“You need to be online. You need to be on Facebook/Instagram/TikTok/[Insert other social media platform here]. You’re losing customers by not investing in Meta Ads/Google Ads/SEO. What are you doing without a digital marketing strategy?”
As a business owner, you’ve probably heard it all before and we’re here to tell you it all again…well, sort of. We know that you’re likely looking for ways to grow your business and reach new customers or clients.
If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that an online presence and digital marketing strategy have become integral elements to a company’s success. We also know that jumping in to develop and roll out a strategy can be a li’l bit overwhelming, so we’re here with 6 easy steps to create a digital marketing strategy.
Step 1: Understand what a digital marketing strategy is and why you need one
You may be reading this thinking, “pssh, Victoria, I know what a digital marketing strategy is – this isn’t my first rodeo” and you’re probably right. But it never hurts to bring it right back to the basics.
As of January 2023, there were 5.16 billion internet users worldwide which is 64.4% of the global population. Of this, 59.4% of the world’s population were social media users. With that number still increasing, the way people shop and buy continues to change along with it – meaning we have to be more and more strategic about the way we show up online in order to remain competitive.
Essentially, a digital marketing strategy is a plan of action which dives into how your business will use different digital channels to achieve its business and marketing goals. This can include touching on objectives, KPIs, target audiences, channels used, how performance will be measured and so much more.
While you can technically wing your approach [and if this is working for you, please share your secret], without a digital marketing strategy you may find you’re missing out on opportunities to connect with potential customers and you may also struggle to determine whether your efforts are actually worth it.
Now that we’ve got that down pat, let’s dive on in to explore the other steps to create a digital marketing strategy.
Step 2: Let’s kick off with some good ol’ fashioned goal setting
One of the first [and I’d argue the most important] steps to create a digital marketing strategy is to determine what your goals are. You may ask yourself questions such as:
- What do I want to achieve with digital marketing?
- Are these goals aligned to my wider business goals?
- Am I looking to increase sales, generate leads, build brand awareness or a combination of these? Or perhaps I’m looking to achieve something else?
Once you’ve explored these questions and got an idea of what your goals are, it’s important to format them using the SMART method. If you need a li’l refresher, your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely [you can find a great breakdown in this blog here by Lisa].
It’s important to set clear objectives and have them recorded somewhere and in a way that you can revisit them often to review your progress.
Step 3: Identify your target audience
You’ve guessed it! Once you’ve identified what you’re hoping to achieve, the next step is to identify who you’re speaking to. You may ask yourself questions like:
- What are their demographics?
- What are their interests and behaviours?
- What are their pain points and [arguably more important] their pleasure points?
While it’s great to be able to be as specific as possible, this may be something that you build out over time as you learn more about your audience. Initially, this may look like some dot points outlining the details above. Over time, this may grown into more detailed buyer personas.
Step 4: It’s time to go explorin’ with a bit of competitor and performance analysis
Before you start building out your strategy any further, it’s important to get a lay of the land and see (1) what you’re working against and (2) what you’re working with.
Spend some time evaluating your competitors, both direct and indirect, to see what their strategies are. You’ll want to find out more about what platforms they’re on, whether they’re investing in paid advertising and what other strategies they’re using. Here are a few great tools to get you started:
- SpyFu – free traffic and domain analysis tool
- SEMRush – paid tool for competitor analysis and so much more
- Facebook Ads Library – great tool for taking a peep at what Meta ads your competitors are running
It’s also important to take a look at what you’ve been doing and what’s worked. If you’re brand new to the wonderful world of digital marketing, feel free to skip over this part. But if you have, spend a bit of time evaluating your performance over the last year to determine what worked and what didn’t work and why.
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, let’s keep on trekking through the steps to create a digital marketing strategy.
Step 5: Build out your strategy
With our foundations set, it’s now time to build out your strategy! There’s no right way to go about formatting and documenting this – you may prefer it a plain ol’ word document or might want to format it into a bit of a fancier deck, whatever floats your boat!
In your strategy, you’ll want to make sure you capture the following:
- Your SMART goals and objectives. This may also include information about what metrics and results you’ll be using to monitor your progress ongoing.
- The approach you’ll be taking to achieve your goals and objectives. This can include:
- The digital channels you will use. Some of the most popular channels include social media, search engine optimization, email marketing, paid advertising and content marketing.
- The different approaches you will take to speak to customers at different stages of the marketing funnel – that is people at the top, middle and bottom of the funnel.
- Your content strategy, touching on the formats of content you’ll be creating and the content themes or pillars.
- Your budget and resource requirements
Step 6: Roll out your strategy, monitor and adjust
It’s time to roll your strategy out! When you begin implementing your strategy, it’s important to continually measure your results and adjust your approach as needed.
This strategy should be a document that evolves over time as your business and audiences change, and also as you learn more about your business, audiences and what works. Don’t be afraid to try new channels or strategies and tweak your approach based on your results.
Now that you’ve got all the steps to create a digital marketing strategy for your business, you’re well on your way to smashing those goals!
If you’re looking for a li’l more handholding, our custom strategy sessions are the perfect way to kickstart your social media marketing strategy. We spend 2 hours deep diving into a plan and strategy completely tailored to your business and goals.
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