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Digital Marketing Strategy: An Ultimate Guide to be Effective

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As per a ‘Managing Digital Marketing’ study by Smart Insights, 46% of brands don’t have a clear digital marketing strategy. Companies often overlook the importance of having an integrated Digital Marketing Strategy.

Digitally Mature Companies with a Strategy are 8 Times more likely to Gain Market Share.

But with the growing digitization, it is clear that companies are taking Digital Marketing more seriously.

What is Digital Marketing Strategy?

In the dynamic digital landscape, your business success often depends on what you do to market your company online.

In order to be effective at online marketing, you must have a digital marketing strategy!digital-marketing-strategy1

On the basis of the scale of your business, the digital marketing strategy might involve multiple goals but you need to stay focused on meeting the primary objectives.

Difference Between Digital Marketing Strategy & Digital Marketing Campaign

Most people confuse Digital Marketing Strategy with Digital Marketing Campaign, here’s the key difference:

Digital Marketing Strategy Example

Deciding to run a campaign sharing some of your best performing content on Facebook to generate more leads via that channel. That campaign is part of your strategy to boost lead generation process.

That is, digital strategy is the series of actions you take to achieve your marketing goals. On the other hand, digital marketing campaigns are the pillars or building blocks of your strategy that help you meet that particular goal.

Note: If you are running a campaign for two years or even more, it doesn’t make it a strategy!

Importance of Digital Marketing Strategy

Here are top 10 reasons why you must have a digital marketing strategy:

1. Give Direction

Companies without a digital marketing strategy don’t have clear objectives for what they wish to achieve online in terms of acquiring new customers or building effective relationships with current clients.

2. Know your Online Market Share

Customer demand for online services may be underestimated if you haven’t researched this. You won’t be in a position to judge your online marketplace, i.e., different options for marketing communications, types of customer profile and behavior, propositions, and competitors.

3. To Leave Startup and Existing Competitors Behind

If you have not enough resources allocated to digital marketing, then your competitors will leave you behind and they might even take on your customers.

4. You Need a Powerful Online Value

With a clearly defined online customer value proposition, you will be able to differentiate your online service encouraging new customers and existing ones to engage and stay loyal.

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5. Know your Online Clients Well

With tracking and analyzing techniques available, digital is the most measurable medium for your business. However, Google Analytics and other analysis tools will only tell you volumes. But for knowing the behavior and sentiments, you need to use other forms of website user feedback tools to identify your weak points.

6. Rise Above Disintegration

Digital Media works best when digital marketing strategy is integrated with traditional media and response channels.

7. No Wastage of Money and Time

Even if you have sufficient resources, it may get wasted. This is particularly common in larger companies where you see different parts of the marketing organization using different agencies or different tools for performing same online marketing tasks.

8. Stay Ahead of Others

All the top brands like Tesco, Google, Dell, Amazon, etc are all dynamic and adopting new approaches to keep their online audiences intact.

9. You Will Be Able to Optimize

Companies that are online will have analytics, but many managers don’t ensure that their teams have the time to review and act on them. Once a strategy ensures your basics are right, you can then progress to continuous improvement of the key aspects like email marketing, social media marketing, site user experience, search marketing, and more.

10. Your Digital Marketing Teams Aren’t Coordinated

For example, your content team is not working in coordination with the SEO team. Therefore, you aren’t able maximize the results.

Digital Marketing Strategy Framework

Undoubtedly, building an actual marketing strategy is difficult. Here are the elements of an effective digital marketing strategy to ensure online success for your business.digital-marketing-strategy

1. Know Your Objectives

#What’s your mission?

  • Define your business’ overall objective. Your digital marketing mission must fit into your big plan.
  • What is most important objective you want your digital marketing efforts to achieve? For instance, do you want to position your company as the go-to online provider for digital marketing training in Europe?

#What are your KPIs?

  • Specify your KPIs or Key Performance Indicators by identifying the patterns you will be held accountable for achieving.
  • Set realistic KPIs by analyzing your previous Digital Marketing efforts first. This will ensure you aim for a positive result on your current performance while directing you towards setting feasible objectives.
  • Identification of a method: Measure each of your KPIs. For example, using BuzzSumo to measure your individual social media analytics to track engagement or Google Analytics to measure your conversions.
  • KPI template you can go for: Increase (your goal) by (%) in (number of days or months).

2. Analyse Past Performance & Avoid Mistakes

  • By analyzing your the success and failures of your digital marketing strategy, you can help you with setting the best possible KPIs for your business.
  • You need to choose a time period that you would like to analyze. It is best to set this time period as the same length of time you plan for your new strategy.
  • For instance, decide whether you are going to analyze the previous year or month.

#Ways to Analyze

  • Set the time period you would like to analyze and set your Google Analytics calendar to match this timeframe.
  • Use Google Benchmarking Reports in your Analytics account to compare your progress against your competitors.
  • Analyze your competitor’s strategy too. You can create an analysis spreadsheet of their online activities to identify the SEO strategy of a competitor. For instance, what keywords they are using to drive largest volume of organic traffic to their website.
  • See if there’s anything else you need to analyze that you haven’t done before. For instance, testing the times you post content or the type of image used on your social media accounts.

