Like any discipline, marketing has its share of challenges, and digital marketers are always striving to make an impact on consumers and public sentiment and their colleagues. That’s where a digital marketing strategy comes in; marketers need to have a digital marketing strategy to give their companies and clients the all-important edge they need to come out on top.
To save you some time as you think about your digital marketing strategy, we’ve rounded up 22 articles, blog posts, and presentations focusing on the key aspects of marketing strategy you need to know. Our top digital marketing strategies come from leading marketers, successful marketing agencies, and other top thought leaders in the marketing discipline, and they are based on statistics and proven tactics for developing and executing successful digital marketing strategies.
Please note, we have categorized our trends to simplify your search process; otherwise, they are not ranked or rated in any way.
- What is a Digital Marketing Strategy
- Developing a Digital Marketing Strategy
- Executing a Digital Marketing Strategy
- Digital Marketing Strategy Trends
What is a Digital Marketing Strategy
The foundation of any business is knowing what they are all about. Identify your business goals and practices with a clearly stated, comprehensive look at where you are and where you want to be.
Your digital marketing strategy then begins with a mission statement. The mission statement should be non jargony, differentiated, and easy for everyone at your company to understand and execute against. After the mission statement your digital marketing strategy needs clear objectives and goals. SMART GOALS is a popular way to manage this. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timely.
A digital marketing strategy is the series of actions that are going to help you achieve your goal(s). Building an effective digital strategy doesn’t need to be difficult. A strategy is a plan of action to achieve goals. For example generate 25% more revenue from your website year over 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.
A digital marketing strategy should be informed by research into customer behaviour and marketplace activity and it should be based on objectives for future revenue contribution. An effective digital marketing strategy will help you take the right decisions to make your company successful. Smart Insights developed a digital marketing strategy process model and provide a framework that gives a logical sequence to follow to ensure inclusion of all key activities of strategy development and implementation.
Strategy is the what, why and where. Tactics are the how you are going to achieve the strategy. The important thing to always remember is that ‘A strategy is choosing what not to do’ by Michael Porter. If you include everything without research, analysis, insights, experience, and experts it won’t work. This is important to remember because it can be tempting to include everything, everyone else is right?…Your competitor might have a successful marketing strategy but that doesn’t mean it would be as successful for your brand. Why? Because every brand, business and customer base is different. Your customers will have a different expectation of what they get when engaging with your brand to your competitors.
Digital marketing is any form of marketing products or services that involves electronic devices. Digital marketing can be done both online and offline. The 2 main pillars of digital marketing are online marketing and offline marketing. The 7 big categories of online marketing are: Search engine optimization (SEO) Search engine marketing (SEM) Content marketing Social Media Marketing (SMM) Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) Affiliate marketing Email marketing. The 4 main components of offline marketing Enhanced offline marketing, Radio marketing, TV marketing and Phone marketing.
If the goal of marketing is to reach customers when and where they are ready to buy with a relevant and personal message, emerging forms of digital advertising like Mobile Video Advertising, Native Advertising, Behavioral Targeting, Virtual Reality, Wearables, Beacons and Bluetooth Low Energy put that within reach. The biggest question with a digital marketing strategy is always how to allocate marketing dollars for best return on investment, and the quick answer is that it varies based on your company’s objectives and target audience.
Developing a Digital Marketing Strategy
The Customer Value Journey is the strategic foundation of a digital marketing strategy. It’s the master template upon which every other digital marketing discipline and tactic is built. The job of marketing is to move prospects and customers seamlessly and subtly through each phase of the Customer Value Journey. There are 8 key steps in crafting a digital marketing strategy:
Search advertising platforms work best when there is a clear demand for your product or service, and you want to target people who search for your product or service online. Search advertising is less effective for a startup that has created a new and innovative product never before seen in the market. Or for something that most people buy at brick and mortar stores and rarely search online. Your Digital Marketing Strategy in these cases requires that you create demand from scratch.
When it comes to digital marketing strategy it is important to remember that for any business to be effective, they need to know who their audience is. When it comes to digital marketing through social media, Facebook is definitely leading the race because they have the best options to define who you want to market to and you can set whatever budget you are comfortable with. Before you can start on any digital marketing tactics it’s important to have a defined target audience and a documented ideal customer profile, you have to know what they like to do and what they want so you know how to create content that will capture their attention.
Roger Bryan’s list of digital marketing strategies on Huffington Post tells us:
- Start with a solid goal.
- Create a marketing and sales funnel that is applicable to your business. The funnel should roughly take into account Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action.
- Develop calls to action that gets your audience to do something. Create content that your audience wants so that they keep coming back to your site.
- Drive traffic with quality content, website optimization and social media.
46% of brands don’t have a defined digital marketing strategy, while 16% do have a strategy but haven’t yet integrated it into their marketing activity. But here’s the thing: if you don’t have a plan in place how can you expect to grow and innovate, to measure meaningful results and to learn from past mistakes? The Digital Marketing Institute provide 5 key points that will impact your top and bottom line, here’s our top 3:
- Set the objective. Define your business’ overall mission/objective first – your digital marketing mission must fit into your grand plan.
