How to create a digital marketing strategy
That sounds great, right? But now you need to tackle the task of creating your own digital marketing strategy. This can feel overwhelming and complex, but it doesn’t have to be.
Let’s start small and break down five simple steps to get you started on the right track with your own digital marketing efforts. Treat this as your basic digital marketing strategy framework, and you’ll get the ball rolling.
1. Understand your audience
Before you can market effectively, you need to understand exactly who you’re marketing to. That’s why your first step is getting to know your existing audience.
There are plenty of ways that you can do this, but some of the most popular and effective include:
- Analytics (from your existing website, email marketing platform, and social accounts)
- Surveys and feedback forms
- Conversations with your sales and customer support departments
These efforts alone will give you some great insight into who your customers are, what goals they have, what challenges they’re facing, and how your business fits in.
Armed with that information, you can build out different buyer personas to make it easy to remember who you’re speaking to through your marketing efforts — and target your messaging accordingly.
Your overall digital marketing strategy needs a larger goal attached to it — something that’s more specific and motivating than “market your business” or “grow your audience.”
One of the best ways to set your marketing goals is to use the SMART goal framework. This acronym stands for:
Working through each letter of that acronym will help you set goals that provide enough context to actually keep you heading in the right direction. For example, a SMART digital marketing goal could look like this:
Grow our existing email list by 2,000 subscribers during Q1 so that we have a captive audience to promote our webinars to.
If you want to try something different, you can also set objectives and key results (OKRs) for your marketing efforts to ensure you’re having as much impact as possible.
3. Evaluate your past efforts
Hashing out a strategy is a daunting task, and it’s easy to feel like you’re starting totally from scratch, but that’s usually not the case. You’ve been doing some marketing up to this point (even if it’s fairly barebones), which means the wheels are already in motion.
Conduct an audit of your past efforts to get a feel for what’s worked well and what hasn’t. That will give you a better handle on what you need to be doing more of.
This is also a good opportunity to gather content and other assets — from social media graphics to nuggets of information — that can be repurposed so you aren’t constantly reinventing the wheel. For example, that quote from a previous blog post might make a great quote graphic for your Instagram account.
4. Figure out your nuts and bolts
Your creative juices are flowing, but there are still plenty of real-world logistics you need to concern yourself with. The process of strategizing isn’t just about dreaming — it’s about figuring out what you can accomplish within those constraints.
Here’s where those come into play. The Digital Marketing Institute refers to this as “identifying your means,” which requires that you sort out:
- Your budget: How much can you spend on digital marketing?
- Your people: Who will be responsible? Will you need to outsource any tasks or responsibilities?
- Your channels: Which marketing channels will you use, and what goal will be attached to each channel?
These nuts and bolts elements are important to know upfront so you can piece together a strategy that’s successful within any limitations you might have.
5. Map it all out
Once you have all of those core elements — your audience, your goals, and your means — worked out, it’s time to piece it all together into a digital marketing marketing campaign management template you can use.
Start with just a simple calendar (whether it’s in a spreadsheet or directly in Wrike) that pulls all of your different elements together. For example, plot a single email campaign on the calendar and then start adding other pieces from there.
Rest assured that whatever you come up with at the start likely won’t be what you stick with long-term, but sometimes just getting started is all you need to begin to figure out the best way to do things. As with any process, you need to be committed to some trial and error!
5 digital marketing strategy examples to inspire you
You know what initial steps you need to take to get started. But are you still feeling stumped? Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration.
Below are some examples from well-known brands that nailed their marketing efforts in three different categories: content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing.
Which digital marketing effort is best? These brands prove that there’s no real answer to that question. It’s all about how you execute it.
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