6 Simple Steps to Create Your Digital Strategy
In today’s fast-paced world, creating an effective marketing campaign can seem like a daunting and time consuming task. Where to even begin? While consumers are still using both a mix of traditional and digital media, having a digital marketing strategy is the key for trackable and targeted success. If you’re thinking, “I don’t have a digital strategy, am I too late?” you’re not alone; according to an article from Smart Insights, 49% of businesses are doing digital marketing but have no defined strategy. The thought of putting together a strategy can seem overwhelming and complex but it doesn’t have to be, in fact, it shouldn’t be. Simplicity is going to be the key solution for an effective digital strategy.
What’s involved in creating a simple digital marketing strategy? Here are six simple steps to take:
1. Audience. Start by defining your audience. The biggest mistake we see companies make these days is not choosing an audience. Concentrating on one segment while neglecting another can feel scary, like you’re missing out on a bigger opportunity, but the truth is that in order to be successful, you must focus your time, resources, and dollars. Once you formulate a successful strategy for marketing your business it’s much easier to get support for expansion of that strategy.
To identify your audience, you can look to several sources –– your site analytics, your sales team and/or research tools that your media partner subscribes to, such as Simmons. To identify your audience, and a great place to start is by analyzing two audience pools –– starting with your most valuable customers and then moving on to a bigger and broader audience of future prospects.
2. Platform. Once you’ve identified your target audience, the next step is understanding where they spend their time.
3. Action. Your next step is to identify the actions you want your audience to take. Do you want to drive views or encourage sharing? Whatever action you’re looking for, make sure it’s simple and easy to complete. Most importantly, that action you are trying to drive needs to benefit the person completing it. To get started we try to define the user benefits to consider as: entertainment, information, or special offers/deals.
4. Content. Next, look at the content or campaign messages. Ask yourself – what percentage of the audience are we reaching? How frequently will they be exposed to our messages? What seasonal factors should I consider? What information do they need to know before they’ll act on our messages? And finally, how best should we sequence that information?
In our always-on, hyper-connected world this is something people frequently neglect. To be relevant and inspire users to act, messages should be specific and delivered in the right sequence, at the right time. It’s critical at this step in the process that the marketing team, creative team, and media team work together to answer the questions above and work together to define an overall messaging/content strategy.
5. Measurement. Next, look at your plan to measure the action you wanted to achieve and which primary measurement system you want to use for measurement –– Google Analytics or your marketing automation system? Within your plan you should set several measurement checkpoints to monitor your audiences progression through the purchase cycle.
6. Return to the original goal. Look at your original goal –– did you accomplish what you set out to achieve? Which areas of your campaign over-performed? Which under-performed? Once you’ve answered those questions you can begin to simplify your next campaign. When we’re evaluating a camaign we like to perform a simple stop/start/continue exercise with our team, “here’s what we recommend stopping, here’s what we recommend starting and here’s what we should continue to do.” This method of bucketing the three categories keeps things simple and straightforward. It ensures that we continue to focus our time and energy on the tactics that are most likely to yield the biggest return.
This simple, straightforward process will keep you focused as you move forward. Clearly documenting assumptions, goals, and regularly evaluating are the key to continuous improvement. By demonstrating repeated success and dilligency you’ll earn the opportunity to expand your digital marketing to include new initiatives, which you can work to define by using the same six steps.