How to Compose a Digital Marketing Strategy

The number of people using the internet and spending a considerable amount of time online has skyrocketed in recent times. A lot of marketing efforts are also being directed online because of the increase in digital presence. 

What is a digital marketing strategy?

A digital marketing strategy refers to the various means by which a business can create an online presence, through channels such as organic search, social media, paid ads, and other web-based mediums like websites. The purpose of digital marketing campaigns is to increase awareness of businesses and attract new customers to the brand.

In simpler words, a digital marketing strategy is a process which involves marketing activities a company takes to create an online presence. This is done through various means, such as organic search, social media, and paid advertising. The goal of these strategies is twofold: to increase the visibility of the business and to bring in new customers.

No matter what business you’re in, digital marketing is vital. If you want to build your business, you need to know how to compose a working digital marketing strategy. We have put together this guide for your business or brand.

How to create a Digital Marketing Strategy

Every business is different, so there’s no single formula for coming up with an effective digital marketing strategy. However, there are a few key steps that all businesses should follow:

1. Thorough market and competitor research

It is not advisable to go into a field without knowledge of what has been done, what is being done and what will be done in future with respect to that field. Research is so important that it is the first step in your digital marketing strategy plan. Look out for competitors, check what they are doing, how they are achieving results, where they are lacking and how you can better it for your business, what social media platforms they use etc. If you don’t know what is out there, how do you separate yourself from competitors?

A lot of fields have become so saturated that if you don’t have a distinct feature, your business may suffer setbacks. Here are a few things to look out for in competitors: pricing strategy, packaging and design, ordering and delivery process, sales process, marketing channels and ideas, social media campaigns etc. If you do your research right, you are on the way to greater things for your business. In relation to the industry, your business belongs to, you can research market trends and how they have evolved over the years.

2. Set objectives, goals and unique selling points

After conducting the research, you need to set business goals and objectives for the strategy you are putting together. What do you aim to achieve? Where do you want your business to be in 6 months? How much do you want to make in sales at the end of the year? How many customers do you want to serve? Ensure these goals and objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bounded. When you have your goals and objectives spelt out, it helps keep you on your toes because you’re constantly reminded of what you need to achieve within a particular time. Remember to have your unique selling points ready. What does your business have that your competitors do not have? What makes your business different from what is already existing? These are questions that will help you determine the unique selling points of your business.

3. Define the target audience

Now you have carried out comprehensive research, you have your objectives and unique selling points. Do you know the buyer persona? Do you understand your customer behavior? Whom are you selling to? Who are your potential customers? Who needs your product or service? Where are these people? Where can you find them? What do they do? Where do they work? What do they need? How can you help them? What will be the customer perception of your product or service?  Who is your ideal customer? These are questions you should answer when figuring out who your target audience is. If you don’t know who needs your product or service, how do you know where to find them and how to sell to them? You can also include this step in your research phase.

4. How will you achieve these goals and objectives?

The fourth step is very crucial. So, you know whom you need to sell to and where to find him or her. How do you use the information you have gathered to achieve the goals and objectives in step 2? Let’s look at the GSOT strategy framework.

Goals: these are things you want to achieve on a high scale. For example, you want 100 email newsletter sign-ups

Strategy: this is what you will do to achieve your goals. You can focus on any of the following stages: awareness, interest, desire or action.

Objectives: are measurable numbers connected to your goals. For example, you want 100 email newsletter sign-ups by the end of September 2022.

Tactics: this works in hand with your objectives. For example, you need 100 email newsletter sign-ups by the end of September 2022. Your tactic can be to run a social media ad.

One of the most important things in composing a digital marketing strategy is setting a clear strategy. By having a strategy, you can focus more attention on other wings of your business.

Additionally, digital marketing is an ever-changing field; there is always something new you can add. However, part of having a successful digital marketing strategy is knowing what you should be doing, and that often comes back to having a clear strategy.

