Digital marketing strategy. If you ‘ve ever been present on the web – social media, website, forum, or community, you will be familiar with online frustrations.
And, why this frustration?
You will soon find out shortly.
I deal with business owners everyday, and one of the things you hear often times is; digital marketing campaign is a sunk cost investment. It means the cost is irrecoverable!
With digital marketing strategy, you can have direction for your online marketing campaigns, minimize wasted resources, and earn ROIs.
In this part, we’ll quickly glance through digital marketing overview, and how you can develop a digital marketing strategy yourself.
You remember DIY, Do It Yourself!
Let’s get started.
What is Digital Marketing
When people talk about digital marketing, their mind is unconsciously stereotyped to Online marketing.
Digital marketing is more than marketing product or services on the Internet.
If your Professor didn’t complain about using Wikipedia’s definition, it will be safe to reference it.
Mine was neutral!
“Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium”. Wikipedia
[Image source: Unbounce]
Since this definition involves marketing using any form of digital media such as television, radio, billboards phones etc., it will be in better perspective to define digital marketing as the process of marketing product or service using electronic devices.
It can either happen online or offline as the case may be.
Why Is Strategy Important
Like any other endeavours in life, clear vision and direction is vital. You are properly guided from losing sight on your main goal.
It is easy to sense if you have veered off your target or aim.
However, without marketing strategy, you run risk of marketing campaign failures.
Why do you need to expose your business to avoidable disaster?
The painful impact of not having a marketing strategy could hamper your business growth as long as you remain in a folly world of ignorance.
Smart entrepreneurs do have marketing strategy.
Let’s see how you can have yours.
Implement Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Step 1. Define your audience
The best digital marketing strategy I have seen all have one thing in common: They know their audience.
This might sound really basic advice, yes, it is. But it can make all the difference.
If you don’t know exactly what your audience look like, you won’t be able to effectively come up with a marketing strategy that resonate with their pain points while advancing your business growth strategy.
Don’t forget, your customers, and people who would value your business messages are part of your target audience.
These are few things you need to care to know:
- Location: This is rather straightforward. Knowing the geographical location of your targeted audience is important. For your online directed marketing campaign, you can use web analytics tools like Google Analytics to easily identify what location your website traffic is coming from.
- Age: It’s best to gather this data by identifying trends in your existing prospect and customer database. Knowing your audience age range for positions you to better service their want or needs.
- Income: There is tendency people will not want to share persona income information. With experienced market research team/agency, you can get personal income data via direct interview, at least a range to determine average income of your audience.
- Job Title: This is more needed in B2B business model. It is something you can get a rough idea of from your existing customer base.
- Goals: What is the goal your customers want to achieve with using your product or service? Make healthy assumptions. However, it’s best to test your assumptions by speaking directly to customers, salespeople and customer service representatives.
- Challenges: Again, speak to customers, salespeople and customer service representatives to get an idea of the pain points of your audience.
- Hobbies and interests: Pinpoint their specific interest or hobbies. You need it to join or start conversations that align with their interests.
- Priorities: What’s most important to them relative to your business. Quality, customers service, pricing, warranty. e.t.c anything.
Step2. Set your digital marketing goals
The heartbeat of every business is marketing.
So, you need to set one or two goals to pursue in a specified period of time. Your goal must be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound).
Running your business without marketing goals could leave you with an unanticipated jabs-Anthony Joshua 50kg weighed fist.
Seriously, you could set increased website traffic, customers, brand recognition, increased conversion, increased leads, sales or revenues. Whatever your marketing goal(s), let it be solid enough to drive your marketing strategy.
Step3. Analysis of existing marketing channels and competitors
In this stage, you will be looking at your existing digital assets. The need to take stocks of all your footprints on the Internet or elsewhere.
Your digital assets could be website, social media profiles, blog posts, or infographics, press mentions, positive reviews, customers testimonials, various social media advertisements, billboard, Tv ads, Radio Ads, Search engine ads, quest blog posts e.t.c
PS: I have only mentioned offline digital channels- billboard, Tv ads, Radio Ads for the purpose of education. I’m interested more in online or Internet part of digital marketing. Offline digital marketing is fast losing face. In fact, it is ridiculously more expensive for small business marketing strategy- so no need to expend useful energy on it
Gather all your digital assets, and categorize each asset in a spreadsheet so you have a clear picture of your existing digital capital.
If you have online presence, and had embarked on marketing campaign before, you need to evaluate what worked successfully in the past, and how you can replicate the results to achieve your specific marketing goals.
If previous campaigns failed, what did you do wrong? What was the missing tactical ingredient?
Doing this in-depth analysis requires your clear understanding of your digital assets, and how to create or redeploy them to achieve your marketing objectives.
In addition, find out how your competitors are running their marketing campaigns. Is there any tactic you discovered is working for them?
Don’t close eyes to what your competitors are doing on the Internet especially when you are experiencing low sales. No doubt, your missed customers are with your competitions.
