How to create a digital marketing strategy

21/02/2022
7 min read
How to create a digital marketing strategy for your business

Build an overview and structure for your digital marketing plan

The first step in creating your digital marketing plan is to produce a framework of what you want to achieve from your online presence. To do this, we create a digital marketing strategy.

A digital marketing strategy is different from the campaign itself.

  • The digital marketing strategy is an overview of what you want to achieve from your online presence and acts as a guiding roadmap for how you are going to achieve it.
  • The digital marketing campaign is the collection of actions, tactics, and activities you will use to achieve what is outlined in your strategy.

If you haven't yet done so, don't forget to visit the Web Rocket and download your FREE Digital Marketing Plan Template >>

 

What is a digital marketing strategy?

Your strategy is the first part of your digital marketing plan. It is a written set of strategic decisions designed to guide your digital marketing campaign and promotional activities.

Through research and collaboration with your team, you will identify your goals, produce market research and an assessment of your current digital presence. Each of these elements contribute to creating an informed strategy for your digital marketing.

The individual tactics of your digital marketing campaign (your website, SEO, social media etc) will have their own goals, metrics, and activities detailed relevant to those areas.

Your digital marketing strategy provides you with a directed overview of your campaign and how it is being managed.

 

What is included in a digital marketing strategy?

There are 4 key components to your digital marketing strategy. In this guide, we will work through;

  • Digital Marketing Goals
  • Market Research
  • Digital Marketing Audit
  • Digital Marketing Campaign Tactics

 

Digital Marketing Goals

You should first consider what you want to achieve from your Digital Marketing. Refer to the goals identified in your Business Plan and produce a set of objectives specific to your digital marketing.

Also consider how you will measure the success of your activities. For each activity such as social media and SEO, we will identify a subset of goals, however, for your overall digital marketing goals we will be looking at some top level data.

An example goal of digital marketing might be to get more website traffic from social media.

For each goal, you should think about the outcome, the action, the metric, and the timescale.

  • The outcome: More website traffic
  • The action: Social Media Campaign
  • The metric: 10%
  • The timescale: 2 months

You should create a table or spreadsheet with your goals listed;

For each goal, add in a row for your targets, then a second row to monitor your progress each month. Start with a baseline for your current status. We recommend doing this over the course of a full year.

GoalBaselineJanuaryFebruary
Increase Website Traffic Target59810001200
Website Traffic598TBCTBC
Increase Website Conversions Target5%10%20%
Website Conversions10%TBCTBC
Positive Reviews Target102030
Positive Reviews10TBCTBC

Here, you can find out more about setting Business & Digital Market Goals >>

 

Market Research

As part of your business plan, you will have conducted extensive research to give you insights into your target audience, competitors, and industry landscape. Be sure to translate this information into your digital marketing plan.

You should be clear on key information regarding;

  • Identify who your marketing efforts will be geared towards. Before you launch any sort of marketing campaign, it is crucial to establish who you are communicating with.

    Understand your demographic, where and how to reach them, their buying habits, challenges and what is important to them. You should build a profile for each of your target audience segments to inform your marketing decisions.

    Here is a quick example of a target audience segment for a high-end women's clothing store based in London.

     Audience Segment 1
    Age Group25 - 50
    GenderFemale
    LocationLondon
    Average Income£30,000 p/a
    Disposable Income£500 p/m
    PrioritiesCustomer Service, quality of goods, competitive pricing.
    Goals & ChallengesFinding unique items.
    Hobbies & InterestsTheatre and events. Dining out.

    Once we have a profile of each of our audience segments, we can use the information to direct our marketing decisions.

    For example, in this instance, we may use imagery on our website and social media posts that depict the target profile wearing items from our clothing range, dining out or at a London Theatre. Our tag lines and posts may focus on customer service and the buying experience.

    We can make significant decisions from this information at every step of our campaign.

    Here you can learn more about how to conduct target audience research >>

  • Research your competitors and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their online presence. It's essential to know what your competitors are doing and what kind of “threat” they present to your company's success.

    You should understand what kinds of digital marketing activities they are engaged in, how effective their presence is, and how you can exceed their success. You should assess their overall business and each of their digital channels and compile a list of positive and negative points to inform your own decisions.

    Here is a brief look at an example competitive analysis;

     Competitor 1
    Market Share35%
    Price Points10% more expensive
    Customer ServicePositive
    Product / Service QualityAverage
    Customer Feedback3/5 average
    Website

    Positive - Easy to navigate, simple design, user-friendly, mobile-friendly.

    Negative - Slow load speed, not much content, low quality images

    Search Engine Rankings

    Keyphrase 1 - Page 1, Position 6

    Keyphrase 2 - Page 2, Position 4

    Keyphrase 3 - Page 1, Position 8

    Social Media

    Strong regular presence on Facebook (500 followers)

    Repetitive sales only posts - little engagement

    No Instagram profile

    You should complete a competitive analysis for at least 3 of your key competitors, producing a cross-section of all of their company and digital assets.

