Digital marketing can become an afterthought of the wider company strategy. Often, digital activity is added ad-hoc into the strategy mix without considering how it will serve overall business objectives, or how the performance of this activity will be measured against KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
A structured digital strategy will allow you to set digital objectives that match company objectives, use the appropriate digital channels to reach these objectives, and accurately measure and benchmark performance.
The key to a good strategy is keeping things simple, but that’s easier said than done. Luckily, we’re here to help.
What is a digital strategy?
“A plan of actions and tactics aligned to strategic business goals, utilising in-depth analysis to create a roadmap with measurable KPIs.”
A digital marketing strategy requires your organisation to determine what channels actually reach potential customers, so that your budget is spent most effectively. The digital marketplace is fundamentally different to its traditional counterpart, so researching this is key to not wasting money on advertising channels that will prove to be ineffective.
What may make your product or service unique in traditional advertising and marketing may not translate successfully online. This strategic thinking will help you revise and tweak your value proposition to fit the marketplace you actually want to enter.
How does this affect your ‘offline’ marketing?
Creating a digital marketing strategy and plan is no different from creating any other marketing plan. It shouldn’t be a case of choosing one or the other. A digital strategy works with an offline strategy to help you plan monthly activity and ensure that online activity is supporting offline efforts.
Why you need a digital strategy
A set of defined objectives
Having a well-defined strategy enables you to set predefined goals regarding gaining new customers or building strong relationships with your existing customers.
A digital strategy is an enabler of business transformation. Digital strategists work with clients on future-focused strategies that are optimised for business results. However, flexibility means responding to the data, and sometimes feedback can prove that your initial hypothesis was correct.
Digital channels working together
The elements of your digital marketing will only ever work in synergy when it is carefully aligned with a single cohesive strategy comprising a tactical action plan. This requires close teamwork between your SEO, PPC, social and content marketing teams.
A tailored approach to activity
Whether you are looking to generate more leads, create greater brand awareness or increase revenue, a clearly defined digital strategy will take your business to the next level by addressing your needs and employing your resources effectively.
Measurable performance through KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
You cannot track the success of your campaigns without first defining what success looks like to you. Consistent reporting will give your marketing team the information they need to find new ways to improve these metrics.
Refined & continuous improvement
Once a strategy enables you to get the basics right, then you can progress to the continuous improvement of the key channels like SEO, website user experience, email and social media marketing.
Full understanding of ROI across all digital activity
A successful digital strategy will give you the full picture of your ROI across all digital channels, which allows you to justify your spend. The metrics you use to measure return on investment will depend on your goals and the channels you are using to execute on these goals. No matter which channels you use or how you measure ROI, the key to improvement is ongoing measurement and adjustment.
Building a digital strategy
A strategy can become complicated over time, and it’s easy for them to become loaded with “fluff”. Often business strategies are an outline of the business and the goals it hopes to reach.
Strategy is problem-solving, not goal-setting. If your primary objective is to double sales from Google Ads campaigns, your strategy would describe how this would be done. What is preventing this growth? What existing resources are in place to aid this growth? How will you measure the completion of this objective?
If a strategy doesn’t identify and investigate problems and weaknesses in your business, then it is ineffective.
It’s this focus on simplicity and problem solving that led us to use the SOSTAC® methodology at Eyekiller. SOSTAC® breaks a strategy down into six simple segments:
- Situation - Where are you now?
- Objectives - Where do you want to be?
- Strategy - How do you get there?
- Tactics - The marketing mix, what channels do you use?
- Actions - How do you ensure excellent execution of the plan?
- Control - How do you measure success?
This process repeats every time strategy activity is reviewed, whether that’s monthly, quarterly, yearly, or all of the above. Success is measured, and then the situation is analysed again. Have the objectives changed? Did the strategy, tactics and actions achieve the goals?
An effective digital marketing strategy is important for every business to flourish. If a business wants to survive and thrive in the face of cut-throat competition, planning and executing a strategic digital marketing campaign is integral to success.
The bottom line
By implementing tailored digital strategies our clients have seen an increase in leads and revenue growth. At Eyekiller we are SOSTAC® certified, and we use this planning model for all of our digital strategies. The framework details the business objectives, the strategy and actions needed to meet those objectives and assigns accountability for each action. Check out some of our case studies. They provide a step-by-step breakdown of how we worked together to help our clients achieve success.