Updated: Jul 30
Billboards and newspaper ads are no longer the most effective ways to promote your brand and products. Digital marketing is a must-have for all businesses, and choosing the right strategies is critical to your success.
However, there are numerous options for digital marketing, and determining where to begin can be stressful, if not downright terrifying.
In this post, we'll go over how to create a comprehensive digital marketing strategy from scratch that will help you achieve specific goals of your choosing.
1. Determine What You Want to Accomplish
What do you hope your digital marketing campaigns will achieve? Do you want to establish a name brand? Create leads? Increase your sales or email subscribers?
Great! But whatever it is that you want, it must be named.
This is yet another way that marketing can be compared to online dating. If you go on a bunch of blind dates without knowing what you're looking for, you might end up with the first person you can tolerate. You're much more likely to find your match if you have a list of traits you want in a person.
Your objectives are important, and you'll need to take specific steps to achieve each one. We'll go over this in greater detail further down.
2. Understand the digital sales
The digital sales funnel is a critical marketing concept that you must understand before developing your strategy. It is made up of several different steps that buyers go through in order to purchase and or become long-term customers.
The stages vary in number and name depending on who you ask, but they generally include the following:
Discovery. People are hearing about your brand or product for the first time.
Research/consideration. Some brand recognition has been established, and the user is eager to learn more about your products or services. At this point, they may also conduct research on your competitors.
Purchase. At this point, users are eager to become customers and make purchases from you.
Loyalty. Repeat customers may become loyal to your brand or product and eventually become brand advocates.
Users in the discovery stage will not respond to ads in the same way that users in the loyalty stage will. They will interact with your brand in various ways and on various platforms, and your digital marketing strategy must be tailored to account for this.
3. Create buyer personas
The next step in developing your strategy is to gain a thorough understanding of who your target audience is and what motivates them. This is critical because it will assist you in determining which marketing platforms you can find them on, how they interact with them, and what they want to see from you.
Buyer personas should be detailed. You don't want to simply say "young moms" and be done with it. You want "Supermom Mary, 25-29, with at least one child under the age of five who lives in a middle-class home on a budget." She tries to be a good mother and wife, but she finds personal fulfillment in her work. She makes an effort to live an organic lifestyle. "However, does a McDonald's open on busy weeknights?" This will tell you a lot more about your audience, their problems, and what you can do to help them.
It is critical to note that your buyer personas should be based on research. Skip the veiled stereotypes and instead rely on the analytics you already have, such as Google Analytics and Facebook's Audience Insights.
4. Determine where to find users at all funnel stages
You've determined who your target audience is, so you'll need to determine how and where to reach out to them. Refer back to your analytics and cross-reference them with your buyer personas.
Assume you own a home renovation contact company. You do everything from repairing water-damaged floors to designing people's dream kitchens. There's a good chance you'll have a diverse audience looking for you at all stages of the funnel.
Here are some examples of how they could:
Someone who is spending a significant amount of time planning an expensive bathroom remodels may come across you by googling phrases like "bathroom design ideas" or searching on Pinterest. If they come across your blog post with images of remodels you've completed, that could be how they find you and decide to hire you.
A person whose home was flooded due to a leaking pipe will be looking for someone right away to come to fix the flooring before mold grows. Because they will be searching for those services and you want to be competitive, your best bet will be to connect with them through Google Ads.
Some customers are fine with the rundown bathtub but lack the funds to repair it. You run a Facebook Ad campaign demonstrating how affordable and high-quality refinishing tiles or glazing tubs can be, creating demand for someone who would not have looked otherwise.
A previous client was very pleased with the work you did to install recessed lighting in their home. You send them an email to let them know you're offering a special on home security upgrades, and they contact you.
Consider all paid and organic marketing channels, as well as which members of your audience are using them and where they are in the funnel. This will assist you in determining which marketing channels to use and who to target in each component of your digital marketing strategy.
5. Implement specific Guidelines to reach Your Goals
You've chosen your marketing mix and know how you expect your target audience to react. Once you've done that, it's time to start tying everything together and developing specific tactics to help you reach your end goals.
Among these strategies could be:
Including lead generation widgets or lead magnets on the sides of all blog posts, as well as a call to action at the end of each post.
Sharing influencer content on social media to establish a relationship while increasing visibility and brand recognition.
Encourage testimonials with email plugins that you can then embed on your site, or ask users to submit reviews on Google business to boost your local SEO scores.
Again, specificity is essential. Plan out the specific steps you'll take to achieve your objectives. Beyond "write blog posts to attract leads," include CTAs and links back to a lead magnet or a webinar until you see results.
6. Incorporate Automation & Personalization
As you get your campaigns up and running, you'll want to look for ways to make them as impactful and effective as possible.
There are two viable approaches to this: increased personalization and increased automation. And in many cases, the two can be confused.
Sometimes the most seemingly personalized and relevant marketing messages will be delivered as a result of your audience's specific actions. This includes retargeting ads that show users products they've viewed on your site, as well as triggered email autoresponders that show customers similar products to what they've seen previously.
7. Look for holes in your digital marketing Strategy
This final step is affectionately referred to as "troubleshooting" your funnel. Your digital marketing strategy is now operational. You'll want to carefully evaluate how your strategy is working both early on and over time. This can be difficult because there are frequently multiple elements, platforms, and campaigns involved.
Google Analytics, as well as the native analytics of the networks and channels you're using, can be of great assistance here. You want to assess how customers and leads are interacting with your campaigns and how this is assisting you in meeting your objectives. It doesn't matter if your blog post was shared 5,000 times in two days if you didn't receive a single lead or sale, which was the entire point.
Set up goals in Google Analytics and look at behavior maps to find drop-off points in your on-site funnel. You can do the same thing with almost any platform. Are you getting a lot of clicks on a PPC ad but no conversions, or email opens but no clicks? Consider why. Find the location where users are leaving and look for any tell-tale signs that could be the cause. Run a few tests to see what you can discover.