How’s your digital marketing working? Not very well, you say. Well, how well are you executing your digital marketing strategy? You don’t really have one? Now we’re getting somewhere.
Don’t feel too badly. The lack of a well-thought-out strategy may be the most common reason businesses don’t achieve good, measurable results from their digital marketing. It’s an interesting phenomenon that companies who have no problem creating a detailed sales strategy falter when it comes to doing the same for digital marketing.
We’re here to help. Here are eight key touchpoints to hit on your way to creating and implementing an effective digital marketing strategy.
1. Who Do You Want to Reach?
It’s hard to target effective messaging to someone you don’t know. Impossible, actually. That leads us directly to the critical first step in the digital marketing process—creating buyer personas.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, created from a combination of market research and real data about your existing customers. These personas help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better. This makes it easier for you to tailor your content, messaging, product development and services to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups.
To generate these pseudo people, incorporate all the information you can gather on your ideal customer’s age, income, location, interests, wants and needs etc. In short, create the ideal buyer for your goods or service.
2. Organizational Goals
When setting goals, start big and work your way to specific. For example, what’s your organizational mission? That’s the biggest goal. Next, lay out how your digital marketing strategy will help you carry out that mission.
Then, determine more precise targets. These should be measurable and have a time element. For example, “We want to increase lead generation by 60% in the next 12 months.”
Finally, you’ll need to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine if your content and advertising strategies are working. Cost per lead and unique website visits are two examples of possible KPIs, depending on your digital marketing goals.
3. What Do You Have?
The next step is to take stock of the digital assets you already have that can be optimized to help you reach your goal. Specific assets might include your website, blog posts, images and infographics.
Assess how these assets are currently working together. For example, are you making use of content and images you’ve created for your website in blogs. Is your messaging pointing in the same direction across all platforms, or is it inconsistent or unrelated to your primary marketing goals. Chances are good you already have valuable assets that can be used more effectively.
4. What Do You Need?
Just as important as your inventory of resources are the gaps in your marketing toolbox. Identify the tools you need, prioritize them and determine when you will add them. Often times, an editorial calendar can be beneficial in helping you create and manage new content.
5. Crank Up Your Content
Perhaps the most important step in the process, and certainly the one that most often differentiates a successful digital marketer from marginal performers. Effective, compelling content is essential in guiding potential customers through the buyer’s journey. Hubspot’s definition of the buyer’s journey is, “The active research process a buyer goes through leading up to a purchase.”
You should be creating content that leads the buyer through three stages of the buyer’s journey.
- Awareness: In this stage, the buyer is just becoming aware of their problem/need. Your content goal may be to position yourself as an expert in this particular area, establishing your knowledge of the topic with the understanding that increasing numbers of potential customers will be looking to find information.
- Interest: In the interest stage, the buyer is aware of their problem/need and just beginning to look for solutions. Now established as an expert, at this stage you provide potential solutions to the problem.
- Consideration: By this point, buyers have decided what they need to do but aren’t certain about who can best take care of their problem or meet their need. This is where you seal the deal, making a strong case for your product or service as the best solution. Drive it home with testimonials whenever possible.
6. Ad It Up
Are you using paid advertising to increase traffic and make the most of your great content? If you’re not you should be. Here are key considerations to boost advertising effectiveness:
- Use those personas again: Advertising written for everyone impacts no one. Know your targets and create your advertising to address them. Learn their language, find their pain points and learn the channels they use most often.
- Retarget: After you target, retarget. Simply put, retargeting is just marketing to those who have already visited your website, and so already have a relationship with you. Retargeting is one of the most effective paid advertising campaigns, so your strategy should include ways to drive visitors to your site so you can retarget them.
- Give content a kick: Consider increasing the reach of your best content by promoting it with Facebook ads or even LinkedIn. Social platforms have stepped up their game in online advertising and are often times a great way to target key audiences by using the insights their users provide them by using their platform.
7. What’s Up with Your Website?
Is your website designed to provide information, or to help turn visitors into customers? Remember the Buyer’s Journey? An effective website provides value to potential customers at each stage of the journey.
8. Go Robotic
Finally, are you utilizing marketing automation? With the advance of technology, so many aspects of digital marketing—email, social media, website actions and more—can be performed automatically. The benefits? Improved overall inbound marketing, lead generation and time savings.
Obviously, there is much more to be said on each of these eight steps. Our digital marketing experts can help answer questions, assess your digital marketing strategy, and help you take the next steps.