From posting regularly on your social media channels to sending out email campaigns, digital marketing covers all of your online activity. With the rate technology is progressing, businesses of all shapes and sizes are increasingly recognising the importance of this channel.

If you look around on a busy train or coffee shop, you’ll notice most people looking at a phone or some form of mobile device. They’re not looking up at fancy billboards or posters (as much as they were anyway).

It’s therefore key to any business nowadays to have a digital marketing strategy. As Starbucks CEO once said, “Social and digital media is a bullet train, and that bullet train is not coming home.”

To help ensure you have a strong digital strategy, we’ve put together a few pointers.

Make your goals and objectives clear

It’s no good randomly tweeting and updating your Facebook with no clear plan. You could run the risk of having your content seem sporadic and disjointed. In order to ensure your message is clear, you need to define your goals.

Think about how your digital activity fits within your overall company strategy and work out how it can help achieve them. It could be to ‘see more online sales’ or to ‘have an increase in property viewings’ – whatever your targets are, ensure your digital strategy complements them.

Think about where your customers are hiding

The phrase ‘digital marketing’ covers a huge spectrum of marketing channels, so it’s important to not spread yourself too thin. For most of our customers, we recommend thinking about where there customers are likely to be online. For example, a buyer looking for a B2B service is more likely to be searching for that service than sat on Facebook browsing. In this instance, we’d recommend SEO and PPC to target them effectively.

On the other hand, you may be looking to inspire a customer and generate demand for your products (this is particularly effective in the home improvement space), in this case we’d recommend running Facebook and Instagram campaigns.

It’s important to think about this to give your digital strategy the best start it can have.

Set KPIs

A key part of digital marketing is to understand what your KPIs are. Setting benchmarks will help you to review your online performance. There are a number of metrics you can use to track this, here are a few places to start:

  • Traffic sources: This will help you to see what content is driving people to your site
  • Social interactions: Did your post go viral? Or where there just a few likes? Reviewing this will help you to understand what works
  • Mobile traffic: This will help you to work out whether your site it optimised for mobile or not. Have a look at bounce rate and how many leads you generate from mobile devices.

Find more metrics and example KPIs here

Understand what works and what doesn’t

It’s important to learn from your mistakes so you can continue to optimise your digital strategy. It’s no good continuing to push out content which gets little to no interaction. People will lose interest in you.

Take time to understand why your content isn’t performing, think about what’s different. Once you nail this, you can adapt your activity to help interaction levels grow. Similarly, it’s important to recognise success and understand what content works well with your audience.

Agree on a budget

This budget should include all online activity; from paying your website developer to hiring someone to look after your social media channels. There is a lot to think about and it’s important that you set aside the budget to pay for it.

Think about your current team and how the workload can be split. If you’re a small start-up then you may want to factor in any outsourcing costs for things like content creation and website optimisation. You should also consider any paid promotion costs and pay per click fees as they will add up too.

Formulate a flexible plan

It has to be flexible because your digital marketing strategy must be adaptable. This area is subject to so much change, which means you can’t just decide on a plan at the beginning of the year and review it 12 months later. You should have a good clear plan but know that when something doesn’t work, you’ll need to make changes there and then.

Make sure your plan is shared with your entire team and even across the business so that everyone is aware of your goals and what to expect. This could be in the form of a gantt chart or a brief document – however you work best.

Once you have the above factors nailed down, you should be in a position to implement a strong digital marketing strategy and see some great results.