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While you’ve heard about the importance of having a marketing strategy before – whether it’s inbound, content, or social, a strategy is the skeleton bones of what you want to accomplish in a given time period, which you then fill in with specific tactics and campaigns to reach your audience.
A digital marketing strategy is like an umbrella under which everything else goes – your content strategy, social strategy, PPC, search engine optimization (SEO), video strategy, and more. In addition, each strategy shouldn’t ever stand on its own – each is required to create a well-rounded digital marketing strategy for your business.
Before you can do anything, you must define your audience. Your marketing or sales department might have a vague idea of the audience you’re targeting, i.e. female millennials in the United States, middle-aged males in the finance industry, or anyone ages 30-55 working in healthcare. Regardless of the specifics, consider who your audience is by defining, researching, and learning more about who they really are – How do they spend their work day? Do they have a family? What are their challenges?
The answers to these might require interviewing current clients, talking with sales, etc. – whatever you need to do to obtain as much information as possible.
If you’re looking for a great template to help guide you through the process or at the very least, start thinking about who your personas are, check out our persona template.
Once you define your personas, think about their biggest challenges. You won’t be able to provide potential leads with a solution if you don’t understand their struggles.
For example, if you’re marketing in the SaaS industry, perhaps your target audience is looking for software with better data, an improved user experience, etc. If you work in healthcare technology, your audience might struggle with security, maintaining a consistent record for patients, and more.
This is another step in which you should talk with your real-life customers to discover why they chose your company in the first place – this will help you identify the problems you know you can solve, which will help you shape your digital marketing strategy around how you can provide real solutions for your audience.
After defining your personas and considering their pain points, you’re in the perfect position to develop your content marketing strategy. But first, take a look at how content marketing is changing.
You already know that churning out a ton of content without a clear path doesn’t work – the internet is already oversaturated with information, so it’s crucial to focus on delivering high-quality content.
As searches have become more conversational, your content strategy must shift as well. In order to help your audience find you, it’s important to optimize your website with pillar pages, also known as long-form content, on topics in which your business is an expert and your personas are searching for.
In addition to developing long-form content, consider the other types of content to include in your strategy, which could be case studies, videos, etc.
Did you know that your content strategy also directly impacts your SEO strategy? By creating content on your website that provides high-quality information for both current and future customers, you will put your website in a better position to rank higher on search engines.
SEO is more than selecting the right keywords. While keywords are still important, your SEO strategy must consider user intent. The way people are searching continues to change, which means marketers can’t keep following the same method year after year.
Voice search has become a major component to how people are searching online. Knowing this, it’s vital for your website to contain not only long-tail keywords on topics that your audience is searching, but also quality content that they want to learn more about.
Search engines are no longer simply crawling for keywords – they’re much smarter than that. They take into account past searches by a person as well as location, relevance, and distance. Make sure your website is optimized for each of these to ensure the personas you’re targeting can find you.
An effective SEO strategy should include four pillars:
As the use of video continues to spread, it’s crucial for companies using video to have a structure and strategy. Here are a few questions to consider as you build your video marketing strategy:
There’s so much to consider for a video marketing strategy and creating video content is not always cheap. However, there are ways to create videos on a budget and still look like a pro.
Ah yes, the social media beast. A few years ago, a social media strategy simply meant that your business was present on social networks and posted occasionally. Now, most networks are a completely different animal.
It may no longer be pertinent for your business to be on every network. If your audience isn’t there, why should you be? Of course, having a presence on most networks is a good idea, including updated business contact information, a description, your profile and cover photo…maybe an occasional post. But if your audience isn’t there – there’s no need to waste time posting several times each week.
So, what should your strategy include?
Outline the networks you know your audience uses. If it’s only LinkedIn and Facebook, great! Stick with those. Next, decide how many times per week you want to post and the type of content you want to share – what’s important to your audience? Some examples of content you can share include, a relevant industry article, inspirational story or quote, or education about your company.
Lastly, what is your plan for engagement? Do you have a designated person to monitor comments, messages, etc. from your followers? It’s important that your business has a plan to respond, otherwise someone might become discouraged from reaching out to your company at all.
Don’t wait, start boosting your social media strategy today.
Last, but not least is pay-per-click (PPC) and social advertising. While traditional marketing strategies invest their money in many buckets – your company can no longer afford to not invest in this area.
First, determine how much paid advertising makes sense for your business. Google AdWords is a good place to start, but be warned, it’s not something that’s easily managed for the average marketer –a valuable resource with experience in PPC is crucial to finding success in paid advertising, whether that’s with your marketing agency or hiring an internal expert.
In this area of marketing strategy in particular, you must determine a monthly budget. It shouldn’t take long to see results – as long as you have a strategy and you’re doing it the right way.
Beyond AdWords, you should also consider Bing Ads and Facebook Advertising. With Facebook’s latest announcement about emphasizing the content that users want to see, it will become more difficult for your content to show up organically in the news feed.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to tackle your digital marketing strategy? Whether you only create part of your strategy and need help in other areas, or require assistance in all areas, the Spot On team is experienced in partnering with companies to develop, implement, and analyze their digital marketing strategies for optimal results.
Contact us today for a free 30-minute call to discuss your company’s needs.
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