How to Form a Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Business in 2019
Since Wikipedia does not know what it is , we will explain it to you. In summary: your strategy is the series of actions that will help you achieve your goals using online marketing. The term "strategy" may seem daunting, but building a truly effective digital strategy is not necessarily complicated.
In simple terms, a strategy is just a plan of action to achieve a desired goal , or several goals. For example, your main goal might be to generate 25% more leads through your website this year compared to last year.
Depending on the size of your business, your internet marketing strategy may involve several primary goals and many secondary goals, but going back to this simple way of thinking about your strategy can help you stay focused on achieving those goals.
Despite this simplification of the term "strategy", it is true that it can be difficult to start building one. Let's first look at what a web marketing campaign looks like, and then we'll see the seven design steps to help you create an effective marketing strategy to drive your business to success.
What is a digital marketing campaign?
It's easy to confuse your digital strategy with your digital marketing campaigns, but here's how to distinguish the two.
As we have already pointed out, your digital strategy is the series of steps you take to help you achieve your overall goal. Your marketing campaigns are the building blocks or actions of your strategy that will help you achieve that goal.
For example, you may decide to launch a campaign by sharing some of your most interesting content on Twitter, in order to generate more leads through this channel. This campaign is part of your strategy to generate more leads.
It is important to note that even if a campaign is spread over several years, it is not a strategy. It's always a tactic among other campaigns to shape your overall strategy.
Now that we've learned the basics of digital strategy and digital marketing campaigns, let's see how to build your strategy. Are you ready ?
How to build a digital strategy?
Define your target customers
Identify your goals and tools
Analyze your existing media
Plan your owned media
Analyze your won media
Audit your paid media
Gather it all
1) Define your target customers.
For any marketing strategy (offline or online), you need to know which target client you need to do. The best marketing strategies are based on detailed buyer profiles , we speak of buyer persona, and your first step is to create them.
Buyer profiles represent your ideal customers and can be created by conducting research, conducting surveys and interviewing the target audience of your company. It is important to note that this information should be based on real data to the extent possible, as making assumptions about your audience can lead to a misdirection of your marketing strategy.
To get an overall idea of your buyer persona, your research panel should include a mix of clients, prospects, and people outside your contact database who are close to your target audience.
But what kind of information should you collect for your target customer profiles to fuel your digital marketing strategy? It depends on your business and may vary depending on whether you are in B2B or B2C, or whether your product is expensive or inexpensive. Here are some good practices, but you will have to refine them according to the specificities of your sector of activity.
Quantitative (or demographic) information
Location . You can use analytics tools such as Google Analytics to easily identify the source of your traffic.
Age . Depending on your activity, this may or may not be relevant. It is best to gather this data by identifying trends in your existing prospect and customer database.
Income . It is better to collect sensitive information like personal income in personal research interviews because people might not want to share it via online forms.
Profession . This is the most relevant for B2B companies. This is something you can get roughly from your existing customer base.
Qualitative (or psychological) information
Objectives . Depending on the need for your product or service, you may already have a good idea of what your typical client is trying to achieve. However, it is best to confirm your assumptions by talking to customers.
Challenges . Again, speak with your customers to get an idea of the common problems your target is facing.
Hobbies. Ask your customers and the people who fit your target audience. If you are a fashion brand, for example, it is useful to know if large segments of your audience are also interested in form and well-being, as this can help guide your future content creation and partnerships.
Priorities . Ask people who match your target audience to find out what is most important to them in relation to your business. For example, if you are a B2B software company, knowing that your target appreciates customer support at a competitive price is very valuable information.
Now, create one or more target customer profiles , like Cathy below, and make sure to use them at every step of your digital marketing strategy.
2) Identify your goals and the tools you will need
Your marketing objectives must always be linked to the company's fundamental objectives. For example, if your company's goal is to increase your online revenue by 20%, your marketing goal might be to generate 50% more leads from the website compared to last year to contribute to this success.
Whatever your overall goal, you need to know how to measure it and, more importantly, be able to measure it (for example, having the right marketing tools in place to do it). The way you measure the effectiveness of your digital strategy will be different for each company and will depend on your goals, but it's essential to make sure you're able to do it, because these are the settings that will help you adjust your strategy. in the future.
A tool like Google Analytics can help you measure the success of your marketing actions.
3) Analyze your existing marketing and media channels.
When evaluating the available marketing channels or the media to use in your strategy, it is helpful to first consider the overall situation to avoid being overwhelmed. The media classification POEM (owned, won and paid) is widely used by marketers and categorizes the means of communication and digital channels you already use in three categories.
This refers to the digital assets that your brand or business owns, whether it's your website, your social media profiles, your content, or your images. These media belong to your company. This may include off-site content that you own, but that is not hosted on your website, such as a blog published on The World , for example.
Quite simply, the media earned refer to the exposure you gained through word-of-mouth. Whether it's the content you've posted on other websites, the press relations work you've done, or the customer relationship you've created, the media you win is the recognition you receive . You can win media by getting press releases, positive reviews, and other people sharing your content on social media , for example.
Paid media is a little more explicit and refers to any medium or channel you pay to attract the attention of your buyers. This includes things like Google AdWords campaign , paid social media posts, native advertising (such as sponsored posts on other websites), and other support for which you pay directly in exchange for visibility .
Gather what you own and categorize each sales channel or digital communication medium to have a clear picture of your existing media, acquired and paid for.
