If you’re reading this, you’re either one of two people; someone who is a start-up with a new product/service that they want to bring to market or someone who has an existing product/service that is struggling to gain market momentum.
Either way, you’ve both come to the right place!
One of the fundamental mistakes that we have seen small businesses make is that they don’t have a digital marketing strategy in place. Sure, most of these brands have a digital presence, be it social media, a brand spanking new website or general online marketing, but it’s the actual strategy of their digital marketing practices that they haven’t quite thought out or implemented.
We thought it would be valuable to explain what a digital marketing strategy is and give you 10 reasons why you should plan one for your business.
What is Digital Marketing?
Let’s get to it then; what really is a digital marketing strategy?
First, let us break it down by understanding what digital marketing encompasses. Digital marketing is the practice whereby we aim to achieve marketing objectives through the application of digital technologies and media. Basically, any marketing that has an online presence. There are various types of digital marketing:
- Content Marketing
- Pay Per Click (PPC)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Native Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing (EDM)
- Inbound Marketing
- Marketing Automation
- Online PR
- Influencer Marketing
As you can see, digital marketing can involve a multitude of useful facets that can benefit a small and medium-sized business. This then leads us to the importance of a digital marketing strategy as not all strategies are the same and won’t necessarily use the various types of digital marketing types as listed above.
The Importance of Digital Marketing
One great way to understand the importance that the future of digital marketing will have on businesses is to grasp how potential customers will interact with a brand and its product or service. This involves harnessing the power of the 5D’s of digital marketing.
What are the 5D’s of digital marketing, you say? The 5D’s help defines the possibilities of a customer interacting with a brand and for that brand to better connect and learn from their customer base. With over 4.5 billion people now regarded as active internet users, the digital world will be the primary way for brands to raise awareness, connect and grow their businesses in innovative ways.
The 5D’s of Digital Marketing
- Digital Devices – What devices are your customers using and are your digital activities catering to these? It’s no longer just about what looks best on a computer screen, think about mobile phone, tablets, Tv’s and gaming devices.
- Digital Platforms – What apps or browsers are customers using to search for their needs? Platforms like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are used by hundreds of millions of people each day.
- Digital Media – What digital channels can you use in order to reach your customer base? Things like online advertising (Google ads), social media advertising (Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn) and email direct marketing (Mailchimp) provide great affordable ways to reach specific target audiences.
- Digital Data – What insights and information can you draw from your customer base and the three previous components of the 5D’s? How does your audience interact with your brand and what learnings can you take in order to further enhance the experience? Things like contact forms, surveys and Google Analytics can provide exceptionally useful information.
- Digital Technology – As Steve Jobs said – “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not a threat.” The same can be said of technology in the digital marketing space. Creating unique ways to interact and engage with your audience, whether it be virtual reality, artificial intelligence or simply chat bots, can create that all important point of difference that separates you from the competition.
We know! There’s a lot to digest here, but we hope we aren’t freaking you out as the 5D’s are really just a useful way for you to understand the possibilities that you can take your brand in the digital world.
What Then Is A Digital Marketing Strategy?
Now that we have identified what is involved with digital marketing, the next item of business is understanding what a digital marketing strategy is. A digital marketing strategy is simply a plan that helps your business work towards strategic goals through one or multiple digital marketing channels whilst utilizing specific marketing tools.
Implementing digital marketing without a strategic plan in place is similar to being given a Lego set without the instructions – you’re likely to make several mistakes, become super frustrated and create an unnecessarily long and arduous journey for you and your business.
How Do I Create A Digital Marketing Strategy?
There is no blueprint for the perfect digital marketing strategy. There are, however, five basic components to get you started in order to build a successful strategy from the ground up, thereby creating a solid foundation for your brand.
- Set Those Goals – When creating a plan, it’s imperative that you outline what goals you want to achieve. This can be anything from having a revenue rich online marketplace, 5-star customer reviews, growing subscriber numbers or increasing your Google rankings. This will also help you in choosing what type of digital marketing plan you need to undertake!
- Figure Out Your Target Audience – ¡No caiga en la trampa de identificar a su público objetivo…. See what we did there? The audience reading this are most likely English-speaking – and probably felt a little confused or disengaged seeing Spanish appear out of nowhere! The same goes for a brands target audience. Make sure you understand your target customers when marketing your product/service so that your digital marketing content gets seen by the right demographic.
- Evaluate Any Existing Digital Marketing Presence – Whether you’ve been marketing a product/service for years or fresh on the scene, it’s always important to understand what you have accomplished so far. Do you have a website? Have you started a social media presence?
