A digital marketing strategy, often abbreviated as a DMS, is an overall approach to digital marketing that defines the methods you’ll use to achieve your goals and target audience.
The right strategy will attract new customers, keep your current customers happy, get more referrals than you ever imagined, and make you a standout success that leaves competitors in the dust.
Since, based on a Winterberry Group report, 55% of all advertising is done digitally, it’s essential to understand the concept of digital marketing beyond merely scratching the surface.
The following guide will help you develop and implement a DMS that works well for you and your business in today’s fast-paced digital world.
A digital marketing strategy is an integrated marketing strategy across several platforms (i.e., digital, social media, and others) designed to maximize your exposure on social networks and other forms of online promotion. In addition, it aims to reach as many potential customers as possible by coordinating these efforts into one cohesive unit that synergizes toward your shared goals.
A digital marketing strategy is an integral part of any successful business in today’s digital world. Companies of all sizes and from various industries incorporate technology into their marketing mix. With websites, social media, and search engine optimization at their disposal, businesses can reach new audiences and connect with them intimately.
However, your digital marketing strategy cannot do without digital transformation if you must future-proof your business. One of the best examples of digital transformation is using automation tools to track and measure the success of a marketing campaign.
The six main elements of a digital marketing strategy include:
(Source: On Top Visibility)
You can implement any or all of these methods at once for an effective digital strategy. However, since every company has different strengths and weaknesses, one company may find success using only one or two of these methods—or choose to use them in combination with others.
You can develop an integrated marketing communication (IMC) strategy for a more seamless customer experience that unifies all the aspects of marketing communication to boost brand awareness, improve reach, and increase your returns on investment (ROI).
If you’re just getting started with digital marketing, it might seem like you’ve got your work cut out for you. After all, if you don’t know how digital marketing can help your business, how will you build a strategy? But don’t worry—getting started is easier than it sounds.
Four main areas make up any digital marketing strategy:
Sounds complex? It isn't! Let's touch on each area briefly:
This umbrella term describes anything that has to do with your online brand, from your social media profiles, website, and other web assets. Your digital marketing strategy should include how well your brand awareness campaign can improve interactions and reflect your brand positioning and values.
This area is where you'll figure out how to create content for your website, social media profiles, and other online assets. Ensure that whatever content you're creating is something people will want to read.
This stage is where you'll plan out how to communicate with your target audience, whether through email marketing, social media engagement, or something else entirely.
Conversion involves planning out how you'll get people from your website or social media profiles to do something like making a purchase, signing up for your email list, or something else entirely.
Whether it’s products or services, there are certain benefits of digital marketing strategy regardless of what you're selling.
Let's walk you through 5 reasons a digital marketing strategy is essential:
You have numerous opportunities to interact with your customers and market your products through digital platforms. You can reach them in different ways like email, mobile apps, or social media by using customized messages that communicate your audience’s needs and interests.
Consumers are savvy when researching businesses before making purchases online or offline; therefore, companies need to build trust online through positive reviews and customer testimonials.
When potential clients read comments made by satisfied customers, they get reassurance that they’re making an excellent decision to buy from your company because other people feel good about doing business with you.
The amount of data collected online increases every day, and big brands spend millions of dollars each year gathering information from consumers.
A digital marketing strategy allows small businesses to take advantage of information gathered from social media, Google searches, and websites visited. This information will enable you to learn more about your target market, creating better strategies to capture their attention while meeting their specific needs.
Advertising has become less expensive over time but remains costly for small businesses that want results quickly. Suppose you’re looking for an affordable way to promote your business. In that case, a digital marketing strategy is an ideal solution to market penetration because it allows you to reach your target market in different ways at little or no cost.
With a digital marketing strategy, you can monitor how well your promotions are working and adjust accordingly using different techniques. You can also identify which platforms work best for reaching your target audience to know where to spend more of your advertising budget in future campaigns.
Digital and traditional marketing are two forms of advertising that work together in an integrated marketing communication approach to get your product or service in front of consumers. But what are the most significant differences between these two forms of marketing?
We’ll break down the five most prominent differences between digital and traditional marketing to help you decide which one is best for your business goals.
Digital marketing is cheaper than traditional marketing. Why? Because with digital, you can connect directly with people looking to buy your product or service. It doesn't require you to spend money on advertising or media.
Instead, you can reach consumers right away using social media, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) ads, etc.
In the age of social media, personalization is key to an excellent digital marketing strategy. Social media makes it easy to communicate directly with customers and tailor your message around what’s relevant to them, so your content can resonate more strongly.
Time is of the essence. You have to be on top of what’s trending in your industry if you want to generate a lot of buzz around your brand or content. It means you must move quickly. Any slower, and you may miss out on opportunities that come along only once in a blue moon. The great thing about digital marketing is that it offers complete visibility into what’s happening in real-time.
Digital marketing’s most significant advantage is its diverse reach. You can consume digital content anytime and anywhere. You don’t have to listen to traditional radio because you can stream music from your phone. You don’t have to wait until morning to read news updates because you can check email and social media.
