When you’re at the helm of a business, it can be tempting to jump right in and skip the strategy and planning phase. By nature, you want to get things done – and while that’s a fantastic quality to have when it comes to business and entrepreneurship, it can be the downfall of your digital marketing campaigns.
The answer is to start with strategy, before moving on to planning and execution of the strategy. It might seem like a chore, but by putting some effort into this step early on, you’ll reap the rewards in the future.
1. It provides direction
A marketing strategy is like your guiding star. If you have one in place, you can always refer to it if you find yourself unsure of what direction to go in.
A good digital marketing strategy will define clear strategic goals, principles, and the “why” for your digital marketing efforts. Without defining those, you may find yourself doing digital marketing with no clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve.
2. It defines your target market
Digital marketing – or marketing in general – is only helpful if you know who you’re marketing to! You know those moments when you’re scrolling on social media, and an ad appears on your feed that really doesn’t fit your interests or demographics at all? Well, for the company who served you that ad, it’s money down the drain.
To avoid this, you’ll need your digital marketing strategy to set out a clearly defined target market. Who are you trying to sell your products or services to? What are they searching for online? What do they like, what do they hate, where do they live, how old are they, and what are their interests? Knowing all of this (and more) will help you better refine your digital marketing efforts so that you’re capturing the attention of the people who really matter – not your neighbor’s cousin’s friend who will never buy anything from you.
3. It helps you set and measure KPIs
How will you know if your digital marketing efforts are successful? By measuring your KPIs…which you will, of course, outline in your digital marketing strategy.
Not only does setting KPIs which are clear and measurable allow you to make smart financial decisions and spend your money where it makes sense, but it also helps you to fully define why you’re entering the world of marketing and what you’re trying to achieve from it.
Do you need more leads, more sales, more website traffic? Do you want a bigger LinkedIn following? What does success look like in a year from now, or five years from now? Writing your goals down and attaching targets to them is a good way to see if your digital marketing efforts are on track. Otherwise, you’ll always struggle to define whether your digital marketing tactics are actually working for your business or not.
Strategy is key to success
By spending some time on strategy before you dive headfirst into the world of digital marketing, you’ll find that your efforts are more focused and effective. With the added benefit of being able to measure your success objectively, why wouldn’t you want to start with strategy?