Every business needs a marketing strategy, but the digital aspect is more important now than ever before. Your business needs a strong digital marketing strategy.
All small business owners know that having a website is a must for their company. But digital marketing involves more than a small website and basic search engine optimisation (SEO). You must encompass all aspects of the online landscape into your digital marketing strategy.
Remember, 80% of people research products and businesses online before making a purchase. They’re looking at your social media pages as well as your website.
In 2015, Google recorded over 100 billion searches every month. Also, don’t forget mobile devices. More people use their phones and tablets to search for information than they do desktop computers.
A good digital marketing strategy takes all of this into account. Unfortunately, that increases its complexity. You may spend more time asking yourself how to do digital marketing than putting your strategy into action.
These seven steps show you how to create a successful digital marketing strategy.
Step #1 – Examine Your Website
Having a good website doesn’t automatically lead to a good digital marketing strategy. Your website is part of a larger marketing entity. Don’t think of it as a standalone lead generation tool. It needs effective systems around it to reach its full potential.
Use the following metrics to analyse your site’s performance:
- Traffic. Tools like Google Analytics show you how many people visit your site, and where they go. You can also see which pages people bounce away from, and which hold their attention.
- Conversions. Unless you earn money through on-site advertising, traffic alone isn’t valuable. Keep track of how many people get in touch with you after visiting your website. Check through your email logs, and track conversions using analytics.
- Customers. Separate your conversions list into customers and non-customers. Work out how many conversions lead to sales. Ideally, you’ll have a customer relationship management (CRM) system that contains this data.
This analysis shows how your website performs across three key metrics. If your website doesn’t show growth over time, it has an issue. Use the data to track this issue down. For example, a page with a high bounce rate suggests people can’t find what they need. Those people will head to another website instead of exploring yours. Compare this to pages with low bounce rates to see what you can do differently.
Alternatively, a low conversion rate suggests people can’t find your forms. Or, they don’t feel comfortable filling the forms out. Keep things simple, and use strong calls to action (CTA).
Create goals that define how your website should perform. With them in place, you can expand your digital marketing strategy.
Step #2 – Align Your Content Strategy
Most business owners write blog posts about their products and industry. However, your content marketing strategy must extend further than your website.
Create a posting schedule that covers the topics you’ll focus on, and when you’ll post. Furthermore, think about different ways to present your content. You may write great articles, but they won’t attract people who prefer visual content. Incorporate video, infographics, and other forms of content into the mix.
Secondly, consider how you’ll share content away from your website. Social media websites expand your audience. They help you to reach people who may never have found your website otherwise. Adjust your content marketing to appeal to social media users. Keep things short and snappy. Focus on images, and provide your social media followers with a pathway to your website.
Alternatively, use guest posting. A good article on an industry-relevant blog reaches a new audience. These readers may decide to explore your website if you impress them with your content.
These third-party platforms bolster your in-house digital marketing strategy. Keep them as active as your website, otherwise you’ll lose followers and restrict your audience.
Step #3 – Define Your Target Audience
The web offers you a massive audience to appeal to. Over one billion people use Facebook. Many more use search engines to find information and websites.
You can’t appeal to all these people. In fact, doing so is a mistake. Your digital marketing strategy muddies when you try to appeal to everybody.
Instead, use your data to define your target audience. Think about who your business appeals to, and the language you should use to target that niche. Furthermore, think about the platforms you’ll use to find your audience. For example, LinkedIn works best for generating business-to-business leads. However, Instagram may help you more if you have a visually-attractive product. It also appeals more to young people.
Having said that, you can appeal to several niches.
Let’s assume you sell a videogame console. You’ll direct your marketing efforts toward the 18-35 demographic. However, your digital marketing strategy should adapt where appropriate. For example, you could advertise to parents as the holiday season approaches, positioning your product as a great gift.
Digital marketing allows you to appeal to more people than traditional marketing. Use this to your advantage, but know who you’re targeting.
Step #4 – Define How You’ll Reach Your Target Audience
Once you know who you want to reach, you have to figure out how to reach them. The previous step contained a brief example about selecting the best social media platform to focus your efforts on. However, there are several more ways to reach people.
Many businesses use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, such as Facebook Ads and Google Adwords. You pay a certain amount for each click on your ad, with competition and your ad’s quality affecting the amount. However, if you get it right, you’ll push targeted traffic to your website and social media pages.
Secondly, remember that 98% of your website’s conversions don’t become customers. However, you should have their contact details. These people have shown an interest in your business, and a well-timed email could bring them back into the fold.
Furthermore, use SEO to ensure your website ranks organically in search results. Ideally, you’ll find your site on the top page of search results for the terms that are most relevant to your business. Finally, get in touch with industry influencers, such as reviewers. They have large online audiences and could get new eyes on your product.
Typically, a good digital marketing strategy combines these methods of reaching people. Choose those that work best for you, and analyse your results to make improvements.
Step #5 – Choose a Suitable Platform
As you can see, your digital marketing strategy now encompasses more than your website. You need to moderate the content you put out, and use several social media channels. Furthermore, you use the information in your CRM to determine who you send emails to.
It’s a lot to stay on top of, so you need tools to automate the process. Simple tools may do at first. For example, an email platform allows you to send out bulk emails, and analyse the results.
But as your strategy develops, so must your tools. Integrated tools that pull customer data from your existing systems and use them to automate actions may help. You may also want a tool that automatically posts your content at relevant places, during the right time of day.
The right tools take a burden off your shoulders. Consider your strategy’s focal points, and choose digital marketing tools that make it easier for you to achieve your goals.
Step #6 – Confirm Mobile Compatibility
The devices your customers use to check your website or view your content affect your digital marketing strategy. In particular, your strategy must account for the growing use of mobile devices.
Over two billion people use smartphones, and this number rises continually. If your digital content displays poorly on such devices, you lose out. For example, your audience may see a bad website design and assume a lack of professionalism. Nothing sends potential customers to another website faster than a site sending the wrong message.
Step up your mobile game. Ensure any emails you send display just as well on smartphone screens as they do on desktop monitors. After all, mobile devices represent 54% of total email opens, compared to just 16% on desktops.
Furthermore, use responsive design in your website. This ensures your site displays uniformly across all devices and browsers. Better yet, it means you don’t have to manage separate desktop and mobile websites. This halves your workload, allowing you to focus your efforts elsewhere.
Step #7 – Create a Monitoring System
The digital landscape changes constantly. A digital marketing strategy that works today may fall apart in two years’ time.
Monitor your strategy constantly to guarantee its effectiveness. Ensure you’re reaching the right audience. Check that conversion and customer rates fall within expected boundaries. As soon as a metric stagnates, or starts falling, start researching. There may be a new technology or idea that your digital marketing strategy doesn’t encompass.
Assign a team to analyse your strategy, because this isn’t a simple task. You can’t give the data a brief look and know where you stand. Your team must spot patterns to find what works well, and what’s falling out of favour.
Schedule a yearly review to examine your strategy. Odds are high you’ll find something new to add, or identify a tactic that doesn’t work anymore. Constant analysis is the key to keeping your strategy current.
Your Next Step
The expansion of the internet has changed the role of digital marketing. In modern world environments, you need to think about your website and social media platforms. Your target audience and advertising techniques assume greater importance. You also need the right tools, a strong content strategy, and the ability to analyse and change with the times.
It’s a lot of hard work to generate leads online. Growth Marketing can help you to develop a great strategy. We invite you to check out our FREE social media growth strategy session, and talk to one of our experts if you have any questions.
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