How to Do a Strategy for Digital Marketing
A good strategy is the be-all, end-all for successful digital marketing.
The customer’s journey is the key to everything. You must know where it takes place, from initial contact, up to the point they become a loyal advocate of your products/services. Knowing this before you start your marketing efforts enables predictability and achieving scalability.
Here, throwing your ads against a wall and seeing if they stick is a big no-no.
Marketing is not something you jump on doing. You need to plan and expect everything with a strategy that uses an omnichannel approach.
Omnichannel, a fancy word, I know. But, by the end of this post, it will be your go-to method of strategizing for and doing digital marketing.
The Customer Journey and the Marketing Funnel
The customer journey and marketing funnel are two well-known concepts. They have been used extensively ever since the start of marketing itself.
The premise is simple. A customer needs to “journey” through the three basic steps of the funnel to bring profit to the business.
Please note that this is the most basic marketing funnel. There are ways to add steps that can help with the creation of your digital marketing strategy.
Oh, I almost forgot. The most basic marketing funnel has three steps: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion.
Strategic Digital Marketing in a Nutshell
With the marketing funnel out of the way, let’s focus on the strategy itself. The main goal is for it to be successful. This is a given. But, many marketers get lost in the sea of endless possibilities without taking the most important bit of it all into consideration. And that is the fact that everything they do has to drive sales.
The Omnichannel Digital Marketing Strategy
In theory, everyone even remotely related to digital marketing knows this concept by what it represents. But they don’t know it by name.
An omnichannel marketing strategy is when all different marketing channels work as a part of a well-oiled revenue machine. This is very important to distinguish. Many marketers don’t collaborate enough with their peers to unify the message, and collaboration is the core of this concept.
What they do instead is go about doing their part of the job with the focus on only this part of the job. And this is what I like to call “the budget black hole”. It sucks up every penny invested in advertising. And for return, it doesn’t bring even nearly what it could if it was a part of a bigger whole.
Having said that, here’s what your omnichannel digital marketing strategy has to include:
- Market research,
- A unified strategy for all marketing channels,
- A strategy for SEO,
- A strategy for PPC,
- A strategy for email marketing,
- A strategy for social media marketing,
- A strategy for content marketing,
- A strategy for UX/UI.
Market research is a schoolbook approach for a reason. It’s an efficient way to analyze the circumstances that might lead to your success AND downfall. With this, you can prepare and embrace good things, and strategically avoid bad things.
Market research should include researching a few different aspects. These include what your target market is, how it works, who are your target audiences, who are your competitors, SWOT and PEST analysis.
What Is Target Market Research?
Target market research gives insight into the good and bad things of the market you’re trying to place in. It shows the current situation and demand for your product/service.
It will also show how much of the share you’ll need to take to be profitable.
What Is Target Audience Research?
Researching your target audiences will allow you to be able to define target personas for each audience segment. Then, you can tailor more specific messages for each of them.
Researching your competitors will show you their strengths and weaknesses. It will also show what you need to do and offer to get a piece of their proverbial cake.
What Is a SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis will give you insight into the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for your product/service placement. Then, you can predict and manage everything with risk management procedures.
A PEST analysis will show the way the political, economic, social, and technological situation in your target countries may affect your attempt to place your product/service on the market.
A Unified Strategy for All Marketing Channels
The unified strategy needs to show which channels to use at which point of the customer journey. The goal of the unified strategy is to generate leads and convert them to sales.
Here, you will define the customer journey from the awareness stage, up to the loyalty stage. After that, you will identify which channels will bring these customers to each part of the funnel.
And, by using the buyer personas you defined in the previous step, you can predict what that customer segment is thinking about at that part of the funnel. Then, you can customize the content and creatives on those specific channels. Remember, this content needs to answer their questions and offer reassurance on matters they worry about.
A Strategy for SEO
Although it’s needless to say, I’ll say it anyway – always create your website with SEO as the primary focus.
Before you start with “UX/UI is the priority”, let me stop you there. UX/UI IS a part of SEO.
If you think you’re doing UX/UI without focusing on SEO, chances are you aren’t doing UX/UI.
