At morfeo we designed a seven-step guide to create a digital marketing strategy, as well as a crash course on the design of a digital strategy and the creation of marketing campaigns.
There is no doubt that a large part of your marketing strategy in the modern world must be digital. Consumers and businesses are more and more connected, and you want to be able to reach there where they spend most of their time. QED.
But when you expand a business, this ever-changing digital landscape can quickly become complicated, or even incomprehensible. And then, there is already enough to do on a daily basis! How can you also create, refine, and maintain an effective digital marketing strategy?
If you are in a hurry and you want to read later, you can download the article in PDF.
If not, we go immediately into the heart of the matter!
Since Wikipedia does not know what it is, we’ll explain it. In short: your strategy is the series of actions that will help you achieve your goals using online marketing. The term “strategy” may seem intimidating, but build a digital strategy that works is not necessarily complicated.
In simple terms, a strategy is just a plan of action to achieve the desired goal or several objectives. For example, your main objective could be to generate 25% of additional leads through your website this year, compared to last year.
Depending on the size of your company, your internet marketing strategy can involve several main objectives and many secondary goals but return to this simple way of thinking your strategy can help you stay focused on the achievement of these objectives.
Despite this simplification of the term ‘strategy,’ it is true that it can be difficult to start to build one. See first what looks like a web marketing campaign, and then we will see the seven stages of design for you help create an effective marketing strategy to lead your business to success.
It is easy to confuse your digital strategy with your digital marketing campaigns, but here’s how to distinguish the two.
As we have already said, your digital strategy is the series of steps that you take to help you achieve your overall objective. Your marketing campaigns are the building blocks or the actions of your strategy that will help you achieve this goal.
For example, you can decide to launch a campaign by sharing some of your most interesting content on Twitter, to generate more leads through this channel. This campaign is part of your strategy to generate more leads.
It is important to note that even if a campaign takes place over several years, this is not a strategy. It’s always a tactic among other campaigns to train your overall strategy.
Now that we understand the basics of the digital strategy and digital marketing campaigns let’s see how to build your strategy. Are you ready?
For any (offline or online) marketing strategy, you must know what target client you have to do. The best marketing strategies are based on detailed buyers profiles, we’re talking about buyer persona, and your first step is to create them.
Buyers profiles represent your ideal clients and can be created by conducting research, by conducting investigations and questioning public target for your business. It is important to note that this information must be based on real data to the extent possible because making assumptions about your audience can lead to misdirection of your marketing strategy.
To get an overall picture of your buyer persona, your research panel must include a mix of customers, prospects, and people outside your database of contacts that are closer to your target audience.
But what kind of information should you collect to your customer profile target to power your digital marketing strategy? It depends on your activity and is likely to vary depending on whether you are in B2B or B2C, or whether your product is expensive or inexpensive. Here are a few best practices, but you will need to refine them based on the specifics of your industry.
Now, create one or more target customer profiles, like Cathy below, and be sure to use at every stage of your digital marketing strategy.
Your marketing objectives must always relate to the objectives of the company. For example, if your company’s goal is to increase your income online by 20%, your goal regarding marketing could be generating 50% of additional leads from the website from the year last to contribute to this success.
Whatever your goal, you need to know how to measure and, more importantly, be able to measure (for example, having the right tools marketing in place to do so). How you will measure the effectiveness of your digital strategy will be different for each company and will depend on your goals, but it is essential to make sure that you can do because these settings that will help you adjust your strategy in the future.
A tool like Google Analytics can help you measure the success of your marketing efforts.
When you evaluate the available marketing channels or media to use in your strategy, it is useful to first consider the situation as a whole to avoid being overwhelmed. The classification of media POEM (owned, earned and paid) is widely used by marketers and allows you to categorize the means of communication and digital channels that you already use in three categories.
This refers to the digital resources including your brand, or your company owns, whether it’s your web site, your profiles on social networks, your content or your images. These media belong to your company. This may include content off site that you own, but which is not hosted on your website, as a blog published on the world, for example.
Quite simply, earned media refer to the exhibition you have earned by word-of-mouth. Whether the content that you have published on other web sites, relations work press you have made or customer relationship you created, the earned media is the recognition you receive. You can save media getting mentions press, positive reviews, and by other people sharing your content on social media, for example.
Paid media are somewhat more explicit and refer to any medium or channel that you pay attention to your buyers. This includes items such as Google AdWords, paid publications on social networks, advertising native (like sponsored publications on other websites) and any other medium to which you pay directly in Exchange for visibility.
Gather what you have and categorize each sales channel or digital communication support to have a clear picture of your existing media, acquired and paid.
