How to develop a digital marketing strategy

Year after year, the importance of an updated digital marketing strategy increases. For that reason, we see digital media taking a more central role in brands’ and businesses’ ability to build brand awareness, engage with their communities and stay on top of PR and marketing trends.

What is a digital marketing strategy and who needs one?

Your digital marketing strategy is an overall plan outlining your target audience, goals, content ideas and how to measure your campaign’s success. Any business or brand wanting to run a digital marketing campaign should develop a marketing campaign strategy to ensure the strategies and tactics lead to success.

Here are five easy steps to help jumpstart your digital marketing strategy:

1. Discover your target audience

  • Utilize a combination of social media analytics and Google Analytics to discover your target audience.
  • Say you find that your content tends to reach women ages 35-49. How would you adjust your content to meet the needs of that audience?

2. Set goals

  • Be S.M.A.R.T. when you begin goal setting. S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
  • Next, define what success looks like. Is it an increase in website traffic? Social media growth? An increase in leads or sales? Remember these goals may change over time and you can have more than one.

3. Diversify your content

  • Look for user-generated content. People tend to relate to their peers over brand content, so find blog/social media comments, reviews or photos from your customers. It’s entirely unique, as no other company or brand will have this same content. Get inspired by this example from REI.

  • Make a connection to your audience by appealing to their emotions. We tend to share content that makes us feel something. It’s best to focus on content that brings happiness to the forefront of your customer’s mind!
  • Hashtag holidays, #FTW. From #NationalDogDay to #Juneteenth to #WorldChocolateDay, you can leverage hashtag holidays in your content. However, be careful when incorporating these into your social media strategy. Always ensure the content relates back to your brand or the cause.

4. Sprinkle in paid advertising

  • With social media algorithms trending toward pay-to-play models, more brands, companies and businesses are looking to advertise online. With endless possibilities of platforms, targeting options and budget ranges, it can be overwhelming.
  • Once you have a finalized budget, you can pick your platform based on your objective, target audience and buyer personas.
  • Don’t set it and forget it. Paid campaigns need to be continually checked for areas of optimization.

5. Review your measurements

  • If there isn’t a report for your digital marketing strategy or campaign, did it even happen? Vanity metrics (impressions and likes) are easy (and fun!) numbers to report but think about what truly moves the needle for your business. Look at website link clicks, traffic acquisition, blog or social shares and what actions your audience took post-click via Google Analytics.
  • Compete against yourself – and others. One strategy to define your benchmarks is to look at what’s typical for both your business and your industry as a whole. Find those metrics and see how you stack up against the competition.
  • Don’t be afraid of a report that’s not perfect. Every campaign is a chance to learn from what went right and what could be done better in the future.

Most importantly, remember that nothing in the digital landscape is set in stone. Don’t be afraid of change, and be prepared to make adjustments to your digital marketing strategy or campaign if you find a certain strategy or platform isn’t working for your brand.

Another important area of the digital marketing strategy is to increase traffic with SEO and website design, but that’s another topic for another day. Looking to take your digital marketing strategy to the next level? Give us a call!