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Best practices for a digital marketing strategy

Developing a digital marketing strategy is vital for success in today’s business landscape.

Creating an actionable marketing plan can be quite challenging, but it’s important if you wish to stay ahead of the competition. A digital strategy provides a framework for your business decisions, as well as focus and purpose in your every action. You can better measure results, and prepare for growth and innovation.

We’ve put together the best practices for a digital marketing strategy, to help you navigate the digital marketing ecosystem with confidence.

1. Set your digital marketing objectives

This is your starting point, so spend some time analyzing what you want to achieve from digital marketing. Of course, your plan must fit into your business’s overall goal.

·       Define your digital marketing goal.

·       Identify the metrics that matter most to your business.

·       Assign realistic values to your KPIs so you know what you need to achieve.

·       Identify a method to measure each KPI. For example, use Google Analytics to measure conversions, social media analytics to measure engagement, etc.

·       Analyze your past strategy and learn from your mistakes.

2. Identify your customers

Defining your target audience is one of the leading best practices for a digital marketing strategy. This is because your customers are at the center of your strategy, and it is their needs and desires that you aim to fulfill. The better you understand your customers, the more likely you are to generate leads and produce conversions. Here’s how you can achieve this:

·       First, know your product or service. Write down the answers to these questions:

–        What problem does your product or service solve for your customers?

–        Why should people choose your product or service over that of your competitor’s?

–        What sets you apart?

·       Build a customer profile. Take into consideration:

–        Demographics like age, gender, ethnicity, etc.

–        Psychographics, which include attributes relating to lifestyle, attitudes, opinions, personality etc.

–        Socioeconomic level, which includes income, education levels, neighborhood etc.

–        Geography, which considers the place where customers live and work.

Once you have identified your ideal customer, you will find it easier to target new customers – the right ones.

3. Understand customer pain points

Pain points are specific problems faced by your potential customers. Once you determine what these are, you will be in a better position to fulfill your customers’ needs better. You can identify these pain points through:

·       Analyzing your social media channels – Social media is the perfect platform for customers to engage with brands. Also, check your competitor’s social media to see what people are talking about.

·       Be the customer – go through the customer journey yourself to:

–        Identify the difficulties in the customer journey

–        See what part of the journey can be improved upon

–        Leverage your customer touchpoints by gathering insights straight from customers at the point of interaction

–        Chart out the customer journey

4. Identify your competitors

Best practices for a digital marketing strategy dictate that you do competitive research. Unless you identify your competitors and their marketing tactics, you will not be able to differentiate your product or service from theirs and stand out. You can determine who your competitors are through:

·       Market research

·       Customer feedback

·       Checking social media

5. Assign roles within your team

Digital marketing has many aspects and it is not necessary – or possible – for everyone to be skilled in everything. When assigning responsibilities within your team, consider the skill sets and preferences of each team member. This will help bring out the best from each.

6. Make it easy for people to find you

Business growth depends on a lot of factors. Like your extent of reach to your target audience, your message to them, converting visitors on your website into customers and keeping communication lines open between you and your potential customers at all times. But first, people must be able to find you online, to be able to communicate with you or learn about your product or service. You can achieve this through various means:

·       Your website

Your website reflects you and your brand. It is also important as it provides all the necessary details to your audience – like the services you provide or your product, your contact details, etc. Therefore, it’s essential that people find your website, and thus, you. Here’s how you can make your website an effective digital marketing tool:

–        Use a clean, modern design

–        Create a website that is mobile-friendly

–        Ensure you enter your website’s metadata to be discoverable on search

–        Optimize your website with local information such as your address and geo-targeted words

–        Include a blog

Here are a few things to consider before designing a new website.

·       Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is an integral part of your digital marketing strategy and is critical to its success. This works towards making it easy for people to find you online. It also makes your content easy to crawl and categorize. If done well, it can help your customers discover your business from among a thousand others on the web.

When working on SEO, remember to pay attention to:

–        Quality content

–        Meta tags

–        Keyword density

–        Inbound links

–        Naming your images appropriately

Other efforts will be in the direction of:

–        On-page and off-page SEO

–        Paid search ads

–        Pay-per-click (PPC)

Ensure that you measure your results to see what works and what doesn’t. You will need to keep updating your SEO strategy accordingly.

Find out how content marketing and SEO can boost your website traffic

·       Social media

Social media has transformed digital marketing, and getting it right is necessary if you want to see conversion. However, there’s more to social media than posting on Facebook. Today, just being present doesn’t cut it. You need to engage.

There are four stages of social media marketing which include:

–        Social listening – This includes monitoring and responding to customers, and their issues

–        Social influencing – Establishing authority through relevant and engaging content

–        Social networking – Discovering and connecting with influential people and brands

–        Social selling – Generating leads and sales from your existing customer pool

Understanding the stages of social media marketing will help you plan your social media strategy.

–        Set business goals for your social media – For example, is your goal to increase brand awareness, increase sales, improve ROI, or to create a loyal fanbase?

–        Research your social media audience – Understand customer demographics to understand not just your audience, but for insights into each social media channel.

