How to Create an Effective Online Marketing Strategy

With Google and social media platforms providing 24/7 access to billions of users, your product needs to stand out to be effective. The best way to do this is with an online marketing strategy that promotes your product in the right way and to the right people. This article will outline some essential steps to take before, during and after the development phase to create an effective online marketing strategy for your product.

The Development Phase:

The first and most important step to creating an effective online marketing strategy is to define what it is that you are trying to achieve. What do you hope to gain from this campaign? What is your end goal? This should be laid out in advance, and it is important that you remain focused throughout the process.

To elaborate, if your ultimate goal is to gain 50,000 fans on social media platforms, you might choose to advertise on gaming or sport pages where your target audience is more likely to be engaged with content related to these topics. Or, if you are ultimately looking for website traffic, you could choose to focus on attracting potential customers to your homepage. Whatever your reason for creating the campaign, it is essential that you define and understand the purpose before you start tinkering with your ad copy or creating designs for your social media posts.

The Structure Of An Online Marketing Strategy:

An excellent way to approach the creation of an online marketing strategy is to use a process known as ‘strategy formulation’. This is a systematic and scientific approach that aims to create a plan for the future that is founded on a clear understanding of the current situation. So, before you start, you should have a good idea of what you are trying to achieve and you should have created a project plan to help you reach your goal.

To elaborate, the purpose of your plan is to attract and engage a clearly defined audience on the platforms most likely to result in profitable sales. Thus, your plan should include;

  • A mission statement articulating your company’s purpose
  • A vision, setting out how you see your product/service contributing to the achievement of your company’s mission
  • A list of the key performance indicators that you will use to measure your progress towards meeting your goal
  • A SWOT analysis of your current strengths and weaknesses (strengths being your assets and weaknesses being your vulnerabilities)
  • A summary of the goals and objectives of your strategy
  • An action plan detailing how you intend to achieve your goals, the key steps you will take to do so.
  • Clear targets and dates for each element of your plan
  • A review of your plan at various intervals throughout the process

Set A Date For Review:

When you have finished creating your plan, it is essential that you put it in context by reviewing it against the year’s objectives. For example, if you have set a benchmark of gaining 100 website visitors per day, your plan should reflect this. Otherwise, you might be setting yourself up for failure.

Similarly, if you have decided that your target audience is more likely to be found on social media platforms, you have to remember to keep this in mind throughout the creation of your online marketing campaign.

The Execution Phase:

Once you have set your plan in motion, the next step is to start implementing it. When implementing your strategy, it is important to follow the plan laid out in detail. The last thing you want to do is to come up with a new idea halfway through the process and waste a lot of time reworking your strategy in light of new information. So, you need to be disciplined and stick to the plan.

To elaborate, the first thing you should do is to set up automated emails or blog posts to be sent out on a regular basis. These can help drive traffic to your website and social media accounts and keep your audience interested in what you have to say. For example, if you are doing an Instagram campaign, you could choose to share a daily picture that promotes your product. Or, if you are using Twitter, you could choose to share a new piece of content every two weeks.

As you execute your plan, you should monitor the following metrics to determine its effectiveness;

  • The number of fans you have gained on social media
  • The number of orders you have received from your website
  • The number of phone calls, emails and/or chats you have generated
  • The amount of press clippings that mention your company
  • The amount of feedback you have received from customers via email, chat or social media
  • The number of users who have shared images of your product on social media
  • How many people who have viewed your product/service’s information on the web
  • What keywords are driving traffic to your website
  • Your competitors’ performance
  • The amount of money you have spent on marketing so far and the plan for the remainder of the year

When creating your online marketing strategy through a content agency, it is important to remember to work with someone who understands your target audience’s behaviour. Otherwise, you might be creating content that is not easily understood by your target audience or compelling your audience to take action.

After The Campaign:

After the execution phase comes the review phase. This is when you revalue your strategy; what have you learned from the process and how can you improve for the next time? To reiterate, the purpose of your strategy is to bring in revenue and growth through marketing. So, it is important that you track the following metrics to find the answer to this question;

  • Your target audience
  • Website traffic
  • Social media activity (e.g. likes, follows, etc.)
  • Product and service downloads (i.e. apps, web templates, e-books, etc.)
  • Any marketing material that can be converted into a lead (e.g. email subscribers, phone numbers, etc.)

In addition to these metrics, you should look at the following details to assess the success of your strategy;