Rise Above Your Competition! Start By Having A Digital Marketing Strategy
Almost everyone who has an online presence is involved in some form of digital marketing. Some marketing activities like SEO and social media engagement 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 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 marketing strategy.
The lack of such a strategy places them at a distinct disadvantage. It prevents them from harnessing the true power of marketing in order to further their online 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 a digital marketing strategy. The ultimate question is:
Glad you asked! 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.
What Is A Digital Marketing Strategy?
There are three main key concepts which are raised in the definition. They are:
DeliberateA marketing strategy doesn’t happen by accident. It has to be well-planned and thought-out i.e. deliberate.
HarmonizationDigital marketing involves numerous activities e.g. social media marketing, email marketing, and so on. A marketing strategy blends these different activities to serve a specific purpose.
Specific GoalsA marketing strategy is aimed at achieving specific goals. Examples can include increasing sales, enhancing your brand, increasing your SERP rankings, and so on.
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 marketing strategy. They are the following:
What It Means To Have A Marketing Strategy
Achieve Specific GoalsThe end game of a marketing strategy is to achieve specific goals. As such, the starting point is defining what those goals are. Those goals could be overtaking a competitor, recruiting more customers, erasing a bad image or even increasing your revenue. The bottom line is that you need specific goals.
Without specific goals, the various digital marketing activities won’t benefit you much. It will be like having a high-precision weapon, but without a target to hit. Basically, all the potential will be wasted.
A specific goal 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?"
Success IndicatorsHaving specific goals isn’t enough. You need a way to measure those goals. This is where the 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.
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? If yes, then what are they?"
An Execution PlanOnce 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". 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.
The execution plan (marketing plan) typically contains marketing processes and activities. Processes are basically tried and tested methodologies which you can use to execute your activities.
Digital Marketing Processes and Activities
For instance, one of the most popular processes is the market funneling. 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:
User Experience (UX)This is basically making your website user-friendly. It includes aspects like fast loading speed, mobile access, easy navigation, an appealing design and having great content. No matter what your goals are, UX will likely play a part in achieving them.
On-Site SEOThis is basically making your web pages search engine friendly. It includes measures which make your web pages easy to index i.e. inserting keywords, proper keyword density, meta tags, proper use of header tags, a site map, and soon.
Off-Site SEOThis includes measures aimed at increasing the relevance of your website by creating inbound links. This includes aspects like guest blogging, posting content on social media, writing press releases, sharing videos and creating great content.
Social MediaThis involves boosting your social influence by stepping up your social media activities. It includes constantly updating your profiles, posting content on social media, replying to user comments and marketing your social media platforms.
Traditional Online MarketingThis 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.
If you want to harness the full potential of digital marketing and rise above your competition, then you need to develop a strategy. Without a coherent strategy, your marketing efforts may well 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 a digital marketing strategy.
In A Nutshell…
In case you need help in developing such a strategy, simply contact me and I'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 roadmap to your success. You can also email me directly at email@example.com and let me know how I can help or answer any questions you have about my Denver SEO services or small business websites.
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