The digital media landscape is always changing and plenty of brands who follow the latest trends focus on what's new rather than a plan of consistent growth. You don’t just want to succeed this month or this year. You want to succeed indefinitely. That’s why today we’re going to take a look at how you can build a digital marketing strategy that promotes long-term, consistent growth.
Why Should You Have a Digital Marketing Strategy?
Learning how to properly define your digital marketing strategy can give you instant rewards. It provides peace of mind and sets you up for success in the long run.
Using a marketing strategy is sometimes challenging, but the lack of having critical information about your intentions and decision-making process can be worse. You can waste considerable sums of money, or broadcast a poorly received message.
When developing a marketing strategy, you are able to test and confirm specific data points about quality of leads and customer behavior.
Creating a clear digital marketing strategy can help testing your marketing assumptions to assess the viability of targeting specific audiences.
Define your Persona/Target Audience
Creating personas are the first step of establishing a clear, specific target audience. Accumulating demographic information helps paint an accurate picture of your customer's lifestyle. The more thorough you can be with your research, the better chances that you will be successful in attracting this type of client through marketing tactics.
Targeting certain demographics increases the efficiency of your ad budget. Defining your target audience correctly is the most important and difficult part of creating a marketing strategy.
When creating a digital marketing strategy, you should begin by determining the current state of your market. Is it well-established? Who are your major competitors? What digital channels are they using?
Once you’ve clearly defined your market, think about the type of customer you’re looking for. A good rule of thumb is to start with a general idea of your ideal customer, and use data points to further narrow your audience down.
Now to the interesting part. This is where you will define 2 -3 Customer Avatars. These Avatars should include all the information needed to find this person online, and craft a very compelling message, and offer. This section is one of the most important, so you will really want to spend some time and father the necessary information.
Some things to think about are:
- Describe their demographics.
- Describe their educational background.
- Describe Their career path.
- What is their role?
- How long have they had this role and title? Are they an individual contributor, or do they manage other people?
- How much money do these people make annually? I'm not talking about revenue numbers. We need to know what type of income bracket these people fall into. How often does their salary change (and by how much)? Would you consider them part-time or full-time in terms of hours worked per week at their day job?
- How do they succeed in their job?
- Where are they online
- What though leaders do they listen too
- Are their any forums or particular social media channels they frequent
Product refers to a good or service that a company offers to customers. Ideally, a product should fulfill an existing consumer demand. Or a product may be so compelling that consumers believe they need to have it and it creates a new demand. To be successful, marketers need to understand the life cycle of a product, and business executives need to have a plan for dealing with products at every stage of their life cycle. The type of product also partially dictates how much businesses can charge for it, where they should place it, and how they should promote it in the marketplace.
Some Questions to ask yourself when crafting your product:
- What’s the biggest problem I can help my customer solve? This will give you an idea of what your product needs to do.
- What’s your favorite XXXX product and why? You’ll want to replace the “XXXX” with whatever industry you are in… this question gives you an idea about who your competition is and what they are doing right.
- Why did they come to me? This will tell you why people come to your business and what they are looking for.
- How can we make our product better? This is great if you already have a product, and you continue to optimize.
- What don’t they like about COMPETITOR ABC? Replace competitor ABC with your competition’s name… this question tells you where there is an opportunity.
Some ways of gathering valuable product insight is by looking through reviews. By examining reviews for your, and your closest competitors products; you will gain valuable insights into what works, and what is not so stellar. You can also find 3rd party reviewers who can sometimes really break down what the target market is really looking for.
Now, before you go and build a product (or make yours better if you already have one), don’t invest too much time and money without getting feedback.
That way I won’t waste months’ worth of time building a product you don’t want to use.
The Two main questions that you need to answer in the mind of the consumer is:
- Why Should They Buy?
- Why should they buy from me?
Many businesses think that their unique selling proposition is Great Quality, excellent service, etc. But those are already a customer expectation, they already assume you will have excellent quality, and high level of customer service. And the other problem, people will only see the proof after they purchase from you. You need to add value now - before they have ever made a purchase from you.
One sure sign that your value proposition is not unique, is when a prospect who is interested in your products asks right away about pricing. You don't ever want to be stuck competing only on price.
One Example is Louis Vuitton . The company is known for its high-end handbags. They have a USP that people buy from them because the bags are exclusive and luxurious, not just because they're expensive.
This means your Unique Selling Proposition needs to be compelling enough for your prospect to:
- Believe in it
- Be willing to pay more than a competitors because you offer greater value
Get in Their Mind - they want the solution not the product (usually)
In the example above you might notice that they are not buying a handbag for the sake of carrying items. They are buying a solution to a different problem. They are buying a solution to a different problem. For their target market, they are selling a solution such as: being glamorous, to have a unique item with exclusive materials and decorations, and owning something scarce that's owned by famous people such as celebrities.
