A revolutionary marketing strategy involves knowing your audience, making an inventory of all your tools, and auditing to see which of your paid media, earned media, and owned media will be most effective.
Every successful marketing strategy starts with a map or plan of action. The first part is knowing who your target audience is. This involves having an insight into how prospects choose to consume content, how they search, what magnets draw them to click, and more.
Knowing what your customers had for breakfast would help...especially if you're the owner of a company like Kellogg's.
The kicker (and there is always a kicker) is that only a small majority. Marketer Alan Dibb says 3% of your target audience are ready to make a purchase right now. You may have to work harder on the other 97%! For the moment forget about making more sales calls. Instead think about generating and nurturing high quality leads.
What is a digital marketing strategy vs a marketing strategy
Marketing Tactics: The small steps in realizing your marketing strategy
Knowing your target audience (Buyer Personas)
Knowing who you’re marketing to is the basis of every great marketing strategy. The starting point is creating your buyer personas. A buyer persona describes your ideal customer. Creating a detailed buyer persona needs as much hard data as possible.
Avoid making too many assumptions because this will affect the direction of your marketing strategy. Surveys, interviews, and research help you form a clearer picture of your target audience. Let’s say you have a customized clothes business. You may want to create a persona similar to the one below:
Budget Conscious Barry is a lawyer in his mid-forties and he loves tailor made clothes. He lives in a high end neighborhood. Barry feels clothes reflect a certain trust, authenticity and authority especially to his clients. He is searching for great deals on suits, shirts and cufflinks to fill his closet.
Our Budget Conscious Barry persona has both demographic information like age, profession, and the type of neighborhood where he lives. However, his persona also describes his psychographic information: pain points, his goals and his interests.
Click here for some Buyer Persona Templates
Define your goals and the tools that you’ll need
When you make any plan, and especially a marketing strategy, you need to establish what your goals are and what tools you’ll need to achieve them. Marketing strategies should always be tied to your business goals.
Let’s say you have an ecommerce business your goal is to grow online revenue by 20%. The goal of your marketing strategy may be to generate %50 more online leads through your website than the same time last year to achieve that goal.
Once you have set your goals, you need the tools to help you achieve them. Using Social Media Schedulers will help you to understand what your audience likes and what they don’t. While a tool like Google Analytics will help you measure your contents and web pages performance.
Why is goal setting important?
Research from CoSchedule shows that those Marketers that establish goals are 376% more likely to report successful outcomes than those that don’t. “And 76% of those successful goal setting marketers achieve them”. The best place to start is by setting SMART goals. SMART goals are an acronym that means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. For more on this click here to read this great article by CoSchedule.
What are your Existing Resources?
Reviewing the tools you have in your arsenal will help you to look at “the bigger picture” without confusion mixing in. Create a spreadsheet of all your assets and tools you have to give you a clear idea of which ones fit into the owned, earned or paid categories. The goal of this is to work out which tools and assets will be useful in your marketing strategy.
Earned resources: is your user / customer generated content. This could be your shares on social media channels like LinkedIn or Facebook. It could also be tweets from customers mentioning your company and also photos of your company on instagram.
Paid tools: this can include any marketing channel that you pay for to attract your audience. Note that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer paid media options to give your brand more exposure.
Business content: this includes your blogs, content offers such as ebooks, infographics and images.
Analytics and Organizational tools: Tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, Buzzsumo, and other online websites that offer solutions to organization and analytics.
Planning out and Auditing your Owned Media
At the very core of digital marketing is the media you own. That’s because any message that your company sends out can be classified as content. This could include your About Us Page to your blogs, social posts, downloadables.
The role of your content is to be helpful and generous to your prospects. What will set you apart from the next company is content that is helpful to anyone, not just your leads. As you help others, your company will earn trust and credibility, and your prospects becoming leads will be mutually beneficial. You don’t just want to sell to them, you want to help.
To start auditing your content, decide which content will be useful for achieving your goals. If your goal is lead generation, you may not want to include your About Us Page in your strategy.
A great idea is making a list of each item and rank each one according to which one will bring you the most leads. Decide what’s working and what’s not. This will help your content strategy in the long run.
Identify Gaps in your current content
Use your buyer personas to find gaps in your existing content. For example, if you are a fundraising company and through research you discover nonprofits find it difficult to raise money for global causes.
You may decide to create content of What are the best ways to fundraise for a global cause. You also may discover that an ebook has a higher conversion rate and write a Guide to Raise Money for Global Causes.
Creating an Audit and Plan for Earned Media
Assessing your previous earned media (social media shares, likes, tweets) against your existing goals will direct you what you should spend the most time on. Look at where most traffic and leads are coming from.
Then rank each earned media source from what’s effective to what’s least effective. You may find a guest post generated more traffic to your website. Another example: you may find more engagement came from Twitter that generated more traffic and leads for you.
The idea here is helping you to get a bigger picture of what earned media will help you to attain your goals and what not to use. If you hear of a new social media channel, don’t be afraid to experiment with it.
Audit and Plan Paid Media
You follow the same process here by evaluating your existing paid platforms such as Google Ads, Twitter, and Facebook and decide which ones will help you achieve your goals. You may identify that you spent a ton of money on Adwords without the return you wanted. You may choose to use another channel and scrap Adwords altogether.
Bringing all the pieces together
So far what do we have:
- Buyer Persona giving you a clear idea of your target audience
- One or more digital marketing goals
- Inventory (Toolbox of what resources you have)
- Audits of all three (owned, paid, and earned media)
Now you want to bring all the separate pieces together on a document to form a cohesive marketing strategy.You should write down the series of actions you will perform to attain your goals.
It’s a great idea to use Google Sheets for this and for more consistency use the exact format of owned, paid, and earned media.
Finally, have a 12 month plan
It's important to have a long term 12 month plan ahead.
January: You may want to start your content strategy with blogging, emailing or vlogging at regular periods.
March: You could create your first ebook or pillar page.
July: At this point you may want to assess what you have learned so far and what you can do to maximize your content’s success.
September: Consider focus on paid or earned media to drive more traffic to your website and generate more leads.
By using this long term plan, it will give you a timeline for all your activities and is useful to present to colleagues to get their input.
Our Bottom Line: Revolutionizing your marketing strategy takes several steps first by researching who your target audience is, taking an inventory of all your resources, setting goals and finding what out of earned media, owned media, and paid media will help you to achieve them.