With over 4.7 internet users, digital marketing in 2022 is a no-brainer (We Are Social, 2021).
When it comes to creating a digital marketing strategy, you have a couple of options:
You can do it yourself, hire a digital marketing agency, or take a hybrid approach.
In this guide, we are going to cover how to create a digital marketing strategy from scratch.
As we move forward throughout this blog post, keep in mind:
Developing a digital marketing strategy is a learning process with a lot of curves and you don’t need to have an overly detailed digital marketing strategy at first.
The beauty of a digital marketing strategy is that it evolves as your company grows.
A good rule of thumb is to create a general structure that you can tweak as your marketing needs and goals change.
1. Understand the Basics
Step 1 is to understand the basics.
You should understand what digital marketing is before you start implementing a strategy on your own.
If you don’t know how to use Google Analytics, then you won’t be able to track your results.
If you don’t know how to compose compelling copy, then you won’t be able to attract visitors to your site.
And, if you don’t understand how to build a landing page, then you won’t be able to convert leads into customers.
Know Your Tools
There are a lot of digital marketing tools floating around the internet, but the best place for beginners to get started is with Google.
Google is the heart of internet marketing, and not knowing the mechanics behind the Google algorithm can really put you at a disadvantage getting started with Google Analytics so you can track the results of your marketing campaign.
Once you start learning more about digital marketing, you’ll encounter different kinds of digital marketing tools, such as Semrush and Ahrefs for SEO, Hootsuite and Sprout Social for social media management, MailChimp and HubSpot for email marketing, and many more.
Brushing up on your knowledge of these vital tools is necessary to improve your technical knowledge of digital marketing.
It’s also common among marketers to use multiple digital marketing tools to help guide their decisions.
Understand Your Customers
Now that you have an idea about the tools of the trade, it’s critical to learn more about your target audience.
Start by creating a user or buyer persona to guide your digital marketing strategy.
There are many ways you can create a feasible user persona.
You can send out survey forms to your current audience base, brainstorm with your colleagues, or extract data using the tools mentioned previously.
A user persona allows you to “put yourself in your customers’ shoes.”
Here’s what you should include in creating an effective user persona profile:
- User demographics: How old are they? Where do they live? Where do they work? etc.
- Online activity: Where do they spend most of their time online? When are they active online? What are they doing during those hours? Answering these questions can help you identify your audience’s online activity.
- Problems or challenges: Why problems do they face and how do you help solve them?
- Motivation: What motivates them? Money, security, fame, etc. This impacts the way you present your content, services, and products.
- Shopping habits: This is important for e-commerce businesses.
Understand the Connection Between Content and Customers
Once you have a developed user persona, you need to understand how your target customers react to different content types online.
Take note of the keywords they use when looking for something online and what content format they prefer the most (i.e., written, video, images, reels, audio, etc.)
You will use this data to guide you on how you can effectively communicate with your client base.
Knowing this will significantly improve your current digital marketing strategy.
2. Set Goals
Goal setting is a crucial part of digital marketing.
You can’t just start implementing your marketing strategy without knowing the purpose behind it.
In the following steps below, we’ll help you set feasible and actionable goals.
Identify What You Want To Achieve With Digital Marketing
Are you trying to improve brand awareness?
Are you looking to generate leads or sales?
Do you want to increase traffic to your website?
Different goals require different approaches.
Once you know what you want, setting achievable goals will be a lot easier.
Assess Your Current Situation
You won’t know how far you are from your goal without knowing your current situation.
This is where conducting a digital marketing audit comes in.
A digital marketing audit allows you to have an overview of your current position in the market.
This will help you understand your current marketing mix and what’s working and what’s not.
From there, you can start formulating strategies on how to improve your digital marketing efforts.
Breakdown Your Ultimate Goal Into Small, Actionable Steps
Now that you know how far it takes for your business to go from point A to point B, it’s time for you to break down your goals into more manageable and actionable steps.
This will help you create a road map of the things you need to do to achieve your goal.
Having smaller goals also allows you to track your progress better and make necessary changes along the way.
Keep It SMART
When setting your goals, it’s essential to make sure that they are SMART or Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
3. Choose a Platform
There are many different platforms available to marketers today.
Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.
As a marketer, you must evaluate each platform and see if it fits your business well.
This is where the previous steps would come into play.
Remember the user persona you created earlier? Use that to find out where your target audience spends most of their time online.
You also need to consider your goals and the resources you have available.
If you’re short on manpower, choosing a platform that requires a lot of work or money to maintain might not be wise.
Below are some of the most popular platforms for digital marketing:
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are excellent channels for promoting your brand or product.
With over 2 billion active users globally, there’s a good chance you’ll quickly reach your target audience in these channels.
One great thing about social media is that creating an account is free.
You can also create content without spending a lot of money.
Some social media platforms also offer paid advertising, which allows you to reach a wider audience with your marketing campaigns.
Despite the accessibility and reach potential of social media, it can only take you so far.
Keep in mind that social media is a short-term marketing strategy.
You’ll need other channels to sustain your business in the long run.
Search Engines (SEO, SEM)
Search engines are one of the most popular sources of traffic for many websites.
This is because people use search engines like Google when they’re looking for information or products online.
It’s crucial for your website to appear in the search results when people search for keywords related to your business. You can achieve this through SEO or search engine optimization.
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in the search results.
This can be done through on-page optimization, which includes optimizing your titles and meta descriptions, and off-page optimization, which includes link building and social media engagement.
SEO is a long-term marketing strategy, so it might take some time before you see results.
However, it’s one of the most effective ways to get organic or unpaid traffic to your website.
You can also use SEM (or search engine marketing) to appear in the search results.
SEM is a paid form of marketing, meaning you’ll need to spend money on ads to get your website to appear in the search results.
One advantage of SEM is that it can give you immediate results.
However, it can be quite costly, especially if you’re targeting high-traffic keywords.
Another great avenue to start your digital marketing campaign is email.
Email marketing allows you to nurture warm leads, a customer who shows interest in your products, with your marketing messages. Email marketing is an effective way to convert leads into paying customers.
To get started with email marketing, you’ll need to first build a list of subscribers.
You can do this by creating a sign-up form on your website or blog.
You can also offer incentives like free e-books or discounts to encourage people to sign up for your list.
Once you have a good number of subscribers, you can start creating and sending out valuable email campaigns.
Make sure to send out high-quality messages that will captivate your audience.
You should also segment your list to send out more targeted messages.
Videos and Podcasts
Many marketers swear by the power of YouTube in digital marketing.
That’s because YouTube has over a billion users, which gives you a vast audience to reach with your videos.
Moreover, YouTube is also owned by Google, so your videos have a good chance of ranking high in the search results.
Podcasts are a relatively new channel in the marketing game, but they show a lot of potential.
Podcasts are similar to radio shows but can be downloaded and accessed anytime.
This makes them convenient for people who commute
4. Create and Implement Your Strategy
By now, you already have everything you need to create an effective content marketing strategy.
You need to take all the information you’ve gathered from the first to third steps and put it all together to come up with a plan of action.
Putting your ultimate goal at the top, you must outline the general steps to get there.
Once plotted, you need to write your specific, actionable steps for each general one.
First things first, you need to decide what kind of strategy to use, whether that be organic SEO, paid advertising, social media marketing, or something else.
With each step, you should include details such as what type of content you will produce, which platform you will use, what tools you need to complete each task, and how you will measure your campaign’s success.
5. Measure Results
The final step in your content marketing strategy is to measure your results and optimize your campaign.
This is important because it allows you to see what’s working and what’s not.
It also allows you to make necessary changes to improve your digital marketing efforts.
You can use several metrics to measure your results, such as website traffic, engagement rate, conversion rate, cost per click, and organic reach.
You can also use tools like Google Analytics to track your progress.
Take a look at your metrics regularly and make changes to improve your campaign.
If you see that a particular type of content is not performing well, try something else.
If you’re not getting enough website traffic, try a different platform or promotional method.
By following these steps, you can create an effective content marketing strategy to help you achieve your business goals.
Conclusion: How To Create a Digital Marketing Strategy
Developing a digital marketing strategy may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
With this guide, you can learn how to create a digital marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals and needs.
Now, it’s your turn to put everything you’ve learned in this blog post into action.