Digital marketing strategy
Let’s define digital marketing strategy because it’s more than a paid ad campaign or social media.
A digital marketing strategy is an overarching plan that helps your organization achieve digital goals through numerous channels.
Google Ads, social media ads
Owned media on your site and other networks that bring traffic to your site
All these channels should have independent (but coordinated) campaigns with measurable goals.
Digital marketing strategy vs. campaign
A digital marketing campaign is part of an entire plan. Some firms can start with a single campaign (such as Facebook advertisements) before developing a whole digital marketing plan.
Digital strategy elements
Digital marketing planning is multifaceted. The time it takes to create a strategy relies on numerous aspects, including business goals, resources, team size, and market research.
Bridges can develop a digital marketing strategy in 6-8 weeks with 4-8 individuals.
Important components include:
A digital strategy falls under marketing, thus it must be related to strategic initiatives. Too few may not make a difference, while too many may cause us to lose focus.
Increase market penetration (get more customers, generate leads) Expand into other markets Increase customer retention Build brand awareness & reputation Increase search engine ranking
Strategic initiatives keep us focused. If someone suggests a social media post or campaign, I ask, “What strategic initiative does it support?”
We never waste good ideas, so we add them to a “parking lot” document of marketing activities we can refer to later.
Strategic initiatives are achieved by goals, which are monitored by KPIs (KPIs).
Here’s how goals and KPIs work:
Objective Increase website/e-commerce sales by 20% in 2021 • Overall sales • Website session-to-conversion rate • Increase social media lead generation by 10% in 2021 • Website sessions referred from social media • Social media visits-to-conversion rate
This is a small portion of what can be measured. There are hundreds of KPIs related with digital marketing goals, therefore team members directly involved can provide significant insight.
Marketers talk about “target markets” and “audiences.” I prefer “buyer personas” since they go further in understanding client psychology.
Marketing: traditional vs. “disruptive”
Traditional marketing seeks a target market for a product or service, while revolutionary web marketing zeroes in on the perfect customer.
Door-to-door sales vs. “inbound marketing” illustrates the difference.
Before the internet, salespeople knocked on doors to sell items. Digital marketers employ inbound marketing to attract online buyers.
Effective marketing uses psychology (along with other areas of life). As a criminal drama enthusiast, I liked Mindhunter since it explores human psyche.
I was intrigued from the first or second episode, when Holden presented new criminology theories to police personnel. WHAT + WHY = WHO was a turning point for me.
Since psychology is my area, I had to think about this equation in terms of marketing.
Lesson was profound. “What” isn’t your product; it’s your ideal customer’s desired outcome, and “why” is their drive.
Effective digital marketing must tap into this.
We elevate buyer personas
HubSpot says buyer personas are established by researching, surveying, and interviewing your target demographic.
Bridges reinvents buyer personas.
Our profiles include demographic and psychographic information such as age, location, number of kids, relationship status, preferred social media network(s), hashtags used, social media followers, and websites and blogs read.
We narrow down as many defining factors as possible because diversity is growing. We don’t classify people by title/job position or employment status because people are complicated.
Discover what drives your ideal customer.
I teach new clients to think like their customers when we start a new arrangement. When creating buyer personas, I advise them to consider their customers’ motivations.
Holden on Mindhunter summed it well with one mathematical expression, which I’ve included to our new client kickoff slides:
“What” is your consumer persona’s desired goal, and “why” is their motivation.
Your digital marketing approach should highlight how your products and services fit a demand.
I love strategy. One of my main difficulties is to give our content producers what they need without limiting their thought process, conceptualization, or inventiveness.
Since campaigns take time to construct, I recommend starting with a planning sheet that includes: strategic initiatives, goals, KPIs, a timetable, and 2-3 key communication points.
Bridges’ content team turns these points into campaigns like:
• Content mappings (blog posts, articles, videos, etc.)
Tone, feel, brand
All this is compiled into briefings that advance our methodology.
It’s crucial to assess any assumptions you have about your potential clients when they become customers. Frameworks lay the groundwork for your plan.
Marketing funnel, sales funnel, RACE planning framework, flywheel, and buyer’s journey are others. Each can be modified to your business’s aims.
Marketing is unpredictable, so it pays to be adaptable so you can react to new conditions. While all the above frameworks have their strengths, it’s crucial to be agile and flexible when changing elements.
Bridges’ digital marketing efforts are successful because of this.
Weekly KPIs track our progress toward our goals. Monthly or quarterly evaluations are then made.
There’s no “set it and forget it” mindset here; our sales team has seen how that attitude hurt firms who didn’t notice the error until their market share fell.
How to measure digital marketing plan success
Measuring your digital marketing plan’s progress is crucial to attaining your business’s goals. Follow these steps to stay on track:
1. Collect info
Being agile requires real-time numbers. Databox aggregates and displays all our KPIs. Google DataStudio, Analytics, Tableau, and DashThis are other tools.
Your data visualization efforts should be organized so you can see how they interact together and individually.
As seen, all of our strategy’s aspects are interdependent. Some operate well individually, but the combined effect is much stronger.
2. Schedule check-ins
We propose reviewing KPIs weekly and making modifications monthly or quarterly. How are my KPIs doing?
• Have we changed any KPIs in the last 30 days?
We document our observations and wait until the monthly team meeting to examine weekly KPIs, month-over-month, and year-over-year results. The last two help adjust for company seasonality.
We discuss our changeability. Capacity is what a team can do in a given time, while agility is its ability to pivot.
Too many tweaks won’t inform us what worked when we reevaluate. Instead, we prioritize and make specific modifications. That lets us focus on larger adjustments at the quarterly check-in.
Change prioritization is difficult. We focus on 3 levers at once: • The strongest (most efficient) • The weakest (the least efficient)
Case study shows how this works.
HubSpot traffic study
HubSpot’s monthly traffic report.
It’s a good case study because marketing and sales occurs in one site. It’s easy to track our efforts from the first session till conversion.
Direct Traffic and Organic Search converted the most clients, according to this data.
This snapshot doesn’t include clients who converted over a month.
We repeated the same report for 11 months to check for trends.
Direct Traffic and Organic Search converted website sessions into customers at the greatest rate year-to-date.
Direct Traffic and Organic Search are our most efficient channels, while Paid Social is the least.
We then examined how we could use SEO-optimized content to increase traffic. We examined Facebook adjustments for social media marketing because we started a fresh simplified strategy midyear instead of boosting one-off postings.
Following these adjustments, we pulled the same data for the new time period at our next meeting and saw that paid social was significantly more efficient.
Next, better campaign messaging concepts were developed.
Last, we tested one channel. This is a favorite since it allows our team to be creative and fail while trying new things. Failure typically delivers valuable lessons, thus we value this.
Email and influencer marketing were chosen as “experiments” We’re still deciding.
Digital marketing strategy evaluation requires time, patience, knowledge, and competence.
Great digital marketing tactics are planted, grown, reaped, and utilized. It’s a constant process that takes time to optimize, but the increased sales and ROI are worth it.