Creating a successful digital marketing strategy isn’t easy. It requires a clear understanding of both your target audience and digital marketing principles.
To start, you’ll need to understand what makes your target audience click. What are they looking for? What problems are they facing? What emotions are driving their desire to find a solution?
Next, you’ll need to consider how you can apply these insights to drive relevant traffic to your site. This requires some serious thought, as you don’t just want any traffic. You want targeted, long-term visitors who are interested in what you have to offer.
Digital Marketing Principles
“Principles” might not seem like a familiar term when it comes to digital marketing, but these are the building blocks of a successful strategy. Every marketing discipline follows certain basic principles, and those who ignore or don’t understand them will struggle to create meaningful impact.
Here’s a shortlist of the most important digital marketing principles:
- Measurement – You can’t set up a digital marketing strategy without knowing how to measure its effectiveness. That means gathering and analyzing data, such as click-through rates, lead generation, and conversion rates. (As a starting point, check out this free guide to winning the battle of the ROI.)
- Visitor Behavior – Every visitor to your site is a potential customer, and you can learn a lot about their interests by studying how they behave. For example, do they visit your blog posts or your product pages? Which links do they click on most often? What are their favorite posts? These are just some of the questions you can ask to gain a clearer picture of your visitor’s interests.
- Content Marketing – Traditional advertising may no longer be effective, but that doesn’t mean that traditional content publishing isn’t. In fact, content marketing is much more effective than outbound marketing because it creates a much more personal connection between you and your target audience. To put it simply, if you can relate to your target audience on a human level, you’ll gain a lot of trust, and they’ll be much more receptive to your message.
- Inbound Marketing – Inbound marketing gets its name from ‘in’ (inside your organization) and ‘bound’ (limited to a set of known people), combining the two to refer to people who are both inside and outside your organization. While inbound marketing focuses on creating relationships between you and customers, digital marketers sometimes refer to website traffic as ‘organic’ traffic, since it doesn’t require paid advertisements.
- Lead Generation – You can generate leads either via inbound or outbound methods, but the goal is the same – to get in touch with people who are most likely to become fans or customers of your brand.
- Performance Based Marketing – If you want to improve the effectiveness of your marketing plan, you should consider performance-based marketing. This way, you’ll be able to determine the results of your efforts and make changes to reach your goals.
- Automation – With the right tools, you can automate many of your marketing tasks, freeing up time to focus on more profitable activities. At the very least, you can leverage automation to create drip campaigns, where you can schedule email messages to be sent to your contacts at regular intervals.
- Repetition – You can use repetition in two ways – either through content or through methods of marketing such as retargeting or display advertising. Repetition through content means that you are repeating yourself, but in a different form or using different language. Repetition through methods of marketing means that you are presenting your product or service in a similar manner to previous visitors to your site. (For example, if you sell shoes, you can use display advertising to show shoe ads to people who have previously visited your shoe-related blog posts.)
- Personal Branding – If you’re not sure what a personal brand is or why it’s important, you can start by defining it as your own unique selling point. A personal brand can be both tangible and intangible – it can include everything from the way you behave to the products you use to the kind of logo you develop. The better your personal brand, the better your chances of creating authentic connections with customers.
As you can see, this list is very much aligned with the 4Ps of marketing: product, place, people, and the purpose of the organization. Following these principles will help you develop a successful digital marketing strategy and gain meaningful traction with your target audience.
While it’s important to have a general understanding of the basic building blocks of a marketing strategy, you also need to carefully consider keyword strategy. If you’re new to digital marketing, this may seem like an unnecessary step, but ignoring it could seriously hurt your SEO efforts.
To understand why keyword strategy is so important, consider this question: How do you expect potential customers to find your website when they search for your product or service online? It’s likely that they’ll use keywords to search for what they’re looking for, and those keywords will help them find your site in the search results.
You can use free tools like Google Keyword Planner to easily find popular keywords and suggestions for which ones to target. Don’t worry – you don’t have to run off and use these suggestions without thinking. You can develop your own list of keywords and use an SEO tool to find the right niche keywords and phrases for your website.
Just as with any other form of marketing, your target audience is one of the most important aspects of your digital marketing strategy. You’ll need to consider what they’re looking for, their needs, and their preferences. This is much easier said than done, but knowing who your target audience is and understanding their needs and wants will help you formulate the right message to connect with them.
Take some time to study the demographics and psychographics of your target audience. If you already have a clear picture in mind, you’ll be able to develop content that is much more in line with their interests. If not, you may need to do some research or even ask a few of them for help in identifying potential customers.
Once you’ve gathered this information, you’ll want to align your content with their interests. Depending on your product or service, this may mean creating content that is much more detailed and includes more figures and examples. For B2C brands, this often means creating a more educational-style blog post or an e-book with lots of examples.
Types Of Content
As we mentioned above, your target audience will determine the kinds of content you should create. There are four basic types of content you can use to attract and retain your audience:
- Text – If your target audience is reading people, consider creating content in the form of blog posts, guides, or e-books.
- Photos – Adding photos to your content can really bring an element of life to a dull blog post or an e-book. Depending on your skills and the theme you choose, creating a slide show or a curated exhibit of your best photos may be a relatively easy and a cheap way to go.
- Videos – If your target audience is mostly watching videos, consider creating some compelling content in the form of YouTube videos, where you can talk directly to the audience and offer useful information.
- Gifs / Icons – If you have a specific graphic or icon you want to use in your content, you can create a GIF or an icon to go with it. These are small files that contain a series of photographs that change every few seconds. When a GIF or icon is used in combination with a piece of text, it can really drive the point home and make it stick out.
As you can see, there are many different ways you can use content to promote your business. Simply thinking about your target audience and what kind of content they might find useful will help you develop a content strategy that is much more effective.
The Types Of People You Want To Reach
Your target audience isn’t the only thing you need to consider – so does the type of person you want to reach. Just as you may want to reach certain demographics such as millennials or Gen Z, you may also want to target specific interest groups such as entrepreneurs or those interested in fashion trends.