You’ve probably heard the saying, “You’re never fully prepared; you just have to be ready.” Well, when it comes to digital marketing, being “ready” means more than simply having the right tech tools and marketing know-how. You need to have a strategy — and you need to be willing to put into practice what you learn. So let’s dive into how to create a killer digital marketing strategy and why you should care about making one at all.
The Difference In Strategy AndTactics
If you’re new to this, it’s probably best to start by defining the difference between strategy and tactics.
A strategy is usually defined as “the plan or process for doing something” or “a plan for dealing with a particular situation.”
So, in other words, a digital marketing strategy is a plan or process for using digital and online marketing to promote your product or service.
On the other hand, tactics are “the methods or means used to carry out a strategy.” For example, if your strategy is to promote your product using Instagram, the tactics could be to post frequently and use compelling content.
Keep this in mind as you develop your strategy. Your ultimate goal is to change clients’ behavior — to make them do something different than they’ve previously done. To put it simply, you want to move the needle.
Why Create A Strategy?
So, why should you ever bother creating a digital marketing strategy? After all, if you’re just going to follow a set of tactics, it doesn’t really matter what you call it!
Well, there are many benefits to having a formalized plan or process for your digital marketing activities. Here are just a few:
- It provides clarity of purpose, so you can be certain that you’re not wasting your time
- It helps you determine what’s worked in the past, so you can replicate this for future success
- It forces you to think of both the short- and long-term goals your business has
- It makes it easier to track your progress and measure your results
Developing a proper digital marketing strategy can also help you determine which platforms to use, and which strategies to apply to which platforms. For example, if you notice that your target audience is mostly users in the United States, you might want to explore doing most of your marketing on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
The Importance Of Measurement And Analysis
In any complex organization, it’s essential to have the proper measurement and analysis tools in place to properly assess the success of your strategy.
If you don’t have the analytics tools in place to measure the results of your strategy, how will you know if it’s working? How will you know which methods and platforms produce the best results?
Luckily, Google Analytics is almost universally used in the industry, so you’ll likely have access to this measurement tool. Google Analytics provides you with insights into the behavior of your audience, including where they came from and which pages they visited. Additionally, you can use the platform to track the results of your strategy and determine which methods and platforms are producing the best results.
How Long Does It Take To Create A Full Strategy?
There are several stages that go into creating a strategy, and depending on your business, some of these stages may be more vital than others.
Firstly, you’ll need to identify the problems you’re facing — both marketing and sales-wise. This is usually the most crucial step, and it can take a lot of research and introspection on your part. Once you’ve determined the main issues, you can move on to the next stage.
Secondly, you’ll need to consider all the different platforms you may need to use to reach your audience and determine the best one(s) for your situation. This includes things like social media channels, search engine marketing (SEM), and email marketing. You may also need to look into buying ads or sponsored content to promote your product or service.
Once you’ve found the right combination of platforms for your situation, you can develop a content schedule and begin to build out a strategy document. This document will serve as the blueprint for your strategy and help you keep track of all the different tactics and strategies you’ll need to deploy.
What Should Go In Your Strategy Document?
Now, you might be wondering what should go into your digital marketing strategy document. After all, you’re only as good as your strategy; it really doesn’t matter how well you execute it if it’s not good enough in the first place!
Well, a solid strategy should include all the following:
- An overview of your marketing goals and objectives
- Clear answers to the questions: “Why am I doing this?” and “What will I receive if I succeed?”
- An analysis of your marketing metrics and how you’ll measure success (this includes stuff like traffic, leads, and conversions)
- Specific and measurable targets for each of the areas listed above
Where Do I Start?
So, where do you start if you want to create a killer digital marketing strategy? Well, if you want to get started fast, you can always download a ready-made one from one of the many business specialists out there. However, if you’d like to develop a solid foundation and be certain that your strategy is going to perform as you wish, then it’s a good idea to start by asking yourself a series of questions.
Firstly, what are my goals? Is it to simply drive traffic to my site, or am I trying to find new customers who will purchase my product or service?
Secondly, what is my target audience? Are my customers located in the U.S., or do I want to target potential customers in the U.K., India, and Indonesia?
Thirdly, what do I currently have access to? What resources can I use to grow my business? Most importantly, what skills and training do I have?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can begin to map out your strategy. Be sure to put in the time to do this properly. Don’t just dump your thoughts into a word document and assume that it’s perfect later on. Instead, take some time to map out each step clearly and ensure that everything makes sense. This will help you avoid any confusion down the line.
Why Is Quality More Important Than Quantity?
Another thing to keep in mind is that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to attracting customers to your site. As a digital marketer, this is something you’ll hear over and over again. However, it bears repeating. Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to attracting customers to your site.
Why? Well, simply put, the better your quality, the more likely your customers are to behave in a specific way — like purchasing your product or service. So, if you want to create a successful strategy, you must be willing to put in the time and effort to ensure that your content is of good quality. This means
- Creating compelling content that keeps your reader engaged
- Measuring the success of your strategy by looking at qualitative, as well as quantitative, markers
The better your quality, the more you’ll attract. Period.
Create A Culture Of Testing
A key element to creating a successful strategy is to develop a culture of testing. This means that you and your team must be willing to try new things and assess the results of different marketing tactics and techniques. Additionally, you must be open to making mistakes and learning from them.
To put it simply, if you implement a strategy and it doesn’t work, you’re going to have to change something about it. And if you change something about it, you’ll have to change something else, and so on. This is a never-ending cycle, and it leads to a lot of trial and error. Which is all good, as long as you keep testing. And you should. Constantly testing and changing as you go along is how you develop a solid foundation.
Be Confident, But Don’t Be Overconfident
Last but not least, it’s important to remember that confidence is important, but not excessive confidence. Confident enough that you believe in your product or service, but not so much that it borders on obnoxious. So, don’t be overconfident — be confident!