–        Identify your most important metrics – Having a large following does not necessarily indicate brand success. You need to evaluate the metrics that are associated with your overall goals. Some metrics you might want to measure include reach, engagement, hashtag performance and clicks on your content.

–        Check out your social competitive landscape – Researching your competitors is always a smart move. Look at what kind of content your competitors are posting and analyze what makes them successful – not to copy their ideas, but to learn from their successes, or failures.

–        Build and curate engaging social media content – Create content that aligns with your brand personality and encourages engagement with audiences.

–        Include video content

–        Engage with your audience – It’s called social media for a reason. Engage with people, respond to queries and comments, and network.

You don’t need to be on every channel to achieve success. Choose appropriate channels and then plan and optimize your content to suit that channel. Also, measure your results constantly to see what works, and which approach needs to be revised. 

·       Content marketing

Content marketing has everything to do with storytelling, and as always, we always pay attention to those that tell the best stories. That’s what you need to do for your brand – use this long-term strategy to foster a relationship with your audience through relevant and engaging content.

Engaging, quality content is vital to marketing, especially because it lends itself to various inbound marketing tools like SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, blogging, and paid search marketing. Your content needs to align with your goals in order to fulfill its key objective – to grow your business.

Content marketing includes a number of consumable formats that can help you share educational and insightful information about your brand. This includes blog articles, emails, social media posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, webinars, press releases, guides, eBooks, white papers and interviews, to name a few. You need to leverage the formats that will serve your purpose and constantly measure results in order to keep your content marketing strategy on point.

·       Mobile marketing

In this mobile-first world, where mobile commerce is rapidly expanding, it would be wise for businesses to capitalize on this marketing avenue. There are various mobile strategies you could adopt that best fit your business. Like, app-based marketing, location-based mobile marketing, SMS, mobile search ads, mobile image ads, in-game mobile marketing, and QR codes.

There are certain considerations before you build your strategy.

–        Identify your buyer persona – Creating a profile of your ideal customer can help you customize your mobile marketing campaign to their preference.

–        Set goals and establish KPIs – What should your campaign achieve? Success depends on setting measurable KPIs of your mobile marketing strategy.

–        Use Google mobile ad extensions – These ensure that your mobile ads bear results. Some useful mobile ad extensions include Mobile Site Links, Click-to-Call Mobile Ad Extension, Google Offers for Mobile Ad Extension, Click-to-Download Ad Extension, and Local Ad Extension.

–        Create a mobile-friendly website – Make sure your users do not need to scroll or zoom to see your content.

–        Use marketing tools apt for your business – Tools are developed for specific purposes, so you’ll need to know what you want to achieve, before settling on the tools you want to use for that purpose. For example, mobile marketing tools for social media include Facebook and Instagram. You could use WordPress or SlideShare for content marketing. Google Analytics and Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool is great for mobile site management.

–        Monitor your mobile metrics – This will help you measure the performance of your campaign, which in turn will guide you in changes you need to make to optimize various features of your digital marketing strategy.  

Mobiles are the most personal marketing channels. This alone provides a huge potential for your mobile marketing.

·       Email marketing

While social media helps you connect with new potential customers, email marketing gives you control over your relationship with your subscribers. It brings focus to your most important assets – your list of customers, leads and potential leads.

Using email, you can send personalized messages that promote your content, brand or product/service.

Your next email could potentially:

–        Close a sale

–        Build trust with potential buyers

–        Bring back a lost customer

–        Start conversations about your brand

Here’s what you require to implement email marketing:

–        Email and data collection – Make it simple for customers to join your email lists. Use a sign-up form on your website, or pop-ups that collect customer contact information. Gating content could also work, wherein the customer must provide some personal information to access your content.

–        Email automation – Use tools that help you prepare your emails and schedule them, or deliver emails to your subscribers based on their behavior.

–        Email integrations with CRM software – If you use CRM, ensure you have email marketing tools that sync with it. The aim is to keep your data organized, accessible and relevant.

Basically, you need to:

–        Grow your contact list

–        Compose emails that are relevant and hold value to your customer

–        Schedule to send at the right time

Here are 5 ways you can personalize your email marketing, to help you achieve great results. 

7. Measure

Digital marketing strategies are constantly evolving. What might happen is that in your attempt to keep up with this change, you might leave measuring your results to the back-burner. You might also be tempted to use the latest tools – simply because it is new. However, before you make these decisions, take a step back and review the effectiveness of your current strategy.

Here’s how you can measure your digital marketing strategy.

·       Define your business goals

·       Describe your ideal customer

·       Understand your customer journey

·       Link your goals to KPIs

·       Establish periodic reporting

You cannot ascertain the success of your digital marketing strategy unless you measure, measure, measure! Based on results, you can plan for improvement, and revise your strategy suitably to fulfill your marketing goals.

8. Get specialized help

Planning is an intensive and time-consuming activity. If your business does not already have a team looking into your digital marketing efforts, it might be a good idea to outsource it and accelerate the process.

At Them You & Me, we create digital marketing strategies that are fine-tuned to your business and its goals. If you’d like some help with formulating and implementing one for your business, please get in touch.

To know more about what we do and the services we offer, please visit our website.

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