In my experience, a common challenge is where to start drawing up your digital marketing plan. I think there is a fear that a massive report is required, but we believe that lean planning works best. Your plan doesn't need to be a huge report, a strategy can best be summarized in two or three sides of A4 in a table linking digital marketing strategies to SMART objectives within our RACE planning framework. We recommend creating a lean digital plan based on our 90-day planning templates to implement your digital plan rapidly to gain traction. You can learn more in our free download.
Behind every great plan, there is content. But the mantra “build it and they will come” does not apply here. In fact, creating content and just waiting for visitors to show up and engage with you will simply not happen… unless you’re a super cute kitty who made the cut at CatVideoFest. A content strategy involves planning and includes an editorial calendar, a social plan, engagement effort, optimization, conversion measurement, and more. If you want to ensure that your content gets seen by your target audience, a content strategy is your best bet. So before you sit in front of your computer and start pumping out article after article, you need to figure out who you’re addressing and what you plan to achieve. What are your goals and KPIs? How will you measure success – by gaining visibility? Increased registration at your events? Every marketing effort has to be measured. It is an essential element of any successful digital marketing plan.
To do that, you need a consolidated view of customer preferences and expectations across all channels – web, social media, mobile, direct mail, point of sale, etc. Retailers do this using omnichannel retail analytics. Marketers can use this information to create and anticipate consistent, coordinated customer experiences that will move customers along in the buying cycle. The deeper your customer insight into behavior and preferences, the more likely you are to engage them in lucrative interactions.
3. Developing a call-to-action: We talked about using a call-to-action in the second step as a part of your marketing funnel, but what is a call-to-action exactly? A call-to-action (CTA) is an image or text that prompts visitors to take action, such as subscribe to a newsletter, view a webinar or request a product demo. CTAs should direct people to landing pages, where you can collect visitors’ contact information in exchange for a valuable marketing offer. In that sense, an effective CTA results in more leads and conversions for your website. This path, from a click on a CTA to a landing page, illustrates the much desired process of lead generation. In order to increase visitor-to-lead conversion opportunities, you need to create a lot of calls-to-action, distribute them across your web presence and optimize them. A good CTA should be attention grabbing and help lead a potential customer further into your marketing funnel.
A clearly defined online customer value proposition tailored to your different target customer personas will help you differentiate your online service encouraging existing and new customers to engage initially and stay loyal. Developing a competitive content marketing strategy is key to this for many organizations since the content is what engages your audiences through different channels like search, social, email marketing and on your blog.
A content marketer, for example, can create a series of blog posts that serve to generate leads from a new ebook the business recently created. The company's social media marketer might then help promote these blog posts through paid and organic posts on the business's social media accounts. Perhaps the email marketer creates an email campaign to send those who download the ebook more information on the company. We'll talk more about these specific digital marketers in a minute.
For more information about buyer personas, read How to Avoid 4 Buyer Persona Mistakes for advice and a free template on developing your personas. You may need to do research in order to completely develop your personas, but before you dive into that endeavor, check out 9 Questions You Need to Ask When Developing Buyer Personas. You may find you already have all the data you need!
It is increasingly advantageous for companies to use social media platforms to connect with their customers and create these dialogues and discussions. The potential reach of social media is indicated by the fact that in 2015, each month the Facebook app had more than 126 million average unique users and YouTube had over 97 million average unique users.
It's important to note that even if a campaign runs over the course of a couple of years, it doesn't make it a strategy -- it's a tactic that sits alongside other campaigns to support a larger marketing strategy. For example, ETF Securities (cited above) hosted a campaign to increase its followers on LinkedIn, using the digital strategy of sponsored content (a form of paid media). This one strategic campaign might be one small part of a larger digital marketing strategy that serves to generate more leads for one of its products or business lines.