In a world where technology is ever present, businesses must adapt and change in order to survive. For centuries, the pen was mightier than the sword. However, today, with the world shifting to a digital sphere, businesses need to utilize the power of the keyboard instead.
While some industries, such as books and record labels, may still rely heavily on physical media, most businesses operate in an entirely digital sphere. From email marketing to blogging to content curation, the amount of digital activity occurring within businesses is astounding. It is important to note that this activity is not limited to marketing materials but can include customer feedback, social media posts, and much more. As a business owner or operator, you must understand the importance of having a strategy in place to capture and utilize this abundant stream of data. In this article, we will discuss how to write an online marketing strategy for your business.
Identify Your Audience And Craft Your Strategy Around Them
The first step in developing an effective digital marketing strategy is to identify your target audience and tailor your strategy to speak to them. To do this, first you must analyze the demographics, psychographics, and digital behavior of your ideal buyer. You can utilize a variety of tools online to easily gather this data. For example, HubSpot has a suite of tools that can be used for market research, content creation, and analysis. With this information, you can craft a persona, or individual representing your ideal buyer. For example, if you know that your ideal buyer is a 40-year-old professional woman with kids, but you’ve never actually interacted with them, you may want to consider creating a persona for this type of person. This way, when you’re writing content or executing marketing campaigns, you’ll be speaking directly to them and not just some general audience.
Develop A Marketing Mix That Works
Once you’ve established a clear idea of who your target audience is, you can begin to develop a marketing mix that will allow you to reach them. To do this, you must consider the different platforms and channels that your ideal buyer may be using. It is important to find a balance between digital and traditional methods of marketing. While social media platforms may be an important part of your buyer’s journey, you must also develop a presence on traditional platforms such as radio, television, and print. What’s more, you must consider the channels and areas of interest of your ideal buyer. For example, if you know that your target audience is women between the ages of 30 and 49 who like to read celebrity gossip, you may want to consider creating content for magazines or using celebrity endorsements to drive traffic to your website.
Create Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
You can’t measure the effectiveness of a marketing campaign without clearly defined key performance indicators (KPIs). These are measurable goals that you set for yourself and your team as part of your strategy. When developing these goals, it is important to consider what will allow you to track your progress and determine the success of your efforts. In general, you should consider setting goals that are fairly easy to measure. For example, if you are measuring the success of a social media marketing campaign by the amount of unique visitors to your website, the KPIs for this campaign may include the following:
- Unique visit
- Time on site
- Contact data (email, phone number)
- Demographics (age, gender)
- Traffic sources (organic, social, paid)
- Behavioral metrics (purchase intent, lead generation, etc.)
- Click-through rates (CTRs)
- Position on the SERP’s
- Volume of social media posts
- Interaction through social media (likes, comments)
- Content performance (quality, freshness)
Keep in mind, though, that not all performance metrics will be easy to track. For example, if you are using uniques as a key performance indicator, how will you know if this is a good or bad thing? The answer is you won’t, at least not easily. In these instances, you may want to consider using a lead generation tool to track the progress of your campaigns. The key performance indicators for a lead generation campaign may include the following:
- New leads generated (organics + paid combined)
- Leads converted into customers (organics only)
- Average deal size (paid only)
When considering the metrics you will track, also consider how much data you have available to track them. If you are just getting started, consider collecting data simply by setting up a spreadsheet to track the KPIs you’ve identified. In addition to this, you can use a tool like HubSpot to create event-based dashboards that can display key performance indicators in real-time. This type of approach makes it easy to track the progress of your campaigns and see the results of your efforts at a glance.
Determine The Required Investment
An important part of any business plan is the determination of the required investment. According to the Small Business Association, as of 2018 there were over 1.8 million independent contractors who worked remotely as a freelancer. That’s over 5.6 million potential customers. If you’ve got a product that can be beneficial to this market, why not pursue them? To find a customer who is willing to pay you for a product you provide, you’ll need to determine how much you’ll need to invest in order to secure a profit. To do this, you’ll need to consider several factors, including;
- Production cost
- Sale price
- Marketing costs
- Shipping costs
- Distribution costs
- Operational costs
- Overhead (rent, office space, etc.)
- Equity (stocks, preferred shares, loan, etc.)
- Financial Analysis
- Pricing Strategy
To make your business stand out among the rest, you’ll want to consider investing in various marketing tools. What’s more, you’ll need to determine how much you’ll need to invest in order to secure a profit. As you can see, there’s a lot of factors to consider when trying to figure this out. Luckily, you’ve got an expert team behind you to help with this. One of the most valuable resources you can have is a business financial advisor. They can help you determine the exact figure you’ll need to work with. Remember, it’s the profit you’ll be aiming for, not the money you spend. So, if you’ve got a business advisor, take advantage of them.
Determine Your Budget And The Timeline For The Project
Budget and timeline are two other important aspects of your business plan that you need to consider. The first thing you’ll want to do is set a budget for the project. Regardless of whether you choose to outsource the project or you decide to do it in-house, you’ll need to consider how much you’re willing to spend on it. Next, you’ll want to establish a timeline for the project so you can track its progress. This should be sufficiently detailed so that you’ve covered all the necessary bases. Setting a realistic timeline is extremely important for any project, but especially one that is highly specialized and requires a lot of research.
Consider All The Legal And Regulatory Aspects
One of the most important points to consider when writing your business plan is the legal and regulatory aspects. What’s more, you’ll need to carefully consider how you want to approach each of these issues. Some of the topics you may need to cover include;