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Importance of a Digital Strategy

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Importance of a Digital Strategy

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A digital marketing plan is an essential tool for your business. Companies with a clear marketing plan, that regularly measure their efforts, see 60% faster growth than those without a marketing plan. Developing a digital marketing plan will help you identify what makes your business unique and how to get your message out to your audiences through a variety of digital channels. An in-depth and detailed approach to laying out your digital marketing strategy can reveal new opportunities and expand your reach.

A digital marketing plan is an essential tool for your business. Companies with a clear marketing plan, that regularly measure their efforts, see 60% faster growth than those without a marketing plan. Developing a digital marketing plan will help you identify what makes your business unique and how to get your message out to your audiences through a variety of digital channels. An in-depth and detailed approach to laying out your digital marketing strategy can reveal new opportunities and expand your reach.

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Importance of a Digital Strategy

  1. 1. What is a Digital Strategy? A Digital Strategy is….. a plan to accomplish something with the benefit of digital tools.
  2. 2. What is a Digital Strategy? A Digital Strategy is a PLAN to accomplish something with the benefit of digital tools. A plan requires a Who, What, When, Where & How
  3. 3. What is a Digital Strategy? A Digital Strategy is a plan to ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING with the benefit of digital tools. An object has to Measurable & Actionable
  4. 4. What is a Digital Strategy? A Digital Strategy is the who, what, when, and where of LISTENING and RESPONDING to consumers, BRIDGING brand experiences, ITERATING offerings and COLLECTING and ACTIVATING consumer relationships in order to accomplish an actionable and measurable objective.
  5. 5. Simple, Right?
  6. 6. WHY? REASON #1: Companies with a clear marketing plan, that regularly measure their efforts, see 60% faster growth than those without a marketing plan.
  7. 7. WHY? REASON #2: Capture More Leads
  8. 8. WHY? REASON #3: Gives Your Company Better Direction
  9. 9. WHY? REASON #4: Without a digital strategy you have no direction – and you run the risk of spending your budget without the means of showing any return on your investment.
  10. 10. HOW? 1) Define Your Audience 2) Set Goals 3) Audit Previous Efforts 4) Plan For Success
  11. 11. Step #1: Build Your Buyer Personas • Do You Know Who You’re Marketing To? • Do You Know What Makes Them Tick? • Do You Know Where They Hang Out? • Do You Know When They Are There? TOOL KIT: Buyer Persona Map
  12. 12. Step #1: Build Your Buyer Personas • Job Titles & Industries • Who do you talk to? • Who are the decision makers? Identify Your Audience
  13. 13. Step #1: Build Your Buyer Personas • Age • Gender • Location • Education • Family Detail Your Audience
  14. 14. Step #1: Build Your Buyer Personas • What are they faced with daily? • What common problems do they face? • What goal are they trying to accomplish? • What does success look like for them? Identify Challenges & Goals
  15. 15. Step #1: Build Your Buyer Personas • What pain relievers do you offer? • What services / products do you offer that will help them achieve their goals? • How does your value proposition match up with what they are seeking? How Can You Help?
  16. 16. Step #1: Build Your Buyer Personas
  17. 17. Step #2: Identify Your Goals & Digital Marketing Tools • What Do You Want To Accomplish? o Product/Service Sales Increase? o Launch Into New Vertical? o Be Specific. Be Reasonable. TOOL KIT: Master List of Strategic Questions
  18. 18. Step #2: Identify Your Goals & Digital Marketing Tools • How Are You Going To Measure It? o KPI units of measurement o Digital Tools: Google Analytics, CRM, e-Mail
  19. 19. Step #3: Evaluate Your Existing Digital Marketing Channels & Assets Owned Media: website, social media profiles, blog content, imagery, etc. Earned Media: press mentions, positive reviews, and by other people sharing your content on social media, etc. Paid Media: ppc, social advertising, etc.
  20. 20. Audit & Plan Your Owned Media • Audit your existing content • Identify gaps in your existing content • Create a content creation plan Step #3: Evaluate Your Existing Digital Marketing Channels & Assets
  21. 21. Make a list of your existing owned content and rank each item according to what has previously performed best in relation to your current goals. Step #3: Evaluate Your Existing Digital Marketing Channels & Assets Owned Media: Audit Your Existing Content
  22. 22. Do you have content that speaks to the pain points and challenges identified in your audience research and buyer personas? Step #3: Evaluate Your Existing Digital Marketing Channels & Assets Owned Media: Identify Gaps in Your Content
  23. 23. Owned Media: Create a Content Creation Plan • Title • Format • Goal • Promotional channels • Why you’re creating it • Priority level Step #3: Evaluate Your Existing Digital Marketing Channels & Assets TOOL KIT: Content Calendar
  24. 24. • Review Sites (Google, Facebook, etc.) • Online Mentions of Your Brand • Press Releases Audit & Plan Your Earned Media Step #3: Evaluate Your Existing Digital Marketing Channels & Assets
  25. 25. • Google AdWords • Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn • Other Media Buys Audit & Plan Your Paid Media Step #3: Evaluate Your Existing Digital Marketing Channels & Assets
  26. 26. Owned Media + Earned Media + Paid Media = Success Step #3: Evaluate Your Existing Digital Marketing Channels & Assets
  27. 27. Step #4: Bring It All Together • Buyer Persona + Digital Marketing Goals + Audit Findings = Your Road Map to Success. TOOL KIT: Marketing Calendar
  28. 28. Step #4: Bring It All Together Create Your Digital Strategy Document
  29. 29. Don’t Fall Behind. Define. Focus. Succeed.
  30. 30. DOWNLOAD FREE TOOL KIT: • Persona Matrix • Mega Strategy Questions • Digital Marketing Calendar • Content Calendar http://bit.ly/ 2h9Ojrk

