How To

How to create a digital strategy

by Rachel Sharpe |

Many would argue that the term digital marketing strategy should be replaced by the simpler ‘marketing strategy’ as the majority of communications today are on digital platforms. The reality, however, is that today’s online marketing requires a professional depth of skills and knowledge to navigate the growing variety of digital media, which is why the word ‘digital’ is often used to demonstrate an understanding of this changing landscape. So how do you create a digital marketing strategy?

Let’s start with a classic definition: “A digital marketing strategy refers to achieving marketing objectives through applying digital technologies and media.” – Smart Insights.

The first step is to consider what audiences you are trying to reach with your online content and align these with your commercial objectives. After that, you’ll want to consider a suite of internet marketing tactics including some or all of the below:

Content Marketing

As a storytelling agency, we often say content is king, and while it’s a great way to build a captive audience, there’s no point in producing tons of creative without a clearly defined digital marketing strategy to reach your business goals. Valuable and interesting content – such as videos or infographics – can help you to attract a defined target audience and your content strategy should be made up of consistent, high quality content that relates to your target audience. This is the best way to attract and keep hold of a loyal audience and move them down the marketing funnel.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the practise of utilising social media channels to promote your products or services, usually using engaging and shareable content. This is where it goes hand in hand with content marketing: posting relevant and high-quality videos, images and infographics is what makes an audience engage with you and remember your brand over another. Social media is also a great way to open up communication with your audience and interact with them directly, giving you an excellent opportunity to improve your audiences’ brand loyalty.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

A digital marketing plan wouldn’t be complete without continuous search engine optimisation; having a good understanding of the keywords you want to rank for and optimising the content on your website on a regular basis will help you to appear organically higher up in searches for the search terms your audience is looking for. But driving traffic to your website is only the first step; well-optimised content that delivers what is promised to the visitor when they click on your link, will help you to keep your visitors on your website for longer, and therefore more likely to convert.

PPC

PPC – or pay per click – is the process of creating adverts to drive traffic to your site and paying a fee whenever one of those adverts is clicked on. These adverts work by bidding on ad placement for keywords, so just as you need to have a good understanding of which keywords you want to be found for to rank organically with SEO, the same keyword research is required for PPC advertising. In fact, SEO and PPC work very well in tandem to increase your visibility on search engine results pages, sharing keywords and phrases so that you can target a wider variety of search terms, and maximising the number of people visiting, and more importantly, staying on your website.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the practise of gaining sales through an affiliate website, or to put it more simply, a website that is recommending one of your products or services. The affiliate earns a commission for every sale that they specifically help to generate. This can be a particularly effective method of increasing your visibility among your target audience, particularly if you know that your audience is likely to buy based on recommendation.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is about much more than just using email to promote your product or service. A great email campaign works on building a loyal and trusting relationship with the recipient, keeping them informed and, often, tailoring your marketing message to the audience depending on the needs of those who are going to receive it. Don’t be put off email marketing because of a fear of GDPR; so long as you collect your data ethically (by inviting – rather than forcing – people to opt-in to your communications and allowing them to opt-out any time they change their minds) and look after their data, then there’s nothing to be concerned about, and email marketing can be a valuable cog in your digital marketing strategy.

By referring to your business goals, defining your target audience and deciding which internet marketing tactics are best placed to serve your needs, you’ll be well on your way to having a clearly defined digital marketing strategy. As with any marketing strategy, once you’ve implemented it, it’s important to ensure you evaluate it effectively. Keeping your goals S.M.A.R.T – that’s Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely – will help you to assess how well your digital marketing strategy is performing and adjust it accordingly.

If you’ve got a digital marketing or SEO brief you think we could help you with, contact us today on 01455 245 250, or email us on spotted@spottydogcommunications.com. Alternatively, our newsletter features the latest industry tips & tricks, or you can get social with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook.