10 Step by Step Guide: How to Develop a Digital Marketing Strategy

 

Without a doubt, digital mediums for information, communication, and entertainment now rule every aspect of our lives and businesses.

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The ease, affordability and effectiveness of search engine marketing make it a very powerful medium. And one that all business cannot ignore.

With more than half of the global population making use of the Internet 24/7, brands have no choice but to focus their attention on winning their audiences on a platform their customers love to hang out.

So where to start on how to develop your digital marketing strategy for your business?

Truth to be told, creating a marketing strategy, whether for digital or the more traditional route, simply just going back to the basics.

 

  1. Why You Do What You Do?

First know the Why of your organization. Knowing the reason for your business will help you create a brand story and content that your target customers would be able to relate to.

 

  1. M.A.R.T Goals

As stated, get back to the basics. And the way you set down your goals should be such that: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely (SMART).

In all your digital marketing efforts from Google Adwords, Facebook ads or other social media ads, SEO, email marketing, content marketing strategies, always have smart goals.

This is all the more critically important especially when you’re handling the marketing for your clients. Clients will always want to know the end-results, and almost always it is stated in numbers (i.e. how many sales, how many attendees, how many new subscriptions, etc.)

One tip: state everything clearly and make sure the client understands each step of the SMART goals.

 

  1. Create a Compelling Brand Story

Before you lay out to the world your brand story, always ask if the story that you’re telling will matter to your audience.

As Jack Ma, the founder of Ali Baba, once said, create a business or company that will help to solve people’s problems, or something to that effect. This is the same also for your brand story, people will pay attention to your brand story when they can clearly see how your company can help them with their ‘problems.’

So ask yourself, what ‘problem’ are you solving with your brand story?

 

  1. Develop Audience Personas

Whenever you develop your content for your blog, social medial channels, always try to picture in your mind the audience personas that you’ve created for your business.

Audience personas are basically your ideal or target customers for your company. Develop about 2 to 3 personas and make sure that the people within your organization or those working for you know this important piece of information.

Sample Checklist of Audience Persona:

  • Photo (Sample picture if possible (male or female or family)
  • Career or job status
  • Age
  • Civil / family status
  • Goals / Ambitions
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Values
  • Decision-making tendencies
  • Income
  • Place of residence
  • Place of work

Don’t try to do this on your own as management or as the marketing manager, brainstorm with the people within your organization. You can even conduct interviews or poll surveys to get a more detailed picture.

Once you’ve created your various personas, post them on your office wall or desk board for everyone to see and as a reminder to whom you should craft your content.

 

  1. Create a Client Journey Map

A journey map is a way for you to visualize how your current audience interact with you online, and how your potential customers will do so also.

In creating your client journey map, begin with these questions:

  • How did they (user) find your business online? Or is it offline?
  • What are the important trigger points when the client makes a decision?
  • What makes them leave your page or site and what makes them come back?

Remember, creating an effective and powerful Client Journey Map all begins with how well you’ve researched your target audience, including habits, behaviours and interests.

 

  1. What’s Your Key Channels

One of the biggest mistakes that organizations make is to try to cast a too-wide a net in the ocean hoping to catch everything that happens to be there.

Always keep in mind the Audience Personas that you’ve created when choosing the right social channels for your business. If your target audience is more on LinkedIn, then your strategy should focus on paid ads and creating connections on Linkedin.

 

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  1. Content Marketing Strategy

So write for your audience, not only for yourself. If they’re interested in a particular topic or discussion, then give them what they want to see or read on their Newsfeed or on your blog.

Aside from knowing what to content, make sure you’re being consistent with your writing style, brand tone, and even the type of images that they expect from your brand.

So how to know what type of content to develop?

There are many ways, but one great way is to take at your past content or posts that became a hit amongst your audience. You can either repost the same content or craft a similar post. Doing a part 2 or a series is not a bad idea if it’s applicable.

Another way is to brainstorm again with your team. Of course, nothing beats directly asking your audience what do they want to read about? It’s a wonderful way to engage them also while advertising in advance what you’re up to.