The number one way to differentiate your business is to match your product to what they consumer wants solved.
If you confuse then you lose
It’s the 21st Century and people have an incredible number of products and solutions presented to them at any moment. I want to caution you against confusing people.
Steve Jobs said in an speech:
“This is a very complicated world; it’s a very noisy world. And we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. “
This is the simple truth - if your product confuses people - you will lose them. You have a very brief chance to capture their attention.
The question you need to ask yourself is: Why should your target market buy what you have to offer, and why do they not want it from your competition?
First comes the product, and immediately after comes a determination of its value among target audiences. Pricing strategy is an art and a science, in that it involves both market data and careful calculations, as well as skillfully balancing between pricing that is too high or too low, and understanding how skewing either way might damage the brand.
The price of a product is not the only factor in generating revenue. Customers will be willing to expend additional time or effort if they feel the product meets their needs. Determining this will be a critical factor in revenue for the brand as it will impact profit, supply, demand, and how much marketers should spend on a promotion or marketing strategy. If a product is priced too high or too low, the product – and brand – could fail.
When it comes to marketing, marketers must determine whether or not discounting is appropriate. A discount might draw in more customers, but it also gives the impression that a product is less prestigious when compared to its original price.
My Recommendation is to price something with at least a 40% margin. This will ensure their is enough room in budget for rapid growth, and be a healthy enough return.
Some key questions that marketers need to answer include:
- What is the value of the product or service to the buyer?
- How will your price compare to competitors?
- Are there any possible established price points for the product/service in this area?
- What would be the lowest price you are willing to sell your product?
- What would be the highest price that consumers would be willing to pay?
- How sensitive to price are your customers?
- What prices do current leaders in your niche charge?
Place to buy
In the virtual world that is the web, location in most cases may seem irrelevant. But this is not the case.
In the internet age, reaching your customers can be a challenge. Place refers to providing customers access to the product, and it also calls into play convenience for the customer. Marketing, through digital means or otherwise, is about putting the right product, in the right place, at the right price, at the right time, in front of the customer.
Just think of it this way… if I put my company all over Tiktok, what do you think would happen?
Well, I wouldn’t generate any new clients for my marketing agency because none of my ideal customers are on Tiktok.
Do you think a bunch of 16 to 24-year-olds are looking for marketing services? If we offered services where we helped you get more social followers, sure, but we don’t offer that.
Focus on the channels that your target customers are most likely to use so that you aren't sidelined. That could be a specific site like Google or even an offline venue like conferences. Don’t try to bring your customers to you, go to where your customers are; it’s much easier.
Here are some simple questions to ask yourself so you can find the right place.
- Where is your customer?
- How are your products distributed ('online' or 'offline'?)
- Which distribution channels are currently working for you?
- Do you sell directly to businesses or consumers?
- Do you sell directly to the customer or do you need to go through a middleman?
- Where are your competitors?
- What devices do they use to access the internet on a daily basis?
- Are they shopping for similar products online, or in brick-and-mortar stores?
- Where are they engaging on social media?
Media to Reach
All About ROI
It used to be with marketing that it was all about eyeballs and impressions.
Yet today, there is a new metric that has emerged: return on investment (ROI). There are a ton of different places to broadcast your message (Media) but in the modern marketing paradigm , the return should be considered first.
If you're just starting your marketing campaign, then it's important to select a media that will not only garner people’s attention but also produce an ROI for your business. This can mean everything from showing banner advertisements on social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter, to using dedicated phone numbers for print, tv, or radio ads.
What I want to impress upon you is that - what gets measured gets managed. If you throw some ads out there and don't measure, you cannot know if it's a wild success or horrible failure.
The way to know what the right media to place your ads - is by finding out which generates the greatest ROI. Another important metric is Return on ads spend (ROAS)
Social Media is another type of Media
Now one more controversial area of this course is about social media being free marketing that solves all of our problems. And certainly three are people who have succeeded with social Media, Gary Vanerchuk, Tai Lopez, and Neil Patel (many more of course) have successful businesses now and social media significantly helped to fuel their growth.
But - I want to caution you - social media IS a media like any “paid” media. The costs might not be to send out mail snail or electronic, or clicks but in time developing content.
Like with any marketing effort you need to:
- Target the right audience
- Send the right message
- Use the correct Media to connect with them
By definition social media is another Media - like any paid media place, and should not be considered a standalone marketing strategy, rather a tactic like any other media. And it’s worth considering if social media fits into your advertising strategy.
