What is Your Strategy?
Strategy, in spite of being a word favored by the shiny suits of the world, really just means thinking about why you're doing something before you do it. So starting your digital marketing strategy is as simple as:
• Deciding how you're going to do it.
• What you expect to happen.
• How you'll measure your success.
What Kind of Results Do You Want?
• Brand Awareness
Do you want more people to know about your brand and help your products and services become more widely known?
• Acquisition or Lead Generation
Do you want to reach people who've never bought from you before and bring them into your buyer's journey?
• Growth from Existing Customers
Do you want people who've already bought from you before to buy more frequently or purchase a different kind of product?
If possible, set a specific goal - one with metrics attached to it and a time limit.
These might include:
• X number of leads from a piece of downloaded content in one month.
• % of old customers buying a secondary product within one year.
• % of social media following growth within two weeks.
Set a Measurable Goal
Look at the types of goals we've set on the previous page, pick one to concentrate on. Really understanding the goal you're trying to hit is your first step to reaching it!
Give me an example!
Misha is a photographer and has recently also started producing video for her clients. She wants to let all of her current clients know that she offers this extra service so that some convert into video and photography clients. She writes the following strategy for this campaign:
"I want to ensure 100% of my current clients know I also offer video services. I will run email and social media promotions to share this message for 2 months. After 3 months from the start of the promotion, I want to have at least 1 video commission from 15% of my current clients."
Know Your Audience
Get to know your audience! If you don't understand enough about who you're trying to reach, you'll have trouble delivering a message that's relevant enough to really make an impact.
But, the good news is - you don't have to have a customer research agency on retainer to be smart about it.
The easiest way to make sure you don't come up with a watered-down campaign is to create your own personalized buyer personas - fictionalized, generic descriptions of your key customer groups.
• Think about who your customers are and group them into 3 or 4 buckets.
• Create a fictionalized character from each of those buckets.
• Give that person a name, photo, personality and a few distinct characteristics.
Our biggest tip: Rank them! Before you start, be totally clear on which of these characters is the most important to your business. We've got a template ready for you in a few pages to help you get started!
Know Your Brand
Your brand is how and why your customers choose you over your competitors - think of it as your company's personality. It's something that's worth defining clearly:
• What do you stand for?
• What are your strongest character traits?
• How does that translate into your presence - from the images you use on your website to the language you sue in your emails?
Watch Your Competition
Your competitors aren't just businesses who offer a product or service similar to yours. Think of your competition in these three ways:
• Direct competitors - brands who offer the exact same products or services as you
• Indirect competitors - brands that may offer different products but compete for the same space or budget as you
• Comparators - these may have a similar look and feel as a brand to you, or may be other brands that your target customers use frequently
You want to know what you're up against, and you can learn vicariously from both your triumphs and mistakes. Get inspired by your competitors' wins, and use what makes you different to highlight what's unique about your offering.
Not sure how to gather Intel? Here's how you get started:
• Search for a few key terms related to your industry and note where each brand ranks on the results page.
• Test your competitors - buy their products, read their reviews, explore their website and sign up for their newsletter.
• Ask your customers what they think your competitors do well, and what they love about brands in other sectors too.
• Note where and when you see your competitors' ads and screenshot them.
• Follow a ton of other brands' social channels.
• Use paid-for online tools like Alexa for analysis on how well your competitors' sites do in search rankings and gaining web traffic.
Get Ready to Measure
Coming up with brilliant ideas for how to drive traffic, build brand awareness and grow your customer base is just the beginning - it's crucial to determine how you'll track progress, so you can adjust your plan based on what gets the best reaction. There are several different things you can measure (metrics) - but a benchmark of what a 'good' score (KPI) is, will depend entirely on you.
Give me an example!
If you posted a new blog that included video content, be sure to note how many:
• Views the blog gets
• Views the video gets
• Engagement with the video (likes, comments and shares)
• Clicks to your blog's call-to-action
• Leads from the post
• Increase in leads from that post vs. posts without videos
Before you start any campaign, familiarize yourself with important metrics associated with your goals, like the examples we've listed above. There are plenty of different things you might want to measure depending on your goals - so keep in mind things like geographic or demographic information that you're interested in tracking too.
Once you start to track the performance of these metrics, you'll start to get a benchmark number for how your content is performing.