As a beginner, starting with Digital Marketing can feel intimidating. You might not know where to even start and if it is the right path. There is too much information around, and it can be difficult to get a full picture. So I present you the Digital Marketing Strategy Guide for your business. This beginner’s guide will help you get started right away. It will help you craft the correct strategy and be your guiding light. This strategy will help you create an action plan to reach your goals and needs in 2023.
Before we start making your digital marketing strategy, here are a few pointers.
Understand why you need a digital marketing strategy?
As a beginner it can be hard to figure out where to focus your marketing efforts. First, of all know the superpowers of digital marketing. Two of these are Reach & Data. Digital marketing gives you unparalleled reach and helps you make data driven decisions.
Secondly, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the constantly changing social media tactics, algorithm updates. All the new tools & tricks you feel the need to keep up with. It gets confusing and you can be left feeling unsure. And randomly experimenting does not always work well.
To make it in the digital space you need two things: Clarity & Focus. That is where you need a Digital Marketing Strategy. A good marketing strategy will lead you to the correct plan. It will give you clarity and help you focus on the right things essential for reaching your goals. Without it, you are very likely to burn your money, time and efforts and not even know why.
Document your Business Strategy
While you work on your digital marketing strategy using this guide, it is also important to document all of it. It will help you actions be even more productive.
Marketing teams that document their strategy are 313% more likely to report success than those that don’t. (Coschedule, 2019)
Your marketing plan is like a map that helps you navigate your online business journey with ease. Later, as you explore and learn more information, you can fill this map with more details.
A simple yet effective digital strategy document helps you cover your bases.
Steps to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy
There is a difference between strategy and tactics. Most of the information you learn online are tactics. Going for tactics without strategy gets you confused.
This guide will help you work on the necessary steps in building your digital strategy, which you can leverage later with tactics. Our strategy isn’t about following arbitrary best practices but instead is about taking the necessary steps to make the most out of your marketing efforts.
Here are few steps to take as you outline your digital marketing strategy-
1. Build Your Digital Brand
Establishing the type of brand you would like to build is the first step. Answer the following questions to establish it-
- Define your brand. What does it stand for? What would you like people to know your business for?
- Define what your customers perceive your business as.
- What is unique about your business? What is that you are bringing to the table, that distinguishes you from the competitors?
- Define the facts about your business, that help you market it to your audience. Create your USPs (Unique Selling Points).
- Define the brand’s mission, values, and vision, if that helps bring more clarity.
What you define your brand as is how it will be communicated to your customers. It is what will help them form the right perceptions about your business. It forms the basis of all marketing communication.
Define – Why you do, what you do? As Simon Sinek shared in his famous TED talk – Start with WHY.
A successful digital marketing business plan starts by identifying the unique aspects of your business and defining your brand. Establish what your brand or business is and document it.
2. Identify the Ideal Customer
The next step in our digital marketing strategy is to define who is the ideal audience for your brand. It will help you focus on and reach the right set of people. This would be the audience most likely to appreciate your product or service.
We use Buyer Personas to define your target audience. Simply speaking, a buyer persona is the description of your most ideal customer.
Describe your most ideal customer in 2023. Make it vivid and detailed enough. Collate data like:
- Job Title
- Hobbies and Interests
- Goals & Challenges
- Values & Fears
- Problems they face
- Issues they care about
I also like to include information like:
- Top 5 places where they spend their time online
- Problems they face that you looking to solve
- Issues they care about that you can cater to
You might feel the need to have more than other buyer persona. That is totally fine. Identify them as you primary and secondary customer and procced with it.
With good buyer personas, you will know whom to target and why. Your marketing message and tactics will be more relevant to them and resonate better. It will make your marketing efforts in 2023 way more effective.
3. Set Your Goals
Now in order to decide the right marketing approach for your business you need to identify the right goals. What are your marketing goals for 2023?
Ideally, your marketing goals should tie-up with your fundamental business goal. But also ensure that your marketing goals are distinct than your business goals. Many people when asked about marketing goals just repeat their business goal, which is a mistake. Remember, focus and clarity.
For example, say your business’s goal is to increase annual revenue by 30%, your marketing team’s goal might be to generate 60% more leads on the website, as a way to achieve it.
Identifying the right goals will help you determine if your chosen action plan is being effective. You can choose to break them into smaller goals as a way to track your progress.
