Starting out with digital marketing is like a journey into the world of online marketing. That journey has to be embarked on with a plan or strategy setting out your start and end time, budget and resources, tactics and activities.
Creating Your Digital Marketing Strategy
To be effective at digital marketing, you will need a strategy or plan of action to achieve your goals. The complexity or simplicity of your strategy will depend on the size of your business and the goals you want to achieve. With so much tech jargon and a plethora of tools to choose from, digital marketing can be daunting, but it need not be.
You can follow four key elements to create an effective digital marketing strategy that clarifies and focusses your resources to what matters most to your business;
For many small businesses, online marketing could be focused only on social media marketing. This is a great starting point as according to Forbes, It’s No Longer Internet Marketing Without Social Media.
Having a strong presence on social media is great but you need to have systems in place to convert that interest into paying customers.
1. Build your buyer personas
Be specific about who you want to do business with. Learn all you can about your ideal customers so you can tailor messages that resonate with them. Create your buyer persona with this free persona creation template.
2. Identify your goals and the digital marketing tools you’ll need.
Finish before you start by setting S.M.A.R.T goals for your digital marketing then pick the digital tools that will help you achieve your goals. Sprout Social has a neat list of tools you can pick from based on your objectives.
3. Evaluate your existing digital marketing channels and assets
Your business probably has a Facebook page or Twitter handle where you occasionally post your offers and you may be using email to send marketing messages to your contacts. This means you are already practicing digital marketing. Use this foundation as a benchmark of where you are now and set targets of where you want to be in the next six or twelve months.
4. Audit and plan your owned, earned and paid media
Your owned media includes your company website and blog. An audit of your owned media will help guide allocation of resources as you plan your digital strategy.
The positive buzz that leads customers to your business is your earned media. This is exposure you receive without payment such as word of mouth, positive reviews and social media post shares. Evaluate this to identify it`s sources and amplify it.
Your paid media is mainly advertising. As an SMME, you want to get the most mileage for your spend and knowing how much you are paying for exposure of your business is critical in calculating your customer acquisition costs and scaling effectively.
As Smart Insights advises, “always remember to start with your goals and work down , too often we see businesses focusing on tactics without proper vision in place and a strategy to implement it.”
Performing the above tasks will give you a clear vision of the elements that are going to make up your digital marketing strategy – the series of actions that are going to help you achieve your goals.