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How to Start a Digital Marketing Strategy & Campaign

Hate to break it to you, but if you haven’t implemented a digital marketing strategy for your business you are a bit behind the curve.

But don’t start panicking just yet!

In this article, I’ll teach you how to create a digital marketing strategy that works!

How to Start a Digital Marketing Strategy

What We’ll Cover:

With over 3 billion people online, it’s only natural that the current marketing landscape is digital, which is why you need a digital marketing plan to survive in today’s world.

In 2014, a study by Salesforce found that 67% of marketers attributed an increase in sales due to their marketing strategy, while 64% reported higher engagement rates and 61% experienced increased ROI.

However, only 34% of marketers have a documented strategy in place. For the remaining 66 %, they are essentially walking around in the dark with no clear path to follow to generate successful results.

A digital marketing strategy provides the framework your company needs to make the best decisions for strategic development and implementation. Here is how to start online marketing by building a strategic framework for your business.

Digital Marketing Strategy Step 1: Determine Your Customer Base

When you ask yourself, ‘What is a digital marketing strategy,’ you should automatically think about your customers.

The very foundation of it relies on a firm understanding of your customer base to generate leads and produce conversions.

The more you’re able to narrow down your target audience, the better results you’ll generate by eliminating irrelevant prospects.

Your target audience is the main key when trying to figure out how to do digital marketing.

In fact, according to a study by Juniper Research, a targeted approach has the potential to improve conversions rates by as much as 355% from email marketing alone, potentially increasing profits by 781%.

To begin defining your customer base, you should do the following:

  • Analyze customer profiles.
  • Evaluate current and future customer cycles.
  • Observe and predict customer response and purchase behavior.
  • Define customer channel preference.

To elaborate on that last point, channel choice is incredibly important. Where are your customers?

After you find that out, make sure you are marking in those areas. This is the most crucial step when creating an online marketing campaign.

Digital Marketing Strategy Step 2: Understand Customer Pain Points

Your digital marketing strategy needs a unique approach that offers customers what your competitors are lacking. This is key to understanding how to do digital marketing properly.

To better understand your customers’ needs, walk a mile in their shoes to discover their pain points and how you’re able to resolve their issues.

We call these pain points.

Put simply, pain points are problems. Each pain point refers to a specific problem your customers are facing. Ideally, you want to position your product or service as a solution to that problem.

If you know exactly what your customers struggle with, you’ll know how to pitch your product or solution in a way that solves their problems, and in turn, your audience will be much more receptive to your messaging.

To get a better handle on the specific pain points your audience faces, research what customers are saying about you and your competitors to look for the main issues.

Listen to what your customers have to say by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What’s the problem?
  • What do my customers need to fix the problem?
  • At what time during business does the problem occur?
  • What can I do to resolve the issue?

Answering these important questions will help you create a digital marketing plan that will lead to an increase in sales.

Digital Marketing Strategy Step 3: Craft a Value Proposition

When it comes down to it, a company’s value proposition can be one of the biggest deciding factors in just how many conversions it gets.

Your business’s value proposition outlines what makes your business unique. It’s the reason people should choose your company over any other.  It’s the phrase that tells your target audience the value you can offer them.

Your value proposition needs to be specific, and it needs to address the problems that you can help your customers solve.

With a unique proposition, you’ll show customers why you deserve their time, trust, and money.

To start a digital marketing strategy, you need a clear value proposition. Here is an example from TrackMaven

To start a digital marketing strategy, you need a clear value proposition. Here’s an example from TrackMaven

If you’re wondering how to start digital marketing, use your positive reputation and company values to create a distinctive value proposition that will echo throughout the industry.

Your value proposition should:

  • Address customer pain points, and clearly express the benefit your product or service brings to your target audience
  • Be clear and concise. Anything too long will lose your readers
  • Be prominently displayed on your website, above the fold.

With your value proposition developed, you can then:

    • Develop a unique, tightly focused approach that’s appealing to your customer.
    • Build a strong personality within the industry with statements that add value.
    • Strategically craft your online marketing campaigns with tailored marketing tactics.
  • Leverage industry personalities and influencers to strengthen your message.

Essentially, you should use your collected customer data to create a digital marketing plan sample. This is really the first step in building the digital marketing strategy framework.

Step 4: Determine How Much Business You Want to Generate

The growth goals behind your strategy will move your company forward by giving you something to work towards.

By determining how much business you want to generate, you’ll have achievable goals to keep you focused.

You should aim to increase your planned growth by at least 70% each quarter.

To accomplish this, determine the number and frequency of your goals by:

  • Evaluating your current position.
  • Setting 1-2 core goals and 3-5 supporting goals.
  • Choosing a growth path that’s specific and realistic (you cant just make numbers up, make sure the marketing mediums actually yield the business you are projecting).
  • Determining a means to reach the goals.
  • Creating a long term path to follow for future growth opportunities.
  • Quick note: do not forget to account for attrition in your business model.

By setting these goals, you will generate a digital marketing strategy sample to go by. This step is critical.

