Every successful fisherman knows better than to wait for the fish to come to him. Instead, he goes to where they are and fills his net with them. This is just an analogy to show how marketing these days have moved from just print to the digital space. The majority of people now spend time online and, to reach out to these people, most businesses have moved to digital marketing. It’s a smart move for any company to make. Compared to other media of marketing such as print and television, digital marketing proves to be the least expensive, yet the most effective. This is because it leverages the mostly free, easy-to-use resources of the internet such as social media and search engines to promote products and services.
However, it isn’t enough to place your products in the digital space. You have to be smart about how you do it. The difference between the results most companies get and the results of the most successful companies is just one thing- strategy! Digital marketing isn’t just about placing your products online. It requires that you come up with a unique plan that sets you apart from the thousands of similar products already littering the internet. And that’s the goal of this article. I’ll be showing you how to create a digital marketing strategy in 3 easy steps.
Digital marketing isn’t just about placing your products online. It requires that you come up with a unique plan that sets you apart from the thousands of similar products already littering the internet.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- What is a digital marketing strategy?
- Why is digital marketing strategy important?
- 3 steps to create a winning digital marketing strategy.
WHAT IS A DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY?
A digital marketing strategy is a well-thought-out plan, outlining actions that must be taken to reach a marketing goal using digital tools.
You’d notice that I didn’t just call it a plan. It must be well-thought-out if it will be classified as strategy. Most companies don’t have a plan in the first place. Others have a plan but without logic to back what they have. The end of these two situations is zero. They will not achieve any results.
However, digital marketing strategy is predicated on careful thought about the people, situations and things that surround your digital presence and appearance (we’ll be getting fully into this further down the line). Your ability to think carefully through your business patterns, align them with your customers’ thought processes and decide on the perfect angle to launch your marketing from is what digital marketing is all about.
WHY IS DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY IMPORTANT?
With strategy, you can tailor the least of your resources to achieve a far-surpassing marketing feat.
A lot of brands don’t want to put in the effort to draft a strategy. They think it’s a waste of time and they are so pumped up to start digital marketing immediately. However, there could be well over a hundred reasons why digital marketing strategy is worth the effort. In this article, however, I’ll list what I consider to be the top 5 reasons you should go for strategy before action:
- It helps you to maximize resources: To avoid waste, it is always important to consider the amount of energy required for a venture and the yield it promises. The same is true for digital marketing. You should realize that though digital marketing is one of the cheapest forms of marketing available, it also has its cost implications in terms of time and money. Imagine spending hours creating content, from designs to videos. Also imagine paying for ads and then, in the end, you see no results for your efforts. That’s what a lot of companies face and it’s because they don’t employ strategy to their digital marketing. With strategy, you can tailor the least of your resources to achieve a far-surpassing marketing feat.
- It helps you pinpoint the right targets: With strategy, you can laser-focus your efforts on the particular areas that will yield the most results for your brand. Because you’ve thought through the necessary things, you become down-to-earth in your efforts. Your activities are all focused in the right direction to yield the most results.
- It brings satisfaction: With strategy, you’re not just shooting at the empty air. You have a goal to work towards. Once you hit that target, you feel the satisfaction that comes with winning. Your results become worth the effort.
- It helps your reputation: Talking about the reputation, working without a digital marketing strategy could actually backfire on you. Because your efforts are haphazard and you have no standards, you come across potential customers as careless and not worth their resources. On the other hand, with strategy, even if you’re a start-up and not sure of what you’re doing, you can pass off as an expert and draw the most attention. In the world now, appearance is first, content is next. Hardly does anyone look at your content if there’s no initial appeal. Digital marketing strategy helps you create that initial impression that draws in customers.
- It Multiplies your Profits: As I mentioned earlier, digital marketing makes use of minimal resources to create the most results. With strategy, you can maximize profits while minimizing costs.
So, who was in a hurry to put their products online again?
3 STEPS TO CREATE A WINNING DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY.
You may have been shocked by the number up there. How can it require just three steps to create a winning digital marketing strategy? Well, that’s the truth. Creating strategy is very easy and you can do it in what I call the TEA process:
Understanding how your customers think will require that you understand the emotions and logic that propels their buying.
At this stage, you have the responsibility of giving careful thought to the following questions:
- What value does my commodity offer: Answering this question gives you the advantage of bait. Sadly, not every person doing digital marketing knows what their commodity (whether good or service) can do and so they can’t market it properly. Make a list of everything your commodity can do, whether it is its major purpose or just a side thing. Those are its features. The next thing to think about is how those features benefit people. A car can be driven at 180km/hr: feature. The car will get you where you need to be quick: benefit. When you answer this question, you can accurately choose people who fall within your buyer prospects.
- Who are my ideal customers (Demographics): Answering this question gives you the advantage of Position. You need to first understand that the purpose of all your marketing; whether digital or print, is people. You want people to choose your product or service over the other options out there. At the same time, not everyone will buy every product. While I was a high school student, I never thought about owning a car. No amount of marketing would have made me get one. Now, the story is different. Thinking about your ideal customers gives you a physical description of the range of people who are most likely to buy your products. The full spectrum of this range has to be considered to make the most of this first stage. Where applicable, think in terms of age, physical appearance, occupation, nationality, level of education, etc.
This detail serves as the foundation for the next subtopic. When you know who they are, you can anticipate how they think and what makes them think that way. You can aim your ads and content at the right people so that they catch the right attention every time.
