As a business in today’s digital landscape, you are likely allocating a significant portion of your advertising budget toward online ad channels. With a heavy focus on digital, it’s important to establish a marketing strategy to ensure that you are focused on the correct channels and making the largest impact possible.
Today we will help you create and implement a digital marketing strategy by answering 5 important questions:
- Why is digital marketing so important?
- Who should I focus my efforts on?
- What digital channels should I utilize?
- When should I utilize my digital marketing?
- How will I find the time to establish and implement a digital marketing strategy?
As business owners, we can all relate to the frustration of having long lists of great ideas that never get implemented. We’ll go to a conference, meet with a colleague, or have a great brainstorming session and leave with ideas that we know will propel our business forward, and yet it sits there on a list that slowly becomes buried.
Establishing a digital marketing strategy is too important to be stuck on a to-do list so here’s a quick guide to get you started. If you devote time to each of the questions below, you’ll likely be miles ahead of your competition.
Why is digital marketing so important?
A great marketing strategy adapts to your consumer, and over the last 5 years consumers’ media consumption has increasingly shifted toward digital platforms. eMarketer recently released a great report with survey results on how adults have consumed media since 2012. The report also included their predictions for how much time adults will spend with each media channel in 2017:
- Digital Media – 5:56 hours per day
- Television – 3:58 hours per day
- Radio – 1:24 hours per day
- Print – :27 hours per day
- Other – :21 hours per day
Each year since 2012, adults have increased their time on digital media and decreased their time on all other platforms. As you can see, digital media is dominating consumer’s time and your marketing strategy should reflect that.
Still not convinced? Here’s a few more reasons why you should set a digital marketing strategy:
- Digital marketing is much more trackable than traditional media through the use of landing pages, contact forms, and more.
- Digital media is often more cost efficient than television, radio, and other traditional platforms
- It provides greater interaction with your customers and establishes an actual conversation. As you listen to your market you’ll learn valuable information about their habits.
- Your competition is most likely advertising digitally
Who should I focus my efforts on?
With digital media, you have the opportunity to establish multiple target markets and adjust your channels and messaging to each group. Most companies have multiple groups of people that they need to nurture relationships with. If you’re having trouble identifying those groups, here are a few questions to get you started:
- How do I obtain most of my clients?
- Are there key industries that I work in most often?
- Who can I be a resource to?
Of course, your leads will be a top priority for you, both those you’ve already established and those you are attempting to get in front of, but your clients should also be a primary focus. Keeping your clients engaged will promote repeat business and increase referrals. Staying top-of-mind with your clients will pay huge dividends.
Colleagues are another great referral stream. You likely have an attorney, CPA, banker, business consultant, and multiple vendors. Each of these people interact with other businesses who likely have a need for your services.
Lastly, don’t overlook your industry associations or memberships. Finding ways to provide resources to them can help establish you as a thought leader within your industry.
What digital channels should I utilize?
With so many digital channels available and the limited resources of time and money, it’s important to be efficient. This is where having a digital marketing strategy becomes so important. Just because a new social platform comes out, that doesn’t mean it’s right for your company. Before deciding which platforms to use you should first discover the best forms of communication for your clients.
For example, LinkedIn is a great platform if you’re an attorney but it’s not nearly as effective if you own a local fast food establishment. While some channels are great for all industries, such as Facebook and eNewsletters, you should still consider your limited resources. As a local fast food establishment with the goal of attracting consumers through weekly food coupons, LinkedIn shouldn’t be a major component of your digital marketing strategy.
Here are a few highly effective digital marketing channels:
- Social Media Posting and Advertising – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn
- Google AdWords and Bing Ads
- Article Development
- Website Blog
- Inbound Marketing
Free Digital Marketing Consultation
When should I utilize my digital marketing?
Once you’ve selected your digital channels, it’s important that you actually use them. There’s nothing worse than an outdated social platform or website blog. Consistency is so important, both in your messaging and in your frequency of posting. If you are stressing over your posting, remember that digital media has a shorter shelf life than most traditional media such as print and television. It’s also much easier to edit should there be an error. So, don’t obsess over every single detail to the point that it prevents you from getting your message out there.
Here are some frequency guidelines:
- For social media, we recommend posting 3-5 times per week.
- For an eNewsletter, once a month is plenty
- For Article Development and Blog Posting, once a month should be the minimum and if time allows, 2-3 month will have a great impact on your Search Engine Optimization
How will I find the time to establish and implement a digital marketing strategy?
Now that it’s actually time to start implementing your strategy, you’ll be faced with the most difficult question – how? If you have a marketing department then this is the most natural assignment for the management of your digital marketing strategy. In this situation, it’s important to provide clear instruction of your strategy and expectations.
Once assignments have been made, creating firm calendar appointments can be incredibly helpful. If the responsibility will reside with you, as the business owner, creating a calendar appointment with yourself each week can be a revolutionary exercise – during this time you commit to work on the business rather than in the business. This time can be used to schedule social media posts and write articles for your eNewsletter and blog.
Need help getting started?
Establishing and implementing a digital marketing strategy is incredibly important and can be difficult for multiple reasons. Maybe you don’t have enough time. Maybe it’s not your expertise. Maybe your time is better spent on other aspects of your business.
At M&R Marketing Group, we manage digital marketing strategies for many of our clients. Our in-house team includes graphic designers, web developers, social media managers, copywriters, and account managers who can expertly establish and implement a digital marketing strategy for your business.