Discover the best techniques to achieve your business goals through a winning digital marketing strategy
What is a digital marketing strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is simply made up of the what, why and where actions that will help you achieve your company goals. Your tactics are how you’ll implement your strategy.
Before diving into what makes up a great digital strategy, it’s important to define why it’s necessary to have one. If your organisation doesn’t have a plan in place to achieve its goals, how do you measure whether your marketing is successful? How do you recognise if its appealing to the right audience and being shown at the optimal time?
Put simply, your digital marketing strategy is your plan, a clear roadmap that outlines where you are now vs where you want to be. The tactics within that are what will get you to that end point. A strategy removes any time spent playing the guessing game and gives you more time to get ahead of the competition. But not all marketers are making a digital marketing strategy a priority. According to Smart Insights, 50% of brands still do not have a defined marketing strategy – so what do businesses need to do?
Getting your digital marketing strategy structure in place
There are several different planning frameworks available like RACE, which details the phases of reach, act, convert and engage. But for a more detailed framework the SOSTAC framework is great. It includes the following stages:
Situation analysis – Where are we now?
This should always be your starting point. Assessing your business’ current position and carrying out some thorough analysis around performance, competitors, audience and the wider environment is crucial to help you identify where specifically your organisations’ strengths and weakness lay. Understanding any threats to the market or your organisation specifically will help you create a robust plan that will deliver the best results.
Objectives – Where do we want to be?
Using your findings from the situation analysis, your objectives should reveal themselves. At this stage you should have your organisation’s overall corporate objectives in mind to ensure your marketing goals underpin these. Importantly, your objectives need to be SMART
For instance, a marketing goal might be to deliver 25% more website leads by the end of the year. This could contribute to an overall business aim of annually increasing online revenue by 10%.
It’s worth highlighting at this point that a good strategy would also have a clear idea of which marketing tools would be used for reporting. There’s very little point in having any goals if you don’t know how they’re going to be measured. Or if they are measurable with the tools you have in place. It’s different for each business, but always important.
Strategy – How to we get there?
By this point you’ll need to think about how you’re going to achieve your objectives and which segments of your audience will you be targeting? Once you have outlined aspects like, positioning, partnerships and processes required for your strategy you can delve into more specific tactical tools that will help you deliver your plan.
Tactics – What we will do to get there
Your tactics are your marketing mix. What channels will be best to achieve your goals? The core channels that should be reviewed in your digital marketing strategy are:
Owned media – this is anything that belongs to your business (website, landing pages, blog content etc)
Earned media – this refers to content that has been either shared or has earned attention or recognition via PR, press or guest posts on other websites that aren’t associated with your business
Paid media – as expected, these are channels that you invest in financially for exposure (Google AdWords, sponsored social etc)
These channels can be used together to achieve your goals.
Actions – Who is doing what and when
This stage goes into even more depth to your tactics. Here you typically identify responsibilities, structures and resource. Create a timeline with clear milestones, who will be carrying out specific tasks, when it will be delivered and at what cost. Using a Gantt chart is a great way to keep on monitor your digital marketing strategy progress and to ensure you’re keeping on track. It also helps you to identify any gaps in resource.
Controls – How is it being measured? Did it work?
A successful digital marketing strategy rests on its results. To have a clear understanding of how well your marketing activity Is performing its essential to have set controls in place. This means knowing what your key performance indicators (KPIs) are before you start anything. What metrics are going to best show you how effective your campaign is? Are you delivering to time and budget as planned?
It’s at this phase of the cycle where you are able to review and evaluate how well specific elements of your strategy are working and what could be done to improve next time?
We have uncovered five great tactical approaches that digitally ambitious organisations should consider when putting together a digital marketing strategy.
1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Being visible online is paramount to driving brand awareness and gaining organic traffic to your website. Building an effective SEO marketing strategy takes expertise and offers a great ROI. SEO is a long-term approach and covers technical and content aspects to be successful. As you establish rankings, you improve your credibility among your audience and build customer loyalty. SEO should be considered at the early stages of any digital project, everything from designing and building the website to each digital touchpoint plays a role in great SEO marketing. Organisations that are looking for a cost-effective and results driven approach would be smart to include SEO in their digital marketing strategy.
2. Paid media
Paid media is great for achieving immediate results, but naturally, this does come at a price. An effective paid media strategy will harness the spectrum of tools available, from social media, pay-per-click ads (PPC) and remarketing tactics. Paid media is especially effective at re-engaging users that might have discovered your website through organic means (SEO), but not yet converted.
Paid media like PPC is highly targeted and so great for bringing in quality traffic to your site that only gets charged each time a user clicks on the ad. What is important is that any successful PPC campaign begins with defining the goals that you want to achieve. Typically, the aim of PPC is to drive brand awareness and relevant traffic to your website. sales and repeat sales. To maximise your investment, its recommended to partner with a digital marketing agency like Kagool who have years of experience in fine-tuning and optimising ad campaigns to get the best results.
3. Email Marketing
Consistently ranked as the digital channel with the best ROI by Econsultancy, email marketing is an important cog in the strategic wheel. It’s one of the few marketing channels where you own your audience – they’ve already indicated they’d like to hear from your organisation, and it didn’t cost you the earth to reach them. Sending relevant, timely and personalised email subject lines is key to getting the most engagement from your audiences. Measuring email marketing performance is easy with a good marketing platform like Sitecore. Metrics such as open rate, bounce rate, click-through rate and opt-out rate are effective in tracking and providing you with the visibility to see what is going well and where you could improve. Integrating email into your overall strategy is a great way to boost conversions, increase customer lifetime value and nurture customer relationships.
4. Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
Conversion Rate Optimisation strategy is used to improve any metric on your website that is important to your business. It’s heavily associated with acquiring new customers, attaining registrations or downloading assets. It should be a fundamental part of your digital marketing strategy, as optimising your existing digital assets is just as important as creating new ones. If something isn’t working as well as it should do, create a hypothesis to fix it. Its more cost-effective to convert a higher percentage of visitors you already have arriving on your site, rather than attracting more.
5. Social Media
Understanding where your audience hang out digitally is important, and which channels are best suited to your messaging is key. Social media can also play a pivotal role in building customer relationships and creating a powerful brand image. Including a social media strategy in your overall plan gives your organisation visibility and the power to quickly reach your audience at almost no cost. When you consider that there are around 3.2 billion social media users worldwide (approximately 42% of the population) and 54% of social browsers use these channels to research products, it’s a no brainer that to own this space for your brand and leverage it to your advantage in your digital marketing strategy.
Let’s talk about your digital marketing strategy
These are just some of many strategic approaches that should be considered for an effective marketing strategy. If you’d like some support with your organisation’s digital transformation, we’d love to help. We have over 20 years’ experience in helping enterprises align their digital marketing with their business goals to get great results. We specialise in the design, build and optimisation of website on the Sitecore platform. Contact us to discuss how we can help you get to where you want to be digitally or to book your digital audit.