Do the blogs and social media posts you create follow a plan that makes sense for your business and drives things forward? Or do you find yourself posting in an ad hoc way, with bursts of content (some relevant, some totally random) some weeks and then nothing for months on end? Perhaps you aren’t utilising online or digital marketing at all? If you aren’t or you are but with no kind of strategy, then you are potentially leaving business behind.
What is a digital marketing strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is a plan that outlines how a business will use online channels such as a website, blog, social media, email newsletters and paid advertising to reach and engage with a target audience.
6 reasons you need a digital marketing strategy
- You reach more of your audience – In today’s world, some of your customer base is online – stats show that there were 4.99million internet users in New Zealand at the start of the year and around 85 per cent of those used at least one social media channel. So, if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy, you could be missing out on vital parts of your audience. A multi-pronged strategy ensures you reach your customers wherever they choose to be.
- It gives you a clear direction – Without a strategy, you have no real idea of what you are trying to achieve with your marketing. This leads to confusion and often a scatter-gun approach where you randomly post on social media or write blogs without really thinking them through. A strategy ensures you are creating the right content for the right people at the right stage of the customer journey.
- All the parts of your marketing work together – There are many strands to digital marketing, including content creation for blogs or website content, social media, newsletters sent to customer databases and paid advertising. Your strategy weaves all these strands together and ensures they are working together not against each other.
- Everyone is on the same page – Whether other members of the team are directly posting on social media or a website, or they are just contributing ideas for content, having a strategy written down helps everyone to understand what you are trying to achieve and what sort of things are suitable to post.
- It allows you to measure success – Part of your strategy should be about setting goals for your marketing. Do you want to increase sales, or create a larger following for your business? What increase do you consider a success? You can measure your success against these goals.
- You can maximise your return on investment – When it comes to it, a lot of being in business is about budgets. Having a digital marketing strategy ensures you are making the best use of your budget and seeing results.
How do you set a strategy?
So, now you know you need a strategy. But how do you create one?
Think about your business – When you start digital marketing, think about your own business and what online channels might suit it. For example, if you run a business that would make great visual content then Instagram might be a good social media channel to choose. If you have already been doing some marketing online, even sporadically, then look at what has been working well and not so well.
Set your goals – Start by defining what you want to achieve with your digital marketing efforts. Examples include increasing website traffic by 30% in six months or generating 100 new leads per month.
Understand your target audience – Knowing where your target audience is online and how they behave helps you direct your digital marketing in the right way. There’s no point putting all your effort into TikTok if your audience is on LinkedIn.
Research your competitors – Research your competitors to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their digital marketing. This analysis can provide insights into gaps in the market that you can exploit.
Know your budget – Think also about how much money you can realistically give to digital marketing. This helps you understand how wide to make your strategy and whether you can incorporate paid ads or maybe want to employ or contact someone to help you.
Write down your plan – Based on the information above, create your strategy, including your goals, timelines and any important dates that you need to create content around. Put your plan in writing so everyone on the team can refer to it.
Test and adjust – Remember that a digital marketing strategy is not static; it needs to be reviewed regularly to make sure it’s on track for your goals and all the parts are working well together. For example, are your paid ads or social media posts driving traffic to the right pages on your website. Don’t tinker too much but don’t be afraid to change your strategy if it clearly isn’t working.
Want to know more about digital marketing strategies?
Dive into our Digital Marketing Strategy Course and learn everything you need to set up a strategy that works. The course covers in detail everything from setting your goals to leveraging the latest trends with tips that you can action straight away.