Building an effective digital strategy
For many businesses, ‘digital chaos’ is the term they use to define their current digital marketing efforts. The trial and error of email newsletters, Facebook posts, blogs and SEO considerations are taking up organisations time, all for someone to pass over a subject heading or swipe down a news feed with no intention to interact. This scattered methodology may seem like madness, until on the odd occasion it proves positive results. Unfortunately this approach is not sustainable, not measurable and certainly not connected to the objectives of the business.
Enter Digital Marketing Strategy.
Referred to as a digital marketer’s road map, framework or even blueprint – the Digital Marketing Strategy slices and dices the actions needed to kick goals online and integrate with an overarching marketing plan. Digital leads are a growing trend for businesses as online functions are catering for a larger audience every day. To engage and convert these leads, it’s important to employ a logical and functional digital marketing strategy. The main focus of a strategy is to put in place the ‘plan, execute and measure’ cycle to help systemise the process within daily business functions and make sure your marketing efforts aren’t being implemented in isolation to one another.
Define the who and the why
What does the company stand for? What is your brand’s story? Articulate your brand’s promise and identify who you are attempting to reach, making reference to the marketing plan. Communicate the intrinsic solution you are providing this audience.
Identify the goals you wish to achieve
How are you going to know if any of the effort was successful? Identifying SMART Objectives is important. They must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound for analysis purposes. Noting that you want to increase website traffic is not enough.
Create a journey map
Create customer personas and identify what leads them to make a purchase decision. Depending on your business and industry, the first touch point may happen in the online or offline environment. It’s important to understand what channels are creating the perception of your business in order to identify a suitable course of action. Someone searching for a function venue will have a different journey to someone looking for a legal representation. Did they hear about you from a friend that directed them to your website? What pages are they most interested in? Does social reviews impact their final decision? The online presence of your business can make or break a conversion.
Identify key channels to pursue
The aim is to be relevant to the consumer and this means being present where they are. A website is a valuable tool for customers to access information but are they also looking at your blog or Linkedin profile? Being realistic is important, only make use of the resources you have available.
Develop a content strategy
Craig Davis, Founder of Brandkarma said “we need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and become what people are interested in.” Ask yourself, what content works for each of your target audiences and the channels they regular?
Remembering the channel dictates the message. Draft a content calendar and again, make use of and plan your resources realistically before implementation.
Measurement of your efforts
There are various quantitative and qualitative measurement tools a business can use to measure a digital strategy and these vary from social and web analytics to client surveys. Timing is imperative when conducting this action, targeting only clients that have recently been in contact with your brand or completed a specific action. Analysing results helps defines your next strategy, bringing you closer to your target audience.
Creating a digital strategy can help automate the ‘plan, execute, measure’ cycle and systemise the actions involved. Rather than seeing digital marketing maintenance as a hassle, making it a part of a daily routine is much more manageable and gives your actions intent. Even if your businesses is outsourcing a number of the functions mentioned, it’s important to understand how they work to ensure you’re getting the best outcome for your business.