Digital Marketing Strategy Before Tactics Please

digtial-marketing-strategyAs a traditional marketer who has transitioned to digital marketing, I am often confronted with hundreds of articles on how to market within specific media (like Facebook, Twitter, SEO, paid search etc). While this is useful and each media have their merits, what is missing is a discussion around their digital marketing strategy.

Often I see clients who want to rank on the first page of google for some insanely competitive keyword. The issue is that they don’t really know how well their website will convert. Which means a lot of money could be wasted before key issues are fully understood and known.

Others gravitate to social media so they can promote their offers to potential customers. This is because it is seen as a low cost alternative.  They fail to realize that social media is a two way conversation so it is not just about pushing messages out but about having a conversation with them.

[quote]Social Media can be time consuming and resource intensive if you are not prepared.[/quote]

Just jumping into social media without a plan is often based on the assumption that people will automatically want what they have to sell. But this is often not the case. Doing social media effectively means doing a little research to understand your customer and what messages are most likely to be effective.

[quote]It requires a deep understanding and insight of your potential customer and customer segments.[/quote]

This means that telling them about you or the myriad of features your product offers may not be the right approach. It might be fine if they are in research mode and understand what all the features mean but what happens if they aren’t. If they are ready to buy maybe a better approach might be to focus on the main point “what’s in for them.”  What benefit will your product or service ultimately deliver and how will it help improve their lives better than competitors.

[quote]It’s also critical to understand how a customer found you.[/quote]

While online is important, the reality is that most people bounce back and forth between online media and traditional media. Today’s connected consumer is everywhere  – both online and offline. Understanding and measuring this dual customer journey is critical because you see your marketing efforts  from a total birds eye view.

What about conversions?

Conversions are great  – everyone wants a quick and easy sale. But the fact of the matter is that most people will research multiple options online. Your strategy needs to not only focus on conversions but also at the early research phase when people are thinking about a product or service. What systems do you have in place to ensure they don’t forget about you. Being last in line for the purchase phase might mean that they are going to be more price sensitive to your offer as they may have missed you in the early research phase.

A digital marketing strategy is where the hard work begins.

Implementing tactics is quick and easy but developing a marketing strategy takes thought, brain power and buy in from other people inside your organisation. Developing a digital marketing strategy can be a time consuming process.  It should support your businesses overall marketing objectives and reach your audience more effectively. To be successful, you need to think of your total marketing strategy — with each part working together and influencing the other. Apart from using website analytics measurable goals and systems for tracking them need to be put in place.  This is where business dashboards with key performance indicators are useful.  Using a dashboard means all your key business information is one place – you can track social media, SEO, Paid search and even offline activities.

So how do you develop your overall strategy?

  • Developing & understanding business objectives
  • Review your businesses strengths. weaknesses, opportunities & threats
  • Understanding the competitive landscape
  • Research & understand your target audience
  • Crafting messages that solve customer needs (read problems)
  • Testing your market positioning & unique selling proposition
  • Obtain insights & continually refine and improve

So there it it. Take the time to really think through your strategy and develop a plan of attack. If you aren’t sure how to go about this, then why not contact us here at Swoop Digital and find out how we can help.