How do I build a digital marketing strategy? For marketers who are looking to revamp their's or marketers wondering how to have a digital and print strategy, it's important to start at the basics: Knowing who you're targeting, how you'll target them, what tools you need, and what your expectations are. Let's take a look.
"We must move from numbers keeping score to numbers that drive better actions."
- David Walmsley
Whether you're starting a digital campaign from scratch, transitioning from print, or just trying to up your digital marketing footprints, there are several clear benefits of doing so.
- You can track and measure your success
- There is financial flexibility in things like AdWords where you can set a cap
- Your materials will link back directly to your site
So with this in mind, there are tons of outlets out there; where do you start?
Step 1: Think about what tools you'll need
When you imagine creating a digital marketing strategy, what do you envision with it? You have a lot of channels and methods to consider: blogging, email campaigns, pay per click, social media campaigns, and plenty of other content strategies.
So with each one you decide to invest in, you might want to consider a tool to measure and track the success of your messages.
Will you need automation tools like MailChimp that will help with emails? Or Hubspot, who will help with email, social media posting, and tracking leads?
Another example, is you decide on blogging a couple times a week, which platform will you use? Options like WordPress, Tumblr, and Wix each come with a set up pros and cons, so it really depends on your company and it's in house capabilities. Do you have a designer in house? How about a developer? It's okay if you don't, it just means you'll have to choose an option that works best for your company.
Step 2: Evaluate your existing materials and channels
In terms of materials, if you're transitioning from print to digital, you have all of that print content you can repurpose into a blog post or infographic. The next step would be to think about who you want to target and how to reach them. If you don't have any content, you'll have to start creating it and sharing as you go.
Whether or not you already have your social channels set up, you should check with the success you've been having with each one to see if it's worth moving forward with one. If you're on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but you really don't see much success on Facebook, maybe it would be a good idea not to continue investing into it.
I would suggest going back to your personas. More specifically, their water holes. Where do they look for information and where can you reach them. Reflecting on this for a while will help you prioritize which methods will be most efficient for your digital strategy.
Step 3: Create a plan
So you know who you're targeting, you know the best ways of reaching to them, and you know which tools will help you the most. What's next? You should create a plan of execution that faces the direction of your goals.
- Continuously craft your targeted messages
- Share them to through your selected channels on an ongoing basis
- Evaluate the success of each message and make minor changes to see how they can improve
- After a given amount of time, check to see how close you are to your goal (monthly, quarterly, or biannually)
If your goal is to bring 50% more traffic to your site through social media, how can you achieve that? Well, I'd start by posting regularly every day. You can try sharing existing content and create some new stuff every week and create a pattern. If you don't see much improvement after a while, try taking another look at your content. Is it valuable to your personas? Are they reading it? Or do they land on the page and back out after a couple of seconds?
If your goal is increase email engagement. I'd break your contact list into segments based on interests. There are plenty of email automation tools you can use to help you with this. From there you can send content that's relevant to that contact weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc. Ideally, the contact will engage with content relating to their interests. Create an email that's easy to scan and includes the best practices: addressing them by their first name, having a clean design, including a call to action, and A/B testing.
This really just includes consistent effort and dedication. It really does take a bit of time to see results. Unless your first attempts are perfect, you'll have to continuously test and make improvements as you go until you really see results.
The process is very similar to the process for creating a website strategy. If you'd like to learn a bit more, click below.