Step 5: Align Your Internal Growth Strategy with Your Lead Strategy

With your projected business growth in place, establish how you’ll generate enough leads to achieve your goals.

Without the support of a lead generation strategy, your growth will become stagnant.

Using the goals you’ve created, you can:

  • Audit your current marketing funnels.
  • Narrow your target to include a relevant customer base.
  • Leverage existing databases.
  • Appeal to customers to understand their needs.
  • Work to build referrals and repeat business.
  • Offer incentives to capture leads.
  • Give customers what they want.

Need a few pointers on setting up an effective lead generation strategy? Check out my full article here.

Step 6: Evaluate SEO, Email, Affiliate Marketing, Inbound Marketing, and Online Advertising

Digital marketing involves many avenues that need to be pursued.

You can’t rely on social media or SEO alone, or you’ll be missing a huge chunk of opportunities.

All digital marketing channels must be implemented and work together by creating:

  • A targeted SEO strategy that’s supported by a content marketing campaign for searchability and engagement.
  • Utilize email marketing to generate leads and conversions and to re-market.
  • Benefit from affiliate marketing (make sure you have a variety of pipelines).
  • Implement inbound marketing to attract more leads.
  • Use online advertising channels, including social media ads to produce visibility and engagement.

Digital Marketing Strategy Step 7: Set Your Budget

By now, you probably have a better handle on how to start online marketing. The next step is setting a budget.

In 2017, businesses budgeted 30% of their market spending for digital marketing. By 2018, this number increased to 35%.

As of 2019, companies now allocate 42% of their marketing budget to digital marketing projects.

This number is expected to grow to 45% and surpass television marketing budgets by 36% by 2020.

When setting your budget, don’t think of it as a cost but an investment that will pay for itself as your business grows due to your well-rounded digital marketing projects.

Here’s a sample strategy I recommend: Spend 70% of your budget on avenues that you already know are effective, with the remaining 20% focusing on safe new options and 10% on experimental channels. Forty-seven percent of your budget should focus on SEO and SEM, with 10 percent targeting mobile marketing and 34% dedicated to display advertising. Use your remaining budget to target email marketing and content marketing.

Current digital marketing stats:

  • 62% of businesses are planning to increase their PPC budget over the next year.
  • 78% are planning to boost their Google Ads budget.
  • 66% plan to double-down on their Facebook digital marketing strategy.
  • 28% are expected to increase their presence on Instagram.
  • 18% have a specific plan to boost their digital marketing efforts on Twitter.
  • 6% will increase their digital marketing budget for Snapchat.

Digital Marketing Step 8: Give It Your All

When considering how to start digital marketing, you can’t be afraid to fail.

Jump in with both feet, but don’t become discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.

Often, it takes trial and error to find the perfect approach to generate the results you expect.

Through this process, you are creating your own lead generation machine. Building it is the hard part. Once it is in place, all it takes is a little maintenance.

Digital Marketing Strategy Tactics

There are a great number of ways to implement a digital marketing strategy in your business.

Here are a few tactics that can help boost your online presence and conversion rate:

  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Campaigns
  • Social Media Campaigns
  • Video Ads
  • Landing Pages
  • Intriguing Calls-To-Action
  • Backlinks
  • Digital Marketing Automation

By incorporating any of these digital marketing tactics into your strategy, you will increase your website traffic and boost your sales.

Digital Marketing Strategy Examples

We’ve covered the behind-the-scenes, nuts and bolts set-up of a digital marketing strategy, but those that really succeed tend to incorporate a dash of creativity.

While it’s almost impossible to uncover a company’s exact strategy, a few use noticeable and noteworthy tactics to get promote their brand.

Here are a few examples of brands utilizing some of the tactics listed above successfully.

1. Mastercard

What could a credit card company possibly offer its audience that’s creative and fun to follow?

Turns out, plenty.

Mastercard created a travel blog for their audience to follow. It enables cardholders to know where they can use their cards when they travel abroad.

This is an excellent example of using content marketing to not only connect with an audience but highlight a desirable feature that may not be immediately evident.

2. Red Bull

Red Bull's digital marketing strategy heavily incorporates video

Red Bull’s digital marketing strategy heavily incorporates video

Redbull has made a name for itself by hosting lifestyle news and content. By combining their sponsorships of extreme sports with their digital marketing videos, they have created an online strategy that their audience loves to follow.

3. GoPro

GoPro's digital strategy incorporates user generated content

GoPro’s digital strategy incorporates user-generated content

GoPro has created a YouTube channel to post point-of-view style videos using their cameras. Their user-generated content has drawn in a huge fanbase of thrill-seeking people by showcasing their products in a fun way.

Wrapping Up Digital Marketing Strategy

There you have it: the framework for setting up a successful digital marketing strategy.

Once you’ve put your plan in action, remember to closely monitor your data (through analytics) to make adjustments to your digital marketing strategy where needed.

Don’t be afraid to experiment from time to time as the digital landscape and trends are constantly changing.

If you stay with one tried and true method, you will be limiting your marketing potential. Success requires patience, determination, and consistency, so give it your all.

 

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