Remember when advertising was only done on TV and giant billboards? Well, unless you are Coca-Cola, those days are gone. Today, every company worth its salt has a thriving website and social media platforms for marketing. Digital marketing is where the world is at right now, and if you are not on board, you are missing out big time.

Unlike traditional marketing, though, digital marketing is broad with at least seven methods. There are big guys like social media marketing, email marketing, and search engine optimisation. Then you have supportive strategies such as pay-per-click advertising, Google Ads, video marketing, and native advertising. And therein lies the problem of deciding where to start.

The Importance of Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy

According to Smart Insights, 46% of brands don’t have a digital marketing strategy, and 16% of those who do have not integrated it into their marketing activities yet. Without a defined plan, it’s hard to track results, grow, and learn from mistakes.

Drawing up a digital marketing strategy starts with defining your audience and knowing how to reach them. You can’t just wing it the way billboards and TV adverts did. It’s the only way to use your resources efficiently and ensure your money and effort are used wisely.

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Steps to Create an e-commerce Digital Marketing Strategy

Now that you know you need a defined strategy in place and the different digital marketing methods, where do you start?

In this post, we will look at six essential steps you need to follow when creating a digital marketing plan to ensure your efforts are successful and rewarding.

  • Identify your goals and objectives
  • Create a customer persona
  • Determine where to find users
  • Analyse your existing digital marketing channels
  • Incorporate automation and personalisation
  • Make mobile a priority

The best way to set goals is to follow the SMART analogy. Your goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Defining exactly what you want from your digital marketing efforts will help you track if it’s working and make the necessary changes.

Do you want to get more sales? Generate more leads? Build brand recognition? Put your goals into words.

Here is an example of a weak marketing goal; increase conversion next year and have two promotional offers.

What is wrong with that goal?

It’s not specific enough, or measurable, so you won’t know whether you attained it or not.
Instead, a great marketing goal should look something like this- “increase conversions by 20% in the next three months and have two promotional offers before June; free ebook and magazine subscription.”
Here is another example, “get 20,000 more email subscribers or reach 20,000 visits a month on the website.”

With that goal, you know exactly what you are working towards.

Previously marketers collected quantitative information about their target audience to create advertisements. This included their age, gender, occupation, location, and interests. Today, defining your target audience and the customer has gone to a whole new other level, thanks to buyer personas.

What is a buyer persona?

This terms describe your ideal customer to the letter. Companies use research and analytics, such as Facebook’s Audience Insights and Google Analytics, to develop this buyer persona.
Just like your goals, your buyer persona must be specific. Instead of saying ‘working moms,’ you want to define who she is, what are her pain points that you can solve, where does she spend her time, and what makes her tick.

For example, ‘Mary, 25-30 with at least one child under five years, on a budget in a middle-class home. She is a full-time working mom but spends her free time with her children. She tries to live a healthy organic lifestyle, but that is not always possible with her busy schedule.’
With this persona in mind,

  • What are the problems you can help her with?
  • What are her desires, goals, fears, and aspirations?
  • What kind of people influence her so you can target your marketing in that regard?

You now know exactly who your target audience is and what makes them tick. The next step is to figure out how you will reach and connect with them. Again, go to your analytics and find out where your buyer persona hangs out. Is it on social media, does she buy digital magazines?

What kind of searches does she do online?

So, let’s say you own a home renovation company. You do everything from repairing water damage to upgrading kitchens and bathrooms. Chances are, your audience will come from different stages of the sales funnel. For example;

  • Someone looking to upgrade their bathroom might find you by googling ‘bathroom design ideas’ or on Pinterest. If they find your blog with images of what they are looking for and information, they could look into hiring you.
  • A person who has suffered leaky pipes or flooding might find you on Google Ads when searching for someone to remediate that situation.
  • Someone is living with rundown cabinets and a bathtub from the 18th century because they can’t afford to replace them. You run a Facebook ad with an offer, and they see how cheap it is, they call you.

These are different marketing channels where clients can find you, depending on their needs. Because you can’t use all digital marketing channels, knowing where your target audience might be looking will help narrow down the options.

Assuming you already have digital marketing platforms running, how well are they performing? Maybe you already have a website, social media accounts, Google AdWords, and paid advertising. Evaluate their past performance and how they can be used in the next year.

For example, your website could be getting 100 visits a month, but you want to increase that number. Part of your strategy would be designing better landing pages or adding a blog. Feel free also to discard channels that are using resources and not bringing in any results if there is nothing you can do to improve them.

As you create content and develop a marketing strategy, you must ensure it is personalised and automated. Thankfully, these two go hand in hand if you use the right tools. For example, email marketing tools can get data from a customer’s social media searches, google, and past purchases to segment them according to their interests, age, demographic, and so on.

Ads are also using retargeting to show users more of the products they have viewed on your site in the past. Automation helps you to give your target audience more of what they want to see or hear, instead of boring them with unnecessary information.

Currently, over 52% of the world accesses the internet via mobile phones, and this number is set to increase in the coming years. If you want your business to stay competitive, you have to design all your marketing efforts around mobile accessibility. The 21st-century person wants to access information on the go, at their convenience. So you should also think about voice command optimisation.

Make sure your website and email templates are responsive to every device and screen, including smartwatches. Mobile optimisation must also include page speed, design, legible font, and search engine optimisation to ensure that mobile phone users have a good experience.

Bonus Tips

Every brand has at least one thing that sets them apart from their competitors. As you come up with a marketing strategy, your differentiator, or that unique selling point should be at the centre of your mind all along. To use the example of Coca-Cola again, one of their unique selling point is that they have a secret ingredient that no other soda-making company knows about. Once you figure out your secret ingredient, figure out how you can bring it out in your marketing efforts.

If you are still not at the level of world dominance in your local SEO, blogging is one of the best marketing strategies. Not only does it bring traffic to your website but it also reinforces your social media presence, positions you as an expert in your field and most importantly, helps your site to rank in search engines. Blogging is the only strategy that pulls all the other strategies up, and it doesn’t cost a dime unless you hire writers or SEO services.

Creating a digital marketing strategy is only the first step, despite how involving it might be. From there, you must:

  • create a calendar/timeline
  • highlight campaigns that you will create and promote over a specific period
  • Allocate resources and people to run with these campaigns and track the progress every few months to know where you are Luckily for those who feel this is a lot, a digital marketing agency, Adelaide will help you create the right marketing strategy and implement it. An agency has worked with hundreds of clients before, so they know what works best in marketing and what mistakes to avoid.
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