Strategic marketing has long been considered essential for success.
by Staff Writers, edited by Peter Spann
The necessity of setting measurable goals, executing tactics specifically to achieve these goals and measuring success after the fact is a process that ensures effectiveness and a positive ROI in marketing.
Not surprisingly, the same is true for digital marketing. A recent marketing survey published by the research firm Ascend2 revealed that the most challenging obstacle to successful digital marketing is the lack of an effective marketing strategy, with 51% of respondents viewing it as more important than other factors such as an inadequate budget, an inability to prove ROI and a lack of training. Why is a strategy so crucial to digital marketing? Let’s examine.
What is digital marketing?
In short, digital marketing is the promotion of products or brands via electronic media – ranging from email, social media and text messaging to the web, SEO and eCommerce.
Why be strategic?
The wide variety of potential marketing channels on its own suggests the need for a coherent strategy. How can text messages and search engine optimization work together to achieve your goals? And what are these goals to begin with? Without specific direction, utilizing the various channels in a disconnect from each other, your promotion will invariably be ineffective.
Unfortunately, you also won’t know that your digital marketing efforts are ineffective, because you have no possibility of tracking them. Evaluation and feedback are an essential part of any marketing strategy; by looking at whether you have achieved your goal within a specified timeframe, you can evaluate your effectiveness and suggest improvements.
Developing a strategy
Now that we’ve established the importance of a digital marketing strategy, let’s focus on the solution: how to go about creating one. In essence, that involves four steps:
- Know Your Audience. Start by answering these key questions about your target audience: Who are they? What are their interests? Which digital media do they use, and what do they use it for? How well do they know your product?
- Know Your Goals & Timeframe. Next, establish what exactly your digital marketing efforts should accomplish. Do you want to increase web visits? Push sales of a specific product or service? Create increased customer loyalty? Once you’ve established the goals, make sure they’re measurable and time-bound. Instead of simply stating that you want to increase web visits, be specific (such as increasing web visits by 50% within the next 12 months). Only then can you know whether you’ve actually achieved your goals.
- Pick the Right Channels. Once you know your audience as well as what you want to accomplish, it’s time to select the right channels for your audience. By no means should you utilize every single channel out there; if you’d like to use social media, advertising on LinkedIn and Instagram – two networks with very different audiences – probably won’t make sense.
- Integrate and Execute. Now that you’ve selected your channels, start executing your strategy to reach your target audience. Be careful to integrate your message to speak with one voice. An email and a Facebook post should be written slightly differently to be optimized for the medium, but they should convey the same overall message and call to action.
- Rinse & Repeat. After execution comes evaluation. Did your campaign reach its goals? If so, why? If not, why not? Which channels were the most successful, and which weren’t? Did your audience react particularly positive or negatively to a specific post or email? Every bit of information is potentially important to optimize your goals and start over.
Creating marketing strategy, digital or otherwise, can be a complex process with many more steps than the ones above. But by following these five steps, you should be able to create an effective digital marketing strategy to ensure the effectiveness of your efforts.
Written by Staff Writers, edited by Peter Spann
About Peter Spann
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Emotional Direct Response Copywriter | Blog | Books | Novels | Film Scripts
3 Best Selling Books published by Harper Collins
His goal is to help people make their dreams come true.
His personal interests include travel, boating, aviation, fine art, writing, and film.
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