3. Know your Audience & Speak in their Language

  • Let no planning take away the people you are trying to reach. If you know who your audience are (well, if you don’t know…you NEED to know!) you will speak in their language.
  • Remember not to forget them amidst the channel selection, budget fixing, and KPI setting.
  • Put your audience at the core of your Digital Marketing Strategy. Take care of their emotional needs, satisfy their deepest desires, and know what they want from you.

#Making Thoughtful Persona

You can do this by developing a thoughtful persona. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Starting with the basics, note down all the demographic information you know about your target audience. For example, their geographic location, gender, age, likes etc.
  • Now, identify the problems you wish to solve with the help of your target persona.
  • Know their goals, fears, aspirations, and emotional desires. Document all these factors in a check-list form.
  • Analyze the ‘Audience Reports’ of your Google Analytics account to identify key features of your target persona like career, sex, age, location etc.
  • When creating your personas, you need to identify the people who will be of influence to them. These will be the influencers your strategy should target.

4. Identify your Resources & Stick to your Budget

Here are three factors that help you identify your means:

  1. Your Budget
  2. Your digital channels
  3. Your team

It is essential to stock all of your resources before deciding what you need for the next period. For instance, now is the best time for creating an audit of your existing digital channels and to decide whether you are going to outsource specific sections of your digital marketing and whether you need to set budget aside to hire a new person.

Identifying your Means

#Budget

  • Define your overall digital marketing budget.
  • Analyze the past data that has worked for you. For example, any specific channel that brought you quality leads at a low cost.
  • Choose if you are going to use any paid advertisements or not. For example, Google AdWords.
  • Allocate a particular portion of the budget for each digital channel you wish to use for paid promotion. You can leverage analytics to help you assess the most cost effective digital channels with low cost and highest reach.
  • If you are getting desired results from your paid promotion strategy, analyze the allocated budget and invest into the channel that’s bringing you the best results.

#Team

  • Look and assess what your current team is capable of achieving. It is important to be realistic here and ensure that no one over works.
  • Identify whether you need to hire more people and whether you have enough means to do it.
  • See if all your digital marketing activity will be in-house or there’s something to be outsourced.
  • Get your team members to review their digital marketing activity and brainstorm a few ideas for their future strategy. The reason behind is to give employees more autonomy.

#Channels

  • Analyze your current digital marketing channels and determine which channels to keep and whether you would like to invest in any new ones.
  • Clearly decide what each digital channel is trying to achieve.
  • Attach at least one KPI to each of your digital channels.

5. Create a Plan But Still Be Flexible

Creating a plan is important but being flexible is required. This is because not every assumption you make is going to be correct.

I get that…You have taken care of every possible thing and crafted a carefully constructed plan based on a set of insightful assumptions and analysis. Nothing can’t be predicted exactly.

If your customers behave in a different way, you have to tweak your digital marketing strategy. You continuously have to measure and monitor the performance of your strategy and to change elements where needed.

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#Creating your Digital Marketing Calendar

  • Connect your timeline using Google Calendars. You can then share it with your team members and allow them to edit it where needed.
  • Highlight the key campaigns you will make and promote throughout the year and allocate a timeframe for each.
  • Document the digital channels needed to ensure the success for each campaign.

#Review your Strategy (Are There Any Changes Needed?)

  • Craft a measurement and monitoring plan (this should align with your KPIs).
  • Determine the success of the individual elements of your strategy at regular intervals.
  • If something is not working, for example, achieving the KPIs you have set, isolate the different elements and try to identify what is not inline with your digital marketing strategy. For instance, the time of posting of your content or the punchlines you are using for your ads?
  • Look at your previous analysis, personas, and budget allocation and go for something new.
  • Create a clearly defined KPI for you new objective.

Digital Marketing Strategy Examples

Here’s an example of how with the help of Digital Marketing Strategies, Flipkart became a big brand.

#ObjectiveLogo Flipkart

Now India’s largest e-commerce company, wanted to increase traffic and boost revenue and sales via the integration of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay per Click (PPC), Display Ads, and Mobile Apps.

#Flipkart’s Strategies

Few of the digital marketing strategies adopted by Flipkart are:

1. Google AdWords

With the help of content ads on Gmail, Flipkart’s performance was pretty good in AdWords.

2. Remarketing

This activates if the customer visits the site and clicks any search ad or display ad.

3. Successful Brand Campaigns

  • Big Billion Day, Singles Day
  • Shop Anytime, Anywhere
  • Shopping ka Naya Address
  • No Kidding, No Worries
  • Fair Tale

4. TV Commercial Strategy

  • With TV commercials, they wanted to build themselves as a verb for shopping.
  • They targeted biggest event of the year, IPL T20, 2014.
  • Today Flipkart is ranked #9 for shopping merchandise and #117 globally.

Conclusion

Before structuring a successful Digital Marketing Strategy, you need to have hands-on Digital Marketing. How are you going to be ahead of your competitors if you are hitting the wrong nerve of your target market?

Sakshi is a content marketer during the day and a reader by night. She writes content sprinkled with a twisted imagination. She has done her graduation in psychology from Delhi University and has an insane love for history.
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