If you are building a brand or business, then you will almost certainly need a digital marketing strategy. In fact, it becomes harder and harder to think of examples of businesses where you wouldn't need one these days!
But sounds a bit intimidating doesn't it? "Digital marketing strategy"... when in fact, chances are, you probably have one already, you just didn't realise it and/or it could do with a bit of finessing, to ensure it actually works.
A digital marketing strategy is a series of actions that determine the way you use your online marketing channels to promote your self/brand/business. It's a central place that you can refer to, that steers your work & actions and it's something that remains fluid and can be tweaked as you require and as you grow.
You can pay someone to execute a digital marketing strategy for you, you can delegate to staff members if you have them, you can even add on paid-for advertising when you have the budget...
but I'm all about empowering you to understand and take control (if you want to) of your own organic marketing strategy. That's what I work on with my 1-2-1 clients, in the flourish membership and in the 6-week guided course: The Formula to flourish.
So in this post, I'm going to walk you through exactly what a digital marketing strategy is, so you can figure out if you've got everything you need to implement yours...
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I come back to this with EVERY client that I work with, regardless of how established their business is... and it's often a step that's forgotten with small businesses and solopreneurs as we presume we know who we're targeting. But do you?
I mean do you really know your audience? Your ideal client? When I say really know, I mean are you aware of their struggles and frustrations? Do you know their goals and desires? Are you able to identify where they hang-out online and why? What sort of content they like to digest? What about their income and where/when they like to spend their money? How about their outlook on life and their values? How do they see the world?
If you're unsure on any of the above, you need to revisit this with an exercise called persona-mapping. You should take a couple of hours to really go deep on your ideal client/audience/customer, as this will undoubtedly help you formulate your marketing strategy and make you a confident content creator.
(I suggest re-visiting your persona-mapping at least twice a year, as it's likely your knowledge of your audience will increase and/or develop).
If I were to ask you now, "What are your goals for your business?", would you be able to answer me confidently? I don't mean a vague "I want my business to grow and be successful" or "I want to make lots of money". They are great goals, but they're not specific...yet!
I want you to be able to refine your goals and establish some KPIs - Key Performance Indicators - basically, make your goals measurable so that you can work out how to achieve them.
Establishing your KPIs forms a key part of your digital marketing strategy, as it gives you something to work towards, benchmark against and evaluate. It might look like:
Once you know your audience and you've got your KPIs to work towards, you've got the basis of a digital marketing strategy. So what next? Well, you've got to decide where you're going to show-up online...
Your persona-mapping should really help you with this, because essentially, you want to show-up wherever your ideal client/customer is hanging out. There's no point in spending 4 hours a day creating content on Tik-Tok if your customer doesn't hang out there. Fun? yes. Lucrative? possibly not.
So have a think about the online platforms and social networks that you can utilise for your digital marketing:
twitter, instagram, tik-tok, linkedin, pinterest, podcast, youtube, blogs... the list goes on!
Want my biggest piece of advice here? Don't try to be everywhere! Even if your ideal client can be reached across multiple platforms, I advise all my clients and flourish members to focus on nailing one platform, before introducing another. Otherwise you'll spread yourself to thinly and neither platform will be utilised to its fullest potential.
So for example, if you know your audience hang out on instagram but also love listening to podcasts. I'd really urge you to focus on just one of those platforms for a while. Craft a strategy and get good at creating awesome content that speaks to them there. Aim for consistency for at least a few months... make sure you start to see a ROI and then think about adding another platform to the mix.
Trust me, I've learned this the hard way!
This part of your digital marketing strategy, is as simple as it sounds. Plan some awesome content and "marketing campaigns" (which are essentially a planned calendar of content leading towards one of your goals/KPIs).
Well ok, maybe not simple... I mean it's self-explanatory, but honestly, this is where most solopreneurs and small business owners struggle most... creating good content, consistently, that speaks to their audience and actually leads to conversions/sales/clients.
There's a whole other blog post on this section alone, but in terms of your digital marketing strategy, you want to have at least a partially completed or rough outline of your content for weeks and perhaps months to come... a content calendar.
Once you've got a content calendar to work from, you'll have focus and purpose to your days - every time you sit down at your laptop, you'll know what you need to do.
Again, this part of the digital marketing strategy is often overlooked - especially if you work for yourself and don't have an agency running your marketing... evaluation!
It is integral to your growth and development of your brand or business, to understand what's working and what is not. This is a key part of the strategy!
You need to constantly be putting things out there, gauging and noting the response, tweaking and then trying again. Some things will work, some won't and that's all part of the process... believe me, it won't work every time!
So make sure you're keeping note of stats, feedback and anecdotal information that can inform your digital marketing strategy going forward. Think back to those KPIs... what's measurable and what's actually getting you closer to your goals?
Don't worry! It can be hard as a solopreneur, to pull a digital marketing strategy together alone. Sometimes you get too in your own head and it can be hard to see the wood through the trees. Well, that's where I've got your back... this is exactly what I work on with my clients.
So whether you've never pulled a digital marketing strategy together, or you've got one but you're not sure if it's working, or you're nailing it but want to add something else to the mix... I can help! I can use my 13+ years of experience growing a brand and business online... I can use my insights of things that have worked and failed for me over the years... and I can be there to bounce ideas back and forth with - so you don't have to do this alone.
Sound like something you need? Just pop your name on the wait-list here!
Holly Wood, has over 10 years experience of building a digital brand and business online. From blogging, to being an influencer, to founding a membership community, to public-speaking and 1-2-1 mentorship - Holly has a wealth of knowledge in the practical and cognitive steps to building a flourishing brand and successful business online.
Read Holly's Lifestyle blog, HollyGoesLightly.