Digital marketing is not only limited to social media channels; in fact, there are many digital marketing tools, such as marketing through smartphones, e-mail, websites, online customer service, search engine advertising, paid marketing for social media channels, content marketing – whether it is a text or a visual - Affiliate Marketing, and finally Media Monitoring and Analysis.
Thus, a solid strategic plan should be developed to take advantage of all marketing channels and tools and achieve the greatest returns for the projects.
Digital Marketing is the promotion of services and products with the help of digital technologies mainly via internet. To start digital marketing, it is necessary to produce digital materials in order to distribute them through multiple channels on internet, such as social media platforms, e-mail, website, blogs, audio and video clips and so on.
A digital marketing strategy is a marketing plan that helps your business achieve marketing goals through digital marketing channels.
Developing a digital marketing strategy enables businesses to spread and define their brand and reach the target group, thus allows them to attract and interact with customers.
A digital marketing strategy is a set of actions that use online digital marketing tools to achieve specific goals. The marketing strategy focuses on the objectives, defines the tools to be used, lays out the tasks and the work team, which eventually enables the development and launch of marketing campaigns successfully to reach the goals with the help of a digital marketing action plan. To get started on developing a digital marketing plan, read on.
Analyzing the status quo of the businesses gives an insight on the current situation of the business today and its position in the current market; it also acts as an eye-opening tool as to where the business plans to reach in the future in digital marketing materials. This analysis allows business owners to have a hand on the following:
First, competitor analysis:
Competitor analysis in digital marketing strategy is an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors, which are selected on the basis of: the scope and nature of work, distribution, prices, quality, location, ownership, experience of the entity and employees, ownership, number of employees, etc.). Thus, the selection is based on competitive results and value that can be enhanced or implemented.
Second: SWOT analysis
To determine the company's position in the market, the best strategic analysis tool is SWOT analysis. The word is a compound word of the first letters of the four words: Strengths, Weaknesses، Opportunities، Threats.
1. Strengths: characteristics of the business or project that give it an advantage over others.
2. Weaknesses: characteristics that place the business or project at a disadvantage relative to others.
3. Opportunities: elements in the environment that the business or project could exploit to its advantage.
4. Threats: elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project
The SWOT analysis summarizes the current situation of the company, the importance of its presence in the market. Therefore, it can be reflected on the digital marketing strategy and the identification of marketing resources in a view to achieve the best results.
Third, defining digital marketing strategy goals
The objectives of digital marketing are the first steps to ensure the success of the business, which is to determine what the business plans to achieve. In this case, the SMART analysis can be used, which is a framework that enables writing objectives that lead to the desired results. SMART is a compound word of the first letters of the five words: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely.
1. Specific: Well defined, clear, and unambiguous specific areas for improvement.
2. Measurable: With specific criteria that measure your progress toward the accomplishment of the goal
3. Attainable: Attainable and not impossible to achieve
4. Relevant: Within reach, realistic, and relevant to the business purpose.
5. Timely: With a clearly defined timeline, including a starting date and a target date.
The purpose is to create urgency. Examples of the most important digital marketing goals:
1. Brand promotion
2. Building a good relationship and maintain permanent and continuous communication with customers
3. Spread and gain the trust and loyalty of the public
4. Increase sales
5. Get a huge database
6. Expand into local markets
7. Access to Arab and global markets
Choosing the target group helps to know who needs the services or products provided, and thus helps in preparing a good digital marketing plan. Creating target audience personas is the easiest way to reach your target audience. In order to do so, you must know the following:
1. Location: It is the location and geographical area that the business wants to reach and market its products.
2. Age: The age must be specified in order to understand the age group that the business would like to address.
3. Gender: Defining the category by gender (male, female) helps with better targeting.
4. Goals and Objectives: Finding some goals of the target group helps to direct the appropriate content to each category, as one category might be looking for luxury or health products, and another might be looking for quality services and speed of delivery.
5. The location of the category: It is important to specify the location of the category, whether online on a specific platform or in a specific area. Accordingly, marketing the content can be through Tik Tok, for instance, or through road ads in a particular neighborhood.
