5 Strategies to build a successful digital marketing strategy

Most businesses now realise that a digital marketing strategy is at least of some use in helping attract customers and increase sales.

Digital marketing strategies are those that encompass any type of marketing via digital means. This may include online, social media, mobile and search engine optimisation, among others. A good digital marketing strategy will consider where the business is now with digital marketing, where it wants to be, how it will get there, and how it will know when it has arrived. Here are five ideas of strategies that need to be employed to build a successful digital marketing strategy:

Define your goals — without being clear on what it is you want to achieve; your chances of success are limited. As with any other type of marketing strategy you should decide on a clear end goal. This should fit into the overall marketing goal, which in turn should cascade down from the overall business goals. It is not helpful to define goals without considering how you will measure them, so do make sure your goals can be measured, as this is the information you will need to define success. You might consider using the SMART acronym (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and with a time frame) for the goal setting process. The goal setting process should be no different from setting goals for any other type of marketing strategy. You will need to consider what is happening in the business environment (external and internal) that is impacting on your business, and how you will segment, target and position the market. In building up this overall picture you can set solid strategic digital marketing goals.

Create personas — in digital marketing (as in any other kind of marketing) it is essential to know who it is you are targeting. You need to understand demographic information about them, such as their likely age, education level, income, race, gender and more. This helps you devise marketing messages to appeal to them. Knowing their location is also critical so you can target your digital campaign effectively. You also need to gather psychographic information about those you are targeting, such as what they like doing in their free time and the challenges they face which might lead them to consider your product. This will help you build up a picture of who you are targeting to allow you to devise digital messages and strategies that will appeal to them.

Choose the right digital platforms for your marketing — this strategy is closely linked to the return on investment of different tactics (below). If you choose the wrong digital channels you will not meet your digital marketing goals that you set at the outset. This is also closely tied to who you are targeting. Do some research into the types of platforms that your target markets use frequently and focus most of your efforts on those. Different digital marketing channels will be more suited to different types of businesses. For example, businesses that want to attract consumers are more likely to see ROI on their campaigns than those that operate in the B2B field. Alternative, mobile campaigns may be more likely to be more effective with younger target markets, such as the so-called “digital native” millennials.

Always use a call to action — a call to action drives a person do take the steps you want them to take after seeing your marketing. For example, “buy it now here” (with a link) might be an example of a call to action. If you do not include a call to action, your customer might do what you hope them to anyway, but the chances are they will not. The psychology behind the call to action is powerful and the call to action helps conclude the story that you are telling through your digital marketing campaign through helping it to feel resolved for the customer. Utilising the psychology behind the call to action can help you succeed.

Consider return on investment (ROI) of different tactics — a critical strategy in making sure that your digital marketing strategy will be a success is considering the return on investment that you will attain by utilising different digital channels. The bottom line is that if you do not measure your investment you could easily end up spending money on channels that do not work well for your particular market, so this measurement is essential in driving success. MarketingMo provides some helpful guidance on how to calculate marketing campaign ROI. However, do also consider returns that are not necessarily easy to quantify financially but that could also be making a significant difference. For example, you might not necessarily get new sales online by having a website (though you probably would) but online media can also drive a person to visit the store and make a purchase. This is harder to quantify but important to understand in the overall picture of which strategies are worthwhile.

You might not get your digital marketing strategy right first time, but analysing it and adjusting it accordingly will allow you to refine it. Being smart about your digital marketing strategy will ensure you spend marketing budget efficiently in areas that will drive the results you desire.

· Where there other considerations when building your strategy?

· What problems did you face when designing your digital strategy?

· What advice would you give to someone looking to build their digital marketing strategy?

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