Learn from their successful strategy!
Step 4. Create your marketing funnel
A marketing funnel is when you map out a theoretical customer’s path from when a customer is a total stranger to when he becomes a lead, and then put certain strategies in place that will encourage them to move through this funnel to purchase a product or service.
Now, based on the nature of your business, you need to come up with content needs of your consumers that encourage them to make buying decisions while they move through the imaginary funnel.
At the awareness stage is where all your digital assets will be put to work- various marketing campaigns- content marketing, search engine ads, social media ads etc
At every stage of the funnel, your customers are asking questions. How will your product or service solve their problem?
The clearer you are in canvassing features and benefits, and find a way to increase the trust factor, the faster they will move to the purchase stage.
Step 5. Building traffic generation engine
Digital marketing thrives on availability of traffic on your website. This is where your marketing funnel will move people through it.
Therefore, how do you intend to drive traffic to your website?
These are few tactics to use:
- Content: The major components of your digital assets are content. Use quality content such as blog posts, press releases-books, videos, and articles on authority websites. Insert links to various places on your content-either directly hosted or on social web, and drive traffic to your website.
- SEO Strategy: Inserting related keywords into content will help your content and website show up in more search results, this leads to higher volumes of web traffic.
- Website Optimization: Make sure your website is well optimized, and functioning at its best. People don’t want to visit a website that takes forever to load.
- Social Media: Use engaging social media posts to attract more visitors to your site. Using visual graphics, video, and other relevant media will help your posts get more engagement.
Step 6. Budget planning
Most marketing strategy fails due to lack of budget planning. Be realistic with available resources that you have for your marketing campaigns.
Like any other project, make provision for unforeseen circumstances that may crop up during marketing strategy implementation.
How much money is enough for digital marketing? I’ve been asked several times.
There is no such universal figure. It depends on your existing brand capital, the nature of your business, and goal your marketing campaign is set to achieve.
Assuming you run a clothing& accessories store, and your digital marketing campaign budget is N500,000 for 6months.
Firstly, you need a professionally designed and functional website. You could come across developer that will be ready to kickstart you with N250,000. 50% is gone already.
Website is the central hub for your digital marketing campaigns. You own it. Unlike social media, you don’t own it. You could lose everything if the owner decides to shut down.
Now, let’s take your marketing goals to be increase in brand awareness, increase in customers, and increase in sales.
With fully functional website, you can head to social media platform of choice.
Facebook allows you to create page or group. Start with a page for your online store.
Put up an easy to understand profile information. Do the same for Twitter and Instagram
For your social media networks, you need images to use as cover image and profile image.
Get a pro graphics designer to create these images for you. The cost shouldn’t be more than N10,000.
Content creation? Yes, you need to hire a writer to work with you in developing content for the blog section on your website.
Blog post is one of the cheapest content marketing strategy out there. It helps to facilitate your website appearance on Google. Why Google?
80 out of 100 people use Google engine to search for information on the Internet.
If you do well on Google, you are fine almost everywhere.
Hire a writer with N5,000 to create bi-weekly quality article for you. That will be 60k in six months.
Let’s start the social media campaign. On Facebook, schedule your products posting. You also need to do sponsored ads post with N3,750 ($10) per week, and in 6 months, you ‘ll have spent N90,000.
Spread the remaining N80,000 on Twitter and Instagram.
In the end, you are expected to have created reasonable brand awareness, increased in the traffic to your website, increased sales and more customers.
Finally, rinse and repeat, until you achieve your overall business goals.
Step 7. Set success metrics
How do you know if you have done well or failed woefully?
Mistakes most entrepreneurs make is to have an increased revenue as only metric they care about.
While this is very important, there are vital micro achievements you may be overlooking.
Your brand recognition may not matter to you if you have not started raking in money, but it is a factor in boosting consumers’ confidence in your product. Increased in traffic to your site and conversions is what bring in the sales.
What is your conversion ratio? Find out.
Anyway, let’s sip through some metrics that are relevant to measuring digital marketing campaigns;
Conversions: The number of sales / orders that took place on your site relative to overall traffic.
Bounce rate: The percentage of users who visit your website and then immediately leave.
Social media shares: Shares through social media channels like Facebook, and Twitter.
Overall visitors: The total number of visitors who come to your website in a given time period.
An effective marketing strategy will arm you in the ever-increasing Internet battle for consumers’ attention. Successful businesses learn from what worked for their competitors, optimized it, and own it.
If you had a successful marketing campaigns, don’t wait until you start having low sales and revenue to repeat campaign results.
Business growth is hinged on continuous marketing. Marketing strategy gives you hedge to stay ahead of your competitions.
If you need assistance in carrying out your digital asset audit, marketing strategy development and implementation, leave us a request, my team is ready to work with you.
This article is originally published on Olatunde Adedeji’s blog.