Based on the current analysis, the objectives that have been identified, and the selection of the target group, the business entity will now be able to define some strategies for digital marketing that help establish attraction, conversion, and loyalty. In other words, it is the stage of defining the basic, marketing, and publishing strategies.
First, the Basic Strategies:
- Content strategy: in this phase, the brand voice and dialect are determined. Then, the content is written to focus on all types of content that are important to customers as follows: 1. Introductory content: introducing the entity’s services or products.
2. Educational content: informing followers how to get the service or use the product, as well as writing relevant educational content that benefits the audience, which helps in attracting more followers.
3. Teaser content: teasing about products and services and highlighting the names of the campaigns and products.
4. Interactive content: interacting with the audience through the platforms greatly helps in attracting them and catching their attention, via questions, puzzles, answering their questions, sharing photo posts by them, and publishing continuously across the platforms.
5. Participative content: content targeting the official and important holidays and occasions, which are commensurate with the business and the services and products it provides. - Photography strategy: in this phase, the photography strategy is determined as to what the business wants to show in the photos and videos used, as detailed below:
1. Photographing the business entity, inside and out
2. Focusing on the character of the place.
3. Photographing services and products.
4. Photographing the provision of services and products.
5. Photographing the product integration.
6. Photographing the packaging and quality.
7. Photographing the signing of partnerships and agreements.
8. Photographing the work team, offices, and others.
Second: Marketing and Publishing Strategies
1. Defining the marketing platforms: in this phase, the platforms that the marketing entity wants to use are determined. Not all platforms are suitable for use, because each platform has an audience that matches the material provided by the platform, and the target group for each platform varies. The platforms that can be marketed are (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Tik Tok) and each platform must include a percentage of focus on it so that work is done on one to two platforms in a view to direct the category to the service and the product.
2. Other digital publishing materials: Marketing platforms are one of the publishing tools, and there are other digital publishing materials such as: using the website and marketing through it, using emails, Google ads, road ads, magazines and electronic newspapers, paid ads, influencer ads. Depending on the plan and what it aims for, the appropriate material can be chosen for publication, and the objectives can be implemented onto stages, where the selection of the most appropriate materials for each stage is important.
3. Number of posts: To obtain the best results through digital marketing, it is preferable to prepare the posts that will be published across platforms and other marketing materials, as scheduling the material help guide the implementation plan and oblige the work team to deliver the best results as planned. The posts published on the platforms differ from each other; some platforms only use images, others use content and images, or videos only, etc. Choosing the appropriate number of posts helps the content writing team or the service provider to work within a certain framework that covers all aspects of different digital marketing such as email marketing campaigns, social media, CRM, Web Optimization, SEO Strategies, Paid Media Ads, etc.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are numbers that help the organization define and create a method for evaluating the effectiveness of digital marketing, and enables the measurement of reach, engagement, page or site views, and product sales charts before and after its publication. Such as:
1. We want to reach 100,000 views in the first quarter of the year on Twitter.
2. We want to increase product sales by 15% in the first half of the year on the website via Instagram paid marketing.
3. We want to increase page engagement by 20% from last quarter in the next quarter on LinkedIn.
4. We want to increase page visits by 5% in the first month of the year through the Google search engine. Determining KPIs with verifiable numbers and a specific period of time helps in measuring the results and comparing them with the established plans.
When planning a digital marketing strategy, it is important for the business entity to know how much money they want to invest across marketing materials and the tools to work with. It is better to allocate money for digital marketing and setting a budget that matches the strategic goals set is the most successful way to achieve that, as each goal has to have a budget. Setting a marketing budget can be as the following:
1. The amount allocated to the marketing team or company.
2. The amount allocated to writing content and designing posts.
3. The amount allocated to paid marketing for campaigns on social media platforms, search engines, road ads, and newspaper and magazine ads.
We, at Ideas Window, have gathered our experience in digital marketing to develop a systematic and effective strategic plan. In this article, we have provided you with a simplified summary of the process, so you can benefit from it and work according to this methodology to ensure best results. We wish you further progress and success.