With that out of the way, a strategy for SEO includes:
- Proper keyword research
- Proper keyword grouping (focus keywords and LSI long tail keywords)
- Determining the purpose of the keywords on main website content and blog content
- Developing the website with UX in mind (fast, reliable, easy to navigate, secure)
- Creating user-friendly content to fill up the website
- Create an outreach strategy for backlinking purposes
If you did it right, this strategy will provide you with things to do for the foreseeable future. In my modest experience, when I do keyword research on a client, I have a list of content to produce for at least 6 months.
Don’t forget – website audits are an ongoing thing. There are moments that due to human error or recent algorithm update, technical and content changes are required. So, test your website all the time to identify and promptly fix any issues.
A Strategy for PPC
You should leverage both PPC and SEO as tools to get search engines on your side. Although SEO is a more long-term investment, when it gives results, it’s free.
PPC, on the other hand, gives instant results but for the cost of paying for each interaction.
Now, the ideal scenario is using PPC to identify what to target with SEO. The other ideal scenario is having a strategy that takes this and combines it with scalability.
To create such campaigns, you need to:
- Find a broad list of keywords,
- Set your initial campaigns,
- Buy enough data to identify best performers,
- Identify which keywords bring the most sales,
- Dedicate a significant part of your budget on the keywords that brought the most sales,
- Gradually increase the budget until you get to the desired RoAS (Return on Ad Spend),
- Remove the worst out of the best performers,
- Start focusing the best performing keywords with your SEO content,
Scaling is where most businesses struggle. This is partly because of the low budget they have, and partially because of them targeting everything. A good PPC starts broad, then gets narrower, and then laser-sharp, and then it becomes scalable.
A Strategy for Email Marketing
Email marketing is the most cost-effective marketing channel. I’m still waiting for something to come and prove me wrong. Until then, I’ll keep on just repeating the above.
A good email marketing strategy includes both automation and human touch.
Automation is good for:
- Tracking periodicals, like time since last purchase, time until free trial ends, etc,
- Limited time offers,
The human touch in an email marketing strategy is the other important part. Personalized emails with and without using automation can help with:
- Backlink building
- User-specific promotions
- Lead prospecting
A Strategy for Social Media Marketing
No digital marketing is complete without a precise social media marketing strategy.
Before we start, you need to understand that social media’s main purpose is not promotions and sales. This channel’s purpose is to build an audience and a following.
Sales are only a secondary aspect of these channels.
With that out of the way, this is what to focus when creating a social media marketing strategy:
- Identify which social media channels are used by the different segments audiences;
- Start developing a unique strategy for each of these social media channels;
- Make sure that you keep the message unified, even if you have different types of content for each channel;
- Engage with your audience in comments and hashtags;
- Get “creative” when trying to share your business on, for example, Facebook groups *cough* zombie profiles *cough*;
- Make sure you respond to direct messages with the speed of light.
A Strategy for Content Marketing
Your content marketing strategy should be able to take the omnichannel marketing approach. This means you know what you create content for, and for who it is.
The content marketing strategy includes separate strategies. Each of them is a piece of the same puzzle, covering:
- SEO content marketing,
- PPC content marketing,
- Email content marketing,
- Social Media content marketing.
A Strategy for UX/UI
Although I mentioned that UX/UI should be integral to SEO, I wanted to tackle it here.
UX/UI doesn’t only mean a good looking website. A large part of UX/UI is the speed of the website, how organized content is, how easily navigable it is. It also covers accessibility aspects. These include mobile responsiveness and usability, mobile data weight, and much, much more.
The perfect strategy for UX/UI is to combine both the visual and technical aspects of a website. And the goal, of course, is to make the user’s experience with the website as seamless as possible. This will lead to exceptional customer satisfaction (CSAT) with the brand.
Don’t Forget the Marketing Funnel
Each of the digital marketing channels has its sweet spot in the marketing funnel. And this isn’t set in stone – for one niche Facebook might give the best results for the awareness stage while for other PPC.
What’s important here is to know where your audience frequents, and know through which channel they can approach you in all the funnel stages.
That and knowing how to retarget to push people down the funnel.
Email is just the caveat for remarketing to audiences in your email lists… (Because we want to be GDPR and CCPA compliant, right?)
Having a great digital marketing strategy makes the difference between wasting and making money. It’s as simple as that.
So, if you have ads running on autopilot, or are planning to launch a new product/service on the market, follow the advice in this post. It will help you to have a strategic approach for an omnichannel marketing effort. Its goal is simple – growing your business.