According to a study by Smart Insights, nearly half of brands don’t have a defined digital marketing strategy. Without a strategy in place, how can you expect to see results, innovate and grow your brand? Before you launch your next digital marketing initiative, ask yourself these questions:
- What are my goals? Identify what your digital marketing efforts will be responsible for achieving. Are you trying to increase online sales or newsletter sign ups? Maybe you want to encourage people to visit a specific page on your website? Determining your goals is a key step in defining your digital marketing strategy.
- Were previous efforts successful? Don’t go into planning blindly. Review your previous digital efforts and the results they delivered. While you’re at it, take a look at what your competitors are doing, and how well they’re doing it. This type of research will arm you with the benchmarking data you’ll need to measure your goals.
- Who am I talking to? Make sure your audience is at the heart of your strategy. Who are you talking to? Where do they spend time online? What problems can I help them solve? Once you’ve identified who you’re targeting, you can also begin to identify those who may influence their purchasing decisions. Understanding your audience will also help you determine how best to reach them.
- Do I have enough resources? The three most important resources you’ll need for any successful digital marketing effort are a budget, digital channels and a team. Take stock of your existing digital channels and determine, based on your goals, if you’ll need to add or remove any. Make sure you have a team in place with the skill set, and the bandwidth, to execute a digital marketing effort. Most importantly, ensure that your budget will be able to support any new channels, paid efforts, new hires or agency partners you’ll need in order to achieve your goals.
- What’s my plan? Finally, you can begin to outline your plan. However, you should always keep in mind that no plan is ever perfect from the start. Though you’ve outlined your goals, reviewed your previous efforts and made sure you have plenty of available resources, you still can’t predict exactly how your target audience will behave. Outline your plan, but make sure you continue to measure your efforts’ performance and adjust the sails as needed.
Remember, the key to any successful digital marketing effort is having a strategy to back it up. Develop goals, conduct research, regularly measure performance and don’t be afraid to adjust your plan on the fly.