3 Starting Points for a Digital Marketing Strategy

Jul 02nd 2015

3 Starting Points for a Digital Marketing Strategy

How To Start A Fresh Online Marketing Campaign

You want to expand your marketing presence online. Maybe your boss is finally ready to trust the internet for more than just mobile games, or perhaps you’ve been to an event where you’ve heard about all the success your peers have been having with online sales and marketing. Now it’s time to sit down and come up with a solid digital marketing plan … and you’re stuck.

With competition climbing for small business, there is no doubt digital marketing should be incorporated into your marketing program… but developing a cohesive digital marketing strategy can be daunting for small business owners. If the correct steps are taken at the beginning, it will pave the road for growth and ability to meet your long term business objectives.

The internet is slowly reaching its saturation tipping point in terms of users, but businesses are continuing to dedicate a higher spend toward their digital advertising than ever before. This means that competition for people’s attention is growing.. and so is the need for a cohesive digital marketing strategy.

These 3 steps will help you tackle the digital Goliath without getting lost… but more importantly they will ensure that you are putting your time and money towards tasks that will really show results.

Step 1: Brand

For many businesses, “Branding” means making a new logo, slapping it on everything and calling it done. Let’s make this clear, a brand is not a logo: A brand is an idea or feeling people get when they think about your business. A logo is simply an image that triggers those ideas and helps people remember you vs. your competitors.

Your first step should be taking a hard look at your own business and determining what processes will need to change to improve how your customers perceive you. If you have a long-standing logo, sign and marketing materials, be careful about dumping and redesigning what people already know. In many situations, simply refreshing your brand’s logo and design elements can help improve how consumers perceive your business.

Step 2: Infrastructure

Step 2 is to optimize your current digital infrastructure. This might include your website, new media channels, blog, mobile applications etc.

A nice place to start is usually with updating, optimizing or redesigning your website. This will be a painful process and may be pricy, but it is certainly worth the expense. A visually appealing, user friendly and technically sound website will be integral to your digital marketing campaign success. Regardless of your business type, a website without many key components will actually hinder the potential of your digital advertising. To keep this post simple, I will leave you with a short list of questions to think about when taking on this project.

Will my website be designed with flat or dynamic layout?

What purpose will my website serve?

How will I lay out my site navigation?

What key performance indicators will I use?

Will I use a website service or manage my own site?

What is my website content strategy?

What value will I bring to my customers by having a website?

Will my website be built with responsive design or have a mobile site?

The easy way out is looking for a company specializing in website design and development services to help you through this step efficiently and more affordably.

Step 3: Strategy

You may have noticed the questions presented in the Step 2 are actually all strategic decisions. Strategy is the most important part in putting together anything in your digital marketing program. As a good rule of thumb for all strategic decisions like branding, websites, search engine marketing, online display advertising etc, you always make data driven movements. Data will inform all aspects of your marketing campaigns and without data you are wasting your time and money.

The final step for starting for your digital marketing strategy is developing measurable goals for your efforts. Without predetermined goals, a digital advertising campaign will make research and growth difficult. You need to think of marketing as a cycle of gathering, evaluating and using data to help improve your campaigns.

Much like gardening, the fun of watching a digital marketing campaign succeed is balanced by the time and care required for growth. If you are new to marketing or do not have the luxury of an in-house team to stress about these projects, it may be in your best interest to outsource your campaign management. Look for a company that will take the time to understand your business type and competitors, and will take the time to develop and present a strategy tailored to meet your goals.

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