In any successful marketing effort, it is critical to have a strategy in place to achieve your goals. The following are the three digital marketing steps that are the basics of an effective digital marketing strategy:
- Set achievable goals or objectives
- Define your target audience
- Create and publish campaigns that convert
In this post, I show you how to execute three digital marketing steps to use as the backbone of your marketing strategy.
Step 1: Set Your Goals
The first step in setting up an effective digital marketing strategy is to set achievable goals or objectives.
Of course, the overarching goal for any business is to generate leads, convert them into customers, and increase revenue. But before you get to the apparent goals, you need to have what I call pre-objectives.
For example, my primary goal for my business is to get clients who need digital marketing services.
How do I do this? Send them to my website, where I have a landing page with a robust lead-conversion process in place. To get them to this landing page, I have to create awareness about my brand and engage my audience.
Therefore, my pre-objectives are to create brand awareness and engage my audience.
Brand awareness is critical to any digital marketing strategy. Achieving brand awareness is achieved by publishing targeted social media posts, publishing an informative blog, and sharing useful content from other websites and industry leaders.
Now it’s your turn: what pre-objectives will help you reach your long-range goals?
- Do you have a search engine optimized Website already in place, and want to drive more traffic to it?
- Do you have a blog and want more subscriptions so you can retarget your subscribers with conversion campaigns?
- Is your target audience on Twitter, and the best way to start the lead-gen process is to grow and connect with your base on that platform?
Setting your immediate goals and objectives is one of the first digital marketing steps to creating a beneficial social media and content marketing strategy.
How you’re going to drive traffic to your website or blog, and get leads to fill out a contact form is what takes place in Step 3 of an effective digital marketing strategy: Creating campaigns that convert.
But first, you need to know who you want to reach and where they engage online.
Step 2: Define Your Target Audience
In traditional marketing, you are seeking to connect with a target market based on their immediate need(s).
For example, I am a real estate professional in Calabasas, California, where I help people sell and buy homes. My ideal target market in traditional advertising would be someone ready now to buy or sell a home.
For my social media and content marketing strategy, I’ve got to think of not only the immediate prospect but also the future customer.
The useful and engaging content that I create for my target audience is not to convince them to let me help them sell or buy a home but to provide them valuable information they can use now. If the content I share with them is outstanding, they will sign up for my real estate/lifestyle blog or email list to get more great information.
The prospect who subscribed to my blog may not be an instant client. But with careful nurturing by providing more engaging and useful content, and sharing in the online space where they socialize, later when they are ready to buy or sell, they’ve already become familiarized with my name. They know my brand and trust me because of the valuable content I’ve already shared with them.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when defining your target audience.
- What age and gender is your ideal customer/audience?
- What is their profession?
- What stage are they in their family life cycle (newly married, young children, empty nest)?
- Where does your ideal customer live or have their business?
- What leisure/hobby activities interest your ideal customer?
- What are their values, beliefs, attitudes?
- How can your service or product help them solve their problems or pain points?
There’s a great deal more you can ask and different ways of going about defining your target audience, but these questions will help you get started.
If I use the example of being a real estate agent, based on some of the questions above, the profile of my partial target audience will cover:
- Do-it-yourself homeowners
- Millennials (the next generation to buy homes)
- Apartment-dwelling millennials
- People who read home topic-related magazines
3. Create Campaigns that Convert
The third step in your digital marketing strategy is to set your pre-objectives into action with conversion campaigns. Examples of conversion campaigns include publishing content such as blog posts, ebooks, white papers, or other downloadable giveaways that people must sign up for with email. Conducting webinars, Q&As, and publishing surveys are other lead-generating methods.
Follow up initial campaigns by retargeting leads with drip email marketing campaigns.
Here are some general content and campaign ideas to create to capture leads:
- In-depth market/industry report (make sure it has info that cannot be obtained easily online)
- How to eBook
- A webinar that gives hot business tips
- Podcast guest with a leader in your industry
- Sweepstakes or other contests. Make sure the prize is related to your business, such as a free service or product offering.
There is much more that goes into creating an overall traffic-driving, lead-generating, customer-converting digital marketing strategy. However, these initial three digital marketing steps will help outline an overall plan to get started.
Expand Your Digital Marketing Efforts
To get in-depth, step-by-step information on how to create, set up, and implement a successful digital marketing strategy, sign up to be notified when my book “Create a Successful Digital Marketing Network is out.