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When it comes to online marketing in 2017, you need to come out with a strategy that is dedicated to helping you succeed in your industry. Businesses today have realised the importance of digital marketing, because it influences the major factors of their operations.

There is a lot of planning that goes into producing a digital marketing strategy and there are instances where teams generally struggle to come up with a marketing strategy that is measurable and workable.

 

online marketing guide 2017

 

You need to ensure that the digital marketing strategy you come up with has an actionable plan that resonates with the organisation. The most important asset that any organisation has are its customers. The success of a business ultimately lies with how well you market to your target audience.

This is where most organizations struggle because they don’t have a digital marketing strategy that is designed to influence their target audience.

I am going to help resolve that problem for your organisation by sharing the ultimate guide to digital marketing.

To ensure success you need to formulate a proper plan that will set up your digital marketing strategy, and for that you need to:

  • Choose what channels you need to market
  • Identify and set realistic goals
  • Review your competition
  • Define your target audience and what drives them
  • Identify your competitive strengths
  • Launch and reassess your strategy

There are different steps that make up your digital marketing strategy and you need to overcome all of them before you get on your way to digital marketing success.

So, buckle up your seatbelts, because I am going to be taking you on one hell of a ride!

The Beginning: Understanding your Customer

 

digital marketing guide 2017

 

The first hill that you will need to conquer, on your way to digital marketing success, is understanding your target audience.

You must understand that you will be targeting your audience through words, which means you must study words and account for how they affect people and the different systems of thoughts that are triggered by certain words.

The key to making your digital marketing strategy work is by understanding your customers and you will only be able to do that once you understand how people talk and feel. You need to do in-depth research on what people want, what products add value to their life.

The words you use will obviously add value to your digital marketing campaign because you will be targeting them through content.

You may think that the job of a marketer is to convince customers about the product, but their job is to understand their audience and then provide them with the right pitch. But you may ask, what any of this has to do with understanding your customers?

Well, you need to get to terms with the preferences of your consumer base and the only way you can do that is by talking to them.

That’s why you may have to ask yourself questions like:

  • Where do people get information on products like mine?
  • How are people shopping for products like mine?
  • What are the reasons people are shopping for products like mine?
  • What specific words are triggering people to buy products like mine?
  • What functions do people require from products like mine?

All these questions will help you thoroughly understand your customers before you can go on to the next target or strategy you have in mind.

This means that you must pay attention to the questions mentioned above and make them a part of your digital marketing strategy.

Why do you have to do focus on understanding your customers?

They will define your digital marketing strategy, which will only succeed if you manage to connect with the right target people.

Studying your Competition

The main thing that your digital marketing strategy will need is identifying the kinds of channels you will be marketing your product. To ensure success in that you will need to know about the channels that your competition is using to target customers.

Reviewing your competition is a crucial part of identifying your digital marketing strategy because that is how you will be able to achieve marketing success.

There are lots of different ways you can market to customers – through blog posts, advertisements, emails, and a plethora of other mediums.

When you learn how your competition acquires their consumers, you can create your own marketing strategy to ensure that you get one step ahead. So how do you go about reviewing your competition?

Here are some of the things that you will need to focus on:

  • How are they bringing traffic in?
  • What strategies have they implemented?
  • What types of media are they using?
  • How do they use content to market?
  • What type of customers are they targeting?
  • What channels are they using?

All the above-mentioned metrics will help you gauge the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and will help you develop a better digital marketing strategy.

Identify your Competitive Strengths and Weaknesses

 

digital marketing 2017

 

Once you have identified the strengths and weaknesses of your competition and have a good understanding of your customers, it is time to find your own strengths and weaknesses. You must have a pretty good idea of your strengths and weaknesses if you want to have any impact with your online marketing strategy.

You need to work hard on it because your customers will be asking you, “Why You?”

You will need to consider the different factors that your customers will generally take into consideration. These include factors related to your products and services such as:

  • Company identity
  • Ease of use
  • Pricing
  • Process
  • Efficacy
  • Features and benefits

In general, you need to account for all these factors if you want your digital marketing strategy to work. You should know that all these factors play a big role in how you target your customers. After all, you need your clients to remember you if you want to standout from your competition.

Set Goals

Now before you go ahead and launch your digital marketing strategy, you need to identify and set realistic goals for your organisation.

