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Why Every Company Should Have a Digital Marketing Strategy in Place
Almost everyone who has an online presence is involved in some form of digital marketing but what they often times lack is a proper digital marketing strategy. Some online marketing activities like SEO, social media optimization (SMO) and email marketing are so common that most people don’t even realize they constitute digital marketing. As such, there are a few website owners who will swear they have no idea what "digital marketing" means, and yet they are actually carrying it out.
However, such oddities are rare. The majority of those engaged in online marketing activities actually know what they are doing. What most of them lack is a harmonization of their different marketing activities for a common purpose. In other words, they lack a proper digital marketing strategy.
The lack of such a strategy places them at a distinct disadvantage. It prevents them from harnessing the true power of online digital marketing in order to further their broader goals and objectives. It hurts their overall online competitiveness, and it can lead them to spend a lot of time and resources on unproductive activities. If you want to avoid such problems, you need to develop and execute a well-thought-out digital marketing strategy. The ultimate question though is:
What Exactly Is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is a deliberate harmonization of marketing activities in order to achieve specific goals. The goals often involve gaining a competitive advantage in some aspect of the market.
There are three main key concepts which are raised in the definition:
1. Be Deliberate in Your Pursuits
A marketing strategy doesn’t happen by accident. It has to be well-planned and thought-out i.e. deliberate.
2. Be Harmonious in Your Activities
Digital marketing involves numerous activities e.g. social media marketing, email marketing, and so on. A strong digital marketing strategy blends these different activities to serve a specific purpose.
3. Aim at Achieving Specific Goals
A marketing strategy is aimed at achieving specific goals. Examples can include increasing sales, enhancing your brand, lead capture, creating an email list, increasing your rankings in organic search results, and so on.
What Does it Mean To Have a Marketing Strategy?
Finding out whether or not you have a marketing strategy is quite simple. There are three main things which indicate the presence (or absence) of a proper online marketing strategy and they are:
1. Achieve Specific Goals
The end game of a marketing strategy is to achieve your specific goals. As such, the starting point is defining what those goals are. Those goals could be overtaking a competitor, recruiting more customers, remedying a bad online reputation or perhaps increasing company revenue. These are just examples but the bottom line is that you need to put in place specific goals to go after.
Without specific goals, the various digital marketing activities you perform won’t benefit you much. It will be like having a high-precision weapon, but without a target to hit. So basically, all the potential will be wasted.
A specific goal also enables you to harmonize your activities, use resources efficiently and see tangible results from your efforts. Therefore, the first question you need to answer to see whether or not you have a strategy is this: "have I clearly spelled out which goals I want to achieve through my marketing efforts?"
2. Success Indicators
Having specific goals isn’t enough. You also need a way to measure each of those goals. This is where success indicators come in. Success indicators are things you will use to determine whether or not you have achieved your goals.
For certain goals, creating success indicators is simple. For instance, for a goal like increasing the number of customers, the indicator could be a specific number (e.g. 3000). For other goals e.g. enhancing your brand, creating success indicators isn’t quite straightforward but still you could measure that by reporting on the number of brand mentions (or lack of) in posts or social shares.
The point here is that a marketing strategy must have clear success indicators for each of the goals it is trying to achieve. Therefore, the second (and third) questions you need to answer are: "Do I have success indicators?" And if yes, then "What are they?"
3. An Execution Plan
Once you have your goals and success indicators, you now need a plan to make it happen. This is where an execution plan comes in. You can call it a "work-plan" or "marketing plan" but the diction doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you have a plan for achieving your goals.
An execution plan provides a framework through which your marketing activities are carried out. It contains things like time-lines, main activities, responsible persons, budgets, and so on. In summary, the execution plan is like roadmap towards achieving your specific marketing goals.
Digital Marketing Processes and Activities
The execution plan (or marketing plan) typically contains marketing processes and activities. Processes are basically tried and tested methodologies which you can use to execute your activities.
For instance, one of the most popular processes is the marketing funnel. This is a four step process (i.e. raising awareness, generating interest, arousing desire and eliciting action) normally used for producing tangible results.
Then there are your marketing activities. These are the easiest to understand. The main digital marketing activities which are often contained within an execution plan are the following:
1. User Experience (UX)
This is basically making your website user-friendly. It includes aspects like fast page loading speed, mobile access, easy navigation, an appealing design and having stellar content. No matter what your goals are, UX will likely play a part in achieving them.
2. On-Site SEO
This is basically making your web pages search engine optimized but still very user-friendly to your site visitors. It includes measures which make your web pages easy to index inside the search engines i.e. inserting the right types of keywords, proper keyword density, topically relevant content, internal page linking, authoritative outbound links, proper use of meta tags, proper use of header tags, optimized images, a sitemap, keyword proximity within your content, and so much more!
3. Off-Site SEO
This includes measures aimed at increasing the relevance of your website within your niche by creating high quality inbound links. Off-page SEO tactics include activities such as guest blogging, posting content on social media, writing press releases, sharing videos and posting great content that others would feel compelled to link back to from their website or social post.
4. Social Media
This involves boosting your social influence by stepping up your social media activities. It includes constantly updating your profiles, posting content on social media, promoting your product or service, replying to user comments and brand marketing across the major social media platforms.
5. Traditional Online Marketing
This basically involves using tried and tested marketing techniques. These include email marketing, list-building, and online advertising.
The most important thing is that the digital marketing activities are carried out within a well-defined framework which is aimed at achieving specific goals. That framework is what is called a marketing strategy.
That's a Wrap!
If you want to harness the full potential of digital marketing, reach new heights with your business and rise above your competition, then you need to develop such a strategy as I've outlined here. Without a coherent strategy, your marketing efforts may seem to be effective. However, they won’t be as effective as those carried out around a solid strategy. Therefore, if you want to maximize the results of your marketing efforts, you need the right digital marketing strategy in place.
In case you need help in developing such a strategy, simply contact SEO Zones right away and we'll be more than happy to develop one for you. Just call 303-200-1000 to get started and let us work together on a digital road map to your business success. You can also reach our sales team directly at [email protected] and let us answer any questions you have about our professional Denver SEO services or any of the other digital marketing services we provide.
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