Creating and Following a Digital Marketing Strategy
If you want to bootstrap your business to greater success, then you need a marketing strategy that will bring real results. In this article, we’ll be teaching you how to smash your digital marketing goals and bring in more visibility for your brand.
The Basics of Your Strategy
You may already have some ideas on how you want to implement your strategy and what you want to achieve. Before you go rushing off with a half-baked idea, it’s time to pay attention to the basics that will create a solid foundation for your strategy.
The starting point for most of these should be research. Whether you’re analysing your competitors or researching a new golden opportunity, these are the first steps. You can rush in and throw money at a poorly researched strategy, but you’re not likely to see real results if you do this.
That’s why it’s so important for you to put in the groundwork that will make your strategy succeed. You may want to go for an SEO based strategy, but during competitor analysis you find out this would be expensive and time consuming so you switch to PPC. This is information that will allow you to form the rest of your strategy and may save you time and money long term.
Once you’ve been through the information gathering stage, it’s time to set out some realistic goals. There’s no point in plucking numbers from thin air or guessing what you can achieve, use your research to fuel your expectations. If you need to, you may want to ask for a larger budget if you’re finding the research warrants it.
With so many aspects to think of, your strategy can feel like it gets out of hand. If you feel like this is getting too large or too vague, scale it back and go back to the research stage. This will keep you in control of the strategy, rather than the other way around!
Implementing Your Strategy
Once you have the details down, it’s time to implement your strategy. At this point, the KPIs that you have set out are your end goals and you’re working towards them. Each point along your path should take you closer to those goals and you have to keep evaluating the methods by which you’re getting there.
You’ll probably have a broad strategy to work with and now it’s time to iron out the finer details. Perhaps you want to get to page one for a search term, that’s your first goal. Then, you want to split that into actions, how are you going to get there? Maybe you’ll enhance the content, make some technical fixes and build some backlinks.
Each day or week, depending on the scale of the project, you want to have actions that you have completed. This keeps you on track to ensure that you will meet your goals. You may find that some actions have more of an effect than others, by tracking this you can prioritise the ones that bring you real results.
If you’re working with different teams, like content creators and web designers, you can use tracking elements to keep everyone working together. These Kanban board templates from Kanbanize are brilliant for long term projects in which you’re coordinating different teams to the same tasks.
There are so many different elements to boosting your presence online. You may run social media, SEO and paid campaigns, at each step you want to make sure that these are actually bringing you results. You don’t want to waste a lot of money on processes that aren’t effective.
Improving Your Strategy
If you like, you can improve your strategy as you go. It’s a good idea to give your existing strategy some time to work before you change it, but if you’re finding certain elements really bring results, then focus in on them. This doesn’t mean you have to neglect others if you have the right resources.
Ideally, you want to be able to chop and change your strategy when you need to. During different weeks or months, you can place an emphasis on a page or keyword to try to crack the entire strategy. Working on your SEO can often be difficult to master, but once you start to get results there’s often a knock on effect.
Be wary of working with companies that offer you a quick fix or immediate results, as these won’t be reputable. They may use black hat tactics that give you a boost initially, but can incur a penalty later on. It’s better to be slow and steady as you work to improve your SEO rankings. This can seem boring and time consuming, but quick tricks will only serve to damage your site in the long run.
Refer back to the KPIs that you set out initially and figure out if you’re on track to actually reach them. If you’re not working towards these or lose track of your goals then you’re not very likely to be able to reach them. These should inform all of the decisions that you make in terms of your strategy, as these are your end goals.
Assessing the Effectiveness
So, you’re at the end of the test period of your strategy. This is a great time to look back and assess what you’ve managed to achieve and the investment that you have made into it. Be sure to take into account your time as well as the monetary resources too. You might find that some aspects, like link building, are cheaper but they take up a lot of your time to arrange. If you don’t take both into account then you won’t be getting an accurate analysis.
You can use tools like Google Analytics and Search Console to really drill down into what you’ve managed to do. Check out your most popular and most highly ranked pages, then assess what you did on them that you didn’t do on others. This is the easiest way to extrapolate the finer details from a much larger strategy that may otherwise be difficult to figure out.
Within Analytics, you may find that there’s too much data for you to really look into properly. This is where you have to take a top level view, otherwise you might end up getting lost in the details. Looking more at general trends and information to start you off on your journey of fact finding. Never assume that you know what the data will show, as this will start you off with a bias.
Where some marketers will tell you rules, it can be better to actually try things for yourself and see what works within your strategy. No one ever stands out just by playing by the rules, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Although your competitors may not be doing something, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go.
We hope that this guide has been helpful in talking you through the basics and the aftermath of your marketing campaign. It’s important to remember the basics, do your research and keep your KPIs in mind. Then you can watch the results flow in as you reap the rewards of a cohesive marketing campaign.