Marketing Strategy That You Need to Learn
There's no question that, in the modern landscape, a big part of your marketing strategy is digital. Consumers and businesses alike are almost always online -- and you want to be able to reach them and observe their behavior where they spend the most time.
But when you're growing a business, it seems like this ever-evolving landscape can quickly become overwhelming. There's already enough to do -- how are you also supposed to create, fine-tune, and maintain an agile digital marketing strategy?
We've compiled a list of seven digital marketing strategies that marketers can adapt to help their teams and businesses grow, as well as a crash course on the meaning of digital strategy and marketing campaigns.
What Is Digital Strategy?
In short: Your digital marketing strategy is the series of actions that are going to help you achieve your goal(s) using online marketing. The term ‘strategy’ might seem intimidating, but building an effective digital strategy doesn’t need to be difficult.
In simple terms, a strategy is just a plan of action to achieve a desired goal, or multiple goals. For example, your overarching goal might be to generate 25% more leads via your website this year than you drove last year.
Depending on the scale of your business, your digital marketing strategy might involve multiple goals and a lot of moving parts, but coming back to this simple way of thinking about strategy can help you stay focused on meeting those objectives.
Despite our simplification of the term ‘strategy’, there’s no doubt it can be difficult to get started actually building one. Let's see what a digital marketing campaign looks like, and then, we'll jump into those seven building blocks to help you create an effective digital marketing strategy to set up your business for online success.
What is a Digital Marketing Campaign?
It’s easy to confuse your digital strategy with your digital marketing campaigns, but here’s how to distinguish the two.
As we’ve already outlined, your digital strategy is the series of actions you take to help you achieve your overarching marketing goal. Your digital marketing campaigns are the building blocks or actions within your strategy that move you toward meeting that goal.
For example, you might decide to run a campaign sharing some of your best-performing gated content on Twitter, to generate more leads through that channel. That campaign is part of your strategy to generate more leads.
It’s important to note that even if a campaign runs over the course of a couple of years, it doesn’t make it a strategy -- it’s still a tactic that sits alongside other campaigns to form your strategy.
Now that we’ve gotten to grips with the basics of digital strategy and digital marketing campaigns, let’s dig into how to build your strategy.
How to Build a Comprehensive Digital Strategy
1) Build your buyer personas.
For any marketing strategy -- offline or online -- you need to know who you’re marketing to. The best digital marketing strategies are built upon detailed buyer personas, and your first step is to create them.
Buyer personas represent your ideal customer(s) and can be created by researching, surveying, and interviewing your business’s target audience. It’s important to note that this information should be based upon real data wherever possible, as making assumptions about your audience can cause your marketing strategy to take the wrong direction.
To get a rounded picture of your persona, your research pool should include a mixture of customers, prospects, and people outside your contacts database who align with your target audience.
But what kind of information should you gather for your own buyer persona(s) to inform your digital marketing strategy? That depends on your businesses, and is likely to vary depending on whether you’re B2B or B2C, or whether your product is high cost or low cost. Here are some starting points, but you’ll want to fine-tune them, depending on your particular business.
Quantitative (or Demographic) Information
- Location. You can use web analytics tools like Google Analytics to easily identify what location your website traffic is coming from.
- Age. Depending on your business, this may or may not be relevant. It’s best to gather this data by identifying trends in your existing prospect and customer database.
- Income. It’s best to gather sensitive information like personal income in persona research interviews, as people might be unwilling to share it via online forms.
- Job Title. This is something you can get a rough idea of from your existing customer base, and is most relevant for B2B companies.
Qualitative (or Psychographic) Information
- Goals. Depending on the need your product or service was created to serve, you might already have a good idea of what goals your persona is looking to achieve. However, it’s best to cement your assumptions by speaking to customers, as well as internal sales and customer service representatives.
- Challenges. Again, speak to customers, sales and customer service representatives to get an idea of the common problems your audience faces.
- Hobbies and interests. Speak to customers and people who align with your target audience. If you’re a fashion brand, for example, it’s helpful to know if large segments of your audience are also interested in fitness and well-being, as that can help inform your future content creation and partnerships.
- Priorities. Speak to customers and people who align with your target audience to find out what’s most important to them in relation to your business. For example, if you’re a B2B software company, knowing that your audience values customer support over a competitive price point is very valuable information.
Take this information and create one or more rounded personas, like Marketing Molly below, and ensure they’re at the core of your digital marketing strategy.