How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy in 2023 (11 Tips!)
So, do you want to create a digital marketing strategy that makes $$?
You’ve got a vague idea of what you want to achieve, but you aren’t sure where and how to start.
Creating a killer digital marketing strategy that drives conversions is possible once you understand what is and what isn’t because this is where most digital marketers get stuck.
A digital marketing strategy is not a technical checklist of things your marketing team can do each day.
It's a plan that outlines the tactics and activities you'll use to achieve your business goals.
It’s not just about advertising; it's about building relationships with customers and prospects.
So, why exactly do you need an effective marketing strategy?
We'll get right to it!
Why Do You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy?
In today's digital world, it's impossible to ignore the need for a cohesive and comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
Setting up a website, blog, or social media account is not enough.
You need to connect every element of your digital marketing activity to an overall strategy.
A digital media strategy forces you to spend time understanding your customers better.
And when you know your audience, you're better equipped to develop a compelling value proposition.
Every marketer's nightmare is wasting time and resources on a futile marketing campaign.
But a clear digital marketing plan allows you to test your assumptions about specific marketing data and make informed decisions.f
Digital Marketing Categories
Various categories make up digital marketing. Although they differ in their functions, they all contribute to your business's growth and success when wielded properly.
Let's explore them:
1. Content marketing
Content marketing includes articles, blog posts, case studies, video marketing, and other resources that inform and compel customers to take action on your products or services.
2. Native advertising
Native advertising is an advertorial style of marketing that works by blending in with the content around it.
It blends in with non-paid content, like traditional marketing and advertising.
3. PPC (Pay-per-click)
This digital marketing tactic involves Google Adwords and Facebook ads.
It allows the digital marketer to pay each time a user clicks on one of their ads.
It enables businesses to pay for the top position in search engines for specific keywords.
4. SEO (Search engine optimization)
A search engine marketing strategy is a set of techniques designed to improve your website's ranking by increasing its visibility in search engines.
5. Social media marketing
This practice involves using social media marketing strategies to promote your brand to potential customers, sell your digital products, and engage with existing customers.
It is typically carried out on a social media platform or a combination of them.
☝️For a deeper dive into social marketing, here's a handy guide to social media advertising.
(Pro Tip: Check out our awesome guide to influencer marketing, an excellent social media marketing strategy!)
6. Email Marketing
Email marketing allows businesses to send promotional or informational messages to their customers through email.
It also provides an avenue to nurture existing customers.
🎯To make email marketing seamless, don't miss our top picks for email marketing software.
🤓 Also, save yourself the headache of measuring your email marketing success with these crucial email marketing analytics!
How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy
So, how do you create a digital marketing strategy that converts? Here are 12 steps to get you started.
1. Research your target audience.
The first step in creating a successful digital marketing strategy is understanding your target audience by conducting market research.
Marketing segmentation gives you insights to tailor your content accordingly and offer services that appeal to your customers.
Researching your target audience helps you ask important questions like, what do they like? What are their pain points? How can your business help?
You can discover your ideal customer by studying data points such as:
- Purchasing power
- Geographic location, etc.
2. Set your digital marketing goals.
Setting goals properly allows you to optimize your digital marketing efforts and achieve scale with your campaigns.
It ensures that your digital marketing campaign strategy is easy to track and update.
But how can you make sure your digital marketing goals do the work?
- Set SMART goals. Your digital marketing effort should have specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. These enable you to evaluate your strategy's success by providing clear insights.
- Choose your major KPIs. You don't need to focus on everything at once — choose one or two key performance indicators (KPIs). These will ensure the success of your campaign after each phase of its life cycle to drive conversions and revenue growth.
3. Use a digital marketing sales funnel.
The digital marketing sales funnel is an essential concept that you need to grasp before developing your strategy.
This framework allows you to structure your entire digital strategy, from inbound marketing to lead nurturing to customer service interactions.
It helps brands understand customer behaviors as they navigate different stages toward becoming a customer.
While the marketing customer journey typically starts with brand awareness and ends with conversion, it can be simple or complex, depending on the steps in between.
4. Then, determine where your customers are in the marketing funnel.
Customers are typically at the top, middle, or bottom of the marketing sales funnel.
And once you've determined where your customers are within the marketing funnel, it's easier to focus your efforts effectively.
Customers have different needs at different stages. This means that your ideal digital marketing channel and content marketing plan should reflect where they are in the marketing funnel.
For example, a potential customer in the awareness stage may be most suited for education-based content rather than sales pages.
Or they may be better reached on social media.
And an existing customer may need value propositions through email marketing, but they may not be reachable on social media.
5. Create buyer personas.
Buyer personas are semi-fictional characters representing the ideal customers for your business's products or services.
