DEVELOPING A DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY

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“Fail to plan, prepare to fail”. I’m not one for motivational quotes, but this one resonates with me in a big way.

I find a well-positioned and researched strategy is the starting point for any business - whether product or service. And because I’m in the game of Digital Marketing, a digital strategy in particular is my key focus. Setting the tone for what you want to do online and how you’re going to do it helps to keep you focused and on track to deliver your business goals. Failing to put a strategy in place to guide your online activity is only setting you up for confusion and frustration later on down the track.

I’m an A-type (clearly) so having all my thoughts, ideas and goals down on paper (well, screen) keeps me motivated when I lose my footing or need to redirect my approach.

But I’m also an A-type that craves flexibility, recognizing the need for the strategy to shift to reflect the business evolution.

I also recognize though that many people know that they need a strategy but don’t have the ability or skill set to develop it for themselves.

Which is why I brought my A-type to this strategy party. If you find yourself in the bucket of “I don’t know the first thing about putting together a strategy”, then you’ve come to the right place, because I’m about to share with you some of the questions you need to be asking yourself to kick start your strategy formulation.

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WHAT ARE YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING GOALS?
First figure out what you’re wanting to achieve with your digital activities: is it brand awareness, follower growth, engagement? You might think all of the above and you’d be right - eventually. Focus on too many things at once and you’ll be spraying and praying that something works. A phased approach might better: start off with goal A for a defined period, build on that in the 2nd period with goal B, and so on.

WHAT IS YOUR BRAND’S TONE OF VOICE?
Decide on how you want your brand to come across online: is it straightforward? Friendly? Warm and vulnerable? It’ll guide the language you use and the way you craft your captions. Keep it single minded and cohesive through your posts.

YOUR LOOK & FEEL:
What is your visual offer going to look like? White and clean? Dark and moody? Warm and full of colour? or muted and minimalist? Knowing this will guide how you develop your visual collateral.

YOUR COMPETITORS:
I couldn’t give a squat what my competitors are doing - and neither should you. Stay in your lane and build your business in a way that makes sense to you. BUT. I put this section in here to get you thinking about who they are so that you don’t fall into the trap of copying them. Make a point of being different and you’ll find an audience that is all your own.

TARGET MARKET:
Who is it? Get into detail about who they are, what they do, what drives them, what brand of toothpaste they use - anything that forms an idea of who you’re targeting.

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PLATFORMS:
Identify what platforms you need to be on by understanding where your key target market is hanging out. Are they on Linkedin more than Facebook? Are they more of an Insta fan or prefer the ol’ Facebook? Know this and focus on those key platforms. You might want to also streamline your approach down to 1 and do that really well…

POSTING:
Decide your posting frequency, how often and when you’re going to talk to your audience.

CONTENT MIX:
Break down the content you want to share with your audience into topics and themes. This will help give you a skeleton of content to work with which is especially handy when you can’t figure out what to say.

HASHTAGS:
I could talk on this for daaays, but put your hashtags into your strategy. They’re just as important as the content itself. By all means use all 30 allocated on Instagram - it’ll maximise your reach and exposure.

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Have you got a strategy in place to guide your digital marketing activities?

What are your biggest issues or problems that you face when it comes to developing your strategy?

Get in touch and let’s get your strategy straightened up and look flash.

All images shot & styled by Shout & Co. for Raewyn Pope