There are many digital marketing activities you could implement within your business, and it’s really easy to get involved in the latest fad, tool or technology. This can then lead to a lack of focus in the direction your marketing takes.
Therefore, it’s really important to have a digital marketing plan. An overarching strategy that keeps you on track and ensures you’re getting the stuff done that is going to make an impact and provide you with a return on your marketing investment.
Let’s take a more detailed look at the reasons why you need to have a robust strategy.
What gets written gets done. Listen to any performance coach and you’ll learn that one of the most productive ways of getting things done is to write it down. Once you’ve agreed your strategy and it’s documented, you can use this as a guide to direct your day-to-day work.
It’ll stop you getting distracted. Having a written plan of action will mean you’re less likely to be distracted by the latest shiny new object. Why are you playing around with the new automated chat bot program if your strategy is based around driving new traffic to your website
You’ll identify where your skill gaps are. Digital marketing requires a level of expertise across multiple disciplines. It’s rare to find one person that’s an expert in PPC, paid search, SEO, email marketing, marketing automation, social media and CRM management, as well as someone that can craft a good marketing message. Identifying the activities that form part of your strategy allows you to make decisions on whether to hire, train or outsource so that you get the right person for the job.
You can set the success metrics. How are you going to measure whether your strategy is working or not? What are the outcomes that you’re expecting from all the activity and by when? You can use goals and KPIs (key performance indicators) as a measure of success and if you’re not meeting them, you can take corrective action to put you back on track. Having your KPI’s documented means that you’re not distracted by other non-important metrics. It’s no good saying, ‘We understand that we haven’t hit our lead generation target, but look how many likes we’ve got on Facebook!’
It’ll make your team more efficient. When you create your digital marketing strategy, it needs to be a working document that the team are on-board with. The best way to do this is to get them involved with its creation so they feel that they own part of the strategy. Then, when it comes to implementation, they’re going to be more efficient as they’ll want the strategy to work.
You’ll get buy-in from the top. As long as it makes sense and has been well thought through, the management team will be more likely to support your digital marketing department/activities.
It’ll be easier to release budget. Most businesses will spend money if the people in charge of the purse strings are assured that the investment is likely to produce a return. If you have a cohesive written strategy that is sense checked by a number of people then it becomes an easier decision as to whether to approve the spend.
You’ll get input from other people. You can’t possibly know it all! You’ll have your opinions and experience to fall back, but if you share and invite support from your colleagues you’ll be able to draw on their experience, viewpoints and skill sets too. This will lead to a much more robust strategy that covers the things that you may not have thought about on your own.
You’ll identify who your target audience is. A good strategy will outline your buyer personas and who it is that you want to attract into your marketing funnels. When you understand your personas to the level required, then it’s a lot easier to target them with the messages and content that will resonate and get them engaged with your marketing.
So, if you’re convinced that you need a digital marketing strategy for your business, the next step is to understand what you need to include.
We’ve put together a handy eBook for you called ‘The 6 Keys to Planning an Inbound Marketing Strategy.’ which you can download for free.