how to write a digital marketing strategy.

A digital marketing strategy to set, plan, and stick to goals in order to reach them.
Two people developing a digital marketing strategy on a whiteboard.

In today’s digital age, it’s crucial for businesses in every industry to have an effective digital marketing strategy. 

With growing competition and shifts in consumer behaviour, it’s essential for businesses to establish a strong online presence and engage with their target audience effectively.

A digital marketing strategy provides a foundation for your marketing activities and outlines the objectives, target audience, and channels to be used to promote your products or services.

A well-executed digital marketing strategy can significantly enhance your brand’s visibility, attract more customers, and improve conversions, like increase direct-to-consumer sales.

8 steps to create an effective digital marketing strategy.

Develop your problem statement.

Problem statements are a key element to creating a successful digital marketing strategy. Without knowing what issues you’re trying to solve, and what success looks like, you might head in the wrong direction – the way you define a problem will determine how you solve it.

A problem statement is a concise description explaining the current situation, target market, and the current ineffective solution.  This is an important tool that will keep your team focussed and working towards a solution. 

Example problem statement.

Savvy Wine is a small, family-owned wine brand, offering an intimate and unique tasting experience at their Cellar Door. Feedback from locals and regulars is overwhelmingly positive, but due to the proximity of three large competitors, they are struggling to gain visibility and attract new visitors. 

Currently, Savvy Wine relies on traditional marketing methods like word-of-mouth referrals and limited local advertising, occasionally participating in local food and wine festivals. They have a basic website that lacks engaging content, with a clunky online booking system. Occasional social media posts encourage people to book a tasting experience, but this doesn’t provide any clear or measurable results, and bookings are decreasing month on month.

A monochrome image showcasing the synergy between a book and a pen, evoking thoughts of digital marketing strategy.

Define your goals.

Establishing specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals is essential for any digital marketing strategy.

Set goals that align with your overall marketing goals, which align with business goals – which ultimately serve the business’s vision, mission and purpose. A digital marketing strategy should not be a rogue cowboy.

Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or increasing direct-to-consumer sales, SMART goals will provide a clear direction for your digital marketing efforts.

Digital marketing strategy pyramid designed by Savvy.

Understand the market landscape.

Before creating a digital marketing strategy, you need to do your research. Identify your competitor’s strengths, weaknesses and strategies; this information will help you create a strategy that stands out and resonates with your target audience.

Additionally, stay up-to-date with market trends. Identify emerging technologies, changes in consumer behaviour, and shifts in your target market’s preferences. This will guide your decision-making process and enable you to stay ahead of the curve.

Two women enjoying a digital marketing strategy discussion on a couch with glasses of wine.

Define your target audience.

To create a successful digital marketing strategy, you need to clearly define your target audience, and understand their demographics, preferences, and purchasing behaviour. This knowledge will enable you to tailor your marketing efforts to effectively reach and engage with your ideal customers.

It’s time to develop a customer persona (or three). This is a fictional description of someone that represents your target audience/s. Include demographics like age, gender and income, as well as passions, concerns, buyer motivations, and pain points for engaging with your brand.

Personas help you understand your prospective customers, allowing you to create persona-specific campaigns, and meet people with the right message, on the right platform – and soothe their pain points.

Strong customer personas are based on rich data trends from existing customers, customer feedback, plus stories and insights from your staff members and distribution team. If appropriate, create B2B and B2C personas, along with a negative persona, to illustrate the type of customers you don’t want to attract.

Identify your marketing tactics.

Marketing tactics are the actionable steps you will take to achieve your goals, and vary depending on the target audience, industry, and overall strategy.

SEO tactics can help improve a website’s organic search rankings, driving more targeted traffic. Content marketing tactics, such as creating informative blog posts or videos, can attract and engage potential customers. Email marketing tactics can nurture leads and build customer relationships over time. Social media marketing tactics allow businesses to connect with their audience, promote content, and create brand advocates.

By carefully selecting and integrating these tactics, businesses can create a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that aligns with their goals and effectively engages their target audience in the online space.

A woman implements a digital marketing strategy while typing on a laptop in a black and white photo.

Choose the right digital marketing channels.

Digital marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of channels, such as social media, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and more.

It’s crucial to understand each channel’s strengths, limitations, and suitability so you can select the right channel for each of your marketing tactics.

Consider your goals, target audience, and budget when selecting the channels for your strategy. Choose the platforms that align with your target audience’s demographics and preferences.

Digital marketing strategy explained through social media channels.

Craft engaging content.

Engaging and informative content plays a vital role in attracting and retaining customers.

Every piece of content you produce should serve a specific purpose and clearly align with your strategic goals. Tailor your content to resonate with your target audiences’ preferences, needs and aspirations. Deliver value, offer solutions, and establish yourself as an expert in your industry by offering reliable information.

Maintain a consistent brand image across all channels. Use your brand’s voice and visual identity to create a cohesive experience for your audience.

A man implementing a digital marketing strategy while sitting in a chair.

Optimise your website for search engines.

A well-optimized website is crucial for digital marketing success. Perform keyword research to identify the terms your target audience is searching for. Incorporate these keywords into your website’s content, meta tags, and URLs.

Improve your website’s structure and user experience. Ensure fast loading times, mobile responsiveness, and easy navigation. A user-friendly website encourages visitors to stay longer and increases the likelihood of conversions.

Hotjar is a great tool to install on your website, offering tools like Heatmaps and Recordings, to help you understand user activity on your website. 

5 content pillars of a digital marketing strategy.

Track and analyse performance.

Implementing a digital marketing strategy is not a one-time task. Continuously track and analyse the performance of your campaigns using analytics tools like Google Analytics. Measure important metrics such as website traffic, conversion rates, click-through rates, and social media engagement.

Based on the insights gained from data analysis, make data-driven decisions to refine and optimize your strategy. Experiment with different approaches, test new channels, and adapt your tactics to maximize your marketing efforts’ effectiveness.

tash-stoodley-business-cards-to-develop-digital-marketing-strategy.

A digital marketing strategy is essential for marketing success.

In today’s fiercely competitive digital landscape, having a solid digital marketing strategy is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. 

A well-crafted digital marketing strategy is essential for reaching and engaging your target audience effectively, maximising your online presence, and achieving your business objectives in the digital landscape.

FAQs

The time to see results from a digital marketing strategy varies based on factors such as industry, competition, budget, and the effectiveness of your tactics. Generally, it takes several months to start seeing noticeable improvements, but ongoing efforts and optimization are necessary for sustained success.

While hiring a professional agency can offer expertise and save you time, it is not always necessary. With proper research and learning, you can develop and execute a successful digital marketing strategy in-house. However, consider outsourcing to digital marketing specialists if you lack the resources or expertise to achieve your desired results.

Social media marketing can benefit most businesses, but its relevance and effectiveness may vary depending on your target audience and industry. Evaluate your audience’s preferences and behaviours to determine if investing in social media marketing aligns with your overall objectives.

Regularly review your digital marketing strategy, ideally on a quarterly basis, to assess its performance and make necessary adjustments. However, keep in mind that certain tactics may require more frequent monitoring and adjustments, such as PPC campaigns or social media advertising.

Absolutely! Digital marketing offers cost-effective opportunities for small businesses to reach their target audience and compete with larger competitors. By focusing on targeted tactics, leveraging organic reach, and optimizing campaigns, small businesses can achieve significant results within their budget constraints.

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