This must be done before you begin marketing because you must be clear about the goal you are trying to reach or accomplish. Once you have a clear goal in mind, you will be able to execute your digital marketing strategy efficiently and that will get you the results that you crave.

The goals that you set for yourself need to be SMART goals, which means that you need to think very clearly about them.

Any goals you set for your organization need to be achievable, because you don’t want to set up impossible goals for yourself. The goals that you set up for your organization have to be measurable, otherwise you won’t be able to identify whether you’re really headed in the right direction. You need to take the following things into consideration when setting your goals:

  • Total number of sales and leads you need from your marketing campaign
  • The resources you have available
  • How the marketing strategy works with sales
  • Your appetite for building a successful brand

When it comes to setting up a goal for your organisation, you should understand how it will align strategically with your business objectives. This is the only way you will be able to develop a digital marketing strategy that is going to align yourself strategically with the goals you have in mind.

If you think that you’re not at a stage where you can properly optimize different things in your marketing campaign, you need to find a specific business outcome that you can achieve.

This means that you must look at the following factors that your business can achieve, which includes:

  • Attract – Getting more people excited about your product or service
  • Convert – Get people to start following your brand and using your products
  • Close – Get more people purchasing your products
  • Delight – Make a difference in the lives of people and ensure higher referrals

Once you have done all of that, you will be able to Set Realistic, Measurable and Achievable Targets (SMART).

All of this is important for formulating your digital marketing strategy, but now we must move onto the crucial part, where you get to choose the marketing tactics you want to employ and the channels you want to target.

The Marketing Channels You Need to Target

This is one part of your digital marketing strategy that you will need to cover comprehensively. Include all the channels that you must target and the different tactics that must be used to ensure digital marketing success.

It isn’t possible to cover all the different marketing tactics that must be used for different channels, but you can still make an impact in digital marketing with a focus on improving sales, leads, and visitors.

This will help narrow down the choices you need to make for your digital marketing strategy. The best thing about focusing on marketing channels at this stage is that it will help you carefully align your strategy according to the consumer cycle. The marketing channels you must target include:

  1. Outbound sales
  2. Content
  3. Email
  4. Paid Social
  5. Social Media
  6. Search Engine Marketing
  7. Organic Search and SEO

To help you out, we will be looking in detail at each marketing channel to determine which one will be the best one for you.

1.      Outbound Salesonline marketing

You will need to focus on outbound sales, even though most people don’t consider it as an important part of their digital marketing campaign. You can take advantage of outbound sales if you have an effective and well-defined process in place because it will help you bring more business.

2.      Content

Everyone in digital marketing knows about the value of content and what it brings to the table in marketing. There can be no denying the role that good content plays in terms of the marketing potential of a business and that is the reason why it is always a part of every digital marketing campaign.  That’s the reason why we incorporate it into our business.  We see the value it gives us.

There can be no digital marketing campaign without content marketing, which can be in the form of white papers, case studies, articles, videos, eBooks, and webinars. The purpose of content marketing is to:

  • Engage your audience
  • Inform your customers about products or services
  • Demonstrate expertise of your brand
  • Generate search traffic
  • Deliver scalable and free value to your audience
  • Create an understanding with your clients

Content marketing is a very important tool for any business that is looking to launch an effective digital marketing strategy. This is because content is everywhere, whether it is in videos, interactive pieces, pictures, or words. It tells the story of your brand and builds your online presence, which is one of the main reasons why content marketing is still making such huge waves in the industry.

3.      Email and Marketing Automation

This is where all the magic happens because you reach out to your customers through email marketing. If you want to bring visitors to your website and want to turn them into long-term customers, you will need to use email marketing. When it comes to converting leads and getting more traffic on your website, email marketing is the way to go about. That is why it is commonly found in the digital marketing strategies of most places, because it yields exceptional results for businesses.

Out of all the different tactics that are going to mentioned about digital marketing, there can be no exception about the fact that digital marketing will not happen without emails. It is one of the most effective forms of marketing and will still bring incredible returns on investment.

The power of email and marketing automation can’t be understated, because it can communicate with customers and helps generate leads for the business. That is why your email marketing strategy must be extremely well thought out, since it will play such a significant hand in your digital marketing campaign.

There are different types of email marketing strategies that you can employ, and the diversity offered to you makes it such a big hit. There are two major types of emails that you can use, which include automation emails and newsletters.

4.      Paid Social

When it comes to taking advantage of paid social in your digital marketing campaign, you need to understand how it works. The key lies to using paid social to your advantage and the only way you will be able to do that is by gathering information on how it is best used.

Businesses that want to target a specific audience or consumer market generally prefer using paid social because it is extremely focused.

It helps target specific groups and demographics and uncovers what triggers and motivates them. This means identifying and learning the driving factors of your target audience.

The more knowledge you have about your customers, the better you can use paid social to your advantage. Like search engine marketing, you need to identify the interests of your target audience and then target them with advertisements that are going to attract them.

However, this is an expensive form of marketing and you can quickly find that you’re overspending and your budget is shrinking. That is one of the main reasons why you should only use this type of marketing when you’re sure about your customers and that you will get quality results.

5.      Social Media

When it comes to digital marketing, you simply can’t leave out social media marketing because that is where all the money is. Businesses that aren’t visible or active on social media will never be able to successfully launch a digital marketing strategy.

This is mainly because social media is such an effective marketing tool and allows businesses easy access to audiences from all over the world. However, before you can take advantage of social media marketing, you need to develop a strong social media following.

If you don’t have any presence on social media, it is going to be difficult for you to see immediate results in your marketing campaigns. Therefore, you will need to decide whether you want to use social media marketing in your digital marketing campaign, if you’re not on social media.

The other thing you will need to consider is your target audience, more specifically, what type of social media channels they actively use the most. This will help you decide which social media channel you need to be targeting, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

6.      Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

For your digital marketing efforts to succeed, you will need to take advantage of search engine marketing because it is a highly effective tool that determines where your website ranks and how much traffic it is drawing from your marketing efforts. Search engine marketing is one of the most popular forms of marketing because it is crucial for any digital marketing campaign.

For this to be successful for you, the one thing you must pay attention to is the ranking of your website. Don’t expect miraculous results if your website fails to rank consistently among the top pages on Google because that is where all the money lies. You will need to focus on high ranking keywords in your industry to target consumers, however, it can be a bit expensive.

Therefore, if you have the budget to spend on your digital marketing campaign, you should take advantage of search engine marketing because it will give you organic results. There are lots of different techniques you can use in search engine marketing, which are brought about by the need to see results in your digital marketing campaign.

7.      Organic Search and SEO

When you’re looking for results in your digital marketing campaign, you need to look at the traffic your website is generating. This can be done through organic search and SEO, which will help you identify how visible your products and services are online. Getting ranked higher on Google requires that you use high quality keywords that customers can use to search for your products or services.

If you’re not linking high quality keywords for your website, you will not be able to see results for your digital marketing campaigns. It also depends on your target market and what type of keywords rank highest in your industry, which means that you need to conduct comprehensive keyword research.

The main thing that you will need to focus on is targeting keywords that increase the chances of your website, products, and services ranking higher.

The budget for your digital marketing strategy doesn’t matter as much as the traffic that you’re generating for it online. If you really want to make a difference in the long-term with your digital marketing, then you need to think about a strategy that will get you results. This can only be achieved effectively if you make organic search traffic and SEO a part of your digital marketing campaign in the long-term.

You should also keep the technical aspects of SEO in mind because Google is always changing the ranking algorithms for its search engine constantly.

Setting Up Your Digital Marketing Strategy

 

digital marketing strategy

 

As you can clearly see from all the points mentioned above, coming up with and devising a digital marketing strategy for your brand is going to be no easy task. You need to do your research because without that you will not be able to make strategic decisions that are in your favor.

The success of your digital marketing campaign rests on how well you know your target audience, and your marketing dynamics. The first step is having a clear goal and knowledge about your customers, while you should also review the competition regularly, to set up realistic goals before you start your digital marketing campaign.

If you’re ready to begin your digital marketing campaign, it is advised that you update all competitive research you have, so that you have a clear view about new opportunities in the market.

After considering all the different aspects of digital marketing, you will be able to accelerate the marketing potential of your brand, and will be able to connect and engage with consumers effectively as well.

Need help?

You can get in touch with me directly on the contact details below. There are always a lot of questions surrounding the different forms of digital marketing and I’m happy to be of assistance. Talk care into the future and beyond 🙂

Managing Director at Online Marketing Whiz.

Alex O'Byrne, loves revealing his secrets to business success through his online marketing blog, if you have any questions you can contact him personally on +61 4 03 638 039 or alex@onlinemarketingwhiz.com.au.