Having a website is not enough to effectively compete. More companies are beginning to incorporate digital strategy into their marketing budgets to reach consumers online. Failure to adapt means losing a significant competitive advantage.

Consider the following statistics:

Consumers are not only shifting their time online but also their spending. A digital marketing strategy is key for your business to expand into new channels and attract customers. The following are important steps to take when implementing an online strategy for your business.

1. Review Data From Previous Years

This only applies if your business engaged in digital marketing in prior years. The first step is to compile as much data as possible regarding the different strategies that were implemented. Which campaigns generated the most traffic? Which produced the most targeted leads?

If social media efforts generated a positive return, the data will be helpful when implementing a new campaign. Every industry is different. Strategies that work for one company may not necessarily produce similar results for another.

It is never too late to get started with a digital marketing campaign if your company is still new.

2. Define Business Objectives

What are your business goals? The obvious answer would be to increase sales but other objectives might include:

  • Generating targeted leads
  • Building a newsletter list
  • Establishing brand authority
  • Becoming more productive
  • Improving customer relationships

Defining goals is an important step as your digital strategy and objectives must align with each other. This ensures that the marketing campaign is focused on growth and not other endeavours that could be wasting your efforts.

3. Define Your Audience

Your digital strategy will be far more successful if it focuses on a well-defined target market. Targeting a specific market allows your business to only focus on those more likely to purchase your products or services. It also makes marketing efforts and much more effective.

Defining your audience starts by:

  • Identifying what problems for products or services solve
  • Conducting comprehensive market research
  • Understanding your current customers
  • Determining how to reach potential customers
  • Analysing demographics to target

Once you have a better understanding of the market you are targeting, it becomes much easier to craft your marketing message and reach your audience. Demographic information can be gathered through marketing surveys or using analytics software on your website.

4. Plan a Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing involves the creation and distribution of targeted content. The objective is to generate targeted traffic and attract new customers. Content examples include:

  • Blog posts
  • Social media posts
  • Guides
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Presentations
  • Newsletters

All of which can be used in conjunction with each other to expand into new channels. Research shows that more B2B marketers are spending more of their budgets on content marketing efforts. Using an editorial calendar is a good idea to plan your content.

5. Use Multiple Channels

Consumers increasingly use a combination of online channels from search engines to social media networks such as Facebook or Twitter. One important aspect of a strong digital strategy is distribution. In other words, where will you be distributing your content?

Leveraging multiple channels will help your content produce better results than relying on a single channel. Examples include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • Slideshare

Companies will benefit the most by using a combination of digital media as consumers often prefer one channel over another. This is also why the earlier step of defining your audience is important to identify where your target market is.

Conclusion

Digital marketing is more important than ever. A comprehensive strategy increases awareness for your products or services and differentiates your brand from the competition. Implementing these tips into your own strategy is key to gaining a competitive advantage online.

Original Source: http://www.theseoco.com/5-tips-to-implement-a-powerful-digital-marketing-strategy/