We have already identified and explained the importance of digital marketing. For those who understand the importance of digital marketing, the next bold step is to craft a digital marketing strategy. It will enable the business benefit from the rich mines that digital marketing offers.
A marketing strategy is needed to get the best conversion rate from any marketing campaign. A good marketing strategy will ensure that your Benefit Cost Ratio is positive.
However, before you start crafting a digital marketing strategy, you must understand the digital marketing process. An understanding of the digital marketing process is a prerequisite to generate a strategy that will be comprehensive, effective and productive.
Digital marketers and digital marketing agencies have presented the digital marketing process in various ways. At Lyfemarketing, the process is outlined as attract – convert – close- delight. The digital marketing according to them starts with attracting the customers and ends with delighting them. The emphasis on delight is a strong one that is absent from many delineations of the digital marketing process.
Jorge Herrera, a former online marketer, defines the process as awareness – interest – evaluation – commitment. Jorge was able to identify the importance of awareness even before attraction (which is first according to lyfemarketing) can take place. The emphasis on evaluation is also important. This is one part of the digital marketing process that helps us to understand the critical difference between digital and traditional marketing.
The Balance Small Business came up with five levels of the digital marketing process. The process starts with marketing to your target audience, then building credibility and trust, then escorting the buyer through the buying process, then presenting the product and closing the sales. The digital marketing process they came up with placed a great deal of emphasis on building credibility and trust that is absent from many others.
The Non Profit Source also has an interesting outlay of the digital marketing process to enable writers to produce better content. The process involves research – plan – implement – measure – optimize. The start point and the end point they posited is very important. It all begins with research and research precedes planning. Before you create a digital marketing strategy, there is a need for research. Also, measurement/evaluation will be useless without the last process – optimization.
Therefore, the digital marketing process must be well understood to craft a useful digital marketing strategy. Digital marketers have outlined the digital marketing process in different ways to emphasize different aspects, but a comprehensive outlay of the process is:
- Research – define your target market
- Promote- make your business visible to your target market
- Build – create a positive relationship with your target market that will build trust and confidence in them of your expertise and genuine interest in their well being
- Attract- generate and create leads
- Convert- use the leads you have generated to make sales on the basis of the relationship you have built
- Measure- use analytics to measure the success of your leads and conversion
- Feedback- refine your digital marketing strategy if necessary for better conversion
- DELIGHT- which is not a stand-alone process but the mindset that controls the whole process.
Before you create a digital marketing strategy: Research
Defining your target market is the first step in the process. First, who are the product or service you have designed meant to serve? Who are those with the problems (whether they know it or not) that your product is meant to solve? Second, what is your buyer persona? What does an ideal buyer look like? (E.g. Female, in their mid-30s, in Europe and America, Middle class, Business professionals, etc.).
The target market you have defined will be the basis for everything else you do. When your target market changes (for whatever reasons), your digital marketing strategy has to change.
Make your business visible to your target audience. There are many options that you could explore:
- Building a business website. Neil Patel (famous digital marketer) has a good guide on his blog.
- Creating a business page on Facebook, LinkedIn. Here is a comprehensive guide.
- Create a Quora Account that shows you as an expert to your target market. Entrepreneur.com has a guide here as well as com
- Create a Youtube channel. Videos are making a significant break in the marketing world. Read this guide from Forbes.
- Design a web or mobile app
Building a relationship with your target market comes in two ways. You need to show yourself as an expert and also as someone who has a genuine interest in them. Building a good relationship will involve:
- Regular and relevant blog content: It involves creating articles and blogs that meet their needs and go to the depth of their persona. You will be able to do this well if you have successfully defined your buyer persona. Articles also help to show your expertise in the industry.
- Email: Let them subscribe to your mailing list. Ensure you send them latest updates or news that will be relevant to them.
- Regular and relevant YouTube Videos
- Regular and relevant communication on social media: Don’t make your social media pages dormant. Seek opportunities to spearhead communications. Social media communications help you have a clearer understanding of your target market and the personality behind the wallet.
- Regular answers to their questions on Quora: Regular and relevant Quora answers will communicate your expertise.
- Social events: If there are social events that bring together your target audience and it is not too much to ask, try and attend such events. Interact with them, build relationships and exchange contacts.
After building a good relationship, then you can go on to prospect your target market. Lead generation is a way of building a base to which you can easily sell your products. When you follow the tactics for building a relationship with your target audience, lead generation becomes easy. Marketo.com defines it as “the marketing process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing sales pipeline.”
Lead generation focuses on a particular market segment or the whole target market to which you want to sell a particular product. It may also involve paid advertisements like Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Influencer marketing and other Pay per click advertising platforms.
Marketing Wizdom has 63 lead generation strategies.
This is a crucial step in the digital marketing process. It must be given lots of thoughts when crafting a digital marketing strategy.
It is the process of converting the audience you have built and the specific lead you have generated into actual sales.
- Building a landing page (where the leads will be directed to make a purchase)
- Copyblogger has an article that explains why copywriting is important and how to do it right.
- Crafting a good offer: Promoting a product or service that will meet their needs based on the relationship you have built.
This is the control process where you compare the goals you had for your marketing campaign with the results you have obtained. It is not just the conversion that should be measured but the entire process. Some tools include:
- Google Analytics
- Each social media platform’s analytics/insights/reports
- Specific landing page platform analytics
There are many metrics to measure within these tools.
Learn from the reports from the previous process. At this point, you might need to redefine your target market or change the ways you are building a relationship with them. It might mean changing your ads content and design, or redesigning your landing page. The product offering or service offering might be the issue or the copywriting sucks.
You can consider speaking to an expert to help you interpret your report, so you know where the real problem is.
A digital marketing strategy is important for your business success. But before you craft a digital marketing strategy, you need to understand the whole digital marketing process. It will ensure that your strategy is comprehensive and effective.
Digital marketing process begins with a definition of your target audience and buyer person and ends with feedback from the reports of your campaign. Between those two ends, you need to promote your business, build a relationship, generate leads, sell your product and measure the performance of the whole process.
Understanding the process will help you be in a better position to give your business the needed advantage in the online space.