Discover the best techniques to achieve your business goals through a winning digital marketing strategy
What is a digital marketing strategy?
Your strategy is simply the what, why and where that outlines the steps that you’re going to take to achieve your goal(s). Your tactics are then how your strategy is implemented. It feels a lot less daunting when you consider it to be a plan of action.
In the book, ‘Good Strategy/Bad Strategy’ author Richard. P. Rumelt clearly outlines the core elements that make a successful digital marketing strategy. Just like a fire needs oxygen, fuel and heat to burn, a successful strategy requires a Diagnosis, Guiding Policy and Coherent action to succeed. Here’s how it works.
- Diagnosis: Where you want to go, what are you setting out to achieve and why? This initial process should be what leads to your plan’s approach.
- Guiding policy: Once you’ve completed your diagnosis and know what you’re setting out to achieve, your next step is to identify how you’re going to get there.
- Coherent Action: By this point you’ve outlined most of your plan, and now just need to decide clear actions to bring your digital marketing strategy to life.
How do you get to know your target audience?
We’ve all heard the term ‘personas’ being thrown about, but unlike some buzzwords this one actually can help marketers get results. Buyer personas are a representative of your ideal customers and it’s essential that they are based on research. Advised techniques include:
- Interviewing the target audience
- researching behaviour patterns
- conducting focus groups
- utilising secondary data
Without this extensive research your digital marketing strategy could end up moving in the wrong direction and not delivering meaningful results.
There’s two types of information that are well worth collecting; quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative measures are things like:
- Job title
Whereas qualitative measures include more emotionally driven insights, like:
Personas can then help determine marketing activity and create a more personal experience with relevant and relatable content.
Where does your target audience hang out digitally?
Before devising a strategy to attract and engage your target audience, it is essential to research their digital behaviour. It’s recommended to evaluate the channels they use and the information they consume. By gaining this information, you gain context that will influence further marketing activity and will in-turn help to deliver results.
There are various ways to gain this valuable insight. Firstly, keyword research needs to be addressed. This involves identifying the search terms used by your potential visitors in Google and other search engines.
Finding out where these terms are being discussed is also very important at this stage. Take time to delve into the digital universe for this content. You need to know exactly which digital communities (social media, forums etc) your audience is discussing these subjects.
Once you’ve learned the what and where, you need to start looking at the wider visitor journey. Which digital channels are being commonly used upstream and downstream to visit your website(s)? Use this insight to adapt your own marketing activity to capitalise on these already populated online channels.
Lastly, find out which digital channels link to your competitors. Learn what they do well, how they’re doing it, what their weaknesses are and exploit them.
Do you have goals that score bigger goals?
Marketing goals need to underpin what your overall business objectives are and need to be S.M.A.R.T
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.
Marketers can enhance their digital marketing strategy by using Sitecore’s unique features. These include tools to improve conversion rates through personalisation and on-site customer journey analytics. Visit our dedicated Sitecore digital marketing page to learn how your organisation could be benefiting from the platform.
How to evaluate, audit and plan for your digital marketing content channels
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.
Evaluate: The first step here is to evaluate the channels that you’re already using. Identify which ones work best and what’s not driving the results for you to meet your objectives. Find out what needs changing or investing in?
Audit: This can feel a bit laborious, but ‘content is king’ to your digital marketing strategy in one form or another. Auditing your website’s key pages like ‘About us’ or ‘Our services’ can be crucial to building a winning strategy. Sometimes finding those cracks are the best quick fixes to improving your results, whether its conversions, bounce rate or downloads.
If the content isn’t right, it causes problems. Identify the weak content and log it.
The same level of auditing needs to be done for earned and paid media too. Find out where your leads and traffic is coming from, how it stacks up against your goals.
Plan: After you’ve gathered you list together from your content audit, you’re ready to make a content plan. To successfully achieve your goals, it’s important to keep your planning document clear. You should include:
- Subject title
- Aim / objective
- Priority level (a traffic light system works well)
A similar process is recommended for all media channels to give you a complete overview for your digital marketing strategy to achieve your desired results.
If you’re thinking this is all a bit overwhelming, get in touch, we can help. At Kagool we have audit teams that’ll do this for you. We can look at your business objectives and best advise you on how your organisation can get the most out of digital marketing.
Digital marketing strategy cycle
After you’re done planning, it’s time to begin actioning your strategy. For the duration of all marketing activity it’s essential that it’s accurately measured. These insights should then be used to determine any necessary changes to the marketing activity to achieve business objectives.
Digital tactics are as important as digital strategy
Many organisations make the mistake of relying too much on strategy and give little attention to the tactics.
Tactics are the small changes and enhancements that we make every day. Tactics make us better. Strategy doesn’t. A strategy without tactics is a dream. Tactics without strategy is unlikely to succeed, simply because a plan requires action, which is what tactics provide.
Iterative changes are the lifeblood of digital innovation. Every day is an opportunity to test and learn. Tactics are what help us to do this.
Common sense tactics every day move you a step closer to your goal, regardless if your strategy is complete. Devise a pragmatic strategy that evolves in line with your changing market, competitors and customer needs and includes on-going iterative tactical improvements.
Let’s talk about your digital marketing strategy
If you feel you’d like some support with this, we’re here to help.
We’ll help align your digital marketing strategy with your business goals. Contact us today to learn about the approach we’ll take that makes sure your project delivers measurable business results and a great ROI.
Whatever your business needs, our team of talented digital strategists are ready to help.