One of the most significant advantages of digital marketing is scalability. You can test, measure, optimize, and retest at a meager cost to your business. Additionally, if you’re using digital transformation through a marketing automation platform, all your leads are captured in one place and constantly worked until they become customers.
Creating your digital marketing plan can be challenging if you’re unfamiliar with how to go about it. Here are some steps to help you through the process of creating your digital marketing strategy to ensure its success in the marketplace.
Before you can figure out what type of digital marketing strategy to implement, you need to know your business goals.
For example, are you looking to acquire more customers? Increase sales and conversions? Attract a new audience? Defining your goals helps ensure that everything you do online serves these objectives.
No matter what kind of business you’re operating, starting with your target audience in mind makes sense. In some cases, identifying your ideal customer will dictate which social networks, blogs, and forums you spend time engaging with daily.
Market segmentation is one way to target the people you are more likely to convert. You can define who your core customers are and build an effective marketing strategy through market segmentation.
Niche marketing is also a highly targeted digital campaign that improves brand loyalty. Adopting a niche marketing strategy is a great way to promote your brand to a well-defined and specific audience.
Once you have a clear understanding of your business and your customer base, it’s time to create and execute your content strategy. A good content strategy will improve your digital brand positioning efforts.
Start by analyzing popular keywords that are related to what you do. It will help inform where you should be publishing your content and give you an idea of how much competition is out there.
Now that you have a target market, it’s time to choose which digital marketing channels will resonate best with your audience. You can select from SEO, PPC, content marketing, video marketing, social media marketing, etc.
Try using each channel for two months before deciding which ones work best. Then, try something new if your marketing effort doesn’t reach its full potential.
At its core, digital marketing is about testing and measurement. You need to be tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) from day one and adjusting your strategy accordingly. Some of the KPIs to monitor include: website traffic, leads generated, and conversions. These will vary depending on your industry.
Measure what matters, adjust your strategy accordingly, and repeat – that’s a successful digital marketing plan. In short, if you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
In today’s digital world, businesses use various strategies such as the marketing funnel model, RACE planning model, and flywheel model to develop their online presence and capture leads from the target audience.
Understanding these different frameworks and how they work is critical if you want to see accurate results from your digital efforts. The digital strategy framework you choose depends on your business’s objectives.
RACE is an acronym for Reach, Act, Convert, and Engage. The RACE framework emphasizes action over planning. It's focused on getting your company in front of as many people as possible.
(Source: Oxford College of Marketing)
The RACE Framework is a valuable tool for creating a digital strategy for your business. It serves as an at-a-glance resource covering all the basics you need to create an effective marketing strategy.
When combined with other strategies that serve as supporting pillars, you can grow your business quickly in a way that will be sustainable in both short-term and long-term terms.
The entire process is broken down into four categories:
Reach identifies where your customers are. Are they on social media, Google, conferences, or events? Wherever it is, get out there and start meeting people. It's also important to know what kind of person you want to reach. Get creative with market penetration; you never know what'll work until you try it.
The act helps you get in front of people to make them want to take action. Whether it's a sales pitch, an email campaign, or a post on social media, you must know what kind of interaction you're looking for from your customers. Here, you get your customers to take action.
Are you trying to get them to sign up for something? Or maybe you just want them to click on your website so they can learn more about your company? Whatever it is, make sure you're clear about what kind of action you want from customers!
Whether signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase, conversion is about getting people from point A to point B. So think about making it as easy as possible for customers to do what you want them to do. The easier it is for customers to convert, the more likely they will do so.
It involves building a relationship with your customers so that they'll keep coming back for more. It is where you're going to build loyalty and develop brand recognition. Whether through email newsletters or social media updates, you want to ensure your customers know who you are and why they should be loyal to you.
If you've heard of an AIDA/AICA framework—Awareness, Interest, Desire (or Consideration), Action—you might have heard that it's no longer a viable strategy. And while some experts have seen AIDA/AICA evolve into a RACE framework, it's still a helpful model for digital marketing.
(Source: Single Grain)
The idea is pretty simple: As soon as your prospect hits your landing page or comes into contact with one of your ads online, you want them to engage in your product or service. Only when they show interest can you begin building desire by addressing any pain points and offering solutions.
Once that happens, if all goes well, they'll take action, which will likely lead them down a path of conversion from leads to customers.
HubSpot developed the flywheel model as a framework for digital marketing that focuses on getting more out of existing customers. The idea is that every action you take should be aimed at either attracting new customers or delighting your existing ones.
(Source: Content Bacon)
You don’t have to worry about getting new customers to grow; you just need to make sure you keep your current ones happy.
The three stages of the Flywheel Model are:
A digital marketing strategy is one of the most crucial components of an online business, particularly when it comes to social media advertising, email marketing, and content marketing.
This comprehensive guide has covered everything you need to know about creating and implementing your digital marketing strategy to help you get more customers and grow your business.