In this digital age, an online presence is a necessity for any thriving business. The Internet has changed the way consumers shop, communicate, and interact with companies and brands. As such, it’s important to embrace digital and develop an effective strategy that will allow you to reach your target audience. This is where a digital marketing strategy comes into play.
In this guide we plan to outline all the possible digital marketing strategies and help you to decide on where and how to spend your marketing dollars effectively. So let's just jump into it!
What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is the way businesses plan their marketing activities. The term digital marketing strategy was coined in the early 1990’s when the first traces of the internet as we know today were starting to arise. In 1993 the first clickable banner ad went live, in 1994 the first e-commerce transaction was completed, and by 1995 the internet had already reached 16 million users!
Even today, we are still growing quickly and discovering new ways to effectively advertise to consumers. This is where a digital marketing strategy comes in. It is a roadmap for how a company plans to reach its target audience through various channels such as social media, email, mobile apps, etc. In other words, it helps companies decide where they should focus their resources and time. It can be easily defined as the process of developing a comprehensive approach to using any kind of electronic media to promote sales and build customer relationships.
It involves understanding the customers' behavior, identifying their pain points, and then creating solutions to address these problems. This is done by analyzing data from multiple sources, including web analytics, surveys, social media, and other forms of research. These strategies are designed to attract customers through different channels. There are many types of digital marketing strategies, including search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, mobile advertising, display advertising, video marketing, influencer marketing, content marketing, paid advertising, and much more.
10 Different Types Of Digital Marketing Strategies
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing encompasses a wide range of content. It can be blog posts, landing pages, videos, podcasts, infographics, white papers, case studies, and more. The idea is to create media for your business that promotes brand awareness, brand loyalty, and can help educate your audience, not only about your brand/products but can also include well being, lifestyles, etc.
What is essential for the success of your content is value. You want to focus on creating pieces of content that stay on top of search engines, focus on being relevant and create a valuable experience for the consumer. When creating a strategy for your content, you always want to ask yourself “how can this piece of media serve to help my audience”?
2. Social Media & Influencer Marketing
Social media marketing involves using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat to promote your brand. It's where your customers share opinions, discuss current events, and how we can have a more personal connection with them. Each platform offers its own unique features, target audiences, and opportunities for advertising.
This can also include hiring influencers to post about your brand. Influencer marketing is relatively new and can be highly effective. You need to find out who your target audience is currently following that has a large enough audience to promote your brand to. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a celebrity. It should be someone that you believe your audience can relate to. It’s an effective way to talk to your target audience through a person they trust and works well to develop trust in your brand as well.
Search engine optimization is a method of increasing traffic to your website via search engines. SEO focuses on optimizing the content of web pages so that they are easily indexed by search engines like Google and Bing. By using keywords in titles and descriptions, and optimizing images on each of your website pages you increase the likelihood of a potential buyer finding your website. These strategies help to improve the quality of your site so search engines rank your site higher when a relevant search is performed. We discussed this in more detail in a recent blog post.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. Companies send out emails to their customers, clients, prospects, and fans to promote products, services, special offers, and events. Emails can be sent through a tool such as Mailchimp or Klaviyo or directly through a company's own email system. In addition to sending regular newsletters, some businesses set up autoresponders, which automatically respond to customer emails. Strategies around email marketing often involve flows which capture the attention of your audience at different intervals of the buying process. We outline several winning strategies for email marketing here.
PPC stands for pay per click. It is an auction based system that relies on a user to take an action. When someone clicks on your ad, you only pay when that person actually takes an action such as a click, downloads a form or purchases your products. These campaigns are often set up through Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, or other search engines. It can be effective, but depending on the size of the campaign, can also be costly. An effective campaign strategy involves extensive keyword research to effectively capture the attention of your target audience.
6. Event Marketing
Just as the name suggests, event marketing relies on you to create buzz around your product or brand using either an online or in-person event. These can be done at trade shows, event spaces, malls, or even using Twitch or other Live Video platforms. You can use these events to build anticipation for your product or service, showcase its features and benefits, and jump start the conversation around your business. The essence of the event should always be fun and engaging for your audience and this should be reflected in your strategy.