What loyal online customers do you have? Establishing these elements will give you an idea of what is working, what needs to be worked on or what needs to be created from scratch!
- Learn The Sales Funnel – A digital sales funnel is the journey a buyer takes from first encounter with your brand to (hopefully!) long-term customer demand. Think of it as asking someone on a date with you. You’re not going to blurt out “hey you stranger!….wanna go on a date with me?” No! You’re going to first ask what their name is, ask them a few questions to get to know them a bit more before deciding to ask them out on a date.
The same applies to a sales funnel. It all starts with awareness – making customers aware that you exist. Then comes the interest where you deliver a bit more information about your brand and what separates you from the competition. Following that is engagement, where you solidify your rapport with customers and encourage them to engage back with you. Finally is the action stage, which is where a purchase will be made.
- Content Is King – Content is the final component to be aware of when creating your digital marketing strategy. Be sure to find your brand voice and be sure to replicate this through all of your online collateral. Be specific too, especially when it comes to each part of your sales funnel as different variations of your content marketing strategy will be more applicable and effective than others.
The 10 Reasons For Implementing a Digital Marketing Strategy
So now that you have a good grasp of what digital marketing is and what a digital marketing strategy entails, here are 10 reasons why you should implement a digital marketing strategy for your business.
- It Gives You Direction – Like any strategy, a digital marketing strategy helps you create and implement a plan that will navigate your brand towards attracting and engaging with customers. By mapping a path and setting goals, you are setting clear objectives where valuable capital and resources are being utilised.
- It’s Affordable – Digital marketing is an exceptionally cost-effective way of marketing your brand to a potential huge audience. In most cases, having a mere presence, such as on Facebook or Instagram is free. The only real costs are how much you wish to spend on creating content and whether any paid advertising will be undertaken.
- It’s Flexible – The beauty of a digital marketing strategy is that it can be highly agile should circumstances or conditions inevitably change. Unlike traditional marketing strategies that are usually concrete in their planning and execution, digital marketing strategies can pivot and adapt to changing fast paced environments. With e-commerce audiences expecting brands to have their finger on the pulse at all times, it’s crucial that a brands marketing strategy doesn’t get left behind.
- It Develops Valuable Customer Relationships – Before social media and digital marketing, customers could only really connect with brands through purchasing their product or service, allowing brands to only focus on the quality of their offering. Nowadays however, customers expect brands to engage with them on an emotional, loyal and value-laden level. This can include things like loyalty programs, thank you/feedback emails and ESG endeavours.
- It Allows for Internal Integration – A successful digital marketing strategy not only involves your marketing team but also your sales and managerial teams too. By cohesively working together, teams can manufacture excellent digital marketing strategies that deliver in an engaging way whilst delivering a solid return on investment.
- It Keeps You Competitive – To be competitive means to be innovative and keeping up to date on market and global trends. The same applies to a digital marketing strategy. To maintain or create competitive advantage, brands must be visible by constantly promoting their product/service whilst developing a long-lasting rapport with their customer base. A thorough digital marketing campaign can do just that if executed properly.
- It helps Identify Weaknesses – A robust digital marketing strategy is a sure-fire way of identifying any weaknesses that currently exist in your marketing plan. How does it do that you ask? A simple SWOT analysis of your brand and product/service offering is the perfect way to evaluate what weakness exists and what strategies need to be put in place to transfer it to a strength.
- It Paves The Way For Optimisation – A sound digital marketing strategy, once implemented, will amass a huge amount of valuable data. This data can then be assessed for where opportunities lie but importantly, what optimisations can be applied for a more effective and efficient marketing campaign.
- It Helps Manage Your Budget – By implementing a digital marketing strategy, businesses have an in-depth roadmap of what channels and platforms they are going to utilise for their marketing activities. As most of these promotions are pay-per-click or flexible budget campaigns, managing budgets becomes much simpler and thorough.
- It Provides You With A Unique Value Propositions (UVP)– Standing out and being different is one of the golden rules of marketing but attempting this in an already competitive digital landscape can be difficult. A sound digital marketing strategy will establish a UVP that encourages existing and new customers to engage with your business.
As you can see, digital marketing is an incredibly powerful marketing method that can be used to significantly increase the profile of a brand, not to mention heavily engage with consumers and boost revenues.
At Cemoh, we have a team of expert marketing strategists with several years of digital marketing experience who would love to assist you with your marketing needs. Should you like to contact us to assist with guiding you through digital marketing strategy journey, then feel free to get in touch with us here.