You don’t have to be a digital marketing prodigy to figure out the continual rise in digital media usage over the last few years. A recent report revealed that an average adult user spends about 5.9 hours with digital media either through smartphones, computers, or other connected devices — each and every day.
Talking in medical or psychological terms, this rising screen addiction is scary. But for marketers and entrepreneurs this is exciting news, an opportunity to launch their brands on various digital platforms and achieve maximum exposure to gain constantly connected customers.
However, all this requires a pragmatic and beneficial digital marketing strategy that must be put in place at the right time. And speaking in plain terms, pulling together your own digital marketing strategy is a quite a handful. So here we’re trying to breaking it all down to the fundamentals of digital marketing. If you are looking for some ideas and inspirations for your digital marketing strategy, read on.
Why you need a digital marketing strategy
The answer is quite straightforward. According to business basics, an inclusive strategy must be acquired to serve as your roadmap and maximize your efforts. This helps you choose wisely keeping an end goal in mind as against wasting energy with random, impulsive ideas.
Next we will discuss the various types of marketing efforts at play.
What are the types of digital marketing? These include:
• Content marketing
• Email marketing
• Search engine marketing (SEM)
• Search engine optimization (SEO)
• Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
• Social media marketing
• Affiliate marketing
Here it is also important to understand the real objective of implementing a robust digital marketing strategy. It pulls all of those together into a cohesive plan that is self-sustaining and helps you save time, effort, and money.
Ways to create a digital marketing strategy
We know all this sounds really exciting! However, the groundwork is the real task. You need to create your own digital marketing strategy. At the risk of sounding intimidating, let me tell you that though initially it may feel overwhelming and complex, but the results will surely be worth the efforts.
The key is to start small and break down five simple steps to introduce you to the right track with your own digital marketing efforts. When you consider this as your basic digital marketing strategy framework, you’ll surely get the ball rolling.
1. Understand your audience
Any effective marketing campaign depends on how well you understand exactly who you’re marketing to. So your first step should be obtaining maximum information about your existing audience.
Out of the numerous ways to do this, the most popular and effective are:
• Analytics (from your existing website, email marketing platform, and social accounts)
• Surveys and feedback forms
• Conversations with your sales and customer support departments
With these efforts you will gain valuable insight into your customers’ profiles, their goals, the challenges they’re facing, and how your business fits in. This information fortifies you to create different buyer personas and facilitates effortless communication with your target audience through your marketing efforts — and target your messaging accordingly.
2. Set your goals
Your overarching digital marketing strategy must be defined by a larger goal attached. It need to be something more specific and inspirational than the clichés — “market your business” or “grow your audience.”
A great way to set your marketing goals is to use the SMART goal framework. This acronym stands for:
Working through each letter of that acronym will help you set goals that provide enough context to actually keep you heading in the right direction.
3. Evaluate your efforts
It is never easy to hash out a strategy and sometimes you feel like you’re back to square one. But that’s usually not the case. All your marketing efforts up to this point, regardless of how scanty they may have been, indicate that the wheels are rotating already.
What you need is to conduct an audit of your past efforts to gain an idea about what has functioned well and what hasn’t. This offers you a better grip on what you must be doing more. Moreover, it also gives you a chance to accumulate content and other assets like social media graphics to various other tit-bits of information. You can reprocess these to save yourself from constantly reinventing the wheel
4. Figure out all the nitty-gritties
Keep those creative juices flowing, but don’t forget to pay attention to the numerous real-world logistics that need your attention. Remember that the process of strategizing isn’t just about dreaming — you also need to figure out what you can accomplish within those constraints.
Additionally, there are some critical considerations that you must sort out –
• Your budget: How much can you spend on digital marketing?
• Your people: Who will be responsible? Will you need to outsource any tasks or responsibilities?
• Your channels: Which marketing channels will you use, and what goal will be attached to each channel?
These are the most critical elements for you to know up front to fabricate a strategy that’s successful within any limitations you might have.
5. Work it all out
Having all the core elements — your audience, your goals, and your means — worked out, all you need is to prioritize and design all of them together into a digital marketing strategy template you can use.
You can start with something as basic as a simple calendar (it can be just a normal spreadsheet) that successfully keeps all the different elements together.
Though these are just the fundamental steps you need to take to get started, remember that sometimes just getting started is all you need to begin to figure out the best way to do things. All you need is a little inspiration. As with any process, you need to be committed to some trial and error!