Creating an effective digital marketing strategy
To some, digital marketing is as easy as posting a message on social media, to the evangelists, it is the only thing the company should do. There is a middle ground and that is where I am writing from.
A digital marketing strategy is integral to business growth and success. It needs to understand the company, the bigger picture, and the macro/microenvironment.
If you are looking to create your first strategy or looking to refine what you currently do the best place to start from is understanding the goals, who you are looking to talk to and researching the market.
Step one - the big picture
The key thing is to try and get the “big” picture as well as the goals in the coming months. Questions like the below are integral.
- What is the 5-year plan?
- What are your competitors doing well/not doing well?
- How do you see the market being disrupted in the future?
- How will the disruption change the business (if applicable)
- What does success look like?
- What are the KPIs?
With this information, you can start to understand the situation and the goal.
The next stage is understanding the business.
Step two - Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the business
Every strategy relies in understanding the business and the situation. You now understand the situation but the business… well, that is something very different. A SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis helps you define and assess your organization's current position. The quick 2x2 grid helps you understand what advantages you have, what do you lack, and anything you should be aware of in the future. Topics can be as vast as resources internationally to evaluating existing digital marketing channels. There are no real wrong answers; just things to be considered. Each item within the SWOT analysis has its use and will be integral to your digital marketing strategy. A visual representation of the SWOT analysis can be found below.
Step three - Understanding who we are talking to
Now you understand the situation, the business, and the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You are in a perfect position to define who you are looking to target.
To define a strategy and the user journey of a prospect/client/colleague or potential new colleague you must understand who you are looking to target and how you are going to do it.
Answering the questions below will help curate a persona. A word from the wise if you can get the information from the source, I.e., instead of answering the questions yourself talk to a person you are looking to target, you will be in a better position.
If you are talking to your target audience, the best results come from questioning no more than 5 people. Want to know why? There is a great article by the Nielsen Norman Group here: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/why-you-only-need-to-test-with-5-users/
Questions to help model a persona are:
- Who do they stress about?
- Where do they find solutions?
- Where will they be found online?
- How will they find you?
- What would they expect to see from your online presence?
If you are comfortable with Google Analytics and data analysis you can add to the above questions. Creating a more complete persona by defining how do they get to the website etc.
Step four - Creating a user journey
Following understanding the personas it is time to distil how an individual will engage with you and your online presence.
By mapping out the user journey you can sketch out how your target audience engages with you. You can then review what needs improving, adding, and subtracting from your current/predicted efforts.
I have created an example below and you are looking to get in front of people in all areas of the marketing funnel. Making sure you have enough marketing activity in the top, middle and bottom-funnel.
Step five - Creating and actioning the digital marketing strategy
Through the previous four steps, you will now have all the information you need to create an effective strategy.
An effective digital marketing plan should be broken down into the following areas:
Objectives – what are we aiming for
Focusing on what the main objective(s) are/is and listing them/it down.
Define the vision
- Set objectives, goals, using the previous information, for example, the SWOT analysis, to define what needs to be changed/added/included.
- Defining the KPI’s – we have a free website analysis spreadsheet that may help you analyse this. Download it here.
Strategy – how do we get there?
Creating a strategy consists of drawing a road map that defines how you will meet your objectives defined earlier.
- Creating a new user journey. Making sure it mirrors how you will look to meet your objectives
- Which personas you are looking to target
Tactics and action – how exactly do we get there and what is the time schedule?
Tactics and action cover the specific tools you will be using and a drafted plan of action. For you and your colleagues to follow.
- Creating a timeline of activity
- Defining how we will talk to the designated persona. For example, if they use Facebook to buy your products making sure that is where your strategy focuses on
- Creating a content plan/activity plan
- Defining who is responsible for what
- Define what digital marketing mediums you will need to invest time and resources in. For example, SEO, Paid advertising, 3D Swirl Ads, etc.
Control - how do we check success?
This phase focuses on if you are achieving your objectives and KPIs. A relationship between a target and a performance indicator is all you need.
- Creating reports to analyse efforts (our free website analysis spreadsheet can be downloaded here)
- Understanding how many times reporting will need to be done
- Making sure reporting is in place to track the KPIs
Following the above strategy/template you will be able to produce better returns. You will also be in a situation where you can grow your company through effective, researched methods.
If you would like to learn how Kayo Digital can support your digital marketing efforts, or if you would like the agency to do their own research on your behalf, please do contact Harry Dance.
If you're looking for assistance in choosing which systems will help the growth of your business, Kayo Digital can help. We offer a variety of services from digital marketing services, including SEO, software and app development, website hosting, cutting-edge web design and more. To find out how we can help your business, get in touch today.
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