7. Earned Media
Earned media is best described as PR or public relations. It is media that you have not paid for such as news coverage or articles written by a third party, or even testimonials or reviews by user-submitted content (UGC). This type of media helps to facilitate content for your other strategies and generally is well received when used because it feels like your brand or product has authentic (real) people backing it.
Remarketing helps to keep your prospective customers more engaged by continually showing ads to people who have clicked on or interacted with your brand in some way previously. A remarketing strategy is key to increasing brand awareness and can quickly increase conversion rates from those nearing the end of your purchase funnel.
9. Video Marketing
Video marketing essentially uses videos to promote your product or services either through demos, interactive videos, customer reviews, how-to videos or even behind the scene videos. These can be cataloged on your website or on social platforms such as Youtube, or Tiktok. The use of videos helps to increase engagement and views. Depending on the platform, you should have varying video strategies. For example, long form videos should be saved for YouTube, while Tiktok videos should capture the attention of your audience within the first 3 seconds of playing.
10. Voice Marketing
Voice marketing is optimizing your website for voice search. This is specifically to come up in search results using voice assistants such as Alexa (Amazon), Siri (Apple), and Google Home. The goal here is to rank for relevant keywords related to your site, similar to SEO marketing.
Creating A Digital Marketing Strategy
In order to create an effective digital marketing strategy, you need to pull together different elements of all the items we listed above. Seamlessly blending them into a cohesive strategy that makes sense for your business. That doesn’t necessarily entail utilizing every single type of marketing we listed above, but you should use any and all that make sense to your business.
Setting sales goals and objectives
Any kind of strategy should start with laying out your objectives and goals. Establish what you want to accomplish and gather all the information and materials you need to achieve those goals.
Goals can include: increasing sales, increasing brand awareness, increasing traffic to your site, or even generating more leads. Whatever goal you decide on, make sure it is obtainable by measurable standards and be sure to document all of your data for future use.
Many have adopted the SMART acronym when developing their initial strategy. SMART goals refer to being Specific / Measurable / Achievable / Relevant / Time-bound or further defined as:
- Specific – what will you achieve, and what is required to achieve it?
- Measurable – tracking progress towards the achievement
- Achievable – is the goal actually achievable?
- Relevant – is the goal relevant to your business and/or current industry climate?
- Time bound – time it will take to achieve short or long term goals?
By understanding the above in relation to your goals, you are setting yourself up for success by using this method to pre-plan your goals.
Identify Your Budget
It is very important to not stretch beyond your means. As previously stated, there are many different kinds of strategies and they don’t need to include every single outlet in order to achieve your goals and be effective.
When determining your budget, consider the following:
- Your current & past revenue
- Your average cost per lead
- Where you want to deliver your ads
- And the time of year
If you’re averaging a high cost per lead, then your total budget for your strategy should consider a higher cost as well. Even things like the time of year should be considered. During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, advertising costs can get considerably higher. It is a time when every advertiser wants to get in front of their audience to have as much of a chance at success as possible and you should consider when to implement your strategy as well.
Determine Buyer Personas
This will help you determine exactly who you are marketing to, your audience. By building a buyer persona, or “your ideal customer” it will help you determine what platforms to advertise on, methods of advertising, and essentially give you a better understanding of your audience.
This information should NOT be based on personal preferences or biases but should come predetermined from your past data. It can include things like (but not limited to):
- Goals/Pain Points
Once you determine your ideal customer, you can more efficiently market your business.
Plan Content & Review Resources
Once you’ve established all the above, it’s time to create your content. This can include images, videos, and print media etc. Gather relevant resources you may already have or create new ones for your specific goals. With these create cohesive pieces that all execute the same message or CTA that will help sell your brand or product.
Keep in mind the resources you have available like your website. Ensure that it is always updated and ready to launch alongside your strategy as well.
Final Thoughts On Digital Marketing Strategies
The internet is always changing and evolving quickly, and so should your strategies. Focus on the little wins and success stories and promote those ideas moving forward. There isn’t always one solution to a problem so don’t be afraid to think outside the box for new ideas.
If you are still unsure about your digital strategy or maybe you need someone to help execute it,Shoelace is here! Our knowledgeable Growth Partners are happy to answer any questions! Connect with us here to learn more about how we can help.