Digital marketing has reshaped the way businesses engage and interact with consumers. But while digital marketing success can lead to huge growth for your business, relying on an ineffective strategy will do more harm than good. It’s not enough for businesses to simply have an online presence, they need to understand how to leverage the tools available to them so they can achieve the best results.
In order to choose the right digital marketing strategy, business owners need to first identify their audience, evaluate their business model, and understand what platforms are available to them. Only through this understanding can businesses hope to achieve marketing success in the digital age.
Step 1: Identify Your Audience
It might seem like a no-brainer, but many businesses fail to take the first step in identifying their audience. This goes beyond simple demographics like age, gender, or race: You need to develop a complete buyer persona before creating an effective digital marketing strategy. Consider the following when identifying who your audience is:
- What platforms are they likely to use?
- What is their income level?
- Where do they live geographically?
- What interests them?
- What stage of the consumer journey are they in?
- What level of education do they have?
- What’s their job title?
Some of these questions might seem irrelevant, but digital marketing capabilities have become so sophisticated that businesses can target advertisements based on all of this information and more. This is why it’s critical for businesses to take the time to establish a detailed audience definition before creating a digital marketing strategy. In order to ensure your campaigns deliver to the right people at the right place and at the right time, you need to first understand who they are.
Step 2: Evaluate Your Business
The next step in creating the right digital marketing strategy is evaluating your business as a whole. Some businesses are a better fit for Pay-Per-Click while others will perform better with social media marketing. In general, service-based businesses (such as plumbers, lawyers, and electricians) get more out of Search Engine Marketing since their target consumers are actively searching for their services when something goes wrong. Let’s face it: No one is waiting for a social ad to pop up on their screen so they can call to have their furnace repaired in the middle of winter.
By contrast, a restauranteur or beauty supply chain will see greater results from a social media campaign versus SEM efforts. Those selling luxury items can also see better results from social media advertising; however, their strategy might also expand to include display marketing in strategic placements across the web. They may also wish to include a content marketing plan to more effectively communicate the value of their products and services.
If you have a brick-and-mortar business, you might want to include location-based advertising and SEO as part of your digital marketing strategy. Conversely, those selling exclusively online will experience greater marketing success by running Google shopping ads or social media campaigns. Regardless of your business type, it’s important to have a firm understanding of how your business operations relate to your digital marketing goals so you can create an impactful strategy.
Step 3: Leverage Multiple Platforms
All successful digital marketing strategies should incorporate multiple touchpoints where consumers can engage and interact with your brand. For example, a plumber might not be a great candidate for a digital marketing strategy that relies heavily on social media marketing. However, that doesn’t mean social media campaigns can’t be part of the strategy as a whole: It just means they need to allocate less of their ad spend on social media versus SEM.
Choosing the right digital marketing strategy isn’t one-size-fits-all. It requires business owners to think critically about their target audience, business model, and the platforms available to them. By leveraging multiple digital platforms, businesses can create a more impactful strategy and increase their likelihood of reaching their target consumers.