The Ultimate Guide to Building a Digital Marketing Strategy

Many small organisations will know the feeling: you remember that you haven’t emailed your database, posted on social media or run ads for a while, so you spend a few hours working hard on digital marketing… and then leave it alone for another couple of weeks.

Unfortunately this approach – or lack of approach – only ever leads to disappointment.

Successful digital marketing is built on a foundation of consistency. And that consistency can only come if you create, and more importantly stick to, a clear and comprehensive digital marketing strategy.

Here’s how to do exactly that, in four (seemingly) simple steps.

Step 1: Set the right goals

First things first: what do you hope to achieve with your marketing?

  • Goals: What are your high-level aims? Are you looking to release a new product, sign up more customers, increase that bottom line?
  • Objectives: Make your goal or goals measurable, like ‘sign up 50 new customers’, ‘sell [product] in this new market’ or ‘increase sales by 20% this financial year’. Include the interim steps you’ll need to take to succeed – if you want 50 new customers, you might need to find 200 new leads.
  • Tactics: Tactics are the specific actions you’ll take to meet your objectives and ultimately your goals – things like hosting a webinar or creating an ad campaign to source those 200 new leads.

At this stage it’s fine to do some general spit-balling on tactics – search for inspiration, throw a few ideas around, and discuss what’s possible and what’s not. You’ll take a deeper dive into the nuts and bolts when we get to the strategy stage. But first you need to…

Step 2: Get to know your audience

To create a truly successful digital marketing campaign you need to have a deep understanding of exactly who you’re marketing to: your ‘target audience’. Ask yourself: what exactly does my perfect customer – the one that is most likely to buy my product or service – look like?

You can get a clear idea of exactly that by creating a buyer persona that captures the basic info of your ideal customer – a hybrid human that aggregates most common traits of who you’re targeting, such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Occupation and salary
  • Interests

This buyer persona offers a handy way to check whether a piece of marketing will resonate with the people you hope it will resonate with, while also helping you to set highly targeted social media campaigns.

Not sure who your target customer is? Get inspiration by looking at the demographic information you already have at your disposal. What does the average person in your CRM look like? Who follows you on social media? You can even lean on tech that is built for this exact purpose, like PersonaCreator and MakeMyPersona.

Step 3: Create your strategy

Next we move to strategy – how do you plan to get to where you want to be? Take a look at the stages of the sales and marketing funnel: awareness, interest, desire, action. Which stage should you focus on given your goals and objectives? Which marketing channels will give you the best chance of success?

The wisest approach is to spread your bets, testing out a wide variety of marketing channels before zeroing in on those that prove the most effective. Test out email marketing, Google Ads, paid social media ads and any other channel that you feel has potential. Conduct A/B testing within each to identify the best strategies.

Over the course of 6-12 months the most effective channels and strategies will begin to show, and the return on your marketing investment will increase.

Step 4: Find the right tools, track your results

Modern marketing is all about using the right tools – ones that automate much of the process, make your efforts more effective, and allow you to track your results and improve over time. Given your goals, objectives, tactics and strategy, which tools will be of greatest value to you?

If you hope to generate 200 new leads by hosting a webinar and using the recording as a lead magnet, you might need:

  • A conference-hosting platform like Zoom
  • Email marketing automation software
  • A landing page to solicit information from leads
  • Google Analytics to gauge the effectiveness of that landing page (and your website at large)
  • A CRM to store and manage lead information
  • Social media to get the word out
  • …amongst a wealth of others

The best tools will be those that allow you to analyse your performance and offer insights into how it can be improved. Identifying and tracking KPIs is the only way you can be confident of success.

All in all, there’s a lot to consider when constructing a digital marketing strategy, which is why most companies leave it to the experts, like us at Traction. If you’re ready to make the most of the endless potential of digital marketing, we’re ready to help – why not call our friendly team today?

About the Author: Jordana Clarke

An independent director and business owner who enjoys adding value to NZ boards and executive teams. She brings more than 20 years experience in export strategy and digital marketing from FTSE100 companies to tech start-ups. Collaborative, principled and intuitive in nature, Jordana embraces evidence-based decision making and will ask the questions that highlight all possible perspectives.

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