In the first article in our series on digital marketing strategy, we look at what a strategy entails and why it’s important if you want to succeed online.
Digital marketing has become intrinsic to the success of businesses at any scale – from huge transnational corporations to small, local businesses.
But the same thing doesn’t work for everyone. Small businesses can’t expect to use the same marketing approach as a FTSE 100 company.
That’s where digital strategy comes into play – and why it is so much more than a buzzphrase.
What is ‘digital strategy’?
Digital strategy is the process of laying out your business’ objectives, opportunities and related activities in order to maximise the success of your digital marketing activity.
Essentially, it’s all about knowing your goals, your customers and your prospective audience.
A digital strategy is centred on objectives – setting your KPIs and how you will measure performance. Once you have this nailed down, you can look at which digital channels you should be utilising.
This will allow you to find your audience and assess how best to communicate with both current and prospective customers. Utilising existing networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, as well as email data and other subscriber lists, you can then determine which tools and applications will allow you to properly gather data and build your audience.
A strategy allows you to logically set out a plan based on data, while also bearing in mind limitations like budget and available resources.
Why do I need a digital strategy?
A digital strategy allows you to unify different channels under coherent objectives. It also helps keep your offline and online approaches consistent, meaning that you present a unified output to your customers.
A strategy allows you to plan your channel activity, and plan the points where they cross over. Once you work out how you are going to use channels to supplement each other, your marketing activity as a whole becomes a more refined machine.
This means you are less likely to waste resources, or miss out on opportunities to use one channel to boost output from another.
Secondly, a strategy allows you make informed judgements about your success.
By having clearly defined objectives and target audiences, as well as the right tools and methods for collecting data, you can look at numbers that tell you how your campaign is going – rather than basing assessments on personal opinion. Having KPIs and benchmarks to follow means that you have a measurable standard for what success looks like.
Can you afford not to have a digital strategy?
Strategy is the best way for businesses to focus their marketing output, making it a great way to make your marketing budget do more.
At Coast Digital, we believe in a data driven approach – where an objective based strategy can help you bring greater success to your online marketing endeavours.