5 Steps to Creating a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy
Successful Digital Marketing Strategy
Let’s start this with the obvious, shall we? Running a business is hard. Every company regardless of their size has its own battles to contend with. For a small business, this pain is felt by the business owner who wears many hats out of pure necessity. There is no accounting or HR department. Every day, it is a chaotic balancing act of going to sales meetings, answer questions from customers, managing and coordinating with numerous vendors, providing service and or selling products. Then.. finally at the end of that mountain of work is that thing called marketing. It’s the task that has been the first thing on your to-do list every day but, climbing a literal mountain seems more likely than getting to it.
Trust me, I get it. It’s a real pain that entrepreneurs and leaders face but, you are a driver, you are resilient and you are relentless. That’s how you have gotten to this point. After all of the distractions, you are here, ready to tackle that task of marketing your business. There are so many unique ways and places to market your business so we’ve put together a pathway to help you get started.
1. Define your goals
It’s easy to start with posting on Facebook and boosting posts or playing with AdWords. Nearly all businesses do that. Everyone does that and it’s often the reason they stop posting or other businesses decide to not get into it. They see the posts about an office cat or sales flyer that was in the newspaper and you think, this is marketing? This is what all of that noise about social media is? What we say to that is… ignore what others are doing. Let me unpack that real quick. You should know your competitors but don’t get stuck into doing what they are doing. You and your business are unique and your message should be too.
Think about your business or organization (this guide is great for non-profits too). What do you want your marketing efforts to accomplish for you? It can be different for every business, which is why you want to think about your business in the stage. Maybe you want more sales (who doesn’t, right?) or you want to build awareness for a new restaurant that you are opening soon. Whatever your goal is, define that here. Your goals are the foundation of your marketing so take the time to do it right. As the saying goes, a house built on sand will not stand.
2. Build a strategy
We have those goals and now it is time to figure out just how we are going to reach them. This becomes a mix of experience, knowledge, and creativity. When working with our clients on their strategy, we will typically have multiple meetings which involve really understanding their business, what makes them unique, who their customers are, how they want their customers to perceive them, what problem their service or product solves and about 500 “why” questions. You can’t market to someone if you don’t know who they are. As soon as you define your customer you can start to look at where those customers are. It’s all about attention. You want to go where the attention is. Specifically, where your customer’s attention is. I’ll give you a little inside information but let’s keep this between us… they are not reading the newspaper. How about one more inside secret? They are not clicking on banner ads.
Beyond that, there are numerous platforms to choose from. Choosing the right one(s) just depends on where your customer is. If you have a store that is selling creative goods or home decor, Pinterest is going to be your friend. For a car dealership, this one is fun.. your customers are everywhere. The point is, you want to understand your customers, go where they are and decide how your message can connect with them and motivate them.
After the goals have been defined and you have chosen a strategy it’s time to put it in action. If it’s content creation to help introduce people to your business or services then, this is when that content is created. If it’s producing ads on Facebook or Instagram, now is the time to get the creative work going and build the ads. Whatever your strategy calls for, put it into action. Nothing is perfect and there will be some failures here. Sorry to deliver that bad news but it’s there to encourage you. Don’t give up and don’t expect perfection on this strategy that took all of that time and energy to come up with. A successful digital marketing strategy is a process.
Remember, you are that driven, resilient and relentless person and a little bit of failure won’t stop you. Marketing is a mix of science and a lot of creativity so there are numerous nuances and unaccountable variables. Working with an agency who is experienced in this can really help you cut down on making a lot of those costly and time-consuming mistakes but, it’s part of the game.
There is a reason why I said, don’t expect perfection. First, there is no such thing as perfection so you’ll never reach. If that is your measuring stick, nothing will ever get done. Secondly, expecting something is making an assumption which is silly when you can actually measure it. The beautiful thing about digital marketing is that you can measure e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. If your goal was to get clicks to a lead form, you can see how many clicks there were. You can see how many visitors filled out your form and how many of those submissions turned into quality leads. From there you can start to tweak your strategy and execution. Testing and adjusting is the name of the game and it’s an endless process which leads us to…
There is never an end to this process. This thought provokes a glass half empty or half full scenario. I prefer to see it as a glass half full because it’s truly exciting. There are always ways to increase conversion, get more money out of your investment and reach more people.
Let’s recap what we’ve gone over here:
1. Define your goals – Write down what you to happen. e.g. Get more sales, more likes, increase awareness, etc.
2. Build a strategy – Understand your customer and where their attention is and then build a plan to reach them and meet your goals
3. Execute – Put your strategy into action and don’t expect perfection. Just do it.
4. Measure – Look back and see if you have reached your goals and study what you can change to improve the results.
5. Repeat – Do it all over again. Adjust your goals as needed or set additional ones. Define and adjust your strategy as well as your execution. Measure again.
By staying disciplined and following this outline you will have a gigantic advantage over that cat posting competitor of yours. And, you’ve created a successful digital marketing strategy.
Are you looking to better improve your digital marketing and have a well-defined strategy? We want to hear about your struggles and ambitions.