Your online marketing strategy could incorporate elements of the three channels, all working together to help you achieve your goal. For example, you might have a content belonging to a page on your website that has been created to help you generate leads. To amplify the number of conversions generated by the content, you may have a real effort to make it shareable, which means that others are distributing it via their personal social media profiles, thereby increasing traffic to the page of destination. To support the success of content, you could have posted it on your Facebook page and have paid to be seen by more people in your target audience.
This is how the three types of media can work together to help you achieve your goal. Of course, it is not mandatory to always use three. If your owned and earned media are both effective, you may not need to invest in paid services. This is to assess the best solution to achieve your goal, then integrate the channels that work best for your business in your internet marketing strategy.
Now that you know your marketing communications materials already available, you can start to think about what to keep and what it should stop doing.
At the heart of digital marketing are your media, which almost always take the form of content. Each message broadcast by your brand can generally be classified as content, whether it’s your page ‘About,’ your descriptions of products, your blog articles, PDF, infographics or publications on social networks. Even the newsletter that you send email to your subscribers is a marketing content! This strategy is called the Inbound Marketing; it comes to draw visitors to your site through engaging content rather than with conventional and boring ads.
The content allows to convert visitors to your website in prospects and customers and helps to improve the image of your brand online. Once optimized, it can also stimulate the efforts you put into the SEO (SEO). Whatever your goal, you will need to use the content in line with your digital marketing strategy.
To develop your online marketing strategy, you need to decide the content that will help you achieve your goals. If your goal is to generate 50% of additional prospects via the website from last year, it is unlikely that your page ‘About’ to be included in your strategy, unless this page is already a revenue generator.
It is more likely that a downloadable PDF via a form on your website leads to much more prospects, and therefore, this could be a technique you want to deepen. Here’s a quick way to identify the content you need to achieve your goals:
Make a list of your current content and classify each item based on what has been the most powerful compared to your current objectives. If your goal is lead generation, for example, store them according to those that have generated the most leads in the past year. It may be a particular blog post, of a PDF or even to a specific page of your web site that converts well.
The idea here is to understand what works now and what isn’t so that you can prepare yourself for success when planning future content.
Depending on your buyer profiles, identify gaps in the content that you have. If you are a brand of shoes, and you have discovered in your research that one of the biggest challenges of your target is to find the right size, but have no content that meets this concern, then you should create a.
Looking at your content analysis, you might discover that the downloadable PDF on a certain type of page on your site really good turn (much better than on the page dedicated to downloads for example). In the case of this shoe company, you could decide to add a PDF on ‘how to find the right size’ on these pages.
By your conclusions and gaps you identified, make a plan of creating content describing the elements necessary to implement actions that will help you achieve your goals. This should include:
This can be a simple Excel that should also include budgetary information if you plan to outsource the creation of content, or an estimate of the time if you produce it yourself. In the case of a business, this budget must be included in your business plan.
Analyzing your past media gains against your current objectives can help you get an idea of where to focus your efforts. Look at where your traffic and prospects come from (if that’s your goal) and classify each source of earned media from most effective to least effective.
You might find that a particular article that talks about you on a press site has led a lot of qualified traffic to your website, which in turn converts very well. Or, you might find that LinkedIn is where most of the people who relay your content are located, which in turn brings a lot of traffic. The idea here is to map the won media that will help you achieve your objectives, and those that will not, based on historical data. However, if there is something new you want to try, don’t exclude it just because it hasn’t been tried yet. Test and innovate!
This step involves much the same process: You need to evaluate your existing paid media on each platform (Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to determine what can help you achieve your current goals.
If you have spent a lot of money on AdWords and have not seen your return on investment, it may be time to refine your campaign or pause it to focus on optimizing another platform that delivers better results.
At the end of the process, you need to have a clear idea of which pay media platforms you want to continue using and, if so, which ones you want to remove from your strategy.
You did the planning and research, and you now have a strong vision of the elements that will make up your digital marketing strategy. Here’s what you should have so far:
Now, it’s time to put it all together to form a coherent strategy document. Let’s review what means the digital strategy: the series of actions that will help you reach your (your) objective (s) using online marketing.
According to this definition, your strategy document should define the series of actions you will take to achieve your goals, based on your research up to now. A spreadsheet is an effective format, and for reasons of consistency, you will find may be easier to establish a plan based on the possessed, acquired and paid media structure we have used so far.
You also need to plan your strategy for a longer-term period. Generally, a period of 12 months is a good starting point, depending on the configuration of your company. Like what:
By taking this approach, you also create a timetable structured to your activity, which will help you communicate your plans to your colleagues.
Your strategy paper will be very specific to your business; it is almost impossible for us to create a unique digital marketing strategy.
Remember that the purpose of your strategy paper is to define the actions you will take to achieve your goal over a period. As long as it allows you to do this, then you have the basics of creating a digital strategy.
Now it’s your turn!