Having a digital marketing strategy is key to achieving your business goals and overall mission. If you wanted to be the go-to online resource for content marketing, your digital strategy would have to be built around that. Unfortunately, nearly half of businesses haven’t defined their digital marketing strategy, according to a study conducted by Smart Insights.
If you’re on a budget, it’s still completely possible to plan your digital strategy. For instance, you might have opted for shared hosting instead of a dedicated server to shave dollars off your monthly expenses. Or went with one of many free WordPress themes instead of a premium one. Whatever the case: don’t fret. The following tips require very little investment, and instead require patience and research.
It’s important not to confuse your digital marketing strategy with your digital marketing campaign(s). Your strategy is the foundation, while your campaigns are the building blocks. Let’s dive a little deeper. Your digital marketing strategy is comprised of a series of set actions that will help you achieve your goals. On the other hand, your campaign is the tool you use to get you closer to those goals. With that in mind, here are three simple tips for creating an effective digital strategy on a budget:
To truly hone in on your digital mission, you need to create attainable goals for your business. Goals allow you to properly measure your progress (which we’ll discuss in the next section).
- Get more traffic to your website
- Increase email marketing signups
- Encourage more leads to start a trial
- Sell more of a particular product or service
- Spread awareness about a topic or event
- Increase overall revenue
The aforementioned are just a few of the goals you might have. It’s up to you to determine where you want to focus your efforts, and to be realistic about those decisions. For example, if you want to increase your overall revenue, set a time-based number goal based on a percentage that aligns with your progress. In this case, you might set a goal to increase revenue by 15% by the end of the year.
According to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, setting specific goals is much more effective than simply trying to do your best. Use the SMART goal system to determine your goals. The SMART acronym includes: Specific (what exactly are you trying to accomplish?); Measurable (how can I measure my goals?); Attainable (Are my goals within reach?); Realistic or Relevant (does this goal make sense for my business?); and Time-Based (when can I achieve this goal?).
Measure Your Results
If you don’t measure your results, you’ll never know exactly how successful your digital marketing strategy is. And without metrics, it would be hard to determine areas where improvements need to be made. By now, you should have decided on your key performance indicators (KPIs) in the last section.
First and foremost, you need to be able to understand your website metrics and those that are built into your ecommerce platforms (if your business is an ecommerce store). This means you should be able to view website traffic, online sales, where your leads came from, and more.
Inside the Analytics Dashboard, check out the Google Benchmarking Reports. Once you’ve opened the reports, you’re able to compare your progress to that of your competition. The Google Analytics platform is also a must for measuring metrics, and should be the ground foundation from which you measure. From there, you can branch out to other types of platforms, including BuzzSumo, Hubspot, and others. This post by CrazyEgg helps you define website KPIs based on your business type.
Develop Buyer Personas
A buyer persona is essential a snapshot of your ideal customer. You can’t create a strategy without it, as your strategy changes depending on who your customer is. A buyer persona represents your entire audience’s demographics and psychographics. A thoroughly crafted buyer persona can help shape and guide your marketing strategy for years to come.
Furthermore, buyer personas help you understand your customers, and this allows you to tailor your content and messaging towards them in a much more effective manner.
Buyer personas can help guide you because they put your target audience into perspective. You can take your buyer persona a step further by using an actual image: try putting a few photos of what your ideal customer looks like on a corkboard. For example, if you’re targeting corporate companies, your image might be businessman who cares about his appearance and is willing to invest in it. On the other hand, if your company sells active apparel, your buyer person image might be a surfer or a bicyclist.
There are a few ways to create buyer personas, namely through interviews, research, and surveys. First, if you have historical sales, go through them and try to uncover some trends. You’ll also want to create form fields on your site that capture some buyer information. For example, you may have noticed that some forms—whether the form is geared towards downloading a free resource or signing up for a newsletter—ask you your birth date or gender.
You can also send surveys to your existing customer base to help you gather deeper insight into what consumers are feeling about your product or service. Take a look at Hubspot’s extensive guide to creating buyer personas for more information.