Digital marketing feels like it’s just a buzzword, but marketing itself has always played an essential role for any business – big or small but, today, it’s been taken to a whole new level. If you want to reach your target customers, you need to have great marketing, especially a digital marketing strategy. A small business that is doing most or all of its business online needs to find a digital marketing strategy that suits its product and vision to ensure they are visible to its customers. But how do you do that? That’s the million-dollar question. Because creating and maintaining an agile and dynamic digital marketing strategy that will result in a good return on investment, is easier said than done. So, where should we start?
Let us start from the beginning and define what marketing strategy actually is. In a nutshell, it represents part of your overall business plan, which focuses on finding customers and making them buy your services or product. A marketing strategy can sometimes be confused with a marketing plan. The difference between these two is to make it short – strategy is goal-defining vs plan is action-driven (how to achieve the goal). Although they work together, they live their separate lives in your business plan.
So, let us dive deeper into a marketing strategy. Here are some practical tips you can consult when stepping into the digital marketing field for the first time.
Industry research and choosing the right marketing strategy
Although it may seem obvious in the first place, you need to choose a marketing strategy that suits your needs the best. When creating your strategy, you should have in mind things like the target market, competitors, and external messaging you want to send to your customers. In marketing, almost everything revolves around customers and how they perceive your brand. So you need to analyse your target audience and understand their values and wishes and what message they want to hear from your business. Almost the same goes for your competitors. For the whole picture and effective marketing strategy, you need to compare your strengths and weaknesses to your main competitors and measure them. There are a lot of possible marketing strategies, from social networks and viral marketing, paid media advertising, email marketing, direct selling, and conversational marketing. If it happens you don’t choose the right one from the beginning, don’t worry! There is no right recipe, but more guidelines you should use how it feels best for you. Also, there is no rule that says you need to use just one.
Understanding your customers and target audience is extremely valuable for all parts of your business plan. Although your customers are not ideal, you will want to create one that is. This will lead to a better understanding of your customers and their points of view. And that will be possible through – more research. Data that you would need for the starter are: age of your customer – are you trying to sell your product to adults or teenagers? A marketing campaign for adults is different from a marketing strategy for teenagers. Then you can go to gender, their physical local. What are their income and potential hobbies/interests? You should also ask yourself whether it is your target business or a physical person. All of those questions are leading you to create a customer who will 100% purchase your service/product.
Optimised and effective content is key
It has simply become a necessity to make your content last as long as possible. Content optimisation techniques are numerous, but they all have one goal – make your reach as big as possible and attract more customers. And how do customers find you? Through search engines, most of the time. So first step the business needs is search engine optimisation. Search engine optimisation starts with keyword research. The best would be to target not-so-competitive keywords and then slowly build it from there. You will need to research which potential keyword would be best for your audience. This is something where tools specifically designed for this could help. SEO also includes generating backlinks and filling out important metadata. Search engines then inspect your content, index it, and match it with keywords people search for. The time you invest in optimising your content pays off exponentially by helping improve your ranking on search engines. The effectiveness of your content also plays a big part in marketing strategy. You should strive for engaging content that carries and delivers the message of your values. What can help here is identifying misses in existing content and creating a detailed plan for content creation.
Utilise online platforms
Tools that can help you in your digital marketing strategy can be online platforms like blogs, social media, and email. Email is part of our everyday life. It’s almost like reading newspapers in the past. Promoting your service and products electronically, whether that is through newsletters or general messages, can be very engaging and beneficial for your business. Social media is something that absolutely can’t be ignored. First, you need to choose the right one. Depending on which network you choose – you need to create regular and engaging content that suits the best for that social media (images, short messages, videos, short videos). Then you need to interact with your audience. Social media is a really valuable tool because businesses can get almost instant feedback from customers while simultaneously interacting directly with customers in real-time. It can’t get much better than that!
Blogs represent the oldest form of online engagement that is still very loved and popular. Blogs give you the opportunity to really tell the story about your brand as a whole. Through a series of blogs, your audience can get to know visions of business better and
This is part where the previously ideal customer profile can come in handy. Through the information you gathered about your customers, you can target the right channel. You will not promote something on LinkedIn or through the mail if your target is teenagers.
Building and maintaining a quality digital marketing strategy is good, but how do you even know that strategy is giving results? The good thing would be to establish some sort of system that will track and measure the success of your strategy. There are a number of parameters that can be used here, but you need to find which one works for you. One example could be Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) – (metric that determines how valuable each client is to your company in the long run). This will not only help you to grow but also can help your business with future marketing moves.
Update your strategy
The market is constantly changing these days. So, it’s not an unusual thing to see that your marketing strategy is outdated. That is why you should evaluate your strategy and update your strategy according to businesses and market needs. You should ask yourself whether you still have the same goals. Do your products make expected revenue, did you attract new clients, did your old clients stay with you. Also, updating your strategy doesn’t have to be an immediate thing. You can evaluate when would be the best time for that change – in a year or next month? It is, of course, better if you are not one step behind. When you regularly examine and update your marketing strategy to meet both the needs of your company and your customers, your business can continue to grow.