Digital Trends | MIN READ

Digital Marketing Strategy: Creating a Successful Marketing Plan

Baraka Kalumba

March 29, 2022

Many businesses’ digital marketing strategies are unsuccessful. And the failure of these marketing campaigns is because of inconsistent performance tracking, ad hoc campaigns, thin reporting, and other reasons. In this article, instead of focusing on why marketing strategies fail, we shall focus on how you can create a successful digital marketing campaign.

So, how do you ensure marketing campaign success?

One sure way to do this is to start your project with a solid digital marketing strategy.

To know more about this key to marketing success (digital marketing strategy), read on and find out how it works in-depth so that you can reap big from every coin you invest in your marketing campaign.

 

The Difference: Digital Marketing Strategy vs. Campaigns vs. Tactics

Many people take these three terms (digital Marketing strategy, campaign and tactics) to mean the same thing. But that is not the case.

For clarity, here is the distinction between these three digital marketing terms.

Digital Marketing Strategy

This is the umbrella under which all the other two terms fall. A digital marketing strategy encompasses all your marketing activities; goals, tactics, channels you will use to promote your business/brand, your marketing processes, your budget, and the performance metrics you will track.

Digital Marketing Campaign

A campaign is a promotional activity that you create for a specific discount, offer, product features, new product launch, or service. Every marketing campaign has its details, say, its budget, duration, channel, goals and KPIs.

Digital Marketing Tactics

These are the marketing channels, mediums, platforms or techniques you use to present your campaigns to your target audience. Digital marketing tactics examples include social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram ads), pay per click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, content marketing, referral marketing, to mention but a few.

Illustration

If you are a software developer and want to promote the latest version of your software to existing customers and at the same time attract new users and increase the number of free trial subscriptions, you may do the following:

  • Create a promotional email sequence that informs your existing subscribers how they can benefit from your latest version.
  • Create and publish a tutorial explaining how the new features work and how existing users can seamlessly migrate to the latest software version without losing their data.
  • Do campaigns on social media to increase brand awareness and attract more people to use your software.

Although you can do the above without a strategy, writing out all this in a strategy would save you time and keep your team members, company executives, and stakeholders on the same page. It would also help you ensure that you maintain a consistent brand image.

 

What Is A Digital Marketing Strategy?

This is a standard procedure or guideline for all your company or business’ digital marketing activities. A digital marketing strategy aids you in selecting and managing digital channels, thereby enabling you to effectively plan suitable campaigns that are in line with your business goals.

A business’ digital marketing strategy depends on the business type, industry, and goals. It provides an overview of how to reach and engage more people, attract and get more qualified leads, attracts new clients and retain old/existing ones. Therefore, a digital marketing strategy identifies these important aspects of marketing:

  • Your target customers/audience (who you advertise to)
  • Your business’ marketing goals (why you advertise)
  • Your marketing medium and channels/tactics (where you advertise)
  • Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or performance metrics (how you measure your campaign success)

 

What Makes a Digital Marketing Strategy?

Or we can rephrase this question in the following ways:

  • What does it look like?
  • What time frame should it cover?
  • What should it include?
  • How should you structure it?
  • Who should take part in its creation?
  • How can you execute it?
  • How do you create/make a digital marketing strategy?

Tip: All answers to these questions usually depend on your business goals and needs.

So, what makes a digital marketing strategy?

Target Audience: Who You Advertise To

You should know who you want to advertise to. To decide on your target audience, carry out audience research.

You can do this using surveys, focus groups, social media polls, and one-on-one interviews. Doing this will help you identify different customer/buyer preferences, plan out buyer processes and create knowledgeable/insightful conversion funnels.

To get relevant information, include the sections below.

  • Demographical data, i.e. gender, age, marital status, income, location
  • Behavioural data, i.e. what kind of devices they use (mobile or desktop devices), shopping preference: online or in-store
  • Transactional data, i.e. number and type of purchases, payments, subscriptions, returns, donations,
  • Psychographic data, i.e. interests, activities, habits, values, opinions, behaviour

Importance of having a target group: After defining your target audience, you will have a better understanding of your customers’ needs, expectations, preferences, goals and social platforms they frequent. And this will help you select the appropriate marketing channels and personalize marketing messages.

Why You Advertise (Marketing Goals)

This is the reason why you are advertising.

After defining your target audience, define the specific goals you want to achieve with a particular digital marketing campaign.

To determine your goals, use the SMART formula.

  • Specific: Get specific goals.
  • Measurable: Define your success and use KPIs.
  • Attainable: Break down your big goal into smaller goals that are achievable.
  • Relevant: Put your effort into achieving important/relevant goals that create value for your brand.
  • Time-bound: Set a reasonable time frame for achieving your goals.

Note: Ensure that your goals (marketing goals) align with your business goals. To do this, cross-check your brand strategy, business plan and communication strategy to see whether they are in sync. And if they aren’t, make the necessary changes to your marketing strategy. Doing this will help your brand grow online.

