The online marketing world has grown along with digital advancements meant to supplement it, providing businesses with more than one way to market their services on the internet.
In a nutshell, digital marketing is online marketing for websites. It’s a concept that’s easy enough to understand, but you’ll find it can get especially tricky when it comes to the implementation of such strategies.
It is fairly easy to feel overwhelmed at the many options at your disposal. You can go the route of search engine optimization or SEO(check out Bill Lentis), digital advertising, social media marketing, and so on. Each of these established approaches represents their own speciality, along with an independent set of rules and guidelines to follow in practice.
This is mainly the reason why there are different social media specialists, as the kind of planning that takes place in SEO is miles different from that of digital advertising.
Simply put, your own company’s digital marketing strategy shouldn’t look like everyone else’s. It should be uniquely customized to your own circumstances for it to yield maximum results.
You don’t always have to stick to the one used by most big brands, sometimes taking a little time to find out which one works best for you can guarantee more than the one popularly utilized. To have a winning digital marketing strategy, remember these 3 essential steps.
1. Know your audience
Digital or not, any marketing strategy will always stress on the notion you have to know who you are marketing to. The best digital marketing strategies take this into consideration and build their entire approach on their buyer personas.
In order to do so, you have to create a very specific image of your target audience. It’s not enough to say “millennial female” anymore, you have to delve into their psyche, what motivates them, and even go as far as creating a backstory. You need “Millennial Mary, aged 21-25, living alone in a one-bedroom apartment downtown of her chosen city of work, who tries to eat clean and shop sustainably as much as she can”. This creates a more deep, meaningful bond you have with your customer when you envision them as people more than numbers.
You cannot rely on off the cuff stereotypes for this, you have to deep dive into your company’s analytics and do supplementary research if need be. Google Analytics and Facebook’s in-house insight tools are a great way to start building a customer profile based on your website’s performance, demographics, and psychographics.
This first step is crucial, as it essentially decides whether your entire digital marketing strategy plan will succeed or fail. If you find your customer, you will be able to tailor certain products or services befitting their persona, therefore streamlining the buying and selling process a lot easier. If you understand what they want and know which strings to pull to get them to want it even more, you would have perfected the buyer persona step.
Any self-respecting elite marketer would know their audience well enough to know how to persuade them just right, so it is especially important to conduct deep audience research at least once or twice a month. Getting into the head of your target consumer will lend you the tools to know how to turn them into loyal customers of your brand.
2. Set definitive goals
Now that you have a clear image of Millennial Mary, your marketing goals should be aligned with her and her lifestyle. If she lives alone in a one-bedroom loft, try sending some cheap furniture ads her way and see if she takes the bait. If she is worried about the planet and shops sustainably, try dropping an article on local produce markets near her place.
These types of custom goals specifically tailored to your audience can be fundamental in transforming your brand to be one that knows the kind of content and services your business offers, and what they will gain from it. Utilize a high-level marketing plan template to outline your marketing strategy, identify top priorities, and other aspects you find needs improvement.
You have to ask yourself beforehand what you want out of your digital marketing campaigns. Do you want to build name brand recognition or raise awareness? Do you want to generate more leads? Do you want a higher sales number, or perhaps email subscribers? Whatever your overarching digital marketing goal is, you must be able to measure its success with the right digital marketing tools.
This way, you are creating a space for accountability and responsibility for yourself along the way. You won’t get sidetracked with side quests or stray from the path because you have a definitive goal in mind to work towards. Checking in your progress from time to time can always be a good way to refine some undervalued areas of your digital marketing strategy, and improving them as you go along.
3. Create and implement a strategy accordingly
Now that you have spent enough time getting to know Millennial Mary and her interests, as well as set what kind of goals you want for her, it’s time to seal the deal. At the heart of any digital marketing is content, be it owned or paid, this will first and foremost be the driving force behind your company’s success.
Now that you have decided your target audience and initiatives, you have to be even more specific about the manner in which you’re going to keep them engaged. Specificity is the key here, so make sure to map out very specific steps you’re going to take that are backed by enough data to support your plans.
As you get your campaigns up and running, you’ll want to find ways to continue to make your campaigns as impactful and effective as possible. You can go about this in two ways: more personalization and automation.
In most cases, these two tend to overlap. The most seemingly-personalized and relevant marketing messages can be delivered as a result of your audience’s actions: including targeted ads that retarget users with similar products they’ve viewed before, or personalized email autoresponders to show them similar products they’ve seen through browsing.
Digital marketing campaigns are the building blocks and actions within your digital marketing strategy that move you toward a specific end goal.
It can get tedious coming up with the most appropriate one that guarantees the highest engagements, but in the process of getting to know your customer and coming up with just the right strategy to gauge their interests, it can also be immensely rewarding.