What is a digital strategy?
An online marketing strategy is a plan designed to advance the goals of a business through digital means. On the one hand there is only one marketing strategy: to generate profit, or to make money. On the other hand there could be said to be as many strategies as there are businesses – because each strategy will be unique to the business it serves. For instance: some businesses are seeking to generate brand awareness, some to generate leads, and others to make a sale; and so the goals of each business will be very different. A digital strategy must always serve the objectives of the business if it is to be effective.
Given the objectives of the business, a digital strategy outlines the simplest or easiest ways to grow a business through the internet and other digital media. It will include a strategy for the company website, as well as other marketing channels that can be used to achieve the business goals.
What We Do
A digital marketing strategy will typically cover:
- Market and competitor research
- Technical changes to the company website
- A content marketing plan
- An assessment of viable digital marketing channels
- Recommended measurement & reporting, to assess against business objectives
What does an internet marketing strategy include?
In more detail, a strategy document will usually include:
Market Research: a strategy will be based on comprehensive market research. This will typically include research on the market in general, an analysis of competitors and any existing gaps in the online marketplace.
Website Analysis: Key to the success of any strategy is the company website. There are many reasons for this. For example: the company website will typically offer the highest return on investment of any digital marketing channel. Unless the website functions properly (right down to considerations such as how fast the pages load, and whether it can be viewed on a mobile device), the marketing plan will fail. In addition, many digital channels (such as advertising) are used to direct visitors back to the company website; and so unless the site functions properly the additional expense of other marketing channels is often wasted. A strategy document will, therefore, take these issues into consideration.
Content Marketing Strategy: Success in digital marketing often involves going one step beyond the competition. Producing expert and quality content that answers to your customers needs is centrally important. For this reason it is important to have a content marketing plan in place. An important part of content marketing is placing yourself in the shoes of the prospective customer and asking what problems or issues they have, and so what they might be searching for. Rather than simply writing about your product ‘x’, a prospective customer may have never heard of the product and so may rather search for: ‘how do I y?’ or ‘best way to z’. Again, a comprehensive strategy will take these content issues into consideration.
Other Digital Channels: which are the other most cost effective channels to achieve the business goals and objectives (internet advertising, social media (Twitter, Google+, Youtube), email marketing, etc.)? Do these channels present any opportunities that are yet to be exploited by the competition? A strategy will analyse and evaluate the potential cost effectiveness of different digital media.
Monitoring, Analysis, and Improvement: If a strategy is to work we need to understand what success looks like. For this reason a strategy will also include recommendations concerning the key performance indicators (KPI’s) to be put in place, the metrics to be measured, and the reports to be produced, to evaluate effectiveness and return on investment.