Notes de l'éditeur

  • Good afternoon. For those who don’t know me, my name is Sarah Kloth. I am the director of digital strategy here at top floor. I work directly with our marketing team here to outline our strategies and tactics to ensure what the team is working towards aligns with our clients goals. I have been in the digital marketing space for about 10 years now and creating large scale strategic marketing plans is what excites me most. So with that lets get started.
  • In today’s ever changing digital landscape, success in business can often depend on what you do or don’t do in terms of marketing.

    From SEO to content marketing and analytics, it can be overwhelming figuring out where to start -- and, more importantly, what’s going to have the biggest impact on your business. To be effective, you’ll need a strategy.

    So lets first define what a digital strategy is.
  • A Digital strategy can be defined as - A plan to accomplish something with the benefits of digital tools. But what does this really mean? Lets further define this.
  • When we define a digital strategy, we reference a PLAN. A plan requires a Who, What, When, Where & How. So when we look at making our strategy, we want to make sure we make sur we have all of these items fleshed out.
  • Next, in our definition of a digital strategy, we hit on “Accomplish something” - that object NEEDS to be both measurable and actionable. Which we will hit on a little later of how to make sure our goals are being both measured.
  • So we put that all together, a digital strategy is the who, what, when and where of Listening and responding to consumers, bridging brand experiences, iterating offerings and collecting and activating consumer relationships in order to accomplish an actionable and measurable objective.
  • Simple, Right?
    While knowing all that is important, we don’t want to over think it.

    In short: Your digital marketing strategy is the series of actions that are going to help you achieve your goal(s) using online marketing. The term ‘strategy’ might seem intimidating, but building an effective digital strategy doesn’t need to be difficult.

    A strategy is just a plan of action to achieve a desired goal.

    For example, your goal might be to increase sales in one segment of your business and to do this you would need to increase the your online leads by 25%. So your strategy would outline the actions you would need to take to reach this goal of 25% more leads.

    Now that we understand the basics of what a digital strategy is – lets look at why all this is important.
  • On average, Companies with a clear marketing plan, that regularly measure their efforts, see 60% faster growth than those without a marketing plan.

