How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy
Create buyer personas.
Identify goals and tools.
Account for existing resources.
Audit and plan media campaigns.
Make It Happen.
1. Create Buyer Persona(s).
If you can't define who your audience is in one sentence, now's the chance to do it. A buyer persona is an example of your ideal customer.
For example, a store like yours could define a buyer persona as Budgeting Betty, a fashionable working-class woman in her 30's living in a suburb, looking to fill her closet with designer deals at low prices.
With this description, your marketing department can picture Budgeting Betty and work with a better vision of the consumer.
Buyer personas have critical demographic and psycho-graphic information -- including age, job title, income, location, interests, and challenges. Notice how Betty's attributes include all of these in her description.
2. Identify Goals & Measure
Your marketing strategy goals should coincide with your business goals. So, if one of your business goals is to have 300 prospects attend your annual conference in three months, your goal as a marketer should be along the lines of boosting online RSVP by 20% at the end of the month.
When you have your goals outlined, make sure you use Google Analytics to measure blog and web page performance.
3. Consider Existing Assets.
What you already have in your arsenal that can help you create your strategy. To streamline this process, think of your assets in three categories -- paid, owned, and earned media.
Paid media is any channel you spend money on to bring your target audience. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn offer paid media options that boost your exposure.
Owned media is any of the media you create -- blog posts, eBooks, images, and info-graphics that your marketing team has created are examples of owned media.
Earned media is basically user-generated content. Shares on social media, tweets about your company, and photos posted on Instagram mentioning your business are all examples of earned media.
Assemble your materials in these sectors and put them all in a single place so you'll have a clear vision of what you have and how you can integrate the three channels together to maximize your strategy.
For example, if you already have a blog that's releasing weekly content in your niche (owned media), you might want to think about promoting your blog posts on paid media like Twitter, which customers' might then re-tweet (earned media). In the end, that will help you create a better, more well-rounded strategy.
The free option? Tweet it from your company's Twitter or post it on Instagram and use relevant hashtags to share content.
If you have resources that don't fit into your goals, get rid of them. This is a great time to clean house or identify gaps in your assets.
4. Review & Plan Media Campaigns.
Now, you need to decide which content is going to help you. Focus on your owned media and marketing goals. For instance, will updating the Call To Action at the end of your blog posts help you increase Reservations to your event?
Next, look at your buyer personas. Let's say you work for a video editing software company. If one of your persona's challenges is adding clean sound effects to their videos but you don't have any content that reflects that, make a 15-second demo video for Instagram to show how great your product is at solving that challenge.
Finally, put together a content creation plan. The plan should include the title, goals, format, and channel for each piece of content and which challenge it's solving for your buyer persona.
5. Make It Happen
Finally, we're at the last step. You should already have:
1. Buyer persona(s).
2. Specific marketing goals that coincide with your business goals.
3. Existing paid, owned, and earned media inventory.
4. An audit of a media campaign.
Now, your market research and planning should help you see how your strategy will be executed.
The last step is to bring that all together -- to put actions into your planning. Create a document that spells out the steps you need to take to execute your campaign. In other words, define your strategy.
Think long-term when organizing this document. A standard strategy document is for 12 months. This structured timeline should be the focus for your strategic marketing efforts.
To provide an example, let's go back to the video software company.
Maybe in January, you will launch a software update that improves the exportation process for users. In April, you want to publish an eBook that explains editing terms to your buyer personas, and in September, you plan to launch an integration with other software.
Remember, your digital strategy is unique to your business, and the document should also be original. As long as the strategy includes all of the necessary information, you'll be all set to take your company's brand from start to outstanding.
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