With over 20 years of experience helping government agencies, universities, hospitals, private businesses, and individuals with their digital marketing, I have noticed a common problem among all of my clients: they often don’t know where to start. Even when they know what needs to be done, they struggle with how to actually implement their plans. I decided to write this article to help those who find themselves in this situation. Below are the steps to creating a winning digital marketing strategy.
Define your Target Audience
The first step in creating an effective digital marketing campaign is to define your target audience. This will help you to create messaging and content that is tailored to the needs and interests of your ideal clients. Who are your ideal clients? What are their pain points and how can your agency help solve their problems? Consider factors such as demographics, interests, and behavior patterns.
In practice, it is often difficult to define a clear target audience. Business owners may be hesitant to let go of potential opportunities to serve a broader market. I often hear expressions such as, “We would like to serve men and women of all ages who would like our product or service.” However, the problem with defining such a broad audience is that it becomes impossible to tailor the messaging to that audience. That’s why I recommend an exercise where I ask them: “If I could get a group of 200 people in an auditorium for you, and you had 10 minutes to talk to them about your product or service, who would you want them to be?” This exercise tends to give a much better view of the audience we need to define.
Develop a Content Strategy or Campaign
Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can develop a content strategy (a more long term approach) or a campaign (a more short term approach) that will resonate with them. This may include blog posts, videos, infographics, and social media posts. To create an effective digital marketing campaign, it is crucial to produce high-quality content that is both informative and engaging. The key to achieving this is selecting a relevant topic that aligns with your audience’s interests and values. At Merkados, we identify a business’s core values and competitive advantages and use those as the foundation for our campaigns. By doing something similar, businesses can identify their unique strengths and create a concept around them to develop a successful campaign. To ensure your content is optimized for search engines, it’s essential to include relevant keywords and phrases. However, it’s important to note that this step isn’t as simple as it may seem. Besides having a technically search-engine friendly website, there are other elements to consider in creating an optimized search engine strategy. Including keywords is just one aspect.
Effective SEO Strategies
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential component of any digital marketing campaign. This involves optimizing your website and content to improve your search engine rankings. Some key strategies include keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and content marketing.
The main issue with SEO that I have observed over the years is that some business owners view SEO as a “game of tricks.” They try to present SEO as “secret sauces” that can manipulate search engines and provide an advantage. However, you should avoid strategies that offer temporary advantages since you are in business for the long run. Therefore, it is essential to focus on proper techniques in SEO that require hard and consistent work. Creating high-quality, relevant, and unique content is the first step. Including high-quality images, graphics, information, insights, or anything valuable is also crucial. Additionally, you need to encourage links to your content. As you would create “links” to your business from your customers, you should do the same with your content online.
Social Media Presence
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer an excellent opportunity to connect with your target audience and promote your content. Determine which platforms your target audience is most active on, and create a social media strategy that includes regular posting, engagement with followers, and paid advertising campaigns.
The main issue I notice is that either there is too much poor-quality content being posted or not enough content being posted at all. If there is not enough content being posted, the solution is to post frequently and consistently. If the issue is poor-quality content, the solution is to post branded content that provides value to your audience. Adding value can be a difficult concept to understand, but imagine being stopped by someone on the street who tells you something. Afterwards, you will either think that was beneficial or a waste of your time. This is the same with social media posting. Ensure that your content is helpful and beneficial to your audience. It doesn’t have to be complicated, sometimes a beautiful design, photo, or new perspective can be just as valuable.
Measure Your Results
To ensure that your digital marketing campaign is effective, it’s important to track your progress and measure your results. Some useful tools for tracking include Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Console, UberSuggest and others. Use these tools to monitor your website traffic, social media engagement, and other key metrics.
One frequent issue I observe is individuals concentrating excessively on the numbers and trends instead of creating valuable content. It’s comparable to driving while only looking at the speedometer, which is not ideal. Instead, concentrate on the road and occasionally check the speed. The most crucial action you can take in your business is to pay attention to your analytics and act on them. For example, if you find that 80% of your website visitors click three times to download a PDF, it may be worthwhile to simplify the process by reducing the number of clicks necessary.
To achieve online success, three things are essential: knowing what to do, doing it, and having God’s favor. You must have the knowledge of what to do, followed by doing the necessary work and waiting upon God’s favor for the desired result. For instance, planting a field of strawberries requires not just the knowledge of how to plant them, but also putting in the physical effort of watering, protecting the plants from insects, and other factors. However, God’s favor remains crucial for an excellent harvest. The same principle applies to a successful digital marketing strategy, where every business has unique needs. If you require assistance in crafting and implementing a suitable digital marketing plan, Merkados can help. Contact us today to explore how we can support your specific business needs.