How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy
Step 1 – Analyse your Current Digital Marketing Efforts
The first step to improving your digital marketing performance is to understand where you are now and how your current digital marketing efforts are paying off. You may be a small company with little or no online marketing in place or a big company with a dedicated marketing team but you need to work out your digital marketing starting position to enable you to make a realistic long term digital strategy.
Where is your Digital Marketing Now?
Look at the following 3 key areas and rank your performance out of 10 by comparing yourself to your nearest competitor’s:
Does your brand fit with your company image and target market place? Is your brand enhancing your company image or letting it down? Your brand is the cornerstone of your marketing and if it is not right this should be a priority fix because it has a knock on effect on every other marketing effort you make.
Is your website fit for purpose and is it selling your products and services in the best possible way across all platforms? Rank your website out of 10 in the following areas:
- Website look and feel
- Website delivery of key messages
- Website performance on desktop
- Website performance on mobile
- Website content
- Website calls to action
- Website user experience
- Website functionality/working
Online Marketing Strategies
Who are you reaching online and how? Make a list of how you want to reach and influence your target audience and rank your performance:
- Organic listings on search engines/SEO efforts
- Paid social media e.g. Facebook advertising
- Other social media e.g. pinterest, Instagram
Step 2 – Make a Realistic Online Marketing Plan
Decide what the digital marketing priorities are for the short term (next 3 months) and longer term (next year). If your branding and website need work this is where you should start. It is counter-productive to spend time, money and effort on a digital marketing strategy that is driving users to a sub-standard website. Make sure that your branding is on point and that your website is functioning optimally before focusing on any other online marketing efforts.
Look at your annual calendar of events and plan out how you will maximise every company event online. Take into account your time, budget and resources and stay realistic on what can be achieved. It is much better to make a realistic plan that you can stick to then make an ambitious plan that you cannot.
Break down your digital strategy into SEO, Paid advertising and social media efforts. Allocate the tasks from each of these areas into a monthly task list in excel that should look something like this:
Digital Marketing Plan
Organic listings on search engines/SEO efforts
- Begin with your target keywords. Make a list of the sort of keywords you would like to rank high for on Google and then use the keyword planner tool in adwords to select the keywords with the highest search rates.
- You should choose one main keywords and 2-3 supporting keywords for every page of your website.
- Spend the first month optimising the content on your website for SEO and making sure that there are no technical issues such as website load times that will hold back your SEO efforts. It may be worth having your website audited by a professional SEO company for onsite issues as this will expertly pinpoint the issues on your site. Resolve these onsite issues before proceeding with any other SEO efforts.
- Make sure that your SEO Meta tags and descriptions are in place on every page of your website. The plug in Yoast is an excellent way to ensure that your onsite content and meta tags are optimised correctly.
- Set up a monthly content plan to ensure you have fresh content on your website every month that include your keywords e.g. news articles, press releases, videos etc.
- Review your keywords position every month on Google and note the efforts that are working and efforts that are not working.
Analyse your performance on Google adwords if you have advertised on this platform before. What keyword clicks are performing and resulting in conversions? Performing keywords will depend on your individual goals and KPIs but some good indicators include:
High CTR (click through rate)
High conversion rate
High quality score
Keyword not costing above what you deem worth per click
If the structure of your adwords account is wrong it will be difficult to build a high performance campaign. Start from the beginning if your old adwords structure was not set up correctly.
It is recommended that you create a campaign for every section of your business, create very relevant adwords groups within every campaign, have no more than 30 keywords per adwords group and 2-3 ads per adwords group.
Include in your overall plan a monthly review where you will review your return on adwords investment and ensure you are maximising your return on adwords spend.
Put a schedule in place for all the social media channels relevant to your business. Use a tool like Hootsuite to manage all your different social media channels in one dashboard and schedule advance posts etc.
Utilise your existing content and make sure you get leverage out of all current content on your social media channels. For example if you work on a presentation use the content of the presentation on Facebook if relevant. Tie everything back to your website the central hub of all your marketing.
Consider paid social media advertising as part of your overall plan because this form of advertising can be very targeted and depending on what you are selling provide a high return on investment.