After defining your target audience, it's essential to build out a realistic persona using the data from your audience research.
A buyer persona helps you understand your customer's interests, wants, and needs.
It also enables you to create more compelling content based on details of real people instead of assumptions.
To effectively create ideal buyer personas, it's vital to use specific details to create a narrative.
You can get these details from questions like, where does this person shop? What are their hobbies? What social media platforms do they visit?
6. Prepare a content marketing plan.
Content is king, so it's only natural that digital marketers include unique content in their marketing tactics to engage and nurture customers.
Creating a content marketing strategy is more than just creating great content.
An excellent digital content marketing plan will determine your goals and create a blueprint for how you'll achieve them.
It will also clarify what type of content you will need and how long it will take to produce while keeping your brand top-of-mind with your target audience.
You can begin by creating an SEO keyword strategy to increase search engine visibility.
The next step is creating a content calendar that is actionable, traceable, measurable and optimized for social media platforms.
7. Use marketing automation for personalization.
We live in the age of personalization, where we want our experiences tailored to us.
Personalized marketing automation is at the core of every effective digital marketing strategy.
And it's not just about creating a one-size-fits-all message and blasting it to your entire audience.
Instead, it's about sending the right message to the right person at the right time.
Delivering relevant content at the right time can significantly improve your ROI, boost sales and increase chances for conversion.
Although it's not always easy to do, there are plenty of marketing tools that can help you do this.
Marketing automation software allows you to create relevant, personalized experiences for every customer based on their specific needs and interests.
8. Optimize for mobile marketing.
More than half of all adults own a smartphone. And most of them use it to search the web. And buy stuff.
Through mobile marketing optimization, taking advantage of that is an ample marketing opportunity for any brand.
Optimizing your content for mobile marketing can help you create a digital mobile marketing strategy that covers all bases. It allows you to have a broader reach to your customers wherever they are.
You can optimize for mobile by:
- Ensuring your website has a responsive design
- Designing mobile-friendly landing pages
- Creating content that's easy to read on mobile devices (dimensions, font, etc.)
- Ensuring that links are easy to tap
- Using bullet points, lists, and visual elements
- Including a clear CTA (especially useful for affiliate marketing)
9. Engage with your customers.
Consumerism has changed over the years. It is no longer just about the product or service but more about the experience.
An effective digital marketing campaign goes beyond having a good product — it involves providing value in terms of information and service.
You can effectively engage with your customers by:
- Responding promptly to customer complaints and inquiries
- Asking for feedback and implementing them
- Making information easily accessible through clear calls-to-action, navigatable order tracking, etc.
- Providing helpful support resources and FAQs to enable people to get responses quickly
- Involving customers in the product development process by asking them what features they'd like to see added
10. Set yourself apart from your competitors.
While it's super important to build an effective strategy to grow your business, you also need to understand and highlight the unique aspects of your brand.
It's a competitive world out there, and to make an impact, you need to fight for your slice of the pie.
So you need to conduct a competitive analysis.
The first thing to do is understand what makes your business different from the competition.
You can study your competitors, find the gap and embrace your differences and experiences.
You can also speak to your customers directly or read their reviews.
These will give you an idea of what features set your business apart from its competitors and why your customers keep coming back to you.
With this information, you can build on what's working and discard what isn't.
11. Measure your results.
Many businesses start with excellent digital marketing ideas. But it's not enough to just have ideas without measuring them frequently.
If you don't know what's working and what isn't, how do you know it's worth continuing? Or if it's time to spend more money, less money, or shift direction entirely?
It's also not enough to measure; you need to track the right metrics.
And the first step is to define what success looks like.
To begin, answer questions about what actions you want your customers to take.
Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Do you want them to buy something from your eCommerce store?
While these may seem cumbersome, digital marketing analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, etc., exist to make it easier.
They can track your metrics, from traffic sources to user engagement to conversions.
Creating A Digital Marketing Strategy is a Constantly Evolving Process
An effective digital marketing strategy will always be essential to brand growth and customer loyalty.
But the value of a 'killer' digital marketing strategy comes from its ability to be iteratively improved on as new ideas and opportunities arise.
So keep that in mind, build your plan, and execute.
Here’s to creating dynamic marketing plans that drive conversions. 🥂
Dozie Anyaegbunam is a B2B content writer and strategist. A Cannes Lions certified storyteller, Dozie has crafted compelling content for brands such as Mirasee, SmartBlogger, Growth Mentor, and more. He's also Dodo and Ronan's dad, a proud flâneur, and a Felix Baumgartner wannabe. Don't miss his podcast, The Newcomers, where he interviews immigrants about the struggles and lessons that come with starting life in a new country.