5 Steps to Creating an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy

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Let’s face it: In today’s day and age, you absolutely must be marketing yourself online in some capacity. Having little to no online presence just will not cut it in the digital age that we are currently living in.

So, what exactly should your digital marketing strategy be? Well, that’s going to depend on you, your business, and your needs! Let’s figure out how to craft the perfect plan for you!

1) Get your goals in order!

First thing first, figure out your objectives!

What is the goal of your digital marketing efforts?

Is it simply to get more clients/leads? Or something more grand, such as becoming known as THE go-to person in your niche?

Whatever the case may be, you have got to get super clear on your goals and objectives. This will be how you attack your plan.

Also, this is where you figure out your KPIs (key performance indicators).

Figure out your good, better, and best KPIs and figure out what tools you will use to measure them, such as Google Analytics.

Determine how much you want specific KPIs to grow, and how quickly you want them to reach that level. For example, increasing organic traffic by 50% in 4 weeks.

Figure out what metrics mean the most to you and your mission (mentioned above) and use those as your KPIs.

2) Figure out your resources (more than just your budget!)

Take stock of everything you’ve got at your disposal.

What digital channels are you on? This includes everything, not just social media.

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest (NOT a social media channel!)

WHO do you have on your team?

If you are flying solo, you are going to have to allocate your time and means appropriately.

Do you have the ability to outsource some of your digital channels? If it makes sense, do so.

Figuring out your resources also means figuring out your budget.

Yes, many people will shout loud from the rooftops that it’s all well and good to start slapping money on Facebook ads, as long as they are ‘breaking even’

But, that’s not a viable plan. It will only get you so far and will leave you feeling defeated at the end (ask me how I know)

Anyway, focusing on an organic channel of traffic will help mitigate some budgetary constraints, if there are any.

And make sure you are spreading the budget around. Giving each channel a bit of the budget will help. When you are noticing that a channel is underperforming, cut the funds from there and move it to a better performing channel.

By spreading the wealth around, you are opening yourself up to finding a new ad channel you may not have used originally, and gaining some amazing traffic at a better price than using the same channel everyone is using, simply because it ‘works’

3) Get clear on your ideal audience and their language

Keep your audience, their demographics, and their language at the forefront when creating your digital marketing strategy.

When creating killer KPIs, and thinking of your budget, your channels, all of that, it’s easy to forget what your audience actually needs and where they will be hanging out.

You may be eying that super cool marketing trick you learned for a YouTube strategy, but if your audience doesn’t hang out there, then there really isn’t a point in employing that tactic.

But putting your audience first is going to keep their wants and needs  top of mind when you narrow down the best channels, and tactics for those channels, when creating your epic strategy.

Spend time thinking about their problems and the solutions you are offering to them. Get used to using the language they use around their problems, so you are better able to capture their attention.

4) Take a look back (but only for a bit!)

This one, is the less fun, admittedly.

Take a look back at your former digital marketing efforts. Even if you never put ad dollars behind your social media channels or website before, just having a Facebook page you sometimes post to is a digital marketing effort.

How did it go?

Did you get a decent return?

Or were you mostly seeing crickets?

Figure out what did, and more importantly, didn’t, work. Let those lessons hold weight in the plans you make for the future.

Learning from past mistakes is the best way to make sure that you future course of action is set up for the highest level of success possible.

5) Give yourself room to breathe and change

If you are the type of person to create a plan, be stringent with it, and never waver from it, then I apologize for what I’m about to tell you.

Don’t do that.

Yes, absolutely create a plan. Create a detailed and well thought out plan that involves everything we’ve discussed thus far (KPIs, audience tone, resources, all of that)

But be prepared for that plan to change and shift.

Set yourself up for success using a timeline (I recommend either Google calendar or Asana). Allocate time frames for each of your campaigns and various digital marketing efforts.

Get your marketing and measurement plan in order and ready to roll out.

And be prepared to review often.

Check measurements as needed and adjust the plan as you go, either beefing up a very successful campaign or shutting down a poorly performing campaign before its end if needed.

Make sure to isolate the different aspects of each campaign (i.e. the time of day you are posting, the language you are using, the creatives for the campaigns), and then tweak and adjust as necessary to see if you can revive what appears to be a dead campaign.

By creating a well thought out, well documented, and highly effective digital marketing plan, and by leaving room for it to morph as needed, you will ensure success for your company, and yourself, moving forward.