In the modern era of business and technology, a strong digital marketing strategy is critical to an organization’s success. Businesses that thrive in the digital world typically allocate significant resources to develop digital marketing strategies. In doing so, organizations can reach their customers through a variety of digital platforms, generating positive revenue and improving conversion rates.
At a high level, marketing strategy is the process of identifying a specific marketing objective. The overall marketing strategy highlights the goals that can be achieved in both traditional (print, radio, broadcast) and digital channels. Using established strategies and objectives, attractive marketers will evaluate the various marketing tactics required to achieve these strategic goals.
What is the digital marketing strategy like?
A digital marketing strategy includes an assessment of specific goals that can be achieved through the online channel. In an age when many consumers transact business on mobile devices, a well-executed digital marketing strategy can be critical to an organization’s success.
In this context, it is important to audit the current state of your organization’s media assets. From a macro perspective, this means that marketers must evaluate the organization’s proprietary, paid, and acquired media.
- Proprietary media — proprietary media refers to all communication channels owned and operated by the organization under full control. From websites and blogs to podcasts and video channels, organizations can leverage proprietary media to align with any marketing strategy or strategy.
- Paid Media — Paid media is content that is marked by a third party in exchange for compensation from the owner. Paid media is widely used in many digital marketing strategies, from sponsored content to influencer marketing and digital advertising.
- Acquisition Media — Acquisition Media is any third-party content that is completely separate from the company or brand. In the digital world, this type of exposure often comes in the form of awards, ratings, reviews, or user-submitted content.
- Ultimately, the digital marketing strategy is to maximize the impact of owned, paid, and acquired media in the digital world. As a result, these marketing strategies span channels and approaches, including website content and blogs, as well as online advertising, ratings, and reviews. As a result, digital marketing strategies change based on the type of business and industry in which they are based.
How does marketing strategy differ from marketing tactics or campaigns?
Marketing strategies include identifying goals, but marketing strategies represent specific steps or actions that are required to achieve those goals. As you develop your marketing strategy, you should also create tactics that describe your plan and timeline. Otherwise, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to properly execute your marketing strategy and achieve your marketing goals.
Digital marketing campaigns are also important to evaluate in this discussion. These digital campaigns include executing marketing strategies across all digital channels in the organization. The marketing tactics used to execute these campaigns often depend on the channel, prospect, and other factors. However, effective digital marketing campaigns reflect substantially similar messages across channels.
What are some common examples of digital marketing tactics?
There are many digital marketing tactics and they are often aligned to meet a variety of organizational goals and marketing strategies. However, there are some common digital marketing tactics that many organizations use successfully, including:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — SEO is how you optimize your content to increase your ranking on major search engines. Following established SEO practices for all digital content will help organizations reach prospects better through key search engines.
- Social Media Marketing (SMM) — SMM is a way to leverage social media networks to reach customers and deliver corporate messages. Companies that use social media marketing strategies effectively can reach customers directly through their preferred social channels.
- Digital Advertising — Digital advertising is the placement of company advertising in a variety of online locations, including search engines and social media networks. Paid placement of search results and pop-up ads is an example of a digital ad.
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements — PPC advertisements are a subset of digital advertisements that companies place on third-party websites to drive online traffic. However, unlike other forms of advertising, companies pay for PPC advertising only when you click on the link.
- Content Marketing — Content marketing is a practice that targets potential customers by leveraging company-owned media channels. If your company regularly creates and publishes high-quality content, you can increase your ranking and drive traffic to your website.
- Website Marketing — in the content marketing space, an organization’s website is a very powerful tool. By creating an optimized landing page for your geography, your organization can become a thought leader within your industry and reach potential customers with an effective call-to-action messaging.
- Email marketing — used to engage your current or prospective customer base or to grow customer relationships. E-mail marketing services are a proven, successful, and powerful tool.
- Downloadable content — downloadable content, a subset of the website strategy, provides an efficient way to build leads. Companies can create high-quality content that potential customers can download for free, providing valuable contact information in the process.
Overall, there are a variety of marketing tactics that your organization uses every day. Successful marketers can clearly identify goals and then choose the appropriate tactics to achieve those goals while focusing on overall strategy, business needs, and budget constraints.
How can you design an effective digital marketing strategy?
As you will see below in more detail, it is possible to follow this five-step process to develop an effective digital marketing strategy.
(1) Perform a SWOT analysis
(2) Establish Smart business goals.
(3) Participate in market segmentation.
(4) Create Buyer Persona
(5) identify budget constraints.