- How do my Ideal Customers Think (Psychographics): Answering this question gives you the advantage of hook. Your ideal customers are your ideal customers for a reason: they have similar thought patterns that create a need for your product in their minds. Most students are in a circumstance where their most important need is a laptop. They are willing to spend so much to get a good laptop as long as they have the money. Why? Mostly, it’s because they have assignments that require an internet connection and other software that laptops give access to. However, there are other emotional reasons like their desire to have fun via games and movies, their desire to show off to their peers, their desire to have an entire cinema within a small rectangular device and so on.
You should realize that people mostly buy because of emotion than because of logic. However, logic has to be consulted in some other situations. Even then, it takes emotion to drive the decision through. For example, I could walk into a store, see cotton candy and buy it just because it is sweet and it makes me feel good. That is my emotion at work. No amount of logic would justify my putting so many unwanted calories in my body for the few seconds of joy my taste buds would have. If I wanted to get an outfit, I’d have to consider my body type, my preferences and the weather. That’s logic. Still, also bearing equal rule is the emotion behind it: would people get jealous of me in my new outfit? Would I be proud to wear it out? Does it match my shoes and accessories? However, if I wanted to buy a car and I had a family, I’d have to consider a car that would serve my family effectively without tearing our purses. This demands logic, still, there’d be small considerations like colour, how people would feel when they see my new ride and so on. Though these considerations are rather minor and don’t pull much weight, they are still there. We can see that different kinds of commodities fall within different ranges of the Emotion-Logic spectrum. Therefore, understanding how your customers think will require that you understand the emotions and logic that propels their buying. What events occur that turn people into prospects? For example, the Christmas season turns most people who wouldn’t have cared if there was a tree on Earth into Evergreen buyers. That’s it. Understanding their thinking pattern allows you to create content that keeps prospects hooked. Knowing your ideal demographics and psychographics gives you the perfect buyer persona!
- What are my competitors doing: Answering this question gives you the advantage of perspective. The smartest business people take bits of wisdom from other people in their field and bring it all together to create something new and improved. Check out what leading competitors in your field are up to. What strategies are they employing? Are their strategies successful or failing? How can their strategies be tweaked or leveraged to favour your brand? Do this while keeping originality in mind. Creativity also has a place in strategy.
- What are my marketing goals and objectives: Answering this question gives you the advantage of Strategy. Goals are summaries of what you want to achieve. Based on the previous questions, they are to be specific, attainable, measurable, relevant to your purposes and within a specific time frame. Do you want to sell out fifty patents of your new trading bot to forex traders by the end of May or do you want a hundred and fifty teenage ladies signed up to your email newsletter by the middle of May? Those are goals. Objectives are like milestones that allow you to decide where you are in the accomplishment of your goals. For example, to sell my patents, my objectives could be to have a thousand people who will watch my explainer video ad where I describe what my bot does. Then I’d want to have at least 300 of them click through to my landing page where they get a full description of my bot. If three hundred people would come that far, at least half of them would be interested enough to actually buy the bots. For each of these points, also called funnel stages, I would have a strategy based on the answers to the previous questions.
|1.||What kind of people would buy my product||I can decide where they are and how to reach them, what they are like. I can easily spot them out and aim at them on any platform.|
|2.||The emotions and logic that make them buy||I can decide what it would take to bring them closer to me, what to tell them to make them choose my products above others.|
|3.||The circumstances, seasons and events that trigger the emotions or logic backing their patronage.||I can decide the seasons that different activities in your strategy would be most effective. I can decide where to find these prospects. I can decide their pain points|
|4.||What drives your industry market generally.||I have a hybrid marketing system that gives me an advantage and places me amongst the best in my industry.|
At this stage, you’re taking the answers from step one and using them to form a line of action. You’re also pursuing this line of action. Executing requires the following:
- Choosing a platform: Based on the results from the first stage, you would have to create a platform where you can reach the right prospects. If you aim at traders, there are so many Facebook groups for traders you could choose to aim your content at. You could even create a community of your own. If you want to be a thought leader, your blog or pages across various social media pages would be a great platform.
- Choose tools: Your content should include text, pictures, audio and videos that appeal to the mind of your prospects. You would need the right tools to create and manage these. I have outlined a couple of tools that will help you make content marketing easier for you:
|1||Content Management||WordPress, Blogspot, Facebook|
|2||Graphic design||Canva, Corel draw, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Paint.|
|3||Video editing||Adobe Premiere Pro, Da Vinci, Pinnacle|
|4||Audio editing||Adobe Audition, Sound Forge|
|5||Social media management||Buffer, Hootsuite|
- Execute with excellence: Create content based on the answers from the first step, ensure that they radiate excellence: That means no poorly done videos, archaic designs or poorly researched articles. Remember that your first impression matters a lot. Post at timely schedules and be consistent.
Your strategy doesn’t end when you execute. Strategy is something that has to be tweaked frequently, for sustained and increased effect. Therefore, frequently evaluate the results you got from the last strategy. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What were the effects of the actions I took in my last strategy?
- What would happen if changed any of the actions? Consider each action individually to make a choice.
- What can I change along the funnel that will improve the results of my strategy? Sometimes, all it takes is a little change to multiply the effects of your strategy.
- What new trends are coming up that I can leverage to increase my conversions?
Sure, strategy may take time and a lot of brain juice; however, it’s better that you waste a whole day thinking than you waste a whole month executing aimlessly. Always remember the TEA process: Think, Execute and Appraise.
Do you need help setting up your digital marketing strategy? Contact us. We’d love to be of help.