Steps to create an effective digital marketing strategy

Steps to create an effective digital marketing strategy

Pretty much all businesses in today’s modern age need to be online and have a digital marketing strategy. Their clients and potential customers expect to be able to visit their website and find them when they use a search engine, they expect to be able to get information about their products and services as and when they need them, without having to go to a shop, or pick up the phone. Customers and potential customers are very internet savvy now, and will often want to be able to dig a little deeper and get to know them better by following and interacting with them on social media too.

The modern customer is shopping, buying and researching online and so even if the final purchase happens in a physical location, a lot of the buying journey will probably have been performed online. This is because most people have smartphones where they can access the internet easily and quickly wherever they are. This increased access to the internet and our obsession with our smartphones and social media accounts offers businesses an excellent opportunity to reach more people with their messaging and encourage more people to engage with their brand and ultimately buy.

However, there is a lot of competition out there and businesses need to be in the right places for their target market and be delivering the right message to them at the right time. This is where a digital marketing strategy comes in very handy. It is a strategic document which defines your objectives and says what you want to achieve through your digital marketing, who you are trying to reach and the steps you need to take to meet those objectives. It stops the knee-jerk responses to just having to be on the new “fashionable” channel or platform, but not doing the right things to make it work. It also optimises your success, as it brings all the different digital marketing methods and tools together for a common goal.

Here at JUCRA we’re digital marketing experts committed to generating results for our clients. Having a clear strategy in place is key to making that happen. So in this post, we want to spell out the steps you need to take to create a digital marketing strategy that really works.

Define your objectives

The first step in any good strategy document is to decide exactly what you want to achieve. This is definitely the case with digital marketing, and you can be very specific, because digital marketing is so easy to track and analyse. Good objectives should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed) and should be backed by data, so make sure you have analytics in place and at the start of your plan you establish a benchmark and a timeframe for achieving those goals.

Good objectives for digital marketing include a x% increase in web traffic, x new followers on social, x% increase in conversion or x leads over a given period.

Determine your target markets

Never try to market to everyone, with online particularly this really doesn’t work and will cost you a fortune. You’re better off dominating a niche, and tailoring messaging to a specific demographic, rather than watering down the messaging in order to try to appeal to everyone.

If you’re already online, use the analytics at your disposal to see what kind of people are resonating with your message. If not, do some market research, or look at your key customer types and really drill down to who they are. Creating an ideal customer profile, which defines the customer’s age, sex, location, language, interests and purchasing power is really useful to get to know your ideal customer and really check your messaging will resonate with them. You can always define several types of ideal customers for different products or services, or who use your products or services in different ways so you can tailor paid advertising to them in the right way. This will improve your conversion and ROI.

Decide how you’re going to reach those target markets

Once you know what you’re trying to achieve and who you’re communicating with, you can work out where they “Hang-out” online and also how they use the internet. An older demographic may still be slightly suspicious of buying online and will do their research online, but want to come into store, or have contact with a real person via the phone or email to finalise their purchase. Younger consumers are very much used to buying online and are happy to do everything in a digital space, but they may be more demanding of what the website does, how tailored the messaging is to them and maybe looking for very quick and responsive online customer support.

These target markets will also be on different social media platforms and likely to respond differently to particular content. An older demographic is likely to be on Facebook and like to click through to information on a website and then send an email to ask for more information. If we’re talking about Millennials or Gen Z buyers, they want picture led content and dynamic video content on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. So, understanding who you’re trying to reach will influence where you are and what kind of posts you’re producing.

At this point, you also need to think about how you ensure you will be appearing in search engines when your target markets are looking for your kinds of products and services. You need to look at the competition in your sector, how you’re ranking already and what you need to do to make sure you’re on the first few pages of the search results for your particular search terms.

Most businesses will probably need to combine SEO with paid digital marketing such as PPC or social media advertising to make sure they appear. But as part of your digital marketing strategy, you will probably include testing and tweaking of campaigns over a given period to maximise your ROI and drop any advertising which is not performing for you.

Create a timed plan  

A digital marketing strategy is a great way to think and make sure that your approach is the right one to achieve your goals. However, if you’re not careful it can become theoretical, or languish on your desktop and not actually make anything happen.

To get around this, your strategy should include a practical timed plan, where you list what you will do and when and who is responsible for doing it. You want to have a calendar of actions over a given period, with named individuals who are held accountable for delivering what you’ve decided you will do.

For example, perhaps you’ve identified that you want to reach a younger demographic and this involves setting up a TikTok account, creating video content and increasing your Instagram followers and interaction level. You want to define who will set up the account, who will create video, how much and how often and who will upload it. If a process needs to be setup, or an external supplier brought in, define in your list who will find that person and when should they be in place and creating content.

This plan will be essential for ensuring that you make progress.

Make sure your website is delivering for you

Last but not least, you need to check your website is working well and that it ties in with the other elements of your digital marketing strategy. Your web design needs to be more than just pretty, it needs to be responsive, deliver what your customers want and be easy to use. A good website converts web visitors into leads and customers and so if you’re not seeing customers coming in, you need to ask yourself why and speak to your website developers about how it can be improved. Quality web design makes all the difference and we can work with you to improve conversion through landing pages, quality copy and strong calls to action. Find out how quality web design can help you generate more business on our blog, or contact us to discuss what we could do to improve your website to sit at the centre of your digital marketing strategy.

Commit to a strong digital marketing strategy and bring in digital marketing experts with an excellent track record to maximise your results. We offer quality web design as part of your digital marketing strategy, as well as support our clients with PPC and online advertising to generate leads, and create quality content to help you rank well in search engines. We look forward to helping you perform well online.