A Beginner’s Guide to Developing a Digital Marketing Strategy [2020]

People spend so much time online these days – checking social media platforms, sharing pictures of last night’s party, commenting on someone’s new haircut, and what not. Amidst all this exchange of information, they are also checking e-commerce stores and buying stuff. 

So, if you have just started your business, then which is the best place to reach your customers? Yeah, you guessed it right – online. Gone are those days of billboards and leaflets. Digital marketing is the new age strategy that will fuel your growth and connect you with your customers.

But that is easier said than done. To dominate your competitors and attract your customers, you need a powerful digital marketing strategy.

What is a digital marketing strategy?

A digital marketing tutorial is a series of steps or processes that will enable you to achieve your digital marketing goals. As all of your work will include digital channels, this strategy will cover social media, paid, owned media, and digital publishing. The strategy will include actionable steps that will allow you to utilize these channels to their maximum potential and fulfill your goals.

The basic components of a digital marketing strategy include the following components:

  • Short- and long-term business goals
  • The time required to achieve each goal
  • Marketing tactics and digital channels
  • Budget associated with goals   

Based on the strategy, you will be able to launch your digital marketing campaign. For example, if you are targeting a specific customer group on social media, you have to launch a digital campaign on Facebook or Twitter.

How to build a digital marketing strategy?

If you are taking baby steps with your business, this changing digital landscape can get overwhelming. So, let us take a look at the fundamental steps that are required to create a solid digital marketing strategy:

Set goals and objectives

The first step in strategy development is identifying your goals and objectives. You have to be clear about what you want to achieve using your strategy. For example, your goal might be to increase followers on your social media accounts. So, you have to layout your plan focused on social media. 

A great way to set goals or objectives for a business is by defining SMART goals. This means your goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely goals

For example, By using social media marketing techniques getting more views and hits on your official website is not a very SMART goal. Instead, aiming to get 10,000 visits on the website via ads on a social media platform within the next 5 months is a SMART goal indeed.

Analyse your current digital presence

Now that you know what you want, try to understand where you stand at present. This means that you start analyzing which digital marketing channels you have been using. Look at how much these channels are helping you reach your objectives. The primary channels you need to focus on are:

  • SEO
  • Social media accounts
  • E-mail marketing campaigns, if any
  • Pay per click ads

You need to answer questions, such as “Which of these channels are bringing you the most traffic?” and the channel which is not cutting it for you. Arrange these channels from best to worst on a list. This will give you a clear picture of where you need to focus and what to avoid.

Create your buyer personas

The most important part of your business is your customers. You need to have a clear idea about who you are selling or marketing to. You have to create buyer personas, which are used for defining the ideal customer profiles. These customers are going to buy your services and products.

But, this profile has to be created using authentic information, and no assumptions. Check out your website and social media accounts for this data.

You need to collect the following information to build a persona:

  • Location – Use tools, such as Google Analytics to find out the location of your traffic
  • Employment information – You can use the existing customer database or send customers online forms to get this data. This will give you a basic idea about their income too
  • Age – You can gather this from your contact database or via online forms
  • Interests – Conducting interviews will let you know what your customers like and dislike 

Define your digital marketing strategy

By now, you must have enough information about the digital marketing strategy you need to adopt. After segmenting your customers based on interests, age, and other parameters mentioned in the previous section, you have to develop a content plan for them.

To deliver authentic content and fetch traffic, take the following steps:

  • Keywords – You have to identify the appropriate keywords to use in your content to improve your SEO positioning. These keywords will be then included in your content that could be blogs, articles, social media post copies, ad content or video content
  • Social media posting – Your blogs and videos must be posted on social media platforms. The content must have the appropriate links, hashtags, and characters. Research and figure out which platform works best for you
  • Develop a content calendar – This helps you keep track of the content you are publishing. It also lets you manage your content better. Include data, such as publication date, author’s name, name or topic, keywords, hashtags and links

After your content strategy is up and running, you need marketing automation tools. These tools will save your time, fetch more traffic, and increase your efficiency. For example, Customer.io is a tool that helps you send personalized messages to your targeted set of customers.  

Also read: Digital Marketing Project Ideas for Beginners

Analyze your digital marketing strategy

So, you have successfully created and implemented your digital marketing strategy. Great job! But, you cannot rest just yet. You have to analyze the results of your strategy. Use software, such as Google Analytics to understand how well you are doing. 

You must focus on the following questions:

  • How well are customers accepting the content you are offering them?
  • Are you fulfilling your marketing goals?
  • How many views or clicks are turning into conversions?
  • Which is the most profitable source of your traffic?
  • Are there any areas where you are not getting any traffic or losing engagement?
  • What is the drawback of your content? Where can you improve?

Along with the answers to all these, you also need to check out what your competitors are doing. Observing the digital marketing strategy of an established company will help you learn a lot and get many valuable insights.

Conclusion

It might seem a bit easier to get started after reading this guide, but building a solid digital marketing strategy isn’t that easy. You have to invest time and make efforts to do your research thoroughly. Also, keep analyzing and trying out different tactics until you find the perfect strategy for you.

If you want to explore and become an expert in Digital marketing, check out MICA and upGrad’s PG Certification in Digital Marketing & Communication. Become an expert in content marketing, social media, branding, marketing analysis and PR.

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