 

  1. Calendar Writing on the Office Wall

It may seem sound a bit outdated in the digital age, but having Calendar of Activities posted on the wall for all to see should never go out of style.

With just a glance or one look at the calendar wall, everything that is important and planned for the month should be seen and understand by everyone who has a stake on the search engine marketing efforts of the company.

Planned posts/content topics, major events, benchmarks, etc..should be up there. Of course, this is not to say that a great project management software should be discarded altogether. They should, in fact, complement each other.

Assign someone in-charge to update the calendar wall as the company’s project management tool being used by all the people involved are updated or edited.

 

  1. Plan Your Finite Resources

With so many options and resources available in the Internet age, it’s so easy to digress or take a detour from your planned digital marketing goals.

But it’s so critical to plan for your finite resources. Be realistic and be practical, especially with your or your employees’ time and capabilities. Calculate the amount of effort it takes to achieve a goal, and make sure that that effort is well worth the effort.

 

  1. Data Measurements

Data measurements or Google Analytics are like your compass to know how well you’re doing in your digital marketing efforts.

Whether you’re doing it for clients or for your own brand, this last step may be a tedious one to do, but it’s the only way to know with certainly whether you need to adjust, change or do away with your current strategies.

You’ll also need the numbers and info gathered here for reporting to your client or top management.

 

In the end, bear in mind in order to be a digital marketing strategy to become successful, it needs to be collaborative, fluid, and data-driven.

Over to you.

What are online marketing efforts that brands must do and prepare for?

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Why Open Source Will Always Over Proprietary System

street_sign1Once you take those first few stumbling steps into the world of business, you will realize early in the game that you need to make use of online platforms to boost your brand. All of your competitors will be available on the internet.

When you have hundreds of other businesses trying to impress the same audience you’re trying to appeal to, you will have to learn how to play the game the way they do.

Making use of online-based resources will make it possible for you to reach your audience, improve your reputation, and make more sales than you would with a run-of-the-mill brick and mortar.

While having your own business website might be an essential in this digital day and age, not all business owners can be tech savvy enough to manage their own site. That said, it’s ideal that websites are kept easy to operate, simple to maintain, and effective in bringing in prospects and consumers without having to exhaust too much effort on the owner’s end.

Today, there are two main technology platforms that you can choose from to make the most of your online venture and those are open source systems and proprietary systems.

The Big Difference

Open Source Systems and Proprietary Systems can both be very advantageous, but one of these two shines brighter than the other and for very good reasons. To better understand the difference between these two technology platforms, take the case of Graphics Online into consideration.
Graphics Online was a thriving web development agency established in July of 2014. Just this year, however, the promising business had to liquidate its entire enterprise because of cyber attacks that compromised their systems.

The business was running on a proprietary system which they ultimately pinpointed as the main factor that led to their demise. The entire mess was concluded with a statement from the executives and advisers of the site saying they suggest that other web development businesses move to open source systems instead.

The thing about proprietary systems that makes it particularly vulnerable is the fact that they are usually highly restrictive when it comes to permissions. Because they are owned by a private entity (thus the name proprietary) many of the functions are only accessible to and through them.

Open source systems on the other hand allow a lot more freedom when it comes to managing and operating web coding, content, and information because these can be hosted anywhere. Although open source systems are typically controlled by one maintaining body, they are not actually owned by anyone, which means those who partake in the service can gain access to their information at any time they choose.

Why You Should Choose an Open Source System

When it comes to customization and flexibility, open source systems take the cake. This type of platform allows you to build on your own ideas and expand your style depending on what you prefer, unlike proprietary systems which usually limits your capacity for custom development.

But the greatest consideration is the safety feature that open source systems offer – if and when you decide you want to move to a different developer, open source systems will allow you to transition seamlessly, taking any important information with you when you go.

With proprietary systems, however, you need to ensure that you have access to your information in case you do decide to move (as with the case of Graphics Online) but this might not always be provided by the companies. For more information about business software Australia, contact us!