7 Things You Need to Build an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy

In the last few years, there’s been a number of conflicting ideas about what makes a good Digital Marketing Strategy, which has made it increasingly difficult to find the one that will work for your business.

An effective Digital Marketing Strategy will propel your brand to reach its goals, whether it’s growing brand awareness, attracting leads or generating conversions for your e-commerce site. It has the potential to lead to more sales and a greater return on your marketing investment.

Given the increasing investment businesses are making in growing their digital presence, there’s not a lot of room choose the wrong strategy. Which is why we’ve compiled a short 7 step guide on the things your business needs to develop an effective Digital Marketing Strategy.

1. Audience Research

Understanding your audience through data analysis and customer journey mapping is the first step any business should take when designing their Digital Marketing Strategy. Tools such as Nielsen Answers and Google Analytics can provide valuable quantitative insights on where your audience spends its time and which pages on your website are most popular. More qualitative information can also be obtained through focus groups and brand surveys, which can be used to create audience persona profiles enabling you to better understand your customers. Having a solid understanding of your target audience will help inform every aspect of your Digital Marketing planning and minimise wasted spend.

2. Content Planning

Your content plan underpins all the content you’ve decided to create throughout the year. As such it’s one of the most important parts of your Digital Marketing Strategy. A content strategy is the high-level vision that guides all future content development. It sets the direction for the content you’ll produce throughout the year and provides direction for your brand to amplify content across your channels. Having a well planned content strategy will help save your brand time and money because all your content will be streamlined. Content is created once and amplified throughout your marketing channels, as opposed to creating content in silos for each channel. Overall, your business stands to save valuable time and resources from planning content in advance for your digital marketing activities.

3. SMART Goals

The next step for developing an effective Digital Marketing Strategy is the establishment of SMART goals. SMART goals outline ways to ensure your market campaigns succeed by setting objectives which are specific, measurable, realistic, attainable, reliable and timely. They provide your Digital Marketing Strategy with structure and allow your brand to better keep track of the performance of its digital marketing activities.

4. Choosing The Right Channels

A winning Digital Marketing strategy considers all elements of the marketing funnel and makes use of a wide range of channels. An inclusive Digital Marketing strategy will ensure you have the right mix of channels to target upper and lower funnel activity. Some of the more common channels you should consider include Paid Search, Social, Display, Native, Email, Inbound and SEO. These channels work differently for every business so there's no one size fits all approach. The best way to identify high and low performing channels is through implementing a plan to test different media. Choosing the right channels matters because it can help to ensure your campaigns deliver to their full potential and that every cent of your marketing budget is spent effectively.

5. Optimising For Mobile

With around 80% of Kiwis accessing the internet via mobile, it’s more important than ever to focus on mobile specific qualities to target mobile customers. Mobile content is markedly different due to the way it’s consumed. It is often viewed in ‘snackable’ segments, as people tend to use mobile devices in between completing other tasks. This means content needs to be easy to find, simple to view and more interactive to fully engage with users. Making greater use of shorter format video, gamification and ad extensions are all examples of ways you can enrich the mobile experience for your audience. Most importantly, you need to consider sending traffic to landing pages fully optimised for mobile. Considering mobile in your Digital Marketing strategy will greatly improve the experience for your customers and help give you a significant edge over your competitors.

6. Lead Generation & Workflows

Harnessing the power of lead generation can help your business to better identify who your top converting customers are and tailor personalised journeys for different customer segments. Most commonly, lead generation is done in conjunction with email marketing through setting up workflows. These workflows can be completely automated, which helps to streamline communications between your brand and your customers. By better segmenting your leads, you can also better understand how your leads are interacting with your brand, which allows you to optimise towards better performing content. Through delivering personalised and targeted messages you are greatly enhancing the customer experience. Not only does this increase the likelihood of conversions, but it enhances the chance of them becoming repeat purchasers and brand advocates/promoters for your business.

7. Blogging For Success

Having a blog is an essential part of any Digital Marketing Strategy because it allows your brand to effectively communicate messages to your customers. It allows your brand to become an authority on information that is relevant to your business and it works to harness the power of inbound marketing to help drive traffic to your website. Your blog can also encourage readers to view other pages on your website through internal links which can help improve their experience on your website overall. It also offers an opportunity to link to pages currently underutilised and which may not be receiving as much organic traffic as they could. Having a strong, regularly updated blog can hugely benefit your SEO as there’s more traffic to your site and people are spending more time viewing your content. There are also more opportunities for businesses and customers to link to your content through websites and social media, which also positively influences your SEO efforts.

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