How to reach your business’s marketing goals with an online digital marketing strategy
An online digital marketing strategy is crucial for reaching your business's goals in an ever-growing digital world.
It is predicted that by 2030 everything will be online so it’s imperative to successfully implement an online marketing strategy to really reap the benefits.
This article will help marketing professionals plan and successfully use a digital marketing strategy as a tool to identify and reach achievable online marketing goals.
We will outline the steps we teach in our Digital Marketing Strategy to present a thorough strategic plan to increase revenue and conversion rates across all suitable digital platforms.
What is an Online Digital Marketing Strategy, and Why Are They Important in Reaching Business Goals?
An online digital marketing strategy is a marketing strategy for a business’s online digital platforms. So, a business’s digital marketing strategy refers to an overall digital plan for reaching business goals. These goals can be big or small but ideally lead to reaching potential leads that could then be turned into customers.
Very much like a general marketing strategy an online digital marketing strategy involves an organisation’s value proposition, branding, buyer personas, and the digital marketing platforms used. These include:
- Website Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Digital Advertising
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Email Marketing
- Downloadable Content
A strategy is perfect in that it creates a template for your marketing goals, allowing you to clearly see results from each campaign without having to completely start again. It’s the base of all your online digital marketing campaigns where you can clearly measure and see what is and isn’t working and change it accordingly.
Creating a digital marketing strategy is important because it will help you identify what your business's unique selling points are and how to get content out to your targeted audience through each suitable digital platform.
Online digital marketing strategies, when done properly are very detailed and because of this are great for discovering new opportunities and increasing your online reach.
One example is creating an in-depth buyer persona for your target audience, this allows you to understand your audience more acutely - helping you deliver a more effective digital strategy in reaching your marketing goals.
How to create an online digital marketing strategy to reach your businesses marketing goals
Here are five steps to consider when creating a Digital Marketing Plan for your online strategy, helping you reach your business marketing goals.
These steps are a less in-depth version of the DMI accredited Digital Marketing Strategy programme. Take a look here at the programme dates.
Digital Marketing Strategy for your online plan:
- Target Audience
- Goals and Objectives
- Competitor Analysis
- Digital Marketing Channels
- Analysis and Strategy Performance
The first step in creating a Digital Marketing Strategy is to know your target audience. This is the most important step in the plan. It helps you make vital decisions such as branding and understand what online digital marking platforms to use to promote your services or products.
You will need to create Buyer Personas for each of your target audiences. Buyer Personas are fictional characters that represent your customer.
These customers can be put into different segments such as demographic, psychographic, behavioural and firmographic depending on what industry you are in and whether you are a B2B or B2C business.
It is also important to map whether each of the buyer personas is an existing, prospective, or desired customer.
Goals and Objectives
Having strong goals and objectives is extremely important for your digital marketing strategy and for your business as a whole. The digital marketing goals and objectives need to be very focused to fully plan and executive your online digital strategy. These could be, for example, focusing on increasing email open rates or increasing your social media reach.
The best business goals for a digital marketing strategy are ones that are ambitious and force you to put in the work, but you need them to be achievable at the same time. There is nothing more demotivating than working towards a goal that you and your team know is impossible to reach.
An effective way to organise and plan your online digital goals is by using the SMART marketing goals technique.
- Specific – What are you trying to achieve? What is your end goal?
- Measurable – How will you measure and track your marketing goal over a certain amount of time?
- Achievable – Is what you are trying to achieve doable?
- Relevant – Is the goal aligned with your business overall goals? Is the digital marketing goal relevant at that specific time?
- Time-bound – When’s the deadline? When can I expect to see progress towards the end goal?
Competitor analysis allows you to identify your competitor's weaknesses and any opportunities in your organisation's sector. It’s the process in which you research your competitors, looking at any threats they may display and analysing their digital marketing strategy.
Completing a competitor analysis enables you to gain a clear understanding of the marketplace within your organisation's sector and what is and isn’t working well in that particular marketplace.
It’s really good practice to analyse your competitors on a regular basis tracking metrics such as social media followers, email newsletters sent (you can do this by subscribing to their email list) and website updates. Use a spreadsheet and date it to keep on top of things.
