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Digital Marketing Strategy – what it is and why you need one

What are some considerations to set up a solid digital marketing strategy? What channels and actions do you need to keep in mind? Where do you start?


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Martin Hennig

2 years ago | 3 min read

Many businesses know how crucial digital channels are today for acquiring and retaining customers. Yet, many don't have an integrated plan to grow and engage their audiences effectively.

A successful digital marketing strategy goes well beyond a few social media networks, some SEO, a bit of marketing automation and a B2B or B2C paid media plan. You need an integrated approach that is competitive in all those dimensions.

Prepare a baseline, define your needs and make a case for investment in and/or changes to your existing digital marketing plans. You will look at your business goals, competitors, customers, and overall digital challenges. You will also look at your processes, technology and organisational setup for opportunities of leveraging existing structures. Most companies are doing ‘digital marketing’, but few have a defined strategy that helps them stay on track, stay accountable, on budget and ahead of rivals.

So what is a good approach to digital marketing? It all starts by defining your objectives. What is your strategy trying to achieve? What are some milestones to get you there? How do you measure success (or define and report on success)? How can you fuel your growth?

Your digital strategy is a series of actions you take to help you achieve your overarching marketing goal. Your various digital marketing campaigns are building blocks within that strategy. The most successful businesses also have an effective marketing funnel (or flywheel) mapped out, a visualisation of customer journeys from when a customer is a stranger to when (and how) they become a lead, and eventually a customer, if not ambassador.

There are different frameworks to choose from, but all will clearly define the stages your prospect is in. Each stage has typically its own set of channels and messages. Knowing your audience is crucial to draft your messages - after all, your objective is to solve their problems by selling your solutions to the right person at the right time.

Your digital marketing strategy will, at the very least, include tactics to generate web traffic, capture leads, nurture them and eventually convert them to customers. None of those elements can exist by themselves and be successful. For instance, an outstanding website without traffic is as useful as a whitepaper download you can’t track or follow up on. Social media broadcasting without engagement is as valuable as your Call-to-Action that no one clicks. You get the idea.

So let’s talk about traffic acquisition and conversions

Traffic sources typically include organic search, paid search, referrals, social, email, display (or other campaign traffic), and direct traffic - all of which can be optimised and increased. Your traffic mix depends on many factors and can change over time. You need to get the basics right before expanding into new areas. Having a well-designed, well-written, functional website which converts traffic into leads and sales is critical, but only the beginning.

Your website needs to be a resource as much as an engagement driver. Every page has a purpose and encourages a desired behaviour or next step. Your CTAs need to be diverse and appropriate. Not every page visit will end in a sale, and it doesn’t have to. Signing up for your newsletters, leaving comments on your blog, following your brand on social media or uploading a resume can also be valuable conversions, depending on your business goals.

Alongside optimising your social and organic output, I recommend paid promotions for your most popular and/or important content (think Google ads and social ads primarily). This gives you the opportunity to reach a new, larger audience beyond your organic reach and allows to target broad consumer segments that match the demographics or interests of your best current customers and promising prospects. Set up paid promotions that allow you to segment and precisely target the people you want to reach which will drive more conversions, and ultimately revenue.

There are many digital marketing tools and software solutions available today to help you refine, boost and streamline your processes. As a matter of fact, the landscape is so vast, I would recommend working with an expert to pick the right ‘Tech Stack’ for your organisation. Your team not only needs to be on board, but genuinely thrilled about the technology you put in place. After all, they will be the ones using it to make their work more effective and the marketing to sales process more frictionless.

As you can see, your digital marketing strategy is as much about processes as it is about technology and the people running it. Every journey starts with a first step. What will yours be?

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Martin Hennig

An internationally experienced and well-connected marketing professional specialising in MarTech, E-Commerce, Social Media & Digital Marketing Strategy. German native who, before moving to Sweden, worked 8.5 years with eBay Inc. in Ireland and the USA. A successful people manager and versatile marketing leader with M.Sc. degree in eCommerce & B.A. in Sociology. Former Senior Digital Transformation Consultant at NoA Connect. Since June 2021 part of the Salesforce Customer Success Group in the Nordics. In here only representing myself, which means opinions are my own and do not represent any current or past employers.


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