In recent years, the transition to digital has become a real challenge for companies.
SEO, content strategy, social networks… All these elements can have a significant impact on your company’s reputation and enable you to generate a large number of leads.
In the long term, building a digital marketing strategy guarantees to improve your visibility and make you stand out in a competitive environment.
From auditing your business and your competitors, to defining your objectives and setting up a detailed marketing plan. Discover the different steps to develop a digital marketing strategy for your company.
What is a digital strategy?
Generating traffic, converting prospects, analyzing customer behavior and building loyalty: to succeed in achieving such goals. Companies must implement a real digital marketing strategy.
This strategy is defined by a set of actions that will enable you to meet your objectives through digital tools and online marketing. Integrated into the general strategy of your company. The digital strategy is composed of several elements such as the creation (or redesign) of a website, the use of social networks, referencing, content creation…
It is not enough to use a few random channels to have an impactful digital strategy. To be effective, it must be carefully studied beforehand and be the subject of an in-depth audit. This work will enable you to define clear objectives and a relevant action plan that is consistent with your overall business strategy.
You can learn more about the meaning of digital strategies in this article.
Audit your current online presence and that of your competitors
Before investing in communication tools and campaigns, it is necessary to conduct an audit of your current digital presence.
Where are you active on the Internet (social networks, websites, blogs, etc.)? Do you have a good referencing? A social network that generates activity? A blog with recurring traffic? What content is being disseminated? A responsive site? The quality of your online presence is important.
Don’t hesitate to call on experts who can audit your website (referencing, loading speed, etc.). These elements should not be neglected, as they will allow you to identify what you can improve. And thus enrich your action plan. It is also a way of finding out more about your audience and what they are looking for (bounce rate, number of pages visited, etc.).
Don’t forget to analyse your competitors’ online presence. As well as encouraging you to develop your visibility, this is an ideal way to assess what works best. And to integrate additional channels into your strategy.
Define who the targets of your digital strategy are
Before you can communicate with your target, you need to know them. Define your buyer persona: who is he or she? What are their needs and motivations? On which social networks can I reach them (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin)?
Knowing who your customers are is essential: it will allow you to orient your marketing strategy in the right direction. And above all to prioritize the targets to be reached.
Learn more about your buyer persona profile should include in this article.
How to set your goals for your digital marketing strategy?
Once this audit is done, you will have a clearer idea of your marketing needs. And you will be able to define a list of objectives to achieve.
This will not only help you to unite your staff around a common project. But also to implement concrete and relevant actions.
You will then need to define S.M.A.R.T. objectives. This method lists the 5 criteria to take into consideration to set relevant goals. As well as optimizing your chances of success in your digital marketing strategy:
- S (specific): have simple, precise and understandable objectives.
- M (measurable): you should be able to assess whether your objective has been or is being achieved.
- A ( ambitious, attainable): your objectives are a challenge. They should motivate and make your staff want to do their bit.
- R ( relevant): Your goal must be achievable. If its feasibility is not certain, it will not motivate your teams (and your investors, if there are any).
- T (time-based): set a deadline for achieving your goals. This keeps you focused on the task at hand and makes it easier to organise yourself.
Your goals must be specific. In the case of a digital marketing strategy, you should be interested in goals such as awareness, traffic, leads generated, or customers signed.
It is important not to have vague goals. Like wanting to increase the number of visitors to your site. Be precise about what you want to achieve (e.g. to reach over 30,000 visitors in 6 months).
Once you have defined your goals, you can now move on to developing your digital marketing strategy and allocating a budget to it.
Define a budget for your digital strategy
Implementing your digital communication strategy will require certain resources. Before implementing your plan, draw up a budget and take all costs into account:
- Marketing costs: software licences, external agencies, salaries, content creation, campaigns, etc.
- Commercial costs: transport, documents, etc.
In the web marketing sector, there is no one way to do it. While some campaigns can be expensive, other solutions such as blogging or social networks will not involve significant costs. If you have a small budget, prioritise the most cost-effective channels. Don’t hesitate to look at what has worked for your competitors, or to analyse the results of your previous campaigns.
Finally, plan a budget for support. Whether it’s web content, SEO, social media or website redesign. Using a digital marketing agency will be key to helping you complete your project. Especially if you don’t have enough in-house knowledge.
Develop your digital communication strategy
Once you have defined your objectives, your budget, and carried out an audit of your market and the competition. You can now develop your digital communication strategy. This step is important, because you will have to select the most appropriate channels. Keep in mind the profile of your ideal buyer persona. Their needs, profile and expectations should be taken into account when developing your plan. There are several ways to communicate, including
- Improving your online presence
This can be on social networks (choose the most appropriate platforms according to your target) or on YouTube by creating video content.
- Developing new tools for your business
You can create (or improve) your website, a showcase blog, an e-commerce website. Or even a mobile application. Don’t hesitate to set up a newsletter system to inform your targets of your news.
