How To Create A Functional Digital Marketing Strategy

In today’s world of online communication and transactions, digital marketing has become very essential. It doesn’t matter what type or size of business you are into. A digital marketing strategy is a plan that outlines how you want to reach your target audience. A good marketing strategy should have goals, objectives, and measurable metrics. You need to know what you’re trying to accomplish before you start any kind of marketing campaign.

A strategy is a plan of action, especially one designed to achieve success. It is a set of actions determined to reach a goal. Strategies are usually planned ahead of time and have a purpose. 


  • Why do you need a digital marketing strategy?
  • What is a digital marketing strategy?
  • How to get started.
  • Key points to note.
  • How to structure a digital marketing plan.
  • Tactics to tackle the challenges that arise while planning.

Why Do You Need A Digital Marketing Strategy?

Each business has a specific set of goals. A lot of businesses are mainly concerned about driving sales and finding more opportunities for success. To make your business more successful, you must take advantage of all the valuable marketing resources and technologies that you can access. In that case, the internet should be at the top of your list. Gathering information and planning for proper strategy is going to benefit your business. This is exactly why we need a digital marketing strategy.

Benefits of a digital marketing strategy

  1. A digital marketing strategy gives you a clear goal. You can clearly understand what you wish to achieve online in terms of gaining and retaining customers. You can clearly define your unique selling point (USP), which is tailored to cater for different customer personas. This allows you to differentiate your online services for new and existing customers. It also helps you engage them as they come and remain loyal to your brand.
  2. It helps you get to know and understand your audience and market share. Also, you will be able to know your online customers well enough.
  3. You need a digital marketing strategy across the customer lifecycle. An “always-on marketing” helps you decide how to invest in paid, owned and earned media.
  4. Integrating digital media with traditional media works best in terms of shared resources within your business. Some tools can be used for similar tasks across different departments. Moreover, digital marketing tools have features such as analytics. These features can help with continuous improvement on some key aspects such as brand building, site user experience, lead nurturing etc.
  5. A digital marketing strategy helps you provide a sufficient budget and people that will help with planning and executing digital marketing activities.

What is a digital marketing strategy?

A digital marketing strategy is basically a plan of action to achieve your digital marketing goal. A marketing strategy is a plan that outlines how you want to reach your target audience. A good marketing strategy should have goals, objectives, and measurable metrics. You need to know what you’re trying to accomplish before you start any kind of marketing campaign. 

  • Content Creation

Content creation is the backbone of any digital marketing strategy. If you don’t have content, then you won’t have a successful online business. There are many ways to create content, including videos, articles, blogs, social media posts, etc. Whatever type of content you create, make sure it’s useful and valuable to your target audience.

  • Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is one of the best ways to get your brand out there. By using different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, etc., you can promote yourself and your company to millions of people.

  • Email Marketing

Email marketing is still one of the best ways of reaching customers. Companies spend billions of dollars each year on email marketing campaigns. The only problem is that not everyone likes getting emails. So, if you’re looking for a way to market your products and services, then email marketing is a great option.

  • SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a very effective form of digital marketing. When someone searches for something on Google, they expect to find websites that rank high on search results. Your website needs to show up at the top of those search results for people to visit your site.

  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising is another great way to increase traffic to your website. Advertisers pay each time their ad shows up on the screen of a potential customer. PPC ads work well for businesses that sell physical products.

  • Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular. An influencer is a person who has a big social media following. These individuals often influence others to buy certain brands of clothing, food, and even makeup. Influencers can help spread awareness about your brand by posting pictures wearing your clothes or using your product on their social media accounts.

How to get started?

There are different factors that influence the growth of any business. The following will help you get started with the digital marketing strategy for your business. 

Define your brand  

Outline your brand guidelines. They will help with your marketing campaign. Remember what your business exists to solve. You have worked before and had success. Your new customers can see examples from your previous work. Learn how your business can come through in your online campaigns. Focus on your unique selling points (USPs), brand voice, and value proposition for more sales conversions.

Build your buyer personas: 

You need to determine your business reach. Target a proper set of customers and gain their trust. Create custom buyer personas. Think about user demographics, psychographics, geographic details, etc.

Create your S.M.A.R.T. goals

When setting goals for your business, keep in mind the word, SMART. S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely goals. This will guide your strategy. Structure goals that benefit both your business and customers. Your goals should be subject to evaluation and revision. This is because they are dynamic. A goal that is relevant today may be irrelevant tomorrow. 

Choose your digital marketing strategies

Pick the best strategies for your business. A digital marketing strategy can either work or not work for your business. It is important to build an ideal customer avatar. Build a representation of your ideal customer. Their demographic details (age, gender, title etc.), geographic details (city, state, town, etc.), psychographics details (attitudes, interests, beliefs, etc.) and more. 

This will help you understand your ideal customer better. When you create a marketing strategy with your ideal customer in mind, it will make them feel understood.

