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Designing a digital marketing strategy

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As more and more buyers become active online, competitiveness between businesses fighting to tap into this audience and grow their presence heightens. COVID-19 has rapidly accelerated online growth so now really is the time to make sure you have a solid strategy driving your digital presence.

If you are looking to reach new audiences and grow your revenue, your marketing mix is likely to include a digital focus whether that is social media, content or email marketing, paid advertising or search engine optimisation.

To help you get the most from your digital efforts, we’ve put together some useful tips for designing a digital marketing strategy.

1. What is your ‘why'?

Your why represents your company’s purpose. Why does your company exist, what does it care about and which company goals matter most?

By asking yourself these questions, you can establish what values underpin your company’s overall purpose and what it wants to be known for.

Your digital campaign, whichever form it takes, should then clearly demonstrate those core values and communicate a clear purpose.

2. What is your USP?

Having established what your purpose and values are, it is vital to identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). What makes your business stand out from others who may be offering a similar product or service?

Your USP is an intrinsic part of your strategy and plays a key role in ensuring that your brand is recognisable and identifiable across your digital assets and campaigns. Knowing your USP will ensure that your strategy is unified around clear, consistent messaging that reinforces your brand identity and differentiates you from others. In an online environment particularly, where it is difficult to cut through digital noise and have your voice heard, a succinct, well-defined USP quickly and clearly communicates who you are and why your proposition is superior to that of your competitors.

3. Tell your story

Telling your story gives your brand an identity and helps you connect emotionally with your audience. Think about how your company has grown from the initial concept to the brand people recognise now.

Engage your audience with a brief timeline – describe how and why the business was conceived, what it aimed to achieve and what drives it today. This insight will help build emotional engagement with your brand and bring to the fore what makes you unique.

Your story doesn’t have to be told literally; you can use design, colours, graphics, and slogans to bring your brand identity to life and communicate who you are. For example, the colours you use on your website, social media pages and other digital assets can illuminate your purpose and values. Bright colours will emulate positive, happy emotions that might reflect an active, energetic, youthful brand whereas greys, blacks and whites are clean colours often associated with technology brands.

4. Who is your brand built for?

Once you’ve established your why, it's important to understand your who.

Use data-driven analytics to establish who your audience is. If you don’t already have data, take the time to build up brand personas based on what you know about existing and prospective customers for your products or services - their demographics, behaviours, and what motivates them.

Once you have established who your brand should be communicating with, you can start to piece together the all-important delivery aspect of the digital strategy.

5. How do you communicate with the people your brand is built for?

How do you speak to your audience? If your communication methods don’t align with your audience’s engagement and consumption behaviours, you can’t hope to reach them, let alone convert them to valued customers.

You must understand where to find your audience. Every individual is different but your customer persona or generational categories can throw light on your audience’s digital behaviours and preferences. Establish where your target audience spend most time online and target your communications accordingly. Think about design, content creation and interactive elements and how these can integrate to secure attention on the relevant channels.

Timing your activity is key and the vast amount of data and analytics available on digital platforms can provide invaluable insight into where and when your audience is active and engaged. For example, Hootsuite, a social media scheduling platform reports on the best times to post on each channel for optimum engagement.

6. What does the customer journey look like?

Your website is a critical element of your online presence – just as you would present a physical shop front, it is essential that the journey your audience takes through your website is designed to attract and retain attention at every stage and provide relevant and persuasive content that converts.

Keep it simple, user-friendly and engaging.

Consider what content is relevant to each of your customer persona and map the journey across each touchpoint. This will help identify bottlenecks and gaps so you can streamline processes and make the customer journey as smooth as possible. It is vital to have a constant focus on conversion rate optimisation, using A/B testing to identify which ‘calls to action’, landing pages or forms convert most. Heat maps are also really powerful tools to visually track the customer journey across the site, identifying ‘hot spots’ or pages that aren’t earning their keep so you can refine and improve.

7. Be flexible

Your strategy should not be set in stone. Whilst you will create the best strategy you can with the information available, digital channels and consumer behaviours move rapidly so it is important to adapt continuously and evolve your digital strategy as circumstances change. Keep your strategy fluid within a framework of continuous testing so you can identify and respond to challenges and take advantage of any opportunities that surface.

Ensure also that you have additional resources to handle any unforeseen issues and build flexibility into your budget so that you can adapt your approach quickly if needed.

8. How do you measure your success?

With the data available via digital platforms, there is a wealth of options for measuring the success of your digital marketing strategy, including organic search traffic, referral traffic, social traffic, direct traffic, new visitors, and user demographics to name a few.

Identifying your key performance indicators will depend on the specific goals and variables of your campaign. Before you launch any activity, identify which metrics align best to your objectives and ensure you have robust tracking in place around what matters most for each scenario. Whilst conversions are important in most cases, they aren’t the only measurement of success. If, for example, you are looking to grow your presence in new sectors or launch new products, sector specific content downloads, or traffic across specific product pages may be more pertinent.

It is always very tempting to jump straight into the tactical deployment of your digital campaigns, especially when pressure is on to hit targets and grow revenue. However, establishing a smart, insight-driven, true-to-brand strategy to underpin your digital marketing activity, will maximise the benefits and increase ROI from your online assets.

With an increasing choice of often fragmented digital channels and media, it can be challenging to sustain a unified, customer-centric digital strategy. Whether helping cut through digital noise, delivering high-value customer insight or converting early stage digital leads to sales-ready opportunities, our expert telemarketing services can bring the value of human interaction to your digital plan.

If you would like to discuss how our services can enhance your digital marketing activities, get in touch today.

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