    By implementing an integrated digital strategy that includes analytics, you can track changes in your customer’s behaviour and use that information to continuously improve your marketing efforts. It allows you to go back and review what worked and what didn’t, allowing you to optimise the strategy and the execution of as you move forward, according to the goals you’ve set and the benchmarks you use to track your progress.

  • By incorporating a diverse mix of digital marketing platforms into your strategy, you will better enable your business to reach a wider audience that can lead to higher traffic on your site and more sales being generated as a result. By creating a cohesive digital strategy that has a specific target audience in mind, you can reach them more effectively via the platforms they prefer to engage with. Some may prefer Google searches, while others may spend more time on social media sites like Facebook, where they can be targeted with native ads integrated directly onto their feeds. To discover which channel will yield the best results, it is important to have a digital marketing strategy that features a strong assortment of digital platforms with a specific goal in mind.
  • One major advantage a digital strategy can provide is the ability to keep everyone in your company and your marketing agency moving in the same direction towards the same set of goals.

    A digital strategy can help you get the most out of your online marketing as long as you have specific goals in mind. This means that simply looking to generally improve sales or online engagements is too vague. A cohesive digital strategy will enable you to set specific goals and keep track of your progress as you advance towards achieving those goals.
  • Reason 4 - -Without a digital strategy you have no direction – and you run the risk of spending your budget without the means of showing any return on your investment.

    A truly effective digital strategy will include a large number of online engagement methods including email, social media, SEO, and content, etc. These are just a few examples of the many aspects of a digital strategy that, when combined with the analytics, which measure the success of these executions, can be extremely effective when it comes to increasing market share and delivering a strong ROI.

    In short, if you don’t have a clear plan – you are just throwing effects and more importantly money out there with no means to understand what it working and what’s not.
  • Now that we understand what a digital strategy is and why we need it – we can begin to look into how to effectively built your strategy. Despite our simplification of the term ‘strategy’, there’s no doubt it can be difficult to get started actually building one. To do so we are going to look at [READ BULLETS]
  • For any marketing strategy you need to know who you are marketing to. The best strategies are built upon detailed personas (the who, what, where, and when). In order to get the answers to these questions, we will need to begin researching, surveying, and interviewing your business’s target audience.

    This is what we refer to as a buyer persona study – where we will interview your clients and employees to get an understanding of who they are, what makes them tick, where they hang out, and when they are there.

    It’s important to note that this information should be based upon real data wherever possible, as making assumptions about your audience can cause your marketing strategy to take the wrong direction.

    But what kind of information should you gather for your own buyer persona(s) to inform your digital marketing strategy?

    For those of you who download the strategy kit, you can find a template of the buyer persona map that will help you detail out this process. The template doesn’t get too granular, but it will help you lay out those personas at a high level to get you started.
  • The first piece of information we want to gather is job titles and industries.

    This is something you can get a rough idea of from your existing customer base, and is most relevant for B2B companies.

    Remember, when looking at job titles don’t just focus on the decision makers, but also focus on those who you have direct contact with. A C-level might be the one ultimately making all decision, but a manager or coordinator might be doing research for their boss.
  • Next, we want to flesh out the details of each persona.

    Location. You can use web analytics tools like Google Analytics to easily identify what location your website traffic is coming from.

    Age. Depending on your business, this may or may not be relevant. It’s best to gather this data by identifying trends in your existing prospect and customer database.

    These are all details that will help us better understand the mindset and behaviors of our target audience.
  • Next, we want to identify their challenges and goals.

    Goals. Depending on the need your product or service was created to serve, you might already have a good idea of what goals your persona is looking to achieve. However, it’s best to verify your assumptions by speaking to customers, salespeople and customer service representatives.

    Challenges. Again, speak to customers, salespeople and customer service representatives to get an idea of the common problems your audience faces. What are their struggles within their job? What are their pain points when working with companies like yours? This part will be key later on when we look at how to set yourself apart from your competition.
  • Lastly we want to take all the information we learned about our audience and match each one of those piece of information – challenges, goals, etc. - to the services and products that you offer and how they can eleviate those pains and help to solve those problems.