Some things to consider are:
- Social Media is inherently social in nature - and in the same way that it’s perceived as rude to do a sales pitch at a party, the perception is often the same on Social Media
- Overt selling and pitching will likely cause customers to run away from you
- Social Media IS good for making connections and creating relationships which maybe will later turn into something commercial
- Social Media is Great at gauging customer emotions towards your brand, and being able to engage with positive or negative feedback
- Social Media can be a major way to show Social Proof, owning mistakes celebrating victories and not looking like a faceless corporation
- You don’t own the social media page - the platform does, and they can (and do) make changes that can drastically affect your business and can with 1 change totally limit your exposure and reach
- Social media is ‘free’ except that there is a lot of time necessary to build a following, and that needs to be considered - as both the missed opportunity cost and the cost of your time (or your employee’s time)
My Recommendation is to pick 5 Channels to target your ideal customer personas - with at least 2 of them being Paid channels. And try to assign a monetary value to the work time your putting into the social channels and if your not getting a positive return, take time to re-evaluate.
Create Marketing Assets
You've got many different places to broadcast your message, but the question you should ask yourself is "What are the benefits of each?"
As a marketing professional, I want to introduce you to the world of digital marketing assets. Digital assets come in all sorts of shapes and sizes like banner ads on social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter. OR they could be infographics or white papers. These are assets used to help nurture your prospects and convert them into clients.
Some of the most common assets are:
- Website design that is modern and fast with content that clearly explains your business.
- Content for Paid digital ads like Facebook, Google Ads.
- Content for other paid digital marketing efforts include: Retargeting campaigns that show your ad to people who have already been on your website or seen it elsewhere online such as social media
- Landing Pages that capture customer information to build a digital sales funnel
- Content for blogs and social media.
- Inbound Marketing that brings customers in, such as content marketing or SEO of website pages
- Expert Interviews - create an expert interview series about your industry with the help of experts who will share their time without asking you for anything in return but
- Content marketing – The creation and publication of useful content designed to attract, educate, and maintain your target audience.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) – This is the practice of improving a website so that it becomes search engine friendly and brings organic traffic to the website.
- Email marketing – A marketing approach that uses email as a way of marketing to and nurturing potential and existing clients.
Goals & KPI's
Once your digital marketing strategy is mapped out, the next step will be to create goals for your digital media plan. Goals should include a timeline and benchmarks that can help you measure success in the future. You’ll also want to set up ways of evaluating how well your company has been meeting those goals on a regular basis.
Surveys show that the average person’s goals tend to be qualitative in nature. An example of a qualitative goal would be wanting to improve your brand image, or increase your brand’s position within your industry.
You can start to see the problem with these kinds of goals. Since qualitative goals are abstract, they’re notoriously difficult to measure.
I’ve found that these abstract concepts aren’t typically useful to the average brand’s digital marketing strategy. Trying to Measure things which are difficult to measure will also be difficult to improve.
The SMART framework has been used for decades and the acronym stands for:
We Recommend setting 3 Main goals using the SMART framework that will track the most important metrics.
Some recommendations are:
- Return on Ad Spend (greater than 1 - Target 3)
- 20 % increase in new prospects MoM
- 20% increase in Organic Traffic YoY
- 20% increase in LTV YoY
A lot of people are not aware that in order to be successful in any marketing campaign, you must also have an optimized system.
It is important to know what your goals are and how you will measure them. You need to set up a strategy plan with benchmarks and timelines so that you can track the success of your campaign.
You might want to use surveys or interviews with customers for qualitative goals, but it is more recommended to use SMART framework (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) which will allow for clear tracking of metrics such as ROAS (Return on Ad Spend), Organic Traffic Increase YoY or LTV Increase YoY.
If you find a particular marketing media is not performing, or has a negative ROI - evaluate the potential causes such as missed attribution, poor content and copy, or poor ad placement, or is it just the wrong place to display that ad.
Marketing is an ongoing process, and as such, needs to be constantly evaluated.
One Trap to avoid is to not test multiple variables at a time. It's tempting to drive traffic to two completely different landing pages, or testing different creatives and also different audiences. But these tests involve way too many variables and therefore make it impossible to quantify what actually caused the improvement.
And, it's tempting to make snap decisions when running tests. Consider - if your doing an A/B test of two landing pages with a different headline and you have gotten 90 visitors on each and 8 conversion on one and 9 on the other. You might decide the one with 9 conversions is superior, but statistically you don't have enough data yet to make that determination. So be careful in making snap decisions.