1. Perform SWOT analysis
SWOT analysis, the cornerstone of a marketing strategy, stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. In this regard, SWOT includes both internal (strengths/weaknesses) and external (opportunities/threats) components.
- Strengths — Strengths are internal elements that help an organization reach its goals and potentially exceed them. Examples of strengths are high revenue and profit, customer loyalty, long-term employees, or attractive brands and cultures.
- Weakness — a weakness is an internal factor that prevents a company from achieving its goals. Examples of weaknesses include improperly marketed products or services, regular customer complaints, high employee turnover, improper financing, or supply chain issues.
- Opportunities — Opportunities represent potentially positive external situations that can help an organization succeed in the future. Examples of opportunities may include changes in attitudes or aspirations, new laws or laws, trade agreements, and withdrawal of duties/sanctions.
- Threats — threats represent potentially negative external conditions that can harm your organization in the future. Threats can include changes in labor markets, increased supply costs, or new competition/technology.
2. Establish Smart business goals
Another widely used abbreviation in the context of marketing strategies, Smart, represents specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely business goals. By setting Smart business goals, organizations can help their marketing strategies move in a positive direction.
To set Smart business goals, marketers and leaders must evaluate the following questions:
- Specific — What do I want to accomplish, why is it important, and what is required?
- Measurable — How can you measure and track your progress to meet deadlines and achieve your final goals?
- Achievable — can you actually achieve your final goal based on available resources and existing constraints?
- Relevance — is the current end goal valuable in light of the general business need/reality and overall environment?
- Timely — when can you expect progress toward your final goal? What immediate benefits do you anticipate compared to short, medium or long term?
3. Participation in market segmentation
Market segmentation is typically an important part of an effective digital marketing strategy. This practice includes dividing an organization’s target market or audience into smaller groups. By breaking down your entire customer base into smaller pieces, you can more easily customize marketing tactics that are unique to each market segment.
Within a market segment, organizations typically start with four categories:
Demographic — demographic segmentation occurs in the business-to-consumer (B2C) context and focuses on individual characteristics. Demographic segmentation divides customers into categories using factors such as age, education, gender, or region.
Firegraphic — Firegraphic segmentation occurs in business-to-business (B2B) context and focuses on organizational characteristics. The Firegraphic segmentation examines factors such as revenue, industry, location, or number of employees to categorize the business.
Psycho graphics — psycho graphic segmentation can occur in B2C or B2B context. Psychological segmentation examines factors such as personality, opinion, goal, or lifestyle to categorize potential customers.
Behavior — behavior segmentation can occur in the context of B2C or B2B. Behavioral segmentation examines factors such as purchase history, brand loyalty, or usage patterns to categorize prospects.
4. Create Buyer Persona
Often used with market segmentation, a buyer persona is a hypothetical profile that represents a customer. Buyer personas are particularly helpful in understanding your company’s customers, whether they are existing, prospective, or desired customers. As a result, buyer personas vary widely across industries and organizations.
As mentioned above, marketers typically integrate buyer personas with market segmentation initiatives. In this way, marketers want to create ideal customer profiles based on demographic, corporate statistics, and psychological and behavioral data. In this way, organizations can personalize messages, products, and services individually to fit different buyer personas and market segments.
5. Identify budget constraints
Essentially, commercial and nonprofit organizations of all kinds must have adequate budget to execute an effective digital marketing strategy. Even the best marketing strategies and tactics depend on the right cash flow. As a result, it is important for organizations to think realistically about their budgets to determine a viable and cost-effective marketing strategy.
Which type of digital marketing strategy is best for my organization?
The components of an ideal digital marketing strategy can vary greatly from organization to organization. After all, overall business guidelines and specific marketing goals often reflect differences based on culture, product proposals, revenue goals, and so on.
However, by aligning Smart business goals and segmented buyer personas with multiple strategies and tactics, businesses of all shapes and sizes can benefit from digital marketing. The exact benefits depend on the amount of resources allocated to digital marketing strategies and tactics.
For start-ups and small businesses, digital marketing strategies will focus on cost-effective tactics to achieve organizational goals. These organizations can leverage SEO, SMM, and content marketing at a lower cost to achieve their digital marketing goals. The low barriers to entry and costs to these tactics enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to take advantage of these benefits.
As organizations grow, marketing and advertising budgets typically expand in-kind. As a result, the potential benefits of effective marketing tactics can grow exponentially through duplication of marketing, advertising, and promotional/investor relations campaigns. Together, organizations that invest significant amounts of money and resources in digital marketing can reap tremendous rewards.