- On December 5, 2015
- Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Engagement, Marketing, Media Production, Psychology, Social Media, Storytelling
According to SmartInsights.com, it is still surprisingly common for a business to be involved in digital marketing, without having a digital strategy. In fact, they reported that of those businesses engaged in digital marketing, as many as 50% had no defined, engaging strategy, while only 34% claim their digital strategy is integrated into their overall marketing strategy. That leaves only 16% that claim to have a digital marketing strategy contained within a separate document.
Despite how apparently commonplace it is to carry out digital marketing activities without an engaging, defined strategy, businesses should not neglect the vital importance of having one in place. A digital marketing strategy informs your team on how to execute upon your business’ mission and vision, and without it your team is directionless and will have trouble understanding their customers.
Research performed by the Content Marketing Institute continually ties regular communication between digital marketing teams and the existence of formal digital marketing strategies with improved chances of success.
But in case you still are not convinced, consider these five reasons for developing a formal digital marketing strategy:
1. A Digital Marketing Strategy Keeps Your Team Working Toward A Common Goal
Like every business strategy, a digital marketing strategy begins with considering the goals and objectives of your business. Are you, for example, looking to build awareness, gain subscribers, or convert leads to sales? Which digital channels are best-suited to help you reach your goals? While simply getting the members of your team together in one room and pointing them in the same direction may seem obvious, it is a crucial first step that is too often overlooked.
Consider this too; engaging your people in the process from the beginning will not only get them to buy in early on, but it will also make them more accountable once you are ready to implement and measure the effectiveness of your strategy in action.
2. A Digital Strategy Helps You To Keep Tabs On Your Business’ Competitors
It is important for a digital strategy to take into account the online presence and activities of your business’ competitors. Not only can your business learn of new opportunities, but it can also help you to avoid making some of the same mistakes.
What is more, competitive analysis helps businesses identify unserved or underserved gaps in the market. For technology companies, for example, continually surveying the competitive environment is a crucial step in gathering the intelligence necessary for developing and improving products and services.
3. With A Digital Strategy, You’ll Get To Know, And Stay Attuned To Your Target Market’s Online Behaviour
Defining a business’ target market is an important part of any marketing strategy, but unless you dig deeply into how your target market behaves online, how they use social media, what motivates them, what type of devices they use, and what forms of information they are interested in, you will find yourself continually striking out, while wasting valuable resources.
Your business will be able to find some information online, for example, information on how people from different demographics are adept to forms of technology, which social media channels they are using and for what reason, etc.
Clearly identifying the segments of your target market, and developing personas to represent them will allow you to plot an end-to-end experience lifecycle, which can open up opportunities for precise usability testing and validation of your customers’ or users’ journeys, from awareness to explore, compare, purchase, setup, use, maintain, upgrade and recycle.
4. Transform Analytical Data Into Powerful Insights
On its own, analytics is merely data, but combined with knowledge of your competition, and your target market, analytics from your website and social media properties can offer valuable insights into how to better attract an audience and convert them into customers and clients. For example, with the help of advanced search optimization tools, you can find out what questions your target market is asking, at what stage of the sales cycle and what language they are using. Having the complete picture of the environment your business is operating in will help you to identify needs for improvement and will give you the power to test solutions that can effectively seal off holes in your sales funnel.
5. You Can Refer Back To Your Digital Strategy Regularly To Gauge Success, And To Make Adjustments
A digital strategy is hardly a document that you create and then leave to collect dust. Your objectives and goals flow from the mission and vision of your business. Continuing to strive to meet your goals will determine whether you offer those you interact with an online an experience that is consistent with the standards of excellence associated with your brand.
As such, your team should refer back to your digital marketing strategy continually in order to measure its effectiveness, celebrate successes and make revisions when necessary.