Content | August 20, 2021

What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?

You’ve likely heard the term ‘digital marketing strategy’, but what does a good strategy consist of, and do you need one for your business? These are harder questions to answer.

The truth is, if you’re looking to grow your brand’s visibility and performance online, a great digital marketing strategy can help you narrow down on specific goals – and ultimately, achieve them.

Find out what to look for in a digital marketing strategy and which aspects are most important for your type of business, below.

So, What Is a Digital Marketing Strategy?

Think of a strategy as an action plan for everything you want your marketing activity to achieve. Your digital marketing plans should include all the different areas of marketing your business engages with, such as:

  • Content marketing
  • PPC
  • SEO
  • PR activity

Essentially, you unite all these areas by defining overall goals and working out how activity in all these areas can help you reach them.

It’s important to note that your digital marketing strategy will be unique to you – it takes in everything about your business, what you want to achieve, and your specific position in the marketplace. That being said, there are some common features that successful strategies share, including:

1: A Detailed Understanding of Your Business

Scrabble tiles in a square

Every strategy should be supported by a thorough understanding of the brand, its current position and the potential growth that can be achieved. When it comes to gathering this data, you’ll need to think about:

  • What your business does, and how it does it.
  • What your USP is.
  • The strengths and challenges of your business.
  • Who your audience(s) are.
  • Who your competitors are – both direct and indirect on SERPs, social media and offline.
  • The market you exist in, its opportunities and challenges.

2: Your Specific Goals

Man with a bow aiming at an archery target

The first section of your digital marketing strategy should give a detailed overview of your speficic goals. Before developing a roadmap to achieve them, you first need to define them.

If you’re creating a strategy to market your business as a whole, these will be goals for your brand itself – for instance, a percentage increase in revenue year-on-year. If your strategy is for a specific project or campaign, your goals will be more localised. For example, they might be to gain media coverage, or to increase engagement on social media.

In either case, your strategy should include:

  • Both primary and secondary goals (for instance, revenue and traffic).
  • A list of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) which will be used to measure these goals.
  • Goal timelines – consider adding short, medium and long-term goals.
  • Budgets.

Once your specific targets and budgets have been established, you can start to think about how you’ll achieve them. Adding as much detail as possible at this stage is vital – if your goals aren’t precise, or measurable, it will be more difficult to evaluate your success later on.

3: A Plan of Action

This is the meaty section – where you really dig into what’s needed in order to make your goals a reality.

First, evaluate your current situation. Doing this will help you create a baseline and understand exactly how much work needs to be done.

Next, work through each area of marketing and plan out the activity you’ll do. Let’s take a look at the areas we outlined above, and the typical kinds of activity we might find there.

Content Marketing

As they say, ‘content is king’. When planning out your strategy, consider all the different kinds of content and how they could benefit your business.

With a longer-term strategy, you might focus on topical and engaging blog content, as well as organic social media. Depending on your SEO findings, there may also be need to write or update your site copy.

For specific campaigns, consider the kinds of content your audience will find most engaging. This could mean planning for video content, for instance.

PPC

Depending on your goals and budgets, there are a wide range of PPC activities your strategy could include. As well as Google ads (Google Shopping, Search and Display Network) you could look to advertise on social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. You might also be interested in Microsoft advertising.

The channels you choose, and your spend, should always be informed by what you know about your audience.

SEO

Your SEO strategy could be far-reaching with ambitious long-term goals, or very project specific – for instance, optimising the content you produce for a specific campaign, fixing experience elements such as site speed, or more technical aspects like investigating Core Web Vitals.

SEO activity is often ongoing, so your strategy might include multiple timeframes – for instance, an initial period of work doing audits, subsequent maintenance, then promotion and monitoring.

PR Activity

As well as outreaching your content, there are a number of PR activities you might decide have a strategic advantage. As one example, competitor link analysis can be a useful way of spotting opportunities and measuring your brand against others.

Blogger and influencer collaborations are another area that can be great for widening your brand’s audience.

4: Realistic Expectations

notepad with the words 'work hard, stay humble'

Creating an effective digital marketing strategy shouldn’t involve wishful thinking. Instead, it should take everything you know about your business and use this information to plan for realistic outcomes. Laying out your expectations clearly is important.To quote Maya Anjelou:

“Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.”

To make sure you won’t be surprised, no matter the outcome, consider the timeline and the specific challenges at play.

5: A Plan to Monitor Your Performance

A desk with a computer, plants and work accessories

Keeping a close eye on your performance will help you judge whether you’ll meet the goals set in your strategy document.

Regular monitoring also allows for greater flexibility. By quickly identifying where your tactics are working, and where they aren’t, you can be agile and switch up your strategy at a moment’s notice. For instance, if your original plan involved heavy investment in Facebook ads but you can see they aren’t performing, you can quickly change tactics and invest your PPC budget elsewhere.

As each channel is different, they can require different approaches. However, keeping your team aligned is important for each one. For this, you might want:

  • Weekly, monthly and quarterly check-ins.
  • Monthly reports to keep your team informed and aligned.
  • Broader quarterly reviews, to look at the project as a whole.

Do You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy?

Whether your business is small or large, a solid digital marketing strategy will help guide all your marketing efforts and allow you to reach your goals.

Here at Liberty, our strategists develop an in-depth understanding of each project as a whole, including all the finer details, to make sure all channels are working towards the same goals. Having a dedicated strategist takes our marketing activity to the next level.

Want to learn more? Read about our wide range of consultancy services and digital marketing services to find out how we can help drive your business forward.

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