Digital marketing is a must-have today. Whatever you are selling, the customers are searching for it online. Covid and the disruptions that ensued have further pushed people towards online sources and for most items or services, it is unlikely that they don’t search online for it first.
Your business may be big or small, starting up or well established – you need an awesome digital marketing strategy to get the big bucks in. Digital marketing is not just one thing too. There are multiple channels and ways involved in a holistic digital marketing strategy. The planning process involves figuring out which of these channels work for you and which are the ones you prioritize.
Kickstarting or revamping your digital marketing campaigns may seem like a daunting task. Building a solid foundation is the most important step. Building this foundation involves a few critical steps too. In this guide, we will take you through the process of creating and executing an impactful digital marketing strategy that generates consistent leads for you. Let’s begin.
Identify the goals and prioritize them
The first step in the process is to identify the goals you want to achieve through this strategy. There are many kinds of goals you can have but the priority 1 goal should be to generate qualified leads for your business consistently.
There can also be other goals that are secondary but also gives you more easily measurable targets to chase along the journey. Brand awareness goals, education, and web traffic are all commonly found goals. You may not have the perfect strategy when you begin and that’s okay. You need to be 80% there. The rest 20% will depend on how the campaigns run. Never wait for perfection. Progress over perfection is the motto.
With the goal in place, you can now piece together the rest of the strategy. Consistency is the keyword in setting the goal. You should be able to devise a strategy that would be able to work consistently and not put a strain on the system or the budgets in the long run. Always remember that the word we are using is ‘strategy’ and not a tactic. We need to be thinking long-term about your plans.
Define your customer personas
The next step is to accurately define your customer and audience personas. These persons give you an accurate description of the people you are talking to through your campaigns. Creating the personas can turn out to be a great soul-searching experience for you too. You may identify new patterns and you will also be able to figure out some of the new messaging and content ideas that you haven’t previously thought of.
While creating the personas, there are two major dimensions to think along. Quantitative and Qualitative demographics.
Below are some of the common quantitative information
- Income segment
- Job profile
- Organization details if you are B2B.
Qualitative demographic data
There are some demographic considerations as well.
- Pain points
Covering all these parameters will help you target your campaigns better both from a technical and messaging perspective.
Once the personas are created, you can also use them to identify what are some of the channels and touchpoints that you can use to reach them.
Audit your current digital marketing campaigns
While planning, it is important to also assess where you are right now and understand what is working and what’s not working. Auditing your current digital campaigns and marketing strategy would involve relooking at all your assumptions and goals and seeing where you are on each.
You should also be as detailed as possible and use numbers wherever possible. List all the channels and the content you have shared using each of the channels. Look at your social posts, emailers, blogs, current ad campaigns, and more. Collate all the numbers. You should look at likes, engagement, reach, and other metrics related to each. Understand which content has generated the most engagement, what sources have generated the most leads, what are the kinds of leads coming in from each channel, and so on. “You can use this information when you develop content marketing strategies which will help generate better results.
Auditing the current performance will give you a lot of important information. You can understand what kinds of content works well, who you are reaching with the current strategy, the best channels, the areas of improvement, and current ROI numbers. With this information, you can further sharpen your goals, your personas, and other aspects of the campaign.
Identify the channels
The kind of channels you choose determines the kind of content you should create. There are multiple channels available to you. You should match the personas with the strengths and weaknesses of each channel and figure out the ones to use.
Commonly, you can think about the following channels
- Email marketing
- Blogs and content campaigns
- Webinars, podcasts, and other virtual events
- Social media marketing
- Other media platforms and affiliate platforms
- Display advertising
- Search advertising
Email Marketing, SEO, social media, and content marketing are some of the more critical channels that you should consider. These channels give you more sustainable solutions as compared to paid marketing.
Create and execute campaigns
Now it’s time for you to arrange all of the information into campaigns and execute them. Think about each channel separately and talk about what are the strategies you can use to get the most value out of each channel. You should also create content for each of these campaigns and then start executing those campaigns.
It is important to keep going back to your goals, personas, and audit results. This will help you craft each campaign more effectively. You should do more of what worked, and optimize the areas that need improvement.
Each campaign should have its own goals and plans and all these individual plans will add up to the final goals of the strategy. While planning and creating these campaigns, you should also invest in the right tools that you would need. There are a variety of tools available which will make your job of staying on top of these campaigns much easier.
Track, Measure, Analyze, and Optimize
This is one of the most important steps in the process. Once your campaign(s) is up and running, it is important to track the performance regularly. Look at what are the areas that are working well and which aren’t.
Look at the trends and patterns in the numbers that these campaigns generate. Benchmark these numbers to the goals you are chasing too. You will then be able to identify areas of improvement and optimize these campaigns on the fly. Without a robust process to track and measure the results, your digital marketing strategy is not going to succeed.
Creating a digital marketing strategy with a solid foundation is not an easy task. It involves wearing multiple hats and looking at the problems from different perspectives. The above steps give you a great place to start. Follow each step diligently, and proceed with the information you have. Once the campaign is up and running, you will have more insights and data points to analyze. You can make the necessary tweaks on the fly.
Building a sustainable and conversion-oriented digital marketing strategy does not happen overnight. It cannot be done by one person sitting behind a desk too. Involve all relevant stakeholders, including the organization leadership, sales team, and of course the service team. A successful strategy comes with great alignment and a solid vision. Focus on building that and you will have a strong foundation to kick on from!
Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan. There are some tools to search people, for example RealPeopleSearch.