The RACE marketing technique covers all the research you need in order to create a clear understanding of your competitors. We suggest researching your top three competitors but continue to review these as more may come into the marketplace.
- Reach – what digital platforms are your competitors drawing in traffic from?
- Act- how do your competitors force their customers to interact with their brand? E.g. blogs, social media, tone of voice.
- Convert – what are the barriers to your competitor’s sale conversations?
- Engage – what digital marketing methods do your competitors use to engage with their customers?
Make sure to also spy on your competitors to keep up with what they are doing – follow them on social media, sign up for their email subscription and read their blogs.
There are also lots of online tools to use to track their data such as Similarwed for website traffic and Mention for social snooping.
Digital Marketing Channels
The next part of your strategy is to think about what digital marketing tools are suitable to use for your organization. You will also need to think about what sort of content creation you will need to use to effectively engage with new, current and old customers.
Online digital marketing channels to think about:
- Digital devices such as phones and desktops.
- Digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
- Digital media such as email, search engines and online advertising.
After considering these tools and using what you’ve found from your research you should have a good idea of what content you need to create for your target audience.
- Social media - Social media marketing is the use of websites and applications of social media platforms to connect with your target audience through photos, messages, videos etc. to boost brand awareness and drive revenue.
- Email – Email marketing is a form of communication that can be used to send discounts/sales, news, blogs and follow-up emails.
- SEO - Search Engine Optimisation is where you optimize your website content to increase targeted traffic to your website.
- Paid Advertising – Paid advertising uses the Pays Per Click (PPC) method through digital channels and methods such as Search, Social Media, Native Advertising, Display and Remarketing.
- Content Marketing – Content marketing involves creating and presenting content that consumers find meaningful and helpful. This content is usually educational or informative – ideally content that helps the consumer in some way. Examples of different sorts of digital content creation include: - Blogs - Videos - Podcasts - Infographics
Each of the digital marketing channels needs to be reviewed on a business-to-business basis. Not all of these will be appropriate to reach your business's digital marketing goals, so use the most appropriate ones for your target audience.
Analysis and Strategy Performance
The last and final step to your Digital Marketing Strategy is the analysis of your digital marketing performance and results.
Gathering data from digital marketing channels is much easier than gathering data from traditional marketing methods. Most channels have in-depth data letting you see exactly how many people have viewed your digital content, clicked it and visited the website etc.
Gather your clearest data by tracking your business's key performance indicators (KPIs). Allowing you to effectively see what’s working and if it's in line with your marketing budget. Choosing which KPIs to measure is really important, you will need to choose the right one that aligns with your business’s goals.
Five KPIs to consider:
- Lead generation – Measure the cost-effectiveness of your lead generation by calculating how many have been converted into sales.
- Website traffic – There are a number of ways to measure this such as monthly website traffic, conversion rate, click-through rate, pages per visit, average time on page, visits per marketing channel, returning vs new customers and conversion rate of the call-to-action.
- SEO optimization – Measure SEO metrics through google analytics focusing on organic traffic through keywords and inbound links.
- Paid advertising - Evaluate your ROI (return on investment) profitability. Save resources and improve your adverts by monitoring leads and conversions, cost per acquisition (CPA) and cost per conversion, click-through rate (CTR).
- Social media tracking – social media should build an engaged audience and turn them into customers. Track your traffic from social media to the website, conversions, engagement rate and mentions.
Having a well-planned digital marketing strategy creates so many opportunities no matter how big or small your business is. If you effectively plan and put the research and work in, you can really create a successful strategy to reach your marketing goals.
Creating a digital marketing strategy can be quite daunting if you don’t know the steps, that’s why so many businesses hire digital marketing strategists to reach their goals. Hopefully, this blog will be the start of you creating a plan and strategy.
If you wanted to create a really in-depth strategy that is guaranteed to get you results, then we run a Digital Marketing Strategy programme. It is also accredited by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) so you can confidently come away from the programme with great knowledge and key insights for your organisation.
Certified by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) the Digital Marketing Strategy programme will develop you into a more strategic marketer while embracing the newest technological trends. Take a look here at how it can help you and your organisation.