Use SMART goals.
Instead of saying “We want more traffic”, use “We want to add 500 visitors every month.” SMART goals.
Your goals help you decide the next part of your strategy, which in turn dictates the actions you will need to take.
4. Choose your Method. Pick your Marketing Channel
By now, you know who you are, your goals, and who you are trying to reach. Now it is time to figure out what marketing channels you can use to reach your audience.
You can use:
- Search Engine
- Social Media
- Paid Advertising
- Email Marketing, etc
In this step you decide what methods will help you the best. This decision is based on what works best for your audience, your business type, your team. You might need some consultation at this stage. You can schedule a quick free consultation with me if you like.
As a beginner, keep things simple. Don’t spread yourself too thin trying to do everything.
It is a good idea to choose one or two primary marketing channels and get started with it. Once you gain traction, you can always explore the other marketing methods.
Pick the channel based on where your strengths lie. Consider what is more comfortable for you to start with.
Also, don’t make the mistake of totally relying on a single channel for the long term. As you start seeing results gradually expand to other channels.
For example. you can start with Facebook Marketing. Once you start making a return on investment, use some of the profits to say gradually build up your content and SEO as well.
Once these work out for you make use of Google AdWords to grow your reach even more. Gradually go on until you have a significant presence on all relevant marketing mediums that add value to your business.
5. Set your Budget
Your budget helps you decide how to financially structure your marketing campaign. Make sure what you plan is financially feasible. A set marketing budget brings that clarity.
It will help you allocate money where you really need it. Find a balance between what you are willing to spend and how much needs to be invested to drive valuable results.
Your budget is an integral part of your digital marketing strategy.
6. Create a Content Plan
Almost all marketing mediums require you to create content. A sustainable digital marketing strategy needs content.
Based on the needs of your customers and the digital marketing channel, formulate a content plan. It could be publishing blogs, posting on social media or creatives for advertising, find the right fit for you and schedule it. Ensure your ideas are relevant to your buyer persona and consistent with your brand.
Document it as:
- Content Title/Concept
- What format is it? (image, text, video, blog, etc)
- Goal of the content
- Promotional channels it will used on
- Why you’re creating this content? (To give information, be relevant, add value, promotion, etc).
You can also include-
- Budget information for each piece of content
- Time estimate
This can be a simple spreadsheet to begin with.
Here you will need to learn some tactics to help you know what type of content will work best for your marketing channel, when to publish etc.
7. Get your Digital Marketing Strategy in Motion
By now you should have an good enough digital strategy document to get you started. This document has helped you get the right foundation and has given you clarity in your plan of action. It helps you establish:
- Who you are?
- Whom to reach?
- How to reach?
- What message to convey?
- What budget to allocate?
- How frequently to do it?
- What are the goals you fulfil?
All these pointers are the recipe for your plan of action. Think and chart the various ideas based on the strategy outline you developed. Build a plan of action you can implement. And set it in motion.
Your plan will choose a suitable medium, combine it with relevant content and identify the method based on your budget. Identify the various marketing tactics you can use to reach your marketing goals.
Take your time.
But the most crucial part- Act on this plan! Execute it!
7. Measure Results & Optimize
Once you start, it is time to figure out ways to improve. Digital marketing is great at tracking and measuring results. A good digital marketing strategy always measures the results and takes steps to improve.
You have Google Analytics, social media insights, etc to monitor data. Use the data to identify how well your marketing campaign worked for you. Benchmark your base results and figure out ways to improve and get better.
Optimize your methods. With time you can define your KPIs (Key Performing Indices) to mark your goals.
Use the opportunity to optimize your plan of action.
Using data to measure results and optimize is the surest way to ensure that your digital marketing efforts become the powerhouse you want them to be.
Nearly every successful digital marketing campaign is based on the foundation of a well-conceived strategy. Congratulations, now you have your own digital marketing strategy document for 2023.
A documented digital marketing strategy makes your efforts more streamlined, efficient, and productive.
It is all about getting organized.
Consider what’s already working well in your industry. Learn from those who have come before you.
The purpose of your strategy document is to map out the actions you will need to undertake over a time period, to achieve your goal. As long as it conveys that, then you’ve nailed the basics of your digital strategy.
How did this guide help you? Please share in the comments below!