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Digital marketing is an absolute essential in any marketers overall plan. Getting the basics right for a digital marketing strategy, and planning on how to use it isn't difficult. Here's how to keep it simple...
Ideally, your digital marketing strategy should not be separate from your overall marketing strategy, and it is not an after thought. Just that today, digital marketing has become an essential and large part of the overall marketing plan.
Document your strategy
First of all, if you don't have a well documented digital marketing strategy, do that now. It doesn't have to be a huge document or a bunch of slides, a simple visual here-to-there plan with sign posts along the way may do. But do get one down. And get all stake holders involved.
Important key steps in developing a digital strategy
Define where you stand today, and how digital marketing will fit into the scheme of things. Review your opportunity – and remember to spot your weaknesses, strengths and threats to implementing that plan. Do a good, old fashioned SWOT analysis.
Define where you want to go. What are your objectives, what are your KPI's? Define who you want to target. You cannot do everything for everyone within your organization, and you cannot target the whole world as your audience.
What's in your strategy?
Start with your audience. Who do you really want to target? More importantly, who ideally, should be buying your product or service and why? What are they looking for? The focus should not be your product and what it does, but what the customer or the audience is looking for. Then, you provide a solution. Remember Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing. Be flexible here, because as you keep listening out for what your audience is looking for, the goal posts almost always move.
Some basics you must cover
Basic elements in your digital marketing strategy should cover:• Audience Targeting – defining your audience – based on insights (see above).
• Positioning your brand, product and/or service. What's your core proposition? What will you mean for the customer?
• What is your overall brand strategy and how does digital marketing fit in.
• Where and what are you going to say online? Across Paid, Owned and Earned. Start here with your website strategy. What's it going to say? How is it a means to the end you have in mind?
• What digital channels are you going to be on? Key channels include Search, Social Media, Partner and Affiliate marketing, Display advertising, and email marketing.
• Engagement strategy. What kind of content are you going to develop and distribute – and how? How is your content going to take you through the customer funnel? Remember, digital marketing is way beyond advertising, and engagement is key.
• Have a conversion strategy in place. How do you convert your audience to customers. How easy is it for them? How are you planning to convince them?
The Execution Plan
Once you have these in place, have a simple execution plan. For the most part the execution of your strategy will happen across:
• Search – both organic and Paid: (SEO and SEM)Search Engine Optimization of your website. Get this right, right away. Your website is your big asset, and it should be optimized so that people can find solutions that you provide. Get your SEO right. 7 Things you need to bullet proof your SEO. Make sure you know the power of Google Analytics, and have someone tell you about how your site is performing. Focus on improving results from your website and landing page conversions.
• Work with Google Adwords. That's the very first thing you should look at for your Paid Search effort.
• Get your Social Media Marketing to be top class. Make sure at this point that your social media efforts are not just about the end game of selling your product. Very important to get this right. Improve your social media engagement. Move from Selling to building Relationships.
In fact, start with listening. The importance of listening in social media, and how to get it right.
Once you know about what your audience is doing, set social goals. Track them. Setting Social Media Goals and Tracking Success Made Simple
• Mobile is key. Today, mobile is a most critical factor in digital marketing. 5 Simple Ways to get your Mobile Marketing Done Right
• Don't forget email marketing. Email is still a powerful marketing tool, and an important part of you strategy execution plan. Start with your subject line. 10 ways to get your Subject Line work harder in email marketing.
• Today, it really is all about content. Across all your execution channels, content is key. You need to have a rock solid content strategy in place. Winning Content Strategy: Always share something valuable and useful. No matter whether its for your website content, your social media, or how you use content to move your audience across from being just an audience to being loyal customers, getting content right is key today. Read up on: 6 ways to get Content Marketing done right.
The Essential Pillars and Focus Areas for Digital MarketingOnce you have a basis framework in place both from a strategy and an execution plan perspective, make sure that your go-forward plan has got the essential foundation: 7 Essential Pillars for your Digital Marketing Strategy
When you have a plan, you'll need to focus on how to go forward – these are sign posts for along the way. 10 Digital Marketing Essentials to focus on in 2016
Whether you are starting off at a brand, or are agency side, the above points are useful reminders on how to get your digital marketing strategy working hard for you. That's the basics. That's Digital Marketing Strategies 101.
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