5. What marketing channels will you use?

If you conducted the research on your target audience well, you should know the marketing channels you can use to reach them and what content resonates with them. Don’t put any marketing or digital marketing channels aside just yet, list all of them and based on your target audience pick the channels you believe can help you achieve your goals and objectives. One digital marketing tool cannot possibly meet all the needs of your digital marketing plan, which is why you have to use the appropriate channels. This is where integrated marketing communication comes in. Integrated marketing communication or IMC is the process wherein you use marketing tools which are appropriate for your business. Some IMC tools can lead you to email marketing and email campaigns, google ads and SEO strategies (these can help you rank higher in search engines.

For example, you sell finger foods at Mallam junction and you produce less than 100 pastries every day. It will be highly unadvisable for you to run television or radio ads, in fact, it will be a waste of money. What then should you do? Use social media marketing to promote your business, use word of mouth or personal selling, use sales promotion etc. These tools we have listed are cost-effective and will give you positive results. You can have amazing products and services but be marketing on the wrong channels. So, keep in mind that having top-notch products and services does not in any way guarantee sales, but when you combine appropriate marketing channels with amazing products or services, you are on the way to achieving your digital marketing goals.

6. Create marketing materials

The next step is to create a library for your marketing materials. You understand your target market and what they need, so now it’s time to produce various types of content for use in your marketing initiatives. This will help you to keep your campaigns fresh, engaging, and relevant to your audience. Just like content marketing, this library will contain content marketing assets like videos, pictures, infographics, blog content, logo, copies, content calendar, captions, templates etc. and also when and where to publish them. Remember to include calls to action in your content. Envato Elements is one of the best resources for content marketing assets.

7. Set key performance indicators

Most times, business owners invest time and resources into their businesses without a clear plan for measuring results. This can lead to frustration and a feeling of wasted effort. To avoid this, you need to make sure that you have a solid understanding of what success looks like for your business and put together a plan for tracking progress along the way. Everything you do concerning your business should have a key performance indicator, this acts as a measuring scale for your business’s success. At every point, know what you want to achieve, how to achieve it and the determinants for whether it is a success or not. For example, the KPI for your monthly email newsletters could be the click-open rate, and what you want to achieve could be a 20% increase in the click-open rate. Another example of a measurable goal is checking how much organic traffic your online channels are getting. 

8. Execute the plan with recent trends in mind

The old saying goes “the devil is in the details”, and when it comes to digital marketing and user-generated content, that couldn’t be truer. If you’re not executing your content plan perfectly, you’ll likely find that the results you’re getting aren’t what you were hoping for. Paying attention to the small steps and making sure they’re being carried out correctly is crucial to the success of your digital marketing strategy. Remember to hop on meaningful trends you feel can benefit your business. For example, social media managers started a hashtag trend in 2021 during the Met gala called #Memethemet as a content strategy and promotional content. They used pictures from the Met gala to create funny content on social networks around social media management and it became a viral sensation. Put your ears on the ground, when there is something positive trending, look for a way to create personalized content with it for your business.

9. Re-evaluate and adjust the plan when needed

The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving so you need to be up to date. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow, what made Angela make sales in 2010 may not work in 2022. New platforms pop out from time to time and these platforms require different strategies so you need to be up to date and make sure what you do aligns with your current goals. Remember this, don’t try to be a jack of all channels, find appropriate channels that work for your business, master them, create digital sales funnels for them etc. the new platforms can be an add-on. From time to time, go over the plan you have made and evaluate your marketing or social media plan. Carry out a content audit, check for your best content, least performing content etc. For example, which blog posts performed best last month?

This will help you know where you need to put in more work and also tell you more about the strengths of your content types.

In today’s world, it is hard to imagine a business without a digital marketing strategy because it is part of the everyday life of almost every business. The next time you visit the website of a business, you will see the digital marketing strategy permeating the site. This can be in the form of online advertisements, blogs, social media, and even the use of video. These are just a few examples of the various ways that digital marketing strategies can be used. You should understand that the digital marketing strategy you have in place is an important part of your business plan and can make a difference in terms of sales, leads, and brand recognition. So, take it seriously.

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