Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital is the Future
Digital marketing started as a small portion of the overall marketing spend. However, over the last half a decade, it has become the de-facto marketing and communication channel for most businesses. Due to the sheer range of possibilities that digital opens-up, not too many people will be surprised if it soon overtakes mainstream advertising.
Some businesses are investing heavily into digital. Specialized teams are handling digital marketing mandates and inventing ways and means to make the most of the ever-evolving opportunities and tools in this space. However, most digital plans hit roadblocks due to unavailability of good quality business content. A report from research and advisory firm Altimeter Group found that 70% of marketers lack a consistent and integrated content strategy.
Lack of customization is another reason for digital marketing strategies failing to make an impact. Marketers must acknowledge that every customer is unique and has a distinct set of demands. Catering to that uniqueness is the recipe for success.
Tips to Develop a Digital Marketing Mindset
- Don’t Follow the Herd
It is important to understand that every business, even if in the same industry, will differ from another on several criteria like focus, size, objectives, challenges, strengths, weaknesses, delivery model, geography, etc. Just because others are investing in digital marketing, doesn’t mean you should too.
Understand your needs, identify your goals, and draw a connection between your vision and the need for digital marketing. Once you establish this, focus on customizing the message for your specific target audience.
- Identify the Platforms
There is no dearth of digital platforms. While options are good, it is equally essential to analyze and understand the audience that each platform caters to. Here’s a peek into the demographic breakup of the user base across the top digital platforms as of 2017 (Source: Tracx).
Unique Monthly Users
83% Online Women, 75% Online Men
Best place to reach millennials and Generation X
55% Male, 45% Female
38% Online Women, 26% Online Men
Less than 35 (53% of users follow brands)
22% Online Men, 15% Online Women
47% Online Women, 17% Online Men
31% Online Men, 27% Online Women
These numbers should be leveraged to develop a targeted social media strategy.
Essential Components of Digital Marketing Strategy
Your website is the virtual gateway to your business. It is the first impression of your brand. For most digital marketing mandates, the objective would be to build traffic for this website. This is where it all begins; your website is your home.
So, before you start inviting visitors home (through digital marketing), make sure that your own house is in order. Having a fully functional, updated, and optimized website is the groundwork for starting digital marketing. You need to have meaningful landing pages, product pages, and persuasive calls to action that can get the job done.
- Social Media Platforms
The most critical form of word of mouth is happening online. Presence on prominent social media platforms is perhaps one of the most essential demands of a robust digital strategy. Choose your platforms judiciously. Understand your audience’s preferences, and your own strengths while selecting a platform. Remember, your goal should be to get the social media traffic onto your website.
- Online Advertising
A digital marketing strategy is incomplete without advertisements, especially paid ads. Display ads on the Google ad network, and other ad platforms are crucial for gaining early traction and helping you reach your target audience. The results are immediate and you can control the spends. To reap these benefits, you need to target well, leverage analytical tools, manage keywords, and create compelling ad copy.
- Content Creation
Everybody creates content, few create meaningful content and even fewer create original and engaging content. Your entire digital strategy can go haywire if you lack this. Think from a customer’s perspective. Why do you like to read articles, tweets, or newsletters from a particular publisher? Of course, it’s content. Understand what your target audience wants and craft content accordingly.
- Content Distribution
You can distribute your content via paid media, owned media and earned media. While all the three media channels are important, it may not apply in equal measures to every brand. You need to factor the resource constraints. Evaluate the pros and cons of each of the above media and allocate your resources accordingly.
Steps for A Successful Digital Marketing Strategy
- Analyse Your Business
Sound obvious, but unfortunately several organizations fail to do so. To get started, get answers to these four questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- Where are the insights?
- What is your objective for the digital communication?
- How do you want the reader to interact with your communication?
- Audit of the Current Strategy
You need to audit your current digital strategy to find out whether:
- Your website traffic is increasing, decreasing, or is constant
- It is helping you get new leads
- Your online reputation is healthy (reviews/ratings)
- Define the Objective
Again, sounds familiar, but not dealt with enough seriousness. Don’t confuse between goals and objectives. While goals tell you where you want to go, objectives lead you there. This is about the specifics – numbers, dates, performance.
- Develop Channels
Just like it is essential to understand which platform will work best for you, it is important to figure out and develop the right channels that will carry your message to the target audience. Email marketing, affiliate marketing and social media marketing are some of the broad channels for you to explore.
- Develop a Content Calendar
A content calendar streamlines your processes and helps all the stakeholders. It allows you to plan and prioritize by answering questions like how many content pieces, which products, which platform, when, which keywords, what copy, which goal, etc.
- Develop Campaigns
Through social media marketing, SEO and pay-per-click, you can develop campaigns that strike a chord with your audience. A targeted campaign backed by an insightful message goes a long way in increasing the visibility of your brand.
- Execute and Manage
Managing your strategy is as important as execution. Without proper management, your campaign can go haywire. Management requires acquiring new skills, tools, and processes. The bigger the platform, the more challenging it is to manage.
Measurement encompasses a range of metrics such as
- Traffic generated
- Traffic sources
- Cost Per Click (CPC)
- Bounce rate
- Cost Per Lead (CPL)
- Average page views per visit
- Average time on site
- Return On Investment (ROI)
Each of the above provides valuable insights for your strategy.
Reasons Why Digital Marketing Strategies Fail
Not all digital marketing strategies are successful. The primary reasons for failure are:
- Started for the Wrong Reason
What’s your reason to invest time and money into digital marketing? Is it to acquire new customers, enhance the brand image or boost your online reputation? If you’ve started without a plan, chances are that you will not be impressed with where you are going. Just because digital marketing is the talk of the town, don’t jump the gun. Sometimes, it is okay to sit at the fence and not commit.
- Not Flexible Enough
Rigidity can spell doom for your digital plan. The beauty of digital marketing is the ability to monitor regularly and keep tweaking a campaign throughout its lifecycle. If your approach is to let it run on autopilot, you might not be able to make the most of your resources. Once you’ve set your goals, you need to be flexible to modify them based on user trends, ad performance, and response.
- Not Sustained Long Enough
Most marketers choose to go digital because of the higher control and flexibility it brings. However, somewhere during the activity, they lose patience and decide to pull the plug. One must acknowledge that like any other marketing campaign, a digital plan also warrants sustained efforts. It is through trial and error that one builds excellence and achieves the set milestones.
- Improper CTAs/ Actionable Not Measurable
Online or offline, a call to action is a critical part of any marketing communication. Sometimes, the reason for the failure (or perceived failure) of a digital marketing campaign is simply the lack of measurable outcomes – like brand awareness. Other times, there can be trivial issues like incorrect hyperlinks, improper redirects, under-optimized landing pages, broken page links, defunct inquiry forms, etc., that force a campaign to fall flat.
At LexiConn, we believe in a meaningful confluence of organic and paid marketing. We focus on creating high-quality, business appropriate content that can be leveraged for various digital marketing activities.
Our team works closely with your product managers to learn about your business. This is the groundwork we do for developing any campaign. We delve deep into your marketing strategy, and profile your target audience. Once we zero-in on their likes and preferences, we build highly-targeted content and campaigns around the features and benefits that are most likely to appeal to them.
Write to us for your digital marketing mandates. We look forward to working with you.