39% of marketers don’t believe that their organisation’s current digital marketing strategy is proving effective. That’s a fairly significant number of professionals who know that resources are being wasted in pursuing the wrong agenda. If you don’t currently have a digital marketing strategy and want to define one – or you’re looking for a way to create a more effective and targeted plan – there are a number of ways that you can do this.

1. Work harder on your objectives

Make sure you have a clear idea of the main purpose of the marketing strategy – what is the overall goal of your digital marketing efforts? For example, you might want to be the go to online source for certain products. Clearly define your KPIs – what is the goal, what is the increase you’re looking to achieve and what is the timeframe that you’re giving yourself in which to do it? For each KPI, identify the method that you’re going to use to achieve it.

2. What’s working for you right now? (and what’s not working…)

If your current digital marketing strategy isn’t generating the results you’re looking for, why not? It’s crucial to analyse past performance and identify where the problems are arising if you don’t want these to continue to hold your business back. If you’re creating a digital marketing strategy for the next year, go back over the past 12 months and analyse performance in relation to the strategy you defined for the period of time. Where did you achieve KPIs and where were the failures – how does this compare to your competitors? (use Google’s Benchmarking Reports to see key competitor data).

3. Do you really know your audience?

The best digital marketing strategy in the world will fail if it is pitched to the wrong audience. Marketing personas are crucial to understanding your audience. You can create these with varying levels of detail, including:

  • Basic demographic information such as age, location etc
  • The issues or problems that your audience needs you to solve
  • Who they follow and who their influencers are
  • Behaviours and characteristics (use Google Analytics Audience Reports to inform this)
  • Goals, needs, fears and objectives

4. What’s necessary to put your strategy into practice?

There are three key components here:

  • Your channels. It’s crucial to identify the channels that work for you, what you want to achieve with each one and to have a set of KPIs for every channel you incorporate into your strategy.
  • Your resources. Define the budget you have and then work out how best to use it. Which channels have yielded the best leads or results in the past? Allocate your budget in proportions to paid channels and then identify those that are minimal and those that involve no cost other than human effort.
  • Your people. Do you need a bigger team and, if so, can you afford it? What more could your current team achieve? Could you benefit from outsourcing a proportion of digital marketing activity to an expert agency?

5. Define the plan but be fluid

The best laid plans… well, safe to say that, as none of us can predict the future, it’s going to be necessary to ensure you regularly review the digital marketing strategy plan you make and update and amend it based on circumstances. Don’t be rigid – get rid of anything that isn’t working and don’t be afraid to update with fresh ideas.

These are just some of the essentials when it comes to a digital marketing plan. If you’d like guidance and support refining your strategy we can help – contact us to find out more.

Author: Steve Pailthorpe – Follow us on Google+