Where and How You Advertise (Marketing Tactics and Channels)

Choose channels, tactics, platforms, and techniques that represent your brand best (consider your business goals, target audience, business and industry type)

Examples of digital marketing types, channels and types include:

  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Remarketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Pay per click advertising
  • Referral marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Marketing tactics can also be grouped into three types;

  • Your own media: Owned media includes your blog, website, social media presence, mobile app and so on.
  • Earned media: This includes influencer outreach, partner publishers and referral marketing
  • Paid media: this involves paid social media ads, paid search, display ads, affiliate marketing.

How to Measure Success (Metrics and KPIs)

Before doing this, understand what success means for all your strategic goals.

Then track and analyze your digital marketing results using tools that show you insights on essential performance indicators like social reach, likes, shares, referring links, points of interaction, engagement, audience demographics, etc. Such tools include; Google Analytics, Google Ads, SEO tools, Instagram Insights, Facebook Pixel and other tools.

These insights help you measure and track your performance and results and evaluate your success.

Importance of performance tracking: Helps you identify the specific tactics, channels and techniques that can bring you the highest return on your marketing investment, helping you fine-tune your digital marketing strategy for better results in future.

 

Types of Digital Marketing Strategy

Now that you know the meaning of a strategy, campaign and tactic, let’s discuss digital marketing strategy types.

Below are the types of Digital marketing strategies:

  • Single-channel marketing
  • Multi-channel marketing
  • Omnichannel marketing

Single-channel marketing

This is where you focus your digital marketing activities on only one channel. It can be email marketing, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, paid search ads, influencer marketing, etc.

Multi-channel marketing

This is where you use your digital marketing activities across many marketing channels. Examples include; social media marketing, Google Ads, affiliate marketing and all other marketing channels relevant to your business.

Omnichannel marketing

This is where you use many channels with a high level of personalization to provide a seamless customers experience at every touchpoint, such as your website, email, social media, chatbots and other channels.

 

How to Choose the Best Marketing Strategy/Channel for Your Business

How do you know the right marketing channel for your business? Well, this depends on the type of business and your marketing goals.

For clarity, here are examples that can show you which channel is best for you.

  • If your target customers/audience are executives, you can market to them on LinkedIn. You can create a single-channel strategy that only focuses on LinkedIn.
  • If you have a cosmetic/makeup brand, a multi-channel strategy is the best choice for your business. You can use channels like Instagram, YouTube, affiliate and influencer marketing tactics are for you. Your multi-channel strategy should define specific details for every channel and tactic, including the type of audience, promotion type, budget attribution and performance evaluation.
  • If your clients use multiple devices and digital channels. You have to add a personalized touch to all interaction points with your brand. To do this, create an Omnichannel strategy that uses different channels to place the right message in front of your audience through every step of the buyer journey.

 

Digital Marketing Strategy Goals

All digital marketing goals depend on the type of your business. For example, if you are a blogger, you want more website traffic and higher domain authority. And if you have a business, you want to see more sales.

Other goals include; increased brand awareness, increased revenue, customer retention, more conversion, increased brand representation and reach across all channels.

 

Digital Marketing Strategy KPIs.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are how you measure success and evaluate the progress of your digital marketing strategy and campaigns.

How do you use KPIs in your marketing strategy?

For every digital marketing goal, you have to set clear or specific parameters that your will track. These parameters show you if your campaign is performing well or not. So this means that although you can have general strategy KPIs, you can also have campaigns for your digital advertising campaigns.

How do you define a clear flow for each of your KPIs?

You can do it by answering the following question:

  • Which specific goal is a particular KPI related?
  • Who is responsible for tracking that specific KPI?
  • Where should they track it?
  • What are the benchmarks of each KPI?
  • How often should the KPI progress be reviewed?
  • How should the progress be reported, and to whom?

How to Create a Successful Digital Strategy Outline in 5 simple steps

Now that you know what makes a successful digital marketing strategy, here is a summary of you can get started.

  1. Know your target market or audience: The more you know about your audience, the more successful or effective your strategy.
  2. Set clear marketing goals: Clearly define the reasons behind your marketing strategies and set clear goals and expectations for all your team members.
  3. Choose your marketing channels: Make well informed, data-backed decisions for all the channels and tactics your will use for all your campaigns.
  4. Measure your progress: Specifically define what KPIs you will track, how to track them and how to monitor the results or performance to identify the channels that bring the highest return on investment.
  5. Carry out competitor analysis. It will help you know where your competitors are advertising and how successful their campaigns are. And this will help you lay out a strategy that strategically positions your brand to win.

Conclusion

Following this guide will help you create a successful digital marketing strategy that will help you realize business success.

For maximum success, hire a digital marketing expert. You will get all the tools you need to create a strong digital presence across all platforms.