For example; you could come up with an irresistible offer. Give your customers a solution to their pains, problems, frustrations etc. You could direct them to where they can download their free PDF, e-book or anything else that you are willing to offer. Once they get to the landing page, they’ll provide you with their name and email address, and in return, they get the e-book or guide. You can then use their emails and contacts to make follow-ups.

Digital Marketing Strategies include;

  • SEO
  • PPC Advertising
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Voice SEO
  • Video Marketing
  • Testimonials and Case Studies.

Set a proper marketing budget 

To create a marketing budget, you need to know which social channels you are going to invest in. You can evaluate previous campaigns. How much you spent, where you spent it and how successful the campaign was. You will find out where your money was well spent and where it was wasted. Different businesses will spend different amounts for different campaigns. If you are advertising, you can then set a specific budget depending on what type of ad you would like to run.

Brainstorm your strategy 

Invite other departments to discuss your marketing strategy. Brainstorm and document new ideas. Create a budget for the new tactics and integrate them into the marketing strategy. If you’re advertising, determine your ad spend. If you’re publishing content, this is the right time to build your content calendar. You can build a content calendar using Excel Templates, Google Drive, Loomly, Trello, etc.

Launch your campaigns 

Following your planning, launch your marketing campaigns across marketing channels. Most marketing channels have features that provide tracking information. Your website metrics, for example, should show the number of unique visitors, new visitors, pages visited, etc.

Track your results

Keep track of your results. Monitor and measure the performance of your strategies. Use Google tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Ads to check on your strategies and their return on investment (ROI)

Key points to note.

  1. Set an Objective.

Know what your business needs and set a corresponding objective. You should be very particular about your business goals. Objective examples: To increase brand awareness, increase market share, launch a new product, increase profits, and improve ROI. Set and measure Key Performance Indicators, KPIs. Also, get familiar with the KPIs by identifying the figures you want to achieve.

  1. Analyze your past efforts

You should analyze your past efforts. This will help you with choosing better KPIs. Identify and measure each of your KPIs. Before you get started with strategizing concepts, you need to know what your business requires. Analyze your past efforts and try not to repeat mistakes. It helps you to choose what’s working and ensures your business is running smoothly. 

  1. Communication.

How you communicate with your customers really matters. Know how to communicate with customers, from those who need your help to those who are just being stubborn. Do not let the planning come between you and the people that you are trying to reach. So, remember, you need to know your audience well. Effective communication combined with a personalized approach will ultimately win your customers’ loyalty. 

  1. Identify your means.

Important things to note here; The budget, Digital Channels, and Marketing Team. Without these, your marketing is non-existent. Therefore, it’s always important to stock all your resources before you embark on your marketing journey for the next period. 

  1. Make an effective plan.

Creating a plan is very tedious. However, make sure to construct a plan based on a set of insightful assumptions and analyses. You should be able to predict how your customers will behave. This is why monitoring the performance of your digital marketing strategy is very important.

How to structure a digital marketing plan

You need to know all key online marketing activities. Identifying your target market and matching your product to your customers is not easy at all. This is why you need an organized and thought-out marketing plan. Here is an outline of a digital marketing plan.

Plan > Reach > Act > Convert > Engage. Smart Insights created RACE, to help digital marketers “plan and manage their activities in a more structured way”.

  1. Plan

Consider using a data driven approach to review your current digital marketing effectiveness, customer analytics, KPI dashboard, and SMART objectives in order to create a strategy of prioritized improvements. Deploy digital marketing media and data to increase leads, which in turn increases the sales.

  1. Reach

Build awareness using online channels like social media, SEO, content marketing etc. This will help you drive traffic to your site. Some metrics to measure include; number of unique visitors, engagement rate, organic traffic, etc.

  1. Act

Always increase the interactions on your website or social media channels. This will help you generate leads. So, some metrics to look out for should be; number of leads, conversion rates, time on site, share/comments/likes, etc.

  1. Convert

Now that you’ve acted upon the reach. You should know how to covert the visit to a sale. Conversion plays an important role in digital marketing strategy. The superior goal is to earn more profits by retargeting, remarketing and nurturing customers throughout the lifecycle. Conversion rate optimization in order to remind and persuade your audience to buy through the marketing channels. Some metrics to look out for include; sales revenue, cost per lead, landing page conversion rate, etc.

  1. Engage

Engagement plays a very big role in digital marketing strategy. So, you want to be able to engage more with your customers. It will eventually increase the number of sales from your existing customers by improving personalized communication through your website, emails. Social media etc. So, you should measure your email engagement rate, ROI, customer advocacy, customer satisfaction and loyalty, etc.

Tactics to tackle the challenges that arise while planning

There are challenges you will encounter while preparing your business’ digital marketing strategy. Here are some tactics to help you tackle the challenges.

  1. Shift your focus to content marketing. It helps you brand your business and products/services. Content marketing is becoming more advantageous.
  2. Understand organic content and paid advertising within your digital marketing strategy. There is a lot of noise out there of other businesses competing for your customer’s attention. There are countless ads, videos, posts etc. flashing before your customers’ eyes every day. So, do focus on organic content and paid advertising.  
How To Create A Functional Digital Marketing Strategy

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