You can safely assume that the majority of businesses use some type of digital marketing. Statistics show that, for example, 77% of small and medium businesses in the United States use social media for marketing activities. But how many businesses take digital marketing seriously is a completely different question, with a less impressive answer. Even though three-quarters of SMBs in the U.S. use it, only a third would be willing to invest seriously in social media marketing.
If you’re a business owner, you’re almost as likely to have a digital marketing strategy as you are to do digital marketing on the fly. It doesn’t matter whether you use social media, emails, or search engines as your preferred marketing channel. You need a strong strategy if you want to focus all your digital marketing efforts towards achieving a common goal. If you’re not sure what it takes to create an effective digital marketing strategy, here are the four cornerstones you’ll need in the strategy’s foundation.
Asset Development And Optimization
You cannot have a digital marketing strategy without digital assets. For your business, these assets might include a website, social media profiles, or an email list. These assets will help you determine the channels you will use in your digital marketing strategy. They can also serve as a precious source of customer information.
While you might not need to create new assets for every single digital marketing campaign, you will have to optimize your assets regularly for maximum performance. For example, you can upgrade to VPS hosting for your website, or consider using email automation for your email marketing campaign. Whatever asset you have and whatever type of marketing you use, you have to keep them up-to-date and campaign-specific.
Setting The Right Goals
Marketing strategies are developed to achieve specific goals. You can say that you want a strategy that will increase your profits, for example. Or you want to see a certain increase in sales or a bigger social media reach. These are all things that could happen as a result of a successful digital marketing campaign, but they are not the type of goals you set for a strategy.
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound. Any goal you set for your digital marketing strategy needs to meet five criteria. You cannot set broad goals that are difficult to measure and achieve. The same goes for goals that are unrealistic. And you should put a deadline on any goal you set for your digital marketing campaign. So let’s say that you want to improve your bottom line. If you’re doing it the S.M.A.R.T. way, you would set the goal to increase the profits by 5% by the end of Q4.
As a business person, you should be keenly aware that every activity you do online is also done by your competitors. That’s how the business world works — you have plenty of entities competing for the same set of audience. When you’re developing a digital marketing strategy, your ability to monitor and track your competition will be helpful in several different ways.
You don’t want to be doing the same things your competitors are doing. You want to know what they’re doing online, and then find ways to do it better. You should ensure that your assets are easily distinguished from your competitor’s assets. And you should do as much learning from their mistakes as you can.
Monitoring The Results And Ad Hoc Improvements
Every specific goal you give to your digital marketing strategy has a set of metrics that will help you determine how close you are to meeting it. Finding out about the metrics du jour can be helpful when figuring out the ways to achieve your goals, but you should be very careful to pick only the metrics that are pertinent to the campaign’s goals.
You can follow the performance of your strategy in real time. This will allow you to react quickly to any signs that your campaign is underperforming. That’s one of the key advantages of digital marketing, the ability to monitor results in real time and make adjustments accordingly. To do it effectively, you need to be very clear on your goals and the metrics you use to measure them.
Digital marketing is an important activity for businesses that want to thrive in the digital age. The best way to approach digital marketing is to develop a sound strategy that will guide your activities towards a set goal. These four cornerstones will help you set a strategy on firm grounds, ensuring that specific materials and actions you develop as part of the strategy land exactly as you wanted them.