email, and social media marketing. Which marketing activities will encourage our existing customers to act as advocates for your business? This will involve defining a content strategy to seed content that existing customers can share.
The digital marketing strategy includes at least three areas:
- the e-business component (all the electronic means and platforms that support the organization’s business strategy);
- the e-commerce (the buying and selling processes) component;
- the e-marketing component (the efforts to inform, communicate, promote and sell services on the Internet)
Do you need a digital marketing strategy to implement?
Do you need clients for your online business? Do you need to drive clients to your offline business by online means? Then, you need a digital marketing strategy.
Let’s take a look at several reasons why you need to implement digital marketing into your branding strategy:
1. Everyone is on social media
In 2019, the average Internet user has at least 7 social media accounts. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tik Tok are some of the most popularly used social networks today. Unless you have a small quirky group of customers who aren’t using social media, then chances are, you need to implement these platforms into your digital marketing strategy. The amount of traffic you can generate from social media platforms is extensive if you know how to gain their attention. With careful research, you can find the perfect topics, formats, and messages to deliver to your audience.
2. People tend to inform about the products or services you offer from the websites, yours or others.
Nowadays, you need a strong digital marketing strategy to help you to create content that ranks highly and that suits your target customers through SEO. With specific keywords used by a specific audience, you’re able to drive in traffic that’s highly targeted. This will turn your website into a lead building machine.
There are several ways you can make your site’s rank improve:
- Choosing relevant, low-competition keywords;
- Making the content around 1000 words;
- Getting social shares and link love (backlinks);
3. Brand reputation is most important than in the past
If your company has a bad reputation or, just as worse, no reputation at all, then it’s going to be difficult to gain the trust of your prospects. How do you grow your reputation? Focus on branding and on brand growth.
In order to grow your reputation, you need visibility. For example, content marketing is an exceptional tool for increasing your brand’s recognition. You can do this by publishing content that’s high-quality, relevant, and engaging to your target audience.
Social media will help you build visibility for your brand page and show that your company is trustworthy. The purpose is to get brand mentions and reviews on social media. And you may even get some attention from famous influencers who can help grow your list of followers.
4. Digital marketing increases your revenue
No matter how successful business already is, business owners are always looking for new ways to increase their revenue. While simply playing with the numbers can sometimes work, digital marketers can offer a creative approach to traditional revenue-generating strategies by:
- increasing the customer base;
- increasing the size of your transaction;
- increasing the number of transactions per customer;
5. Increase your conversion rates
When it comes to online marketing campaigns focused around performance aka generating leads for your sales team, an e-commerce sale, or acquiring a new customer, there are many components that go into generating a positive ROI and provide an opportunity for mass scaling and volume of customer acquisition.
Conversion rate is the percentage of individuals who convert to your goal and is one of the most important components of your bottom line. Small adjustments in conversion rates result in huge gains for your business. So, improving the conversion rate is extremely important in order to increase your profits.
Digital marketing tactics or strategy? The difference between tactics and strategies
Strategy implies a longer-term and thus it is more enduring, whereas tactics tend to be short term and flexible. Here’s a simple example: you don’t plan a journey until you have decided where you want to go. So, with other words, tactics don’t drive strategy. To deliver a strategy, you need to use tactical tools that support the strategy.
Tactics are the details of the strategy. You need to list all the e-tools you plan to use, in the stages guided by the strategy.
The results of an effective strategy of digital marketing
- increasing the visibility of your business;
- increasing the credibility and market share of your business;
- increasing the number of visitors to your site;
- increasing the number of returning customers;
- increasing sales;
- generate profit growth;
In conclusion, a digital marketing strategy can take many forms, but in the end, it should focus on the relationships between three elements:
Audience segments – which include clients, employees, partners, and influencers. Here, depending on what stage of the buying cycle you are trying to move your prospects/customers through, you can consider how good each tactic is across these 9 criteria:
- Reach (how big an audience can it reach?)
- Speed (how quickly can it reach that audience?)
- Time (how long to create and deliver this tactic?)
- Message Volume (space to fit message in?)
- Targeting (how granular or precise can the targeting be?)
- Personalization (can the tool personalize messages?)
- Cost – is it expensive on a Cost Per Thousand (CPT/CPM) basis?
- Control – can you control the message with this tactic?
- Credibility – some tactics have more credibility.
Channels – including owned and personalized online communication platforms (website, social media pages, newsletter), online advertising, content syndication, earned media and also devices (mobile, tablet, laptop) where unionization plays an important role.
Capabilities – which are represented by the skills put in place to create a unique experience in the person-device interaction for the targeted audience segments.