    Some key questions you want to ask yourself includes- [read bullet points. ]
  • So once you have gathered all your information you should have a clear understanding of your audience. You will then need to start thinking about that information and seeing how your products/ services align to solve their problems and challenge, help them reach their goals, and how all together your business can help them. From here this information will guide the rest of the strategy to make sure it tie to your businesses goals as well as aligns with who your audience is.
  • Next, we want to identify our goals and marketing tools.
    Your marketing goals should always be tied back to the fundamental goals of the business. For example, if your business’s goal is to increase online revenue by 20%, your goal as a marketer might be to generate 50% more leads via the website than you did last year to contribute towards that success.

    What are your most critical business goals, and how can digital marketing help you reach them? That’s the essential question driving a digital strategy. Whether you’re focused on acquiring new customers, taking your products or services into new markets, or building brand awareness for your company with specific segments, a digital strategy provides the roadmap you’ll need. Your goals determine which tactics, channels, messages, and partners you need to focus on to generate real results.
  • Whatever your overarching goal is, you need to know how to measure it, and more importantly, actually be able to measure it (i.e., have the right digital marketing tools in place to do so). How you measure the effectiveness of your digital strategy will be different for each business and dependent on your goal(s), but it’s vital to ensure you’re able to do so, as it’s these metrics which will help you adjust your strategy in the future. IE The ‘Fail Fast’ Method.




  • When considering your available digital marketing channels or assets to incorporate into your strategy, it’s helpful to first consider the bigger picture to avoid getting overwhelmed. The owned, earned and paid media framework helps to categorize the digital ‘vehicles’, assets or channels that you’re already using.

    Owned Media
    This refers to the digital assets literally owned by you. Whether that’s your website, social media profiles, blog content, or imagery, owned channels are the things your business has complete control over.
    Earned Media
    Quite simply, earned media refers to the exposure you’ve earned through word-of-mouth. Whether that’s content you've distributed on other websites (e.g., guest posts), PR work you’ve been doing, or the customer experience you've delivered, earned media is the recognition you receive as a result.

    Paid Media
    Paid media refers to any vehicle or channel that you spend money on to catch the attention of your buyer personas. This includes things like Google AdWords, paid social media posts, native advertising, and any other vehicle which you directly pay for in exchange for visibility.

    During this audit phase, you want to gather what you have, and categorize each vehicle or asset in a spreadsheet so you have a clear picture of your existing owned, earned, and paid media.

    ALSO – before we get too deep in this process I want to highlight that when you start looking at what worked and what didn’t ask yourself – was it because its not the right channel for us, or was it because we didn’t have an expert within that area to make it successful.

  • When we drill down into auditing our OWNEd media there are three key pieces we want to be looking at

    1) Audit your existing content –

    2) Identify gaps in your existing content –

    3) Create a content creation plan -
  • First, we look at auditing our existing content.

    During this process we will want to make a list of your existing owned content and rank each content piece according to what has previously performed best in relation to your goals.
    FOR EXAMPLE -
    If your goal is lead generation, rank your content according to which generated the most leads in the last year. That might be a particular blog post, an ebook, or even a specific page on your website that’s converting well.

    The idea here is to figure out what’s currently working, and what’s not, so that you can set yourself up for future success.
  • Next, we want to identify any gaps in our current content assets.

    What this means is where do we currently NOT have any content that goes back to our audiences challenges and goals. We want to make sure we have pieces of content to hit each persona, within each industry with the information that is important to them.

    FOR EXAMPLE - if you are marketing to the manufacturing industry, and your persona is an operations manager whose number one goal is to make sure that all machines are up and running, - you would want to make sure to have a piece of content that talk about how your product or service decreases downtime, etc. So this part might take a bit of thinking to really get into the mind set of your audience and figure out what content topics as well as types – ie ebook, whitepapers, blogs, etc. will get them to listen and take action.
  • Finally, using all the information that we gathered we will want to flesh out a full content creation plan. Again, if you downloaded our strategy kit, there is a template content calendar in there that will help guide you through this process.