- Learn From Your Mistakes. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) go into the planning period in the dark. Analyzing your digital marketing strategies past success and failures can help focus you on setting the best KPIs for your business. You, therefore, might want to complete step one and two together.
- Speak Their Language. Don’t let the planning take away from the people you’re trying to reach. You already know who your audience are (at least we hope you do) but sometimes they’re the first thing a digital marketer can forget amidst the KPI setting, budget fretting and channel selection.
The first step is to stop thinking as your site as an independent concept. A website is one part of a marketing system. Building a more effective website on its own will not make a big impact on your business. Instead, think about your digital marketing strategy as an “engine” or a marketing system have highly linked components including but not limited to Online marketing, your best customers (target account profile), connecting with your best prospects, using the right technology and setting SMART goals.
Executing a Digital Marketing Strategy
Brand-builder, copywriter, and social media marketer at ReachLocal, Tara Banda, highlights that a business blog is useless if you don’t regularly create and promote original and shareable content to help prove relevance and therefore rank in search engines. Another easy to implement tactic in your digital marketing strategy is to enable share buttons on your blog so that readers can easily post your content to their social media pages and drive visitors back to your website. Tara also reminds us of another important digital marketing tactic which is to no only promote blog posts once. Repurpose them as engaging images, quotes, or questions in order to generate additional views, shares, and subject relativity.
You could be a leading digital marketer in your company, but with nothing to prove it, you’re no different than your equally ambitious co-workers. Whether you’re selling your own product on the side or taking charge of an exceptionally challenging task at your day job, save your stats, feedback, email correspondence and other documentation that show you’re making a difference. You’ll need this data to show the results of your digital marketing strategy execution.
The tactics section of your digital marketing plan will describe how you will implement your strategy, and defines the channels and tools that you will use. It should define what you hope to achieve by using each tactic, how this relates to your main objectives, and how you will measure your performance.
Your tactics should include:
- a summary of your digital marketing mix – what channels will you use?
- the reasons why you have chosen each channel and details of implementation
- the customer segmentation that you will use and how each channel will be targeted
- a summary of the metrics that you will use to measure performance for each channel
- what key performance indicators you will use to assess performance
Creating engaging content with relevant data and juicy tips will always be effective. Creativity in all forms: for making your business better, for getting everyone to talk about you, for inspiring others, for earning free advertising, for becoming an asset in your industry. An effective digital tactic is to correlate the call to action with the visual component (if there is any), have a compelling verb (to entice you to take action), communicate value (what you are offering) and create a sense of urgency. You should use ”get your free e-book” instead of “download” or “get free quote” instead of “submit” and so on.
There’s no denying that “Content is king”. Every marketing guru has suddenly become a content expert and touting all the material you need to write. Here’s 10 other tactive you can employ to drive a successful digital marketing strategy:
- A/B Testing
- Email Marketing
- Follow Up
- Social Media
- Website realignment
Digital Marketing Strategy Trends
Gone are the days of advertising where marketers were mainly charged with branding, awareness, and recall. Today’s Modern Marketers (and advertisers) must be technology and data-driven experts as well as brand champions and storytellers. eMarketer predicts that programmatic ad spending will be over $20 billion in 2016, more than double the amount seen in 2014.
In 2018, identity is poised to revolutionize digital marketing. Signal put together 5 predictions and recommendations. Their work includes:
- Key digital marketing trends for 2018.
- How brands can leverage their data and take control of their future.
- Why companies are reinventing themselves as identity companies.
Shiny new objects aren’t worth the money if you don’t have a proper plan for implementation and adoption across your organization. Edelman considers how organizations need to prepare, while offering immediate and actionable perspective on what cannot be left behind. Edelman Digital holds fast to the belief that when any organization is capable of breaking down silos and getting internal teams to work together, the real advancement happens.
The digital marketing strategy trends covered include e-commerce, data & analytics, artificial intelligence, conversational technologies, personalization, digital transformation, augmented reality, post cable networks, and influencers
Even if your company might be able to deliver a “personalized” email (often simply meaning addressing a receiver with his or her first name), it doesn’t mean you have hit the jackpot in delivering great Customer Experience. Avaus provide 8 trends you should consider including in your digital marketing strategy:
- Multichannel marketing becomes a norm
- it’s all about customer experience
- ai revolutionizes digital marketing
- social media analytics go beyond engagement
- martech budgets continue to grow
- augmented reality moves beyond gaming
- the potential of ABM is finally realized.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other popular social media networks continuously update their platforms, which is why it’s critical for marketers to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the social media space. TJ Kiely put together a list of trends to feed your digital marketing strategy.
- Video on demand is very much in demand.
- Social media influencers are gaining more influence
- The EU is cracking down on data collection
- Chatbots are taking over the world
- The art of new storytelling – temporary stories on Instagram, Snapchat, and now YouTube