Digital marketing is a moving target. Every week it feels like there’s a new social network you need to know, a new ad platform you need to master, or a Google algorithm change forcing you to adjust your content. With this constant change comes a constant pressure to “keep up,” but effective digital marketing comes from being prepared and proactive, not from jumping on every tech trend that comes across your news feed.
So how can you build an effective digital marketing strategy? There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to digital marketing, so you need to consider several variables carefully.
How to Build an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
The first step to building any digital marketing strategy is taking a step back and understanding the “why” behind your efforts. Too often, marketers make the mistake of building a strategy around a platform or tactic without considering what they’re trying to accomplish. On the other hand, the most successful digital marketers focus on business objectives first and foremost and then work backward from there.
Once you understand what business objectives you’re trying to accomplish, it’s time to take a look at the more tactical side. What do you need to do in order to accomplish these business objectives? Don’t limit your scope just to the marketing department, either. If you need to find a new CMS for your website, don’t be afraid to include your IT Director in your strategy. If you need a new CRM integration or funnel management procedure, make sure to let your sales managers know. Your strategy can only be as effective as your colleagues let it be.
A great digital marketing strategy should include all of the following:
- Clear business objectives.
- A defined strategy to get there.
- All associated costs and efforts necessary from their department (and any other relevant teams).
If you want a cheat sheet, download our digital marketing strategy template for the best place to start.
How to Package Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Once you have an effective strategy laid out, it’s all about presentation. Every organization is different, so everyone is looking for a slightly different format, but a good rule of thumb is to always create the following:
- A Master Strategy Document – This document should be a comprehensive look at everything you plan on doing over the course of the next month, quarter, or year. It should be extremely detailed, including every medium you plan on using, how you plan on using it, and what outcomes you hope to see. This document will be long, but it should answer any potential questions anyone can ask.
- A Content Calendar – This provides a general overview of what content you will produce across various channels for a given period. Personally, I prefer to create quarterly content calendars in a simple spreadsheet. This will become an easy reference guide throughout the quarter to help keep your marketing on schedule.
- A High-Level PowerPoint – When in doubt, over-communicate. But what if your boss doesn’t want to read a ten-page strategy document? That’s where a high-level PowerPoint comes in handy. By creating a simple template that includes your objectives, one-sentence overviews on how you’ll achieve them, and information on where to find the other two documents listed, you’ll be set.
This provides you with three highly functional documents built for any kind of communicator you run across.
Digital Marketing Strategy Template
Use this tool to be sure you cover all the bases for your next digital marketing campaign.