I come bearing harsh truths: product development is useless without strong marketing. No matter how much work you put into making amazing products, you won’t make a sale if no one knows about them. For that reason, developing a strong and consistent marketing strategy is an essential part of any business, and an essential part of any marketing strategy is digital marketing.
There may still be some value in print and other analog marketing mediums, but it is dwarfed by the value of digital marketing. No matter your target demographic, advertising online is the only way to get consistent and reliable revenue for your business. However, to take full advantage of digital marketing you need a marketing strategy.
Creating A Marketing Strategy
A digital marketing strategy is more than a list of marketing concepts and post ideas, it should be an all-encompassing plan for how you represent your business online. Every company does it differently, depending on their company, products, and intended market, but if you’re just starting out in digital marketing there are some overall rules that will help you develop a strong marketing strategy.
Focus Your Brand Vision
It’s paramount that you have a clear and focussed image of your brand before even beginning to create your marketing strategy. If you aren’t 100% clear on exactly who your company is and what they stand for, how can you expect your audience to know, let alone care? Make sure you have clear company values, a mission and a vision, stated in plain and evocative language that your customers can get behind.
Research Your Audience
You should know your audience at least as well as you know yourself. Knowledge is power when it comes to digital marketing, which means the more specific details you know about your target market the easier it will be to form an engaging marketing strategy. Knowing what your customers respond to is also a good way to test out your company values and mission.
Set SMART Goals
When it comes to any project, the best goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Ignoring any one of these factors will make your goals either too difficult or too easy to achieve, which will limit your growth and curtail your ambition.
Track Your Progress
Sal Salieri, a marketer at 1Day2write and Nextcoursework, reminds us that “Creating a marketing strategy isn’t a one-time action, it requires consistent follow-up if you want to stay relevant to your customers. This means tracking how well your content fares, A/B Testing to root out the most effective content, and asking your customers for feedback regularly. Put the work in and you will certainly see dividends.”
Campaign Ideas For Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Having set up a marketing strategy that is consistent, knowledgeable, and focused on your brand message, its time to start the hard work of digital marketing. There are hundreds of choices to make when it comes to campaign styles and content choices, but here are a few that have been proven to be successful time and again.
It might seem like email is on its way out, but email marketing is not dead. The issue is audiences are very sensitive to bad email marketing, so there are some practices that no longer gain traction. However, if you develop your email marketing strategy intelligently, you’ll be using a medium that 99% of people check every day; not something you want to miss out on.
When it comes to digital advertising, you can’t afford to avoid social media. It’s such a part of everyone’s life that I almost considered not including it in this list; surely everyone knows they need a social media presence for digital marketing? However, I included it anyway, because there are a few misconceptions to clear up.
First of all, you don’t need profiles on every platform. Pick your platforms based on your target market and put your resources into those. Also, just being on social media isn’t enough, you need to root out your market with customized and personalized ads. Facebook has a Custom Ads feature that allows you to target ads to a specific database of contact details, meaning you can speak directly to your customers on their platform. That’s working smart, not hard.
Influencers and Brand Ambassadors
Nowadays you can’t mention social media marketing without bringing up influencers. Word of mouth has always been the most persuasive form of marketing and influencers are essentially word of mouth machines. Bear in mind, however, that you don’t need to turn the head of a Kardashian to take advantage of the influencer boom, there are plenty of influencers out there with small and loyal audiences that would be willing and eager to work with smaller brands.
One step removed from influencers are brand ambassadors, essentially regular customers who are vocal about their support for your products. Tony Ramona, a business analyst at Australia2write and Britstudent, recommends you “Pay attention to users who interact with your brand regularly and see if you can offer them any exclusive reward for their loyalty. They may not be as reliable as contracted influencers, but they could give your brand an approachable and endearing edge that’s so valuable in the digital market.”
This last point is more in the realm of content ideas, but it’s so valuable I had to mention it. Video marketing consistently comes out on top when it comes to engaging content. 85% of internet users in the U.S. watch video content monthly and over 50% of consumers want to see more video content from brands. What this means is you need to consider how you can market your products through video.
Video explainers are a great way to package textual content in a visual medium. Set up a YouTube account, look into Instagram and IGTV, investigate TikTok — find out where your audience lives, and meet them there with engaging video content.
Regina Wheeler is an e-learning consultant at Academicbrits.com and PhdKingdom.com. She has been involved in many projects with companies across the nation encompassing management, marketing, and finance mentorship. If you want to read more of her work, you can find it at Originwritings.com.