Some people may tell you that marketing strategy and digital marketing strategy are the same. Toys “R” Us tells again.
The toy retailer has been around for over 60 years and at one time controlled over 25% of the global toy market. He has an outstanding marketing plan built around his weekly newsletter and in-store. When he started toysrus.com in 1998, he tried to take his “offline” strategy online. But it worked – the site became known for a lot of botched sales, stock products and difficult keywords. In 2018, it publicly declared bankruptcy, while new entrants such as Nugget Comfort, with a digital real estate strategy, flourished.
The action of the story? To be successful, your digital marketing strategy must be truly digitally focused. Digital marketing is part of the overall marketing strategy, but it has never been more important.
What is a digital marketing plan?
A digital marketing plan is a written plan that describes how a business will reach and convert customers online, including topics such as target audience, value proposition, and brand voice. Compared to a general marketing strategy, it emphasizes digital channels and how to use them.
Usually, a business will create a digital marketing plan before starting, but these plans can be created and updated at any time.
Digital marketing strategy vs. digital marketing tactics
Digital marketing is not a way to reach potential customers automatically. Instead, a strategy lays out a strategy for reaching customers. For example, running an ad on Instagram is a digital marketing strategy, and deciding whether to invest in social media marketing — and why — is part of a digital marketing strategy.
Types of digital marketing strategies
One way to approach a digital strategy is to look at all the methods available to you and decide which one is best for your business and your client. The most popular and effective digital marketing techniques are:
SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing your website to appear in relevant search results. “SEO is a great form of inbound marketing where a customer has a need and finds you for a solution,” says Greg Bernhardt, SEO expert at Shopify.
“SEO is about positioning your web content to highlight the importance and value of your offering to search engines, which can link their search results to the solutions you offer.”
The three main aspects of SEO are:
- SEO on page. This includes making sure that all content written on your website (from page titles to product descriptions and blog posts) is search- or keyword-rich.
- Offline SEO. The practice of outbound SEO is all about building external authority around your product or brand. Simply put, it happens when other sources (from traditional media and social media) link to your product or service (known as backlinks).
- Technical SEO. These are the technical aspects of your website. This can calculate everything from site loading speed to how your product pages are indexed.
For example, if the Maddle paddle company is going to run SEO as a strategy, they can start with on-page SEO techniques like updating their product page to include keywords like “paddleboard” red inflatable paddle “, and write his own article. Customers may be interested, such as “the best place to paddle in Quebec”.
Off-site methods, on the other hand, may include sending off-site emails and receiving product confirmations within the holiday gift guide heading. From a technical perspective, Maddle would like to ensure that all product pages are accessible to Google and subscriptions, while informing site performance through optimized product images. Some SEO techniques are easily done internally, while others benefit from external expertise.
If these techniques are right for your business, learn more from our SEO marketing guide.
Email marketing captures the emails of your customers and sends them regular emails.
Good email marketing starts with an email capture strategy. While you can capture them at checkout, ultimately you’ll want to capture emails earlier in the customer journey. That’s why many e-commerce sites offer a first-time customer discount for customer email exchanges.
Sending emails to customers can include sending a series of automated emails (called “marketing automation”) or sending one-time emails at regular intervals, such as a monthly newsletter or campaign period.
For example, DUER offers its customers a free pant size guide in exchange for their email. Once a customer has downloaded it, they will automatically receive several emails based on whether or not they have already purchased, as well as updates on sales and new products.
Affiliate marketing involves paying people (for this purpose, “affiliates”) when they refer new customers to your business. The commission can be a percentage of the sale (eg 15% of their first order) or a fixed amount (eg $10 per sale).
A common affiliate relationship is in corporate publishing. For example, if you are a hair care brand like AG Care, you can establish a relationship with Well and Good or Vogue, who will try to review your products or add them to the collection.
Note: Affiliated websites are required to disclose this on their websites. Brands that participate in affiliate programs also often mention it on their websites, for example, AG Care’s Collaborator page.
Influencer marketing is like affiliate marketing because it aims to get others to share your brand/product. However, while affiliate programs often focus on third-party websites, influencer marketing focuses on collaborating with people and larger audiences.
This type of marketing can be very effective because influencers often create an audience that has a high level of trust in their recommendations. It also means that activists tend to choose the type of people they work with and want to have a relationship with.
Influencer marketing often works like a one-time payment for a “voucher” rather than ongoing work. But this industry is constantly changing, and the actors and designers are trying new ways to work together. If you’re a brand looking to