Your online marketing strategy could incorporate elements from all three channels, all working together to help you reach your goal. For example, you could have content belonging to a page on your website that was created to help you generate leads. To boost the number of conversions generated by the content, you may have made a real effort to make it shareable, which means that others are distributing it through their personal social media profiles, increasing traffic to the content page. destination. To support the success of the content, you could have posted it on your Facebook page and paid for it to be seen by more people in your target audience.
This is how all three types of media can work together to help you reach your goal . Of course, it is not mandatory to use all three systematically. If both your owned and earned media are effective, you may not need to invest in paid services. It's about evaluating the best solution to reach your goal, then integrating the channels that work best for your business into your internet marketing strategy.
Now that you know your marketing communications materials already available, you can start thinking about what to keep and what to stop.
4) Plan your possessed media.
At the heart of digital marketing is your own media, which almost always takes the form of content. Every message your brand sends can usually be classified as content, whether it's your "About" page, your product descriptions, your blog posts, PDFs, infographics, or social media posts. . Even the newsletter that you send by email to your subscribers is a marketing content! This strategy is called Inbound Marketing , it's about attracting visitors to your site with engaging content rather than classic and boring ads.
Content helps convert visitors to your website into prospects and customers , and helps improve your brand image online. Once optimized, it can also stimulate all the efforts you devote to SEO. Whatever your goal, you will need to use the content that fits your digital marketing strategy.
To develop your webmarketing strategy, you need to decide what content will help you achieve your goals . If your goal is to generate 50% more leads through the website compared to last year, it is unlikely that your "About" page will be included in your strategy, unless this page is already a generator of turnover.
It is more likely that a downloadable PDF via a form on your website will lead to many more leads, and therefore, this might be a technique you would like to explore. Here's a quick way to identify the content you'll need to achieve your goals:
Audit your existing content
Make a list of your current content and rank each element according to what has been best for your current goals. If your goal is lead generation, for example, store them according to who has generated the most leads in the past year. It can be a particular blog article, a PDF or even a specific page of your website that converts well.
The idea here is to understand what's working now and what's not, so you can prepare for success when planning future content.
Identify gaps in your existing content
Depending on your buyer profiles, identify the gaps in the content you have. If you are a shoe brand and have discovered in your research that one of the biggest challenges of your target is to find the right size, but you have no content that addresses this concern, then you should to create a.
Looking at your content analysis, you may discover that downloadable PDFs on a certain type of page on your site are really turning out well (much better than on the page dedicated to downloads for example). In the case of this shoe company, you could make the decision to add a PDF on "how to find the right shoe size" on these pages.
Plan the creation of your content
Based on your findings and the gaps you have identified, make a content creation plan outlining the elements needed to put in place the actions that will help you achieve your goals. This should include:
Why are you creating it? (For example, "Cathy is struggling to find the right shoe size, so we create a size chart").
It can be a simple Excel that should also include budget information if you plan to outsource the content creation, or estimate the time if you produce it yourself. In the case of a business creation, this budget must be included in your business plan .
5) Analyze your won media.
Analyzing your old earned media against your current goals can help you get an idea of where to focus your efforts. Look where your traffic and your leads are coming from (if that's your goal) and rank each media source you earn from most effective to least effective.
You might find that a particular article that talks about you on a press site has led a lot of qualified traffic to your website, which in turn converted very well. Or, you might discover that LinkedIn is where most of the people who relay your content are, which in turn brings a lot of traffic. The idea here is to map the winning media that will help you achieve your goals, and those who will not, based on historical data. However, if there is something new that you want to try, do not exclude it just because it has not been tried yet. Test and innovate!
6) Audit your paid media.
This step involves much the same process: You must evaluate your existing paid media on each platform (Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to determine what can help you achieve your current goals.
If you have spent a lot of money on AdWords and have not seen your return on investment, it may be time to refine your campaign or pause it to focus on optimizing another platform. which gives better results.
At the end of the process, you need to have a clear idea of which paid media platforms you want to continue to use and, if so, which ones you want to remove from your strategy.
7) Gather it together.
You did the planning and the research, and now you have a solid vision of the elements that will constitute your digital marketing strategy. Here's what you should have so far:
Detailed target customer profiles
One or more marketing-specific goals
An inventory of your owned, earned and paid media
An audit of your owned, earned and paid media
A content creation plan
Now it's time to put everything together to form a coherent strategy document. Let's review what digital strategy means: the series of actions that will help you reach your goal (s) using online marketing.
According to this definition, your strategy document should define the series of actions you will undertake to achieve your goals, based on your research to date. A spreadsheet is an effective format, and for reasons of consistency, you may find it easier to draw up a plan based on the media structure owned, acquired, and paid that we have used so far.
You will also need to plan your strategy for a longer period. Generally, a 12-month period is a good starting point, depending on your business configuration. For example :
In January, you could start a blog that will be continuously updated once a week, for the whole year.
In March, you could launch a new PDF guide, along with a paid promotion.
In July, you may be preparing for the most important month of your business. What do you hope to have observed at this stage, which will influence the content you produce to support it?
In September, you might consider focusing on media acquired in the form of public relations to generate additional traffic during the back-to-school period.
By adopting this approach, you also create a structured calendar for your business, which will help you communicate your plans to your colleagues.
Remember that the purpose of your strategy document is to define the actions you will take to achieve your goal over a period of time. As long as it allows you to do that, then you have the basics of creating a digital strategy .
Now, it's your turn to play !