The term digital marketing can be a little confusing and broad reaching. However, for the sake of this post, we’ll refer to it as the online efforts you take across various digital marketing channels to get your business more leads. It’s still a mouthful, but by the end of this post, you’ll have a greater understanding of what creating a digital marketing strategy actually entails.

The worst thing you could do is dive into digital marketing without creating a coherent strategy first. Below we highlight a five-step process you can follow to create a digital marketing strategy to help your business grow and succeed online.

1. Set Goals and Objectives

The first thing you need to do is think about what you actually want to accomplish. Your end-point will change the steps you take, the platforms you choose, and the type of content you create.

For example, do you want to grow your email list? Are you trying to improve your social media followers? Do you want to increase website traffic? Do you want to generate more leads for your business?

The best way to stay on track with your goals is to set goals that are just past your stretch point. For example, a solid goal would be to increase website traffic by 40% in 3 months.

2. Audience Research

Know that you know what you want to achieve, it’s time to start understanding the people who are going to help you get there, your customers.

You probably already have a good idea of who your audience is, but it’s important to spend time understanding where your audience hangs out online, and how you can most effectively reach them.

If you have previous analytics data, then spend time narrowing down on who your ideal audience actually is. Pay attention to demographic information like age, income, gender, and family life. But, also keep in mind psychographic data, as this will help you paint a living picture of your customer. Psychographic metrics include hobbies, interests, desires and dreams, personal preferences, and values.

Beyond determining who your ideal customer is and painting a vivid picture you’ll want to determine where they’re hanging out online. For example, do they use Facebook, or are they primarily Pinterest users? Do they read blogs, or are podcasts their preferred form of content consumption?

Understanding who your audience is and where they hand out is crucial in developing a successful digital marketing strategy.

3. Competitor Research

It’s important to understand the existing online landscape in terms of competitiveness. Understanding what your competitors are doing will help you see which areas you should focus your energy on, and which can be avoided.

Competitor research will also help to find various keywords you can rank for, come up with new blog post topics, and even uncover alternative publishing strategies you might have overlooked.

You’re not researching your competitor’s to copy what they’re doing, but instead to help refine your strategy and ensure you’re not wasting your efforts.

4. Marketing Collateral Creation

With a deep understanding of your market and customers, and your objectives defined it’s time to start creating the marketing collateral to fuel your digital marketing machine.

For most this means content. Having a steady supply of solid content will help to fuel your SEO efforts, give you things to share and talk about on social media, and give you a way to deliver value to your visitors.

Whether you’re creating everything yourself or hiring out the work, it’s important that you start thinking about what types of things need to be created.

5. Persistence and Testing

One thing to keep in mind when it comes to digital marketing is that most strategies take time. Both SEO, content marketing, and social media growth all take a while to start gaining momentum.

Paid advertising allows you to see results quicker, but the investment is typically higher, and it will take a while to refine your campaigns so you’re getting the highest ROI possible.

Just remember to stick with it. Digital marketing is a long-term game, even if some of your goals are more short-term in length. Just know that the results will come, your traffic will improve, you’ll start to rank higher, and your business will grow.

If you want to improve the effectiveness of your existing digital marketing strategy, or need help creating one from scratch, then reach out to our team today.

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