    Check out our article to learn how to do a full competitive analysis >>

  • Understanding the dynamics of your industry is critical to a successful digital marketing strategy. You should extend your competitive analysis to the broader spectrum of your industry and identify key trends and activities which may be of use to your campaign, and be aware of any factors that may hinder your efforts.

    Here is a quick example of an Industry Analysis for a baby clothes ecommerce website.

     Industry Analysis
    Competitive rivalry

    Highly competitive across all social platforms.

    Up to 4 pages of search results of different competitors

    Barrier to entry

    Easy access to social platforms

    Cost of PPC high.

    Market alternativesAlternative products to our newborn niche is low
    Trending Topics

    Lots of content relating to newborn clothing guides.

    Sustainibility - process of production is important to buyers

    Social Media

    Activity is high in facebook groups

    Low presence on Twitter (low audience)

    Instagram potential is high but very diluted

    Collaborations

    High number of influencers for collaboration opportunities.

    5 key websites for article publications and guest blogging

    New mums podcast, possible interview and cross promotion

    Getting a feel for the industry as a whole is a great way to add another layer of information to your digital marketing strategy.

    For example, in this instance, we see that there are some great opportunities with influencers and existing marketeers in our niche. So we may decide to invest more time into our content marketing to produce articles or videos with which we can collaborate. The high competition in search engines means we will need to dedicate more time to keyword research and SEO.

    Here you can learn more about how to conduct Industry Research >>

 

Digital Marketing Audit

You should conduct a complete audit and assessment of your current online presence. Explore the strengths and weaknesses of each of your existing digital marketing assets. Understand how you are performing in each area and what improvements need to be made.

Evaluate each of these in brief to get an overview of what is working and which areas require development to enhance and progress with your online presence.

Let's take a look at some examples of the factors you will want to consider;

 PositiveNegative
Business Website

Easy to navigate

Strong design

Well branded

Positive customer feedback

Slow loading speed

Not responsive to mobile

Difficult to checkout

Low traffic

SEO

Page 1 for branded key phrases

Page 1 - 2 for search terms locally

Very little traffic for secondary key terms

Lower than main competitors for primary key terms

Social Media

Facebook profile complete and accurate

Instagram profile has strong following

Good engagement on LinkedIn

Low engagement on Facebook

Little variety in content for posts

Very little traffic from social media in general

Content Marketing

Key blog articles gain good traffic

Good response on social media

Articles are well written, relevant and informative

Little variety in content types. Only written articles.

Infrequent new content production

Very few visuals / images

Paid AdvertisingNo current paid advertisingNo current paid advertising
Email Marketing

Large email list of customers

Frequent emails sent with new product ranges

Very low open rate

Very low response rate

Affiliate MarketingNo current affiliate marketingNo current affiliate marketing

 

Digital Marketing Campaign Tactics

Now that you have all of the information, you should look at all areas from the online marketing world that you would like to incorporate into your campaign.

For example, if one of your goals is to generate more sales through your website, you may want to consider a redesign or new features to improve conversions. If an objective is to gain more traffic to your website, you will need to think about SEO, content marketing and social media. All of these aspects should be considered at this stage. Bring together your key team members and discuss the benefits and requirements of each factor.

Once your team has agreed the relevant areas, you will need to think about how to move each aspect forward.

  • Decide what key actions need to be taken
  • Assign team members to key roles - refer to your digital marketing team plan
  • Decide what budget you can apply to each area
  • Consider what internal and external time and resources will be needed to plan and execute each task set
  • Establish timescales where applicable for the planning and implementation

Some avenues to consider include;

 TeamBudgetTime / Resources

Business Website

Develop new website

Development - Outsource to web company

Management in-house (John)

£3,500 for development

£150 p/m for hosting/updates

10 hours p/w

Imagery / content

SEO

New SEO campaign

Management in-house (John)

Link Building - Outsource

Salary

£250 p/m

10 hours p/w

Social Media

Increase social media presence

Management in-house (Jane)

Salary

5 hours p/w

Content Marketing

Build consistent content marketing

Management in-house (Jane)

Salary

15 hours p/w

Paid Advertising

Google / Social Ads Campaign

Management in-house (John)

Salary

£250 p/m

5 hours p/w

Email Marketing

Improve email marketing campaign

Management in-house (Jane)

Salary

2.5 hours p/w

Affiliate Marketing

Build affiliate relationships

Management in-house (John)

Salary

5 hours p/w

This overview of digital marketing tactics provides you with an insight into what time, money and resources are involved in executing your digital marketing strategy.

 

Next steps for your Digital Marketing Plan

Now you have put together your campaign strategy, it's time to create the rest of your digital marketing plan. For each of the key campaign tactics you will produce a sub-strategy and action plan specific to that area.

To continue, go to the Web Rocket - Digital Marketing Plan >>

Kieran Watman

Kieran Watman

Director at Watman & Worth Web

At Watman & Worth Web Ltd, we are constantly researching and learning more about the digital marketing world. I love putting together all of this information to help the businesses we work with to use the full potential of the online landscape to make their website thrive.

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