    During this content creation phase you will want to fully outline all your content pieces, from topic ideation to why and who you are creating it for, to what priority it takes.

    For Example – One of Top Floor’s personas is marketing directors. And we have determined marketing directors struggle to find time to plan out their strategy for the year, hint hint, SO, we’re created a free strategy kit filled with templates, and webinars, to help guide them through this process.
  • Same process goes for both earned and paid media. For Earned media you can utilize tools like Google analytics to see what other channels are driving traffic and conversion's. The majority of earned media will come through as Referral traffic.

    When doing this - You might find that a particular article you contributed to the industry, drove a lot of qualified traffic to your website, which in turn converted really well. OR you might discover that LinkedIn is where you see most people sharing your content, which in turn drives a lot of traffic. The idea here is to build up a picture of what earned media will help you reach your goals, and what won’t, based on historic data. However, if there’s something new you want to try, don’t rule that out just because it’s not yet tried and tested.

    Evaluating your previous earned media against your current goals can help you get an idea of where to focus your time. Look at where your traffic and leads are coming from and rank each earned media source from most effective to least effective.
  • Same goes with Your Paid media – your google adwords account, your social media ads, other digital media placements.

    What has been successful, what has been least successful. Look not only by channel as a whole, but drill down into the different campaigns in particular that you ran last year to see where we can cut some spend that isn’t performing well and shift it over to those that have outperformed everything else.

    Also look at - what avenues have we not tried? Are there other channels that might be important? - because going back to you personas, you should now know where your audience hangs out – where they get all their information.

    By the end of the process, you should have a clear idea of which paid media platforms you want to continue using, and which (if any) you’d like to scrap.

  • It all comes down to figuring out how to repeat past successes and avoid past failures.

    In the end, you will have enough information to add to your digital marketing strategy, that incorporates elements of all three of these channels - all working together to help you reach your goal.

    For example, you might have an owned piece of content on a landing page on your website that’s been created to help you generate leads. To amplify the amount of leads that content generates, you might have made a real effort to make it shareable, meaning others are distributing it via their personal social media profiles, increasing traffic to the landing page. This is the earned media component. To support the content’s success, you might have posted about the content to your Facebook page and have paid to have it seen by more people in your target audience.
  • Now, it’s time to bring all of this together to form a solid strategy document.

    Let’s revisit what ‘digital strategy’ means -- it is - ‘the series of actions that are going to help you achieve your goal(s) using online marketing’.

    By that definition, your strategy document should map out the series of actions you’re going to take to achieve your goals based on your research to this point.
    That is where the Marketing Calendar Comes into play.

  • You’ll need to map out your strategy for an extended period of time (usually 12 months or longer, depending on how your business is set up) so it’s helpful to overlay when you’ll be executing each action.

    For example:
    In January, you might start a blog which will be continually updated once a week for the entire year.
    In March, you might launch a new ebook accompanied by paid promotion.
    In July, you might be preparing for your biggest business month.
    In September, you might plan to focus on earned media in the form of organic social media to drive additional traffic.

    Think High level first. Then break everything out into details – like your social media calendars, content schedule, digitla campaigns, etc.

    By taking this approach, you’re also creating a structured timeline for your activity which will help communicate your plans to your colleagues -- and help keep you sane!

    A comprehensive digital strategy will also help you to establish your internal and external time/ talent / and resources. Will you need to bring on a new employee? Will you need to hire an agency?

    Once you have everything laid out, you should also include budget information for each piece – whether its internal time or an outside resource. This will help you to determine what you have room for within the budget to actually accomplish to make sure you are successful. Because, Remember, you want to make sure your goals are obtainable.
  • Digital marketing is no longer optional. Customers are looking for brands online – from seeking basic information to looking for support and interaction. Don’t become one of those brands that’s failing to make an impact because it’s being pulled in too many directions. Create a strategy that will let you define your goals, focus your resources behind your most important business objectives, and reap real rewards from your digital marketing efforts.

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