More than ever, the internet is fastly growing to become the largest market any business could ask for.
Everyone seems to be on the internet. This presents a bundle of opportunities to get more customers, increase revenue, and eventually, expand your business.
This is why it is necessary that you get your product or services well-rooted online.
To effectively use the several channels that the internet has provided to sell your product and services, you first need a digital marketing strategy.
What is a digital marketing strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is a well-structured plan aimed at using digital tools to sell your products and services.
It’s that simple.
Why you need a digital marketing strategy?
Exploring digital marketing channels exposes your business to a very wide range of people, across countries and continents.
With a strategy, you get to know who your customers are, what “online market” they constantly visit and what they are most interested in.
This helps you create a very valuable offer that is tailored to suit your online audience.
It also helps you figure out how to effectively maximize these digital channels to make you money. Put in mind that this approach is cost effective.
All these, in the long run, increase sales and return on investment.
Steps to build an effective digital marketing strategy for your business
For a newbie, building a digital marketing strategy might look hard, but it is not.
Agreed, it requires a lot of time, brainstorming and planning, but at the end, the results are worth your troubles.
Here is what you should do if you want to build a digital marketing strategy:
Carry out an analysis of the business
To take a step forward, you need to be sure of your footing.
Before you start anything, carry out an analysis of your business. List out your company’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities that can help improve your current situation.
- What are you exceling at?
- What challenges are you facing?
- How well do you know about digital marketing channels?
- Which of these channels have you tried out and which of them is working?
- What are your competitors doing differently?
- What resources do you have at your disposal?
- What elements greatly affect sales, whether positively or negatively?
- What is your company greatest weakness?
- What is your biggest threat – one that can stop sales and the company’s operation entirely?
With this information, you can identify things that need to be changed, where you need help, how well the business is being operated and areas where sales are greatly affected.
Now that you have been able to figure this out, you can move on to the next step
Set your digital marketing goals
If you have done a good job of analyzing your business, this should be easy.
From the information you have compiled, begin to set your digital marketing goals.
The first question you should ask yourself is: what is the biggest achievement you aim to have from this? This should be on top of the list.
Then go ahead to list out other goals you aim to achieve.
Do you want more customers, more engagement from customers, a larger community on social media, wider reach for your brand, run ads profitably, etc.?
But more importantly, you should focus on brand awareness, lead generation and conversion (getting people to buy your product).
Define your customer
By now, you should know that everything revolves around your customer.
If you already have an online presence and you are not new in business, you should already have reports on your target audience, that is, the people who are interested in your products and will pay for it.
If you do not have such reports, then you should figure out who your target audience is.
To make this easier, check out your competition and look at the kind of people they already are targeting.
Put in mind that not everyone is your customer.
You can create a profile of your ideal customer. Put into consideration both his emotional and demographic qualities.
For example, you need to figure out the sex, age, occupation, social class, marital status, area of residence, income, etc., of your customer.
Also, you need to know your customer’s needs, desires, wants, dreams, likes, dislikes, fears, etc.
This will help you figure out people you should go after and those you shouldn’t. It also helps you create online campaigns that help to meet their needs and help them achieve their dreams.
Before you start any online marketing campaign, you need a well-defined picture of your customer
Understand the digital sales funnel
This step is very important.
Now that you know the people you should be targeting; you need to ensure that they buy what you are selling.
This is where a funnel becomes very important.
In simple terms, a funnel is the process a stranger (prospective customer) goes through to become a customer.
There are three steps in a basic funnel: awareness, evaluation and conversion.
Awareness is the first step and this is where a customer notices your brand. Many people, some of whom might not be your customers, will notice you.
You can create awareness for your business through adverts, referrals, promotions, search traffic, etc. You have to ensure that your business is in people’s faces.
This way, people become aware that your business exists.
The next step is evaluation
Not everyone who noticed your brand gets to this point. At this stage, people who are interested will contact you to learn more about your business.
They will try to find out who you are, what you do, and how it can benefit them. This stage is very critical because this is where you either impress them or repel them.
You need to be persuasive enough and your offer has to be enticing enough to keep them.
This is where all the hard work you have put in pays up.
At this point, they trust your brand, and decide that they need the offer you are presenting to them. So, they pay for it (either with money or time or permission to contact them – yes, a stranger turning into a lead is a conversion too).
For every step in the funnel, you need to figure out which online platform will give you the best result and maximize them.
Choose which digital channel you will use
There are several digital channels that can help you market your products and services online. But you need to know the ones that is right for your business and will help accomplish your goals.
You could combine posting on social media sites, sending emails, creating ad campaigns, and optimizing your website.
But you still need to be sure which social media channels are preferred for your niche, what kind of emails to send, what kind of content should go on your website, etc.
If you are having difficulties with this, watch out for how your competitors are doing theirs, especially if they are big brands in your industry, and simply emulate them.
Execute your plan
At this stage, you have all the information you need to get started.
You know who your customers are and what digital channels are best to reach them. Whatever platform you decide to use – email, blog, social media, search engine, etc. – make sure you are well versed about it.
Take tutorials, read up and practice. Execute your plan, but don’t stick strictly to it. Keep making changes until you find what works for you and your target audience.
Building a digital marketing strategy makes it easy for you to utilize all the digital tools at your disposal to find new customers and increase sales.
These tips should help guide while you build your digital marketing strategy.
If you have any questions along the way, feel free to ask. I would be glad to answer all your questions.