In today’s competitive landscape, a digital marketing strategy framework is not an option, but a necessity. More companies are starting to realize the power of digital marketing, and are now pouring their resources into it. In this blog, we’ll show you how to create a digital marketing strategy framework that will set your business up for success.
Define your audience
The only way to accomplish effective marketing is to know your audience inside and out. This doesn’t mean just who you are intentionally targeting, but who is actually searching for your organization. It’s relatively common to market to a certain demographic when there is another niche already interested in you. Basically, just do your homework, and don’t assume anything.
Your audience can be categorized into a number of factors, such as age, location, ethnicity, annual income, education level, current job position, and more. Based on all of these factors, why are they interested in your product or service? Alongside demographics, you need to understand how your audience consumes information. There’s no point in expending efforts on platforms that your potential customers aren’t even using.
Map out your resources and budget
Ultimately, your digital marketing success will come down to what resources you have available. If you have a small budget, try not to spread your resources thin and instead dump your resources into one or two really effective practices. You also need to think about your current team and the level of experience they have. Do they have experience in more traditional marketing tactics, or are they familiar with current marketing tools? The number of people you have on board, as well as their experience level, should influence your marketing decisions.
Set concrete, measurable goals
- Website traffic – For a smaller business in the “infancy” stage, website traffic is a good way to monitor engagement. Before you get too obsessed over leads and sales, you want to establish a steady flow of visitors to your site. Once you’ve recognized some trends on how people interact with your site, then you can focus on how to convert them to a customer.
- Lead generation – The ultimate goal of any business is to attract leads to create revenue. Depending on the current state of your marketing, leads may come through in different ways, whether it be through cold calls, print collateral, email marketing, or a website form. You want to make sure you’re tracking leads, and of the ones you have, which ones are actually qualified.
- Brand awareness – Brand awareness is a little harder to measure than these other metrics, but it’s still important. Generally, you want to gauge your brand’s presence versus your competitors. How does your SEO ranking stack up? How many social media likes and follows do you get? The bottom line is – if someone searches for a product or service – what are the odds that they find you? Brand awareness is a big contributor to website credibility, so building it will help your business.
- Product purchases – This one is pretty self-explanatory – if you sell a product, what do sales look like? In the digital marketing world, it’s really easy to track e-commerce sales. You want to look at sales spikes, but also the other factors during that time frame. Did you run a promo? Was there a certain market need at that time? If possible, try to recreate those factors to keep sales on the upswing.
- Company revenue – Organizations that offer both products and services might look towards company revenue as a measure of success. For each dollar spent, how many are you making?
If you’re having trouble determining and/or accomplishing goals for your business, try following the S.M.A.R.T. approach to goals, outlined below:
Choose your marketing avenues
- Search engine optimization (SEO) – Search engine optimization is the process of auditing your website content and seeing how it fares on Google. Ideally, you want your business to rank on the first page for certain keywords to boost your visibility. Check out how we used SEO to help Bowdoin Music Festival.
- Search engine marketing (SEM) – SEM refers to paid ads that you see on the Google search results page. Paid ads employ a pay-per-click (PPC) approach where you can set a daily budget. Sometimes, budget restraints will limit you, but you can refine your campaign and try to go after location-based keywords.
- Social Media Marketing – Almost everyone is on social media. Find out which platform(s) the majority of your customers are on, and then start building a following. Social media marketing can be a blend of organic posts (announcements, promos, etc.) and paid advertising specific to that platform (like Facebook ads).
- Email Marketing – Email is another medium you can reach your customers on. You have to be careful to not come across as spammy, but a personalized, well-timed email can be your best friend. There are many free tools out there like MailChimp that allow you to build custom templates and completely control your campaign.
- Local Optimization – For businesses in particularly competitive industries (like us!), local optimization or local SEO can go a long way. Local SEO means including your city or region in the meta titles and descriptions across your site. For certain industries like healthcare, local SEO should be a top priority. According to Bright Local, 46% of all searches are local. That’s a huge chunk of traffic you can capitalize on!
- Content Marketing – Content marketing is an ongoing battle. You want to build your content so that you have enough relevant content to rank for multiple keyword queries. Make sure you’re utilizing other channels to push that content as well. Realistically, all of your other strategies are interconnected with content marketing.
Analyze and adapt
When it comes to digital marketing, your work is never done. Keep track of all your metrics, and make changes based on the data you’re seeing. Effective marketers stay up to date with current trends, events, and data and use them all to inform their next decision. Digital marketing is not a set it and forget it industry – you need to constantly analyze and adapt.
Planning out and executing a digital marketing strategy is a large undertaking. It involves a lot of research, implementation, and refining. You need to define your audience(s), analyze your available resources, set goals, choose your marketing platforms and constantly adapt. Results don’t happen overnight, so don’t get discouraged if you aren’t meeting your goals right away. With digital marketing, you’re in it for the long haul, so the best you can do is stay on top of your strategy and the results will follow.