Like every other facet of your business, online marketing requires strategy. A blind approach to digital marketing and advertising carries with it the risk of failure. This may mean lost time, opportunity and additional revenues for your company, not to mention sunk costs. A sound online marketing strategy, on the contrary, results in almost limitless opportunities for growth and increased sales for your company. But for this to happen, start at the very beginning. Here’s how:
Understand Your Reason for Existence
While this may sound more philosophical than commercial, it’s a great place to start. Why are you in business? What is the meaning of what you do? Effectively answering these questions may require you to look deep within the organization to properly discern why. This gives your company a sense of purpose and direction, which is more easily crafted into a compelling message for your digital audience and potential online customers.
Determine What You Want Out of Your Digital Strategy
The SMART acronym applies here. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Additionally, these objectives should have both short-term and long-term measurability. Having unattainable or unmeasurable goals robs your digital strategy of its practicality, leaving it gathering dust in the ‘strategic folder’ and ultimately robbing you and your company of the chance to make meaningful strides in the industry.
Create Your story
Of the thousands of brands that bombard consumers every day, how can yours stand out? The answer to this question is found in how your company crafts its brand message. Great stories are highly captivating and will give you the perfect backdrop against which you can sell your product. Once you have adequately explored the why, weave it into a compelling story. This will give your digital strategy the opportunity to make a more meaningful impact when compared to the simple sales pitches that many are fond of making.
Determine your persona
Like any other marketing strategy, online marketing requires the company to determine their audience’s characteristics. This includes their age, background, objectives and decision-making tendencies. This step will give the business insight on how to effectively reach their potential customers. One way to create your audience persona is through conducting interviews; through one-on-one engagements and administering surveys. If this proves difficult or cumbersome, there are online resources that can help you create your persona.
Find the right digital channels to reach them
Once you have determined who your audience is, finding where they are is easier. A plethora of demographic resources exist that help you ascertain who frequents what platforms. While there are many digital platforms that exist today, creating a presence in each will only make you a Jack of all trades, and master of none. Concentrate on following your audience and build your strategy within the platforms where their presence is largest.
Determine how your clients interact with you
Understand how your existing clients interact with your online brand. Where is the first point of engagement (whether online or offline)? At what point do they make a decision to buy or not buy? This journey map gives you an idea of how your current marketing strategy is working, and what needs to be tweaked to make it better.
Develop your strategy
This step anchors on the previous ones. By now, you should have a clear picture of why you are in operation, your objectives, your audience, the channels through which they can be reached and their present interactions with you. You can now proceed to create an elaborate digital strategy, where captivating messages will be given to your audience through appropriate channels. This strategy will be useless without timelines and metrics, therefore ensure that you have timelines to your planned actions. Over and above that, check the metrics regularly and tweak your operations where needful.
Like any other marketing campaign, digital marketing involves targeting a certain demographic within the overall population. To do this, a targeted approach needs to be adopted, in order to get the message to the right people in the right place at the right time. That should be the focus of your strategy.