- Improve your visibility through SEO
The referencing of your website allows you to gain visibility with potential customers. While this requires a certain amount of investment and patience, working on your SEO and adopting a content strategy are effective ways of attracting prospects without having to do any marketing. These levers are part of inbound marketing, which consists of bringing the customer to you. Rather than going out to find them. For this reason, implementing a content strategy is an element that should not be neglected in your digital marketing strategy.
Setting up your content strategy: what solutions?
Many companies still invest in outbound marketing, an expensive method that is showing its limits. Outbound marketing” consists of SMS campaigns, buying advertising space, media advertising, telephone canvassing, etc. These are media that require a lot of budget and do not necessarily have an impact on companies that tend to be over-solicited.
In contrast, inbound marketing is a method that consists of attracting potential customers without having to “force” them. How do you do this? By offering attractive, interesting and informative content that meets their expectations. For you, it is not only the possibility of gaining prospects without having to go looking for them. But also to improve your brand image and position yourself as an expert. All this for a controlled budget, because implementing a content strategy is much less expensive than the resources needed for outbound marketing. Here are 3 levers to invest in:
A blogging strategy
Blogs are now a real conversion lever for companies. An effective blogging strategy allows you to improve your reputation, show your expertise, and generate leads.
To do this, you need to create interesting, hard-hitting content that will answer the questions your targets are asking. Be regular, have an editorial line, and be sure to distribute your content via other channels. Such as social networks, newsletters, and even online advertising.
A blogging strategy must be linked to an SEO strategy. One cannot be done without the other: it is by producing useful content that you make yourself visible on search engines. Improving your SEO, and optimizing your content for SEO, is essential to attracting new customers looking for solutions.
An email marketing strategy
Far from being on the way out, the newsletter is still a formidable lever for your digital marketing. However, it must be used properly. Otherwise you risk spamming your subscribers.
If used properly, it can build loyalty among your targets, highlight your services and products, and convert your leads into real customers.
The content is therefore important: define the objectives of the newsletter, then build a dynamic, interesting, engaging and concise message. Don’t hesitate to propose solutions, or to encourage your targets to contact you via calls to action. Finally, make your emails as readable and accessible as possible. Thinking in particular of those who consult them on mobile phones and tablets.
Good to know: to obtain a list of interested prospects, set up a newsletter registration form that is clearly visible on your site. To encourage them to sign up, you can offer them a free white paper on a topic that interests them, for example.
Creating premium content
Content can take different forms or have different purposes. It can offer solutions, answer questions, or simply broadcast news or trends in your sector. To go further than a simple article, you can offer premium content.
These have real added value, and usually offer useful resources for your prospects. They can take the form of white papers, videos, infographics, technical guides, free templates to download, etc. The aim is to help your leads mature by helping them with their problems, build a relationship of trust and thus encourage them to call on you.
All of these elements make it possible to differentiate your site from that of your competitors. And to make it a real sales machine. Although this strategy requires time and patience, it offers many advantages in the medium and long term.
Define your detailed digital marketing plan
You now have all the keys in hand: all that remains is to set up a detailed marketing plan with the following elements: the campaigns, the implementation of an editorial plan, the channels used, your budget, and your lead generation objectives by channel and by campaign.
The goal is to obtain qualified leads and then convert them via B2B lead nurturing campaigns. When developing an editorial plan, think long-term and plan the content to be produced. Take into account the dates you can’t miss, write down the ideas, and define a regular publication rhythm.
Your strategy should be consistent and spread over a long period (usually 12 months). For each month, plan the tasks: publication on the blog, creation of premium content such as a white paper, a paid promotion on a social network, sending the newsletter, etc.
Finally, don’t forget to regularly analyse the results of your actions in order to adapt, or not, your digital communication strategy.
Measure the performance and profitability of your digital marketing strategy
To optimise your campaigns and make them as effective as possible, it is necessary to regularly review and analyse your results. Have they been achieved?
Look at your KPIs carefully. These can be your website traffic, social media engagement, SEO ranking, time spent on your pages, etc. These elements not only allow you to see if your results have been achieved, or are on the way to being achieved. But also to identify opportunities and possibilities for improvement.
When it comes to ROI (return on investment), adopting an inbound marketing strategy allows you to control your customer acquisition cost (CAC). To calculate it, simply add up all the investments dedicated to your communication strategy (marketing campaigns, salaries, advertising, content creation, software, etc.) and divide it by the number of customers acquired. This KPI is important in that it shows the profitability of your actions and allows you to allocate your resources to the channels that have been most effective. You can thus break down this performance indicator by campaign and by channel, and target the levers that generate the most leads.
Another key KPI is the cost per lead (CPL), which measures the effectiveness of your marketing investments in lead acquisition. It is calculated in much the same way as the CAC: take the total cost of your marketing spend (from campaign design to implementation) and divide it by the total leads collected. Like the cost of customer acquisition, the cost per lead can be calculated for each channel. The aim is to identify which levers to activate first and optimise your marketing strategy over time.
You are now in a position to build your digital strategy. However, if this seems complicated, you can always ask for professional help.
Powerlab is an emblematic figure of e-commerce in Europe and therefore of digital.
You can contact us or leave us a comment. We would be delighted to talk to you.
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