What is a Digital Marketing Strategy and Why Does it Matter?

A digital marketing strategy involves an assessment of specific goals for your business that are achievable through online channels. We are in the era when most consumers complete transactions on their mobile devices, so a well-executed digital marketing strategy for your small to medium business is pertinent to your success.

By now we know the importance of the customer journey, but let’s not forget the importance of showing up online at every stage of said journey. To accomplish this, your SMB needs to have a good digital marketing strategy. Without a solid strategy you risk wasting all the valuable time and effort you are putting in, but with a good strategy in place, one which utilizes tools and automation, you will easily see a return on your investment and will likely have more time to spend doing what you do best. 

Digital marketing allows you to reach a larger targeted audience than you would be able to through traditional marketing. It’s also more cost-effective than traditional methods and with today’s technology, you can track and measure your success. Managing your progress is crucial to building your digital marketing strategy for your small business. 


Digital Strategy Fundamentals - Knowing your Audience

When advertising with traditional marketing methods, you have little control over who sees your ad. Whether you put it on TV, in a magazine, or on a billboard you never know for sure. Of course, some demographics can be measured, such as the magazine's average readership or the population of a specific community, but it's still mostly a guessing game. 

Your digital marketing strategy’s objective is to target a highly specific audience. You also deliver customized, high-converting marketing messages to that audience. To do this successfully, you must know your audience very well. That means researching your target market. 

A great exercise to start with is writing down 5 different personas of people you think would benefit from your service or product. Brainstorm things like their age, profession, level of education, gender, ethnicity, the location where they live or work, favorite magazine or tv shows, personality traits, core values, and what they care about, and of course why do they need your product? Create a bio for each of your 5 examples and think about their lifestyle and hobbies and where your SMB fits in. 

If you need some help, look at your current customer base and check out your competition. Pay attention to what your competitors are sharing. What is the sound of their voice? Not only can you gain a better understanding of how to interact with your audience, but you will also have a chance to engage your customer and create a community of your own.

It’s important to know your target audience so you know how to talk to them. If you were a professional speaker and were hired to speak in front of an audience, you would research your audience. Step one would be to find out what they like and don’t like, and how they like to be spoken to. You would tweak your messaging to attract and please your audience, digital marketing is no different. The next step is finding your audience and getting your message delivered to them. Knowing your audience and your budget will be important factors when deciding which digital marketing strategies to pursue for your SMB.


Build your content strategy

Based on your main objectives and your target audience, the next step is to map out a content plan. This should identify the main topics to include in your execution. Your content plan should focus on producing quality content, engaging with your audience, and measuring what works, and what doesn’t. Don't simply push out content for content's sake. Here are five ways to get content inspiration:

• Go back to step one and look for ideas from your competition. 

• Search your business on different search engines and see what the public is saying about your SMB

• Research hashtags on Instagram to see what is trending

• Look at Google search suggestions






Choose your channels and tactics

Once you know the content that resonates with your audience, choose the social channels that are most likely to give you the best results. Think about how each channel contributes to meeting your objective and goal. 

Any type of platform or method used to convey marketing messages is classed as a marketing channel. Some of the channels you are probably most familiar with are:

social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), website, email, and blogs (just like this one you are reading). Some of the less familiar channels (mainly because of their complexity) are ​​apps, webinars, events, QR codes, chatbots, and SMS marketing.


Analyze and adjust

Because of the magic of this digital age, it’s easy enough to pivot and adjust according to your results. Your plan does not have to be set in stone. A solid plan, yes - set in stone - no. Think of your plan as the way a building moves in an earthquake. Rigidity doesn’t work, the building will fall. Flexibility means it rolls with the earthquake and the chances of it falling down are almost next to none.

For example, if an ad or idea you had isn’t delivering results, try something different. If your website isn’t converting visitors, do a comparison with a different call to action. 

“Learn more” may drive more traffic than “contact us today”. 

Trial and error with no fatal results - that’s why we love digital marketing!

It can be easy to focus on tactics with digital marketing — because every week, you will be presented with new ideas and different tools. But if you build a clear plan, stay focused on it - you will start to increase your results.


Patience and Consistency

We want to tell you that all of the above is easy and you will obtain results quickly. 

But if we did that, we’d be liars. 

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”

Take into account everything we have talked about in this blog and you can begin to see results in around 60-90 days. And yes, after finding that rhythm - it does get easier.

So, what are you waiting for?


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