Okay so there are tens of guides on how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy.  Like opinions most people have one.  So why choose 3:

First, I have a day a job and kids and whilst I love our new offices I like by bed more. Second, I want this to be useful not just a long list of Websites to trawl through (Google used to provide that before its transition into a Portal)

New Offices

Hit me then:

HubSpot

We are customers and advocates of Hubspot the CRM is super platform and my productivity has soared since we starting using it.  Regardless their website is full of excellent information and free downloads.

Here’s a brief outline of they say on the subject of Creating a DM Strategy:

1.       Build your buyer personas
- Who is your ideal Customer?
Hubspot recommend using your current database of clients and prospects to                 ascertain Quantitative Information (Demographic) such as:
-  Location, Age  Income and Job Title and:
Qualitative Information (Psychographic):
-  Goals, Challenges, Hobbies, Priorities
Then create one or more personas
We at Ocere have End User,  White Label Will, Outreach Ollie – you get the idea

Our Persona's

2.       Identify your goals and the digital marketing tools you’ll need:
You need to identify the overarching goal of the company and then find the right marketing tools so that you can measure the effectiveness of the Strategy. Hubspot is keen to promote their Reports as the ideal route, but they do also offer a Link to another site with 100 Best Marketing Tools. https://www.hobpost.com/best-digital-marketing-tools/

3.       Evaluate your existing digital channels and Assets:
a) Owned Media – Digital Assets you own, Website, Social Media, Blog Content, Images
b) Earned Media – Your content on other Websites (Guest Posts), PR and People sharing your Social Media
c) Paid Media – Adwords, Paid Social & Sponsored Posts
Put all of your findings into a Spreadsheet and analyse where your Leads and Traffic are coming from and then decide which channels you need to amplify.

4.       Audit and Plan your Owned Media Campaigns:
- Hubspot explains the importance your owned content, and this must be part of your strategy. Content converts visitors into Leads and Customers.
- Audit your existing content and rank each item according to its relationship with your current goals. That way you can evaluate what is working and what is not. Which then allows you to:
-  Identify gaps in your content and then:
-  Create a Content Plan – Which needs to include Title, Format, Goal, Channel and Priority

5.       Audit and Plan your Paid Media Campaigns:
By using HubSpot Sources Reporting or Google Analytics Look at where you are getting your Paid traffic from and which Channels the most effective.

6.       Audit and Plan Paid Media Campaigns:
This is basically the same process as above.

7.      Bring it all together:
You should now have your strategy document:
a. Clear profiles of your buyer personas
b. Marketing Specific Goals
c. An inventory of owned, earned and paid media
d. An audit of your media
e. A content creation plan

The next knock out system is:

Smart Insights – RACE Planning System

These guys have some excellent content and good amount of it on the free side of the Pay wall. Much of the Content is produced by Dave Chaffey and his team. He is a bestselling author of Digital Marketing books.

The System:

1.      Plan
2.      Reach
3.      Act
4.      Convert
5.      Engage

It states that your Digital Marketing Plan needs to be agile and strategic, you need to Plan, Manage and Optimise digital channels against defined targets KPI’s and with a focused investment in Content Marketing, Digital Media and experiences.

1.       Plan:
Opportunity
a. Review your DM Capabilities
b. Customise Analytics
c. Create Customer Personas
d. Benchmark your Competitors
e. Review your Influencer Outreach
f. Define Smart Objectives with Conversion Models

Strategy
a. Define your Digital Targeting through Market Segments & Personas
b. Define your OVP – Online Value Proposition
c. Review your Online Options – 4 P’s Product, Price, Promotion & Place
Action
Reach:                 Paid, Owned & Earned Media
Act:                      Using content marketing to create leads
Convert:             Using CRO – Conversion Rate Optimisation
Engage:               Develop Client Loyalty and repeat Sales

2.       Reach:
The purpose of reach is to build brand awareness and traffic through online presence.
Opportunity
a. Review your current Digital Media through Analytics
b. Review Online presence and define areas for improvement
c. Set Volume, quality, value, cost objectives
Strategy
a. Define brand awareness
b. Select media targeting
c. Link to your Content Marketing
d. Prioritise channel spend
Action
a. PR, SEO & Influencers
b. Setup & optimise Google Adwords
c. Review partner marketing
d. Optimise Social campaigns

3.       Act:
Act is short for Interact – the goal is to persuade visitors to take the next step.
Opportunity
a. Review your customer journeys desktop/mobile
b. Review Social Media through desktop and mobile
c. Define goals for measuring visitor interaction
d. Improve Landing Pages
Strategy
a. Define customer personas
b. Define Content Marketing
c. Improve your Website plan based on lead profiles
Action
a. Create your content plan, campaign plan and editorial calendar
b. Create Video assets
c. Improve Landing Pages

4.       Convert:
Increasing the conversions from Lead to Sale
Opportunity
a. Create & review Conversion Funnels
b. Analyse Omni Channel interactions to improve visit revenue
c. Review Analytics
Strategy
a. Define your CRO Approach
b. Define online channels versus Sales
c. Define Offline paths to purchase
Action
a. AB test your CRO Plan
b. Implement Retargeting
c. Analyse ROPO and optimise – Research Online Purchase Offline

5.       Engage:
Developing a relationship with first time buyers for long term engagement
Opportunity
a. Review Customer Loyalty
b. Review Customer Satisfaction drivers
c. Review Customer communications
Strategy
a. Creation of an engagement plan
b. Create a merchandising plan
c. Creation of a customer contact plan
Action
a. Create personalisation rules for digital channels
b. Create event triggered onboarding plan
c. Email & Social Media engagement


The Digital Marketing Institute

Our third and final solution is from the DMI who have 28K members around the world and offer a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing.

7 Key Ingredients of a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy

1.       Create a Realistic Framework
It is recommend that Content Management tools are used.  There are a number of things that can assist such as:
Timelines, editorial calendars or content mapping. It is crucial to create realistic KPI’s related to your goals.  Keep the process as simple as possible.

2.       Identify Appropriate KPI’s from the Outset
Things to consider when setting them:
a. How exactly is the KPI related to a Digital Marketing Goal?
b. How can it be measured?
c. Does the KPI relate to user experience?
d. How do we monitor and report on the metrics of the KPI?

3.       Understand how to create a Funnel
a. Outreach: Social Media Ads, Landing Pages, Infographics, Video and Content Marketing
b. Conversions: Quizzes, Blogs, Case Studies and Social Media
c. Closing: Testimonials, Reviews, Email sequences
d. Retention: Exclusive offers surveys, contests.

4.       How to Create Effective Content
a. Content should tell a story
b. Content should give genuine value to the reader
c. Build your core service offerings first and then create the campaign around them
d. Track your advertising and SEO performance with Analytics

5.       Construct your Plan Strategically but with a Degree of Flexibility
As you build the plan it is important to continually check:
a. Is there room for improvement?
b. Are our KPI’s relevant?
c. What are the main traffic drivers?
d. Which of our tools are working most effectively?

6.       Construct a Library of Evergreen Content
Some ideas include:
a. Create an E-book from old blogs
b. Turn your best in depth Evergreen Content into a White Paper
c. Create explainer videos from old slide shows
d. Be mindful of duplicating or plagiarizing your own content, this will be detrimental to your SEO efforts

7.       Be clear with your Campaign Goals
a. Concentrate on your existing Traffic
b. Focus on improving Engagement
c. Ensure your content is shareable and SEO friendly
d. Ensure that you compare expected results with actual results
e. Remember to focus on user experience and not just conversions

In Summary

All 3 Campaign Strategies offer an excellent road map for creating a successful Digital Marketing Campaign. I was particularly impressed with the detailed structure of the Smart Insights RACE System.  There are some MUST do’s when creating your plan that run through all 3 systems:

1.       Create Buyer Personas

2.       Define your Digital Channels

3.       Create an Evergreen Content Plan

4.       Define your Goals in Google Analytics

5.       A/B Test for Conversion Optimisation

I hope you enjoyed.

Rob Helm