First, what is a marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy is a plan for reaching a specific business goal. It details how you’re already doing and what you need to improve.
While large corporate strategies often include multiple goals, marketing strategies for small businesses usually have only one. Whatever your business size, here’s how to create a digital marketing strategy that will increase sales, online presence, and profit margin.
What is the difference between a marketing strategy and a tactic?
This is an important distinction to make before we move forward. Your strategy is your entire plan, which includes all the tasks necessary to accomplish your goal. A tactic, on the other hand, is a method for completing a single task within your strategy.
Here are a couple of marketing strategies and tactics examples to clear up the difference:
- You discover that starting a podcast will provide the brand awareness and online presence you need. Your marketing strategy is your detailed plan to launch your podcast within 2 months.
- This podcast needs a name. Your have a team meeting to brainstorm and sort through options. This is a marketing tactic.
- You aim to increase revenue by 20% within 3 months. Your plan to reach this goal is a marketing strategy.
- One step in the plan is making sales calls, so hiring a salesperson is a marketing tactic.
What is a digital marketing strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is simply a plan to attract new customers online. Some tactics are search engine optimization (SEO), social media posting, and paid ads.
How to make a digital marketing strategy
- Construct your buyer persona, and list out their relevant information
- Include web locations where your audience spends time, their age, income, job titles, goals, pain points, interests, affiliations, and priorities.
- You could discover these details by looking at your current audience, or by considering the kind of person who needs your product or service.
- Start defining your digital marketing goals. Look at the tools you’ll need to accomplish them, and determine how you’ll measure your progress. SMART goals are the best kind to set.
- Take an inventory of all your online assets. This includes:
- Owned media (websites and podcasts)
- Earned media (press, social mentions, and reviews)
- Paid media (ads)
- Audit your owned media.
For example, how well does each piece of content rank on Google? How many people have read each piece? Google Analytics can help you answer these questions. List your owned content, ranked by performance and in accord with your goals.
Always be looking for new content opportunities. Social media and keyword research tools can reveal popular topics you might not have covered yet.
Make a content planning document. The following sections make for a great basic template:
- Temporary Title – Final headlines can be written later
- Format – It could be a video, an image, or a blog post
- Goal – How can this content nudge people closer to helping you reach your goal?
- Promotion – How will you get enough people to see this content?
- Priority – Rank your content ideas based on which ones will move you toward your goal the fastest.
- Schedule – By when will you have each piece written, edited, and published?
- Propose changes to your earned and paid media. This could include responding to reviews, trying to increase social mentions, and trying new ad layouts and copywriting.
Some tactics to accomplish your marketing strategy
There are many actions that can serve as useful tactics in your marketing toolbox. Here are just a few:
- Blogging – Many people buy based on blog recommendations. Study your audience’s pain points.
- Digital Advertising – Choose between Google, Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook. Create audience profiles. Determine a budget.
- Offering free Resources – Exchange education for contact information. Learn landing page best practices.
- Boosting SEO – Search engine optimization includes keyword research, search popularity and ranking difficulty.
- Doing giveaways and Contests – Sometimes a $10 product people really want can get you hundreds of leads, followers or sales.
- Hosting webinars – Educate while interacting with prospects and answering questions.
- Publishing podcasts – People with audio devices are everywhere. Market beyond search and social media.
- Sending emails – Earn subscribers through your blog, webinars and contests. Nurture relationships with them.
Document your digital marketing strategy
The 7Ps marketing framework is a popular way to organize your marketing efforts. The big seven are:
- Product – What are you offering? It could be information, a product, or media.
- Price – How much does it cost the customer? Remember, it’s not always money. You could be exchanging a newsletter for their email address.
- Place sold – For digital marketing, this will primarily be online. Within that medium, it could be over a specific social media, on a web page, or through an email.
- Promotion methods – How are you advertising? This includes social posts and paid ads.
- People making, distributing, and selling – This will probably be your business, but it could be a third party that you’re partnered with.
- Process for delivery – How will the product get to the customer? If it’s a digital asset, it could be through email, and if it’s physical, it could be through mail.
- Physical evidence (customer experience) – This is the proof that the customer received your product and was satisfied with the transaction.
You can use this checklist to set goals and prioritize. Itemize a budget for each marketing action you plan, and count the total cost.
Examples of Digital marketing strategy
Fanatics, a sports apparel e-commerce retailer, used content marketing to boost its brand awareness. They focused on current sporting events, sports history, and contemporary trends.
Their efforts brought 11 times more people to their website. They ranked for 230% more keywords and even got featured on The Score, Yahoo Sports, and USA Today.
Digital Marketer, an online marketing course and coaching provider, focused on email subject lines. They found the best lines fit into 4 categories:
- Scarcity or Urgency
- Curiosity Creating
- Providing Proof or Credibility
They also personalized their subject lines with the recipient’s first name. The result?
They tripled their email open rate.
What does all this mean for you?
The first step is to take an inventory of what you’re currently doing right and what it is you’re missing. Define where you’d like to be, and map out the actions needed to reach your goal. Set deadlines. How much will it cost? Make sure your team understands these points.
Digital marketing strategies are not money printing machines, but they come pretty close. An average strategy, vigorously executed, adds far more to your bank account than a remarkable strategy with little action. First Direct Marketing’s mission is to empower the growth and success of businesses like yours. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you.