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A comprehensive guide to digital marketing strategy

Uncover the key factors of a digital marketing strategy - that actually work!

Grow your own online presence

­– a comprehensive guide to digital marketing strategy   

Business customers do the majority of their decision-making online. Gartner research shows that in 2019 27% of buying groups’ time was spent researching independently online. 

This figure has now increased, with Hubspot’s research suggesting that "58% of consumers say they've discovered at least one new product by searching the internet in 2022, and 44% say they've done so in the past three months."

But a buyer’s time is precious and it’s important you aren't cold calling or interrupting their workday, you want to meet them at a time that is convenient for them. 

Digital marketing meets prospects where they are, whether that’s via their browser, their favourite sites or on social media channels such as LinkedIn. It can put your product or services in front of the right people, at the right time.

"86% of marketers increased brand awareness using one or more digital marketing channel" - Hubspot

While it presents great opportunities, the digital landscape is unique and ever-changing. It’s constantly evolving and updating to offer new ways of reaching your target audience. 

So, with that in mind, we’ve put this guide together to help you efficiently create, optimise and maintain your all-important digital marketing strategy in just a few easy steps.

Building a bespoke strategy 

When it comes to digital marketing strategy, one size really doesn’t fit all. So, before you get started, it’s important to tailor your approach for your audience. 

1.     Use existing data to enhance your digital strategy

Using an analytics platform, you can answer the crucial questions that will inform your marketing strategy and ensure you’re targeting the right people. With platforms like GA4 (previously Google Analytics) you can learn who your target audience is and how current website visitors are engaging with your content.

2.     Build your buyer personas

Using the information you’ve gathered from your analytics platform, you can enhance your strategy with detailed buyer personas. Getting to the heart of your audience and their needs is vital. You need to work out where they are most likely to spend their time and how they prefer to digest digital content. This will give you a benchmark on how to create yours.

3.     Evaluate your existing digital channels and assets

You will need to review your existing digital marketing channels. We recommend using the paid-earned-owned media framework. 

  • Paid media: paid advertising (PPC, social media ads), retargeting, influencers
  • Earned media: client testimonials, feedback, reviews, mentions, shares (all organic) 
  • Owned media: website, social media channels, email marketing etc

This will ensure you can maximise value from existing assets and fill in the gaps where needed.

4.     Audit and identify gaps in your content

Review and rank all your existing content according to what has previously performed well. The idea here is to figure out what’s working and what isn’t, so you can set yourself up for success when planning new content. You’ll then need to identify the gaps and build out a new content plan.

"Worldwide ad spending in the digital market is projected to reach 679.80 billion USD in 2023" - Statista

Curating an enviable digital marketing toolkit 

Once all the planning is out of the way, it’s time to define your digital marketing toolkit. This is not an exhaustive list, but rather a go-to selection to get the wheels of change in motion (and by change, we mean growth). 

1.    A well-optimised, user-friendly website

The first thing you’ll want to get right is your website. How is it ranking in organic search results? What keywords are your competitors ranking for that you’re not? Is the user journey working well? Are your CTAs converting? Does your website meet accessibility standards and user experience (UX) best practices? These are all questions you’ll want to ask yourself before working to get more traffic to your site.

2.    Blog posts

A great, well-written blog that solves a customer problem is a great way to attract new audiences with a genuine interest in your products and services. And because you’ve crafted your personas and drilled down into the pain points of your target audience, you're fully prepped to write or commission highly targeted content that’s helpful for your reader. 

3.     Social media advertising

Social media advertising can drive leads, boost revenue, increase brand awareness and more. It's where your customers feel most at home, and where they prefer to spend their free time. This creates an opportunity to engage more authentically and have more meaningful interactions. 

Did you know according to Hubspot research there are over 2.38 billion monthly active users on Facebook? And 500 million daily Instagram users

Social media has an impressive reach and great effectiveness, it allows you to nurture leads in real time. With social ads, you can set your budget and easily adjust it within the platform you’re using.

4.     PPC via Google Ads

PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is a highly favoured part of the digital marketer’s toolkit. This is because it can have a big impact in the short-term and show clear results. But it’s worth noting that it’s most effective in combination with always-on brand activity and well-optimised organic content. 

What is PPC advertising?

PPC (pay-per click) is a form of advertising that allows you to pay a fee each time a user clicks through to your website from another platform.  

Typically, when we talk about PPC, we mean advertising on the search engine results page (SERP). PPC advertising is commonly seen on Google results, showing up like this:

"63% of people have clicked on a Google ad" - Statista. How can PPC boost your digital presence? PPC advertising increases the number of leads and customers you’re reaching, unlocking otherwise untapped potential. 

Google Ads is one of the most recommended tools for lead generation. If your campaigns are set up properly with a clear user journey, it has the potential to send extremely targeted leads to your website, opt-in form or other online property.

Google Ads allows you to focus on the people who are searching for the exact services your business offers, it’s also flexible. You can easily customise campaigns to focus on specific demographics of online users. For example, you can target people by location, the type of device they’re using, and the Google-owned websites they’re accessing (e.g. Google search, Google Maps, YouTube). 

You can even set your own budget for specific parts of a campaign. For example, you can set daily budgets, or limits on the amount you’re willing to spend on clicks for specific keywords. 

"The average cost per click on google ads is £0.75-£1.50" - Demandsage

But you won’t get far on spending alone.

To get a clearer picture of what will give you the best results, you must continually test, track and optimise your campaigns. 

"The average conversion rate on Google Ads is 4.40%" - Consolidata

So, now you know how to prepare a digital marketing strategy. And all the key components that will help you grow your online presence. 

But as every marketer knows, the proof is in the pudding. By which we mean, growth relies on constant trial and error, A/B testing, research, analytics, and a constant stream of top-quality content that brings all your goals to fruition.

And that’s a hell of a lot to implement – even for a whole team of marketers. 

That’s why we’re offering a free, no obligations consultation on your digital marketing strategy and marketing automation potential. 

Blog written by Emily Prentice, Digital Promotions Manager, Proctor + Stevenson

Top-tips on how to become a website developing pro.

We spent some time asking our experts in design, UX, copywriting and technology what their top tips would be for building a website that converts prospects to paying customers.

From how important design is and the placing of your content to how fast you could lose the attention of a user, this series of YouTube shorts tells you all you need to know.

Technical Consultant 

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Ever wondered whether you’ve got the right approach to brand marketing? The best balance of sales activation and brand awareness? The stand-out human-centric proposition you need to make it in the most competitive of markets? Wise up and rise up with our new e-book.  

In this eBook, you’ll learn:
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