Why Do You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy to Be Great?
Companies are learning more and more that a strategy is necessary when considering leveraging digital tactics to reach marketing goals. From the local mom and pop shop who can no longer lean on walk-in traffic for sales, to the startup trying to spread the word about their services, to the B2B company looking to promote a new product in their vertical market—a focused and diversified digital marketing strategy that considers overall business goals and leverages more robust tactics than just a single page website is imperative for any business who wants to become or remain competitive in their industry.
The Benefits of a Strong Digital Marketing Strategy
At Marathon, when we provide digital marketing services for another company, a part of our process in determining a strategy for the specific service includes understanding the company’s overall marketing strategy to include business goals, competitors and target audience. Knowing these details upfront helps shape a good digital marketing strategy for any campaign.
From my work in helping clients develop effective digital campaigns, I have noticed three major benefits of crafting a digital marketing strategy that is well thought out and integrated into a company’s overall marketing strategy.
- Direction & Focus for the Whole Team
You may be working on a team that isn’t quite ready to adopt a fully integrated digital strategy and just wants to test out a few tactics. Or, maybe there are tons of moving parts to your digital tactics and you have to manage them all and communicate results. Having a well-crafted digital marketing strategy ensures an arrow points down the agreed upon digital path for your team and will help keep everyone focused throughout the process.
- You Can Get Your Measure On
Some of us Type A’ers over here want to know our goals and how and when we can achieve them. One benefit of having a digital marketing strategy in place is the option to set clearly defined goals that can be benchmarked and reviewed over time.
- Different Strokes for Different Folks
What if you know there are two different types of folks in your target audience? One likes to buy his or her tomaytos directly through Instagram. The other likes to research her tomahtos on Pinterest before going into the store to purchase. If you’re over on Snapchat thinking your cute filter is killing the digital marketing game, we might as well call the whole thing off. A digital marketing strategy can help with determining the how and who for digital tactics.
Is a Digital Marketing Strategy Worth It?
If you’ve gotten to this point of the post and you’re a company considering investing in digital marketing services or crafting your own digital marketing strategy (By the way, we can help with that!), you may be wondering how do you know if this stuff is all it’s cracked up to be. Is it measurable? Will you spend all your money before seeing results? I’ve got some answers for you to give you some peace of mind and encourage you to go forth and conquer.
Have a good understanding of your Industry & Audience
In order to confidently execute a digital marketing strategy, you should have a good understanding of your industry. Knowing your target audience’s purchasing behavior, average spend or more characteristics can have significant ramifications for your digital tactics.
Consider the real estate industry. We work with clients whose target audience includes home buyers who may begin a search for a new home online, 90+ days before they call the home builder to start the process of building their dream home. Without understanding this process upfront or the current landscape of the real estate industry we wouldn’t be able to knowledgeably consider or recommend what content would be good to add to the website for SEO, how much budget to spend on a PPC campaign in a certain city or the type of posts to use on Facebook to gather leads.
Beware of vanity metrics
CrazyEgg has a great definition for vanity metrics:
Vanity metrics are things you can measure that don’t matter. They’re easily changed or manipulated, and they don’t bear a direct correlation with numbers that speak to business success.
Vanity metrics can include numbers like social media likes, email subscribers, total leads etc. Although a spike in these numbers can give you the warm fuzzies, there are likely other actionable metrics that correlate to business goals that point to success. Focusing on vanity metrics isn’t going to allow you to accurately assess your digital marketing strategy and its ROI. What’s the benefit of 10K Instagram followers and $0K in sales?
Go directly to the digital marketing strategy. Do not pass go! Do not collect $200
The best measure of value of a digital marketing strategy comes when you’re about six months into a campaign. Your boss is asking questions about how the campaign is performing. You’ve possibly forgotten why you’re doing what you’re doing. It feels like the middle of any competitive sport where you start to get weary in your well doing and you need something to remind you why you started. Lo and behold, you have a digital marketing strategy. Refer to it for continuous improvement of your digital marketing tactics. Measure your results against your KPI’s from your strategy. Make sure your tactics are still in line with business goals or determine if you’ve collected data that warrants a change to business goals. You’ve invested the time and resources into creating a digital marketing strategy, so make sure it’s used to measure your ROI.