Today the internet plays a titanic figure in the world of business. We can now search, browse and buy pretty much anything online. Even those who prefer brick and mortar stores, use the internet to research about the store/product/service online.

The internet has taken over the world, and the digital era has dissolved borders, making the world a lot smaller. Unfortunately, many companies don’t take advantage of their possibilities and don’t understand the consequences of lagging during this digital evolution.  In today’s digital atmosphere, it is becoming harder than ever to stand out amongst your competitors and one of the biggest mistakes in marketing is focusing on activities rather than the end result.

Arming yourself with the right technology and tools is a great way to ensure that your business has a sustainable growth. To do this effectively you will need a digital strategy.

A digital marketing strategy helps identify and forecast what is viable for a business. It is a plan that analyses your market, outlines your goals and identifies which techniques are best suited to reach these goals.

Mentioned below are 6 powerful and fail-proof steps on how to create a digital marketing strategy

  1. Set realistic goals.
  2. Create user personas.
  3. Understand buying behaviour.
  4. Identify your budget.
  5. Decide your strategies.
  6. Track your progress.

Set Realistic Goals

The first step to keep in mind when creating a powerful digital marketing campaign is to define your primary objective. Many businesses set S.M.A.R.T. goals to give themselves a direction.

  • Specific Goals: These are goals that you can track and number. They can be your leads, visitors or customers to your website. We now have so much more access to data because of the web. You can now get specific data unlike with TV, print and radio advertising.
  • Measurable Goals: These goals help you measure how many leads, visitors and customers you aim at getting.
  • Attainable Goals: These goals must be realistic and quantifiable. It’s how you can achieve this goal with what you currently have.
  • Relevant Goals: This is your overall end goal which can be realistically achieved given the available resources and time.
  • Timely Goals: It includes a timeframe. Timely goals determine the time that is allocated to achieve these goals. This increases motivation and pushes you to accomplish your goals by the end of the allotted time frame.

Create User Personas

The key to successful marketing begins by understanding your audience.

A persona is a fictional character or a model of your potential customers or user types. User personas are created around a goal that will help you accomplish that goal. The best way is to create four or five personas and describe them as real people with a name, A job, their hobbies, their lifestyle, likes and dislikes etc.

Creating a persona can be a little complex depending on the business. User personas should be specific and created solely on research and not through assumptions and stereotypes. It is important to understand the business that you’re targeting and the individual constraints of each user and decision maker.

Once you’re able to describe specifically who you want to serve, the more effective all your future marketing efforts will be. When creating your user persona, you should include demographic details like age and gender, geographic details like the area they live in and psychographic details like interest, behaviour and likes. Once you create the right user persona, you will be able to understand your consumer better and target them.

Here’s a well-written article on user personas if you want to get into details – link.

Understanding Buying Behaviour

Customers are not always ready to purchase a product immediately. Some of them are impulse buyers who don’t put a lot of thought into buying a product whereas, some people take a lot of factors into consideration when purchasing something, especially off the internet.

Marketing funnel helps you visualize the process your customer goes through on their journey with your brand. It helps you create a system that generates leads, converts them into customers and turn these customers into lifelong and loyal brand evangelists.

These are the elements of a marketing funnel.

  • Traffic: The first step is to identify where your customers are coming from. It could either be through social media, an ad that you are running or even through a search engine and try to make the landing page as relevant as possible.
  • Conversion: The next step is to get your leads to take some form of action. The motive here is to get them to take the next step in a relationship. It could be either getting them to exchange their contact details or even subscribing to your newsletter. Your lead at this stage is warm.
  • Ascension: The leads at this point of the funnel are fewer because they have been narrowed down. However, these are quality leads and are more interested in what you have to offer. At this stage, they make a purchase or leave. So you better provide the information they might need to take a decision that will help your business goal.
  • Elevation: Following up with your buyers post-purchase creates an impression in their mind and positions you as a brand that really cares. This increases brand loyalty.

Track every data point possible from the moment the user enters the website until he/she exits, this will provide you with a sea of useful data based on how you look at it, use right use of this data to understand user behaviour on the website and keep tweaking and running experiments to make most of every visitor you get.

Budget

While creating a digital marketing budget plan you need to make sure you are maximizing your budgets ROI, impact and effectiveness.

Your budget will help you restrict what you can and can not do with your marketing campaign and how you can allocate your resources.

Even though it’s the least interesting thing in marketing, a budget is a vital part of setting up a digital marketing plan. It is important to allocate your budget into channels where you will find your customers spending the most time.

Come up with Digital Strategies

Once you’ve defined your goals, user personas, your prospects buying behaviours and your budget, you need to devise a plan on how you are going to achieve them. The most crucial step while creating your strategy is making a plan on how to execute it.

  • Positioning: To achieve proper positioning, it’s crucial that you are very clear about what your value proposition is and what it entails. In short, it’s why the consumer should choose you and not the competition. You need to know how you’re going to communicate your unique value proposition and how to do so appropriately in the channels where your audience is present (social media, blogs, email marketing, and more).
  • Content Strategy: Content strategy is a powerful strategy that produces serious results. it is an important way to establish strong relationships with your consumers and enhance their perception of your brand. A good content strategy needs to align with your brand strategy to ensure that you’re getting the right message out to the right audience. It is important to create, distribute, and manage original content that attracts users and creates brand awareness. Every piece of content should bring the prospect one step closer to becoming loyal customers.
  • Digital Marketing Tactics: Based on your goals, you need to come up with digital techniques and tactics to achieve these goals. Some of these techniques include email marketing campaigns, social media, CRM, web optimization, SEO strategies, Paid Media advertising, etc. This will make or break your entire marketing strategy if you don’t have the expertise in-house you should reach out to a digital marketing agency that will fit your needs, they have experience and can save you a lot of headaches.

With the help of these tactics, you’ll be able to create workflows that will allow you to create hundreds of effective campaigns. You’ll be able to personalize messages based on your buyer persona, increasing your chances for success; not only that, you’ll be able to take them, depending on their interactions with the brand, towards the moment of purchase.

Track your progress

The last and final step in creating your marketing strategy is constantly monitoring and ensuring that your strategy is working effectively. It is important to learn from your mistakes and always use it to find opportunities to better yourself. You still have a lot more to do after you’re done designing and implementing your digital marketing strategy. The next step is crucial: analyzing the results.

Businesses now measure every step using KPIs to figure out if they have earned the expected ROI. Measuring the effectiveness of the strategies and activities that have been implemented will help find and correct the digital marketing tactics that are not working to achieve the goals we set.

Likewise, keep in mind that technology can turn into your greatest ally to create personalized, automated, and ultimately, successful marketing campaigns. As the task gets complicated, the new tools out there let you simplify your work, show you results and boost your performance.

Conclusion

Setting digital marketing strategies helps identify the right digital initiatives for your company. It is important to know the impact of each possibility, making sure that the direction your company takes is the right one with your money being well spent.

When a digital plan is created and applied correctly, it paves the way for your company, in order to become successful and efficient. These strategies establish a vision for your company and indicate where the company would be or accomplish in a certain timeframe.