Why Do I Need A Digital Marketing Strategy?
Anyone who is serious about selling online understands that simply having a website isn’t enough anymore. Competition for online sales has increased so much that most businesses need expert assistance just to keep up, much less compete. Clearly defining your digital marketing strategy will provide a success path and an understanding of what needs to be measured.
If you already have some background in marketing, you probably have a few ideas about how to create a digital marketing strategy. And you may even have a plan to promote your brand and your products online. With the virtual landscape always changing, you need to be prepared to shift or risk losing out to competitors.
My personal strategy with digital marketing has changed dramatically over the years through trial and error and observation. Yours will also as you try new things and figure out what works for your brand.
Building a digital marketing strategy requires some flexibility, though. I had to adjust what I thought I knew to match the medium and the markets. I have learned plenty along the way.
Every business has similar goals when it comes to operating in the online arena. We all want to attract targeted visitors, generate leads, and convert visitors into buyers. Our marketing strategies are geared toward these overall goals.
After sales are made, additional goals might include getting reviews, encouraging social sharing, and spurring repeat sales. When I was selling razors through Amazon, one of my goals was to drive traffic back to my retail website and make Amazon’s clients my clients.
Naturally, you want a digital marketing strategy that covers all the bases and helps you reach your many goals. I found that goals have different levels of importance at different times. You can and should adjust your strategy to focus on the goals that need attention.
Once you’ve secured visitors, work on objectives like reducing bounce rates or generating leads. Your digital marketing strategy is only part of the equation, but with the right adjustments it plays a major role in accomplishing specific goals.
Know the Audience
Initially, I always have a demographic in mind for the target audience, but only in broad strokes. When I say you need a flexible strategy for digital marketing, I’m talking about using new information to tweak your strategy.
When I started selling anti-aging skin care products on Amazon, I had only a vague idea of the target audience – I had to gather information in order to figure out the best marketing strategy. I thought one product would sell better than the others, but it turned out to be least popular item.
Once I started selling, I was able to better identify the audience and make adjustments to my marketing strategy. Marketing is so much more than telling a story. It’s telling the story people want to hear, the story they can relate to, and this requires you to know your audience inside and out.
Never Underestimate the Power of Keywords
Keywords aren’t the end-all-be-all of marketing, but they are an important part of any digital marketing strategy, whether you’re using SEO, AdWords, or Amazon to increase visibility, build brand awareness, and improve revenue streams.
Unfortunately, relying on keywords is like standing on shifting sand. Again, a flexible approach is essential. The keywords that work for you today may become more competitive tomorrow, or be completely obsolete in six months.
Feedback can go a long way toward helping you figure out what’s trending and which keywords are driving traffic and sales. From there you can adjust your strategy and your copy to take advantage.
Some recommend devoting 20% of your marketing budget to testing. I think this is a place to start, but you’ll have to see what works best for your business. When I first launch a new brand or product, I might allocate a much larger percentage of the marketing budget to testing in order to get a clearer idea of what the audience responds to.
Testing is an important part of learning what works, and not just in the beginning. The market changes. Audience expectations change. Testing gives you the data to change with them and come out ahead.
Reassess Your Strategy
Constant reassessment of your entire marketing strategy is not necessary, although you’ll certainly make adjustments to portions of your marketing efforts frequently if you’re paying attention. Just like you undertake annual audits of your business, you should reassess your marketing strategy on a regular basis to make sure you know your goals, you’re connecting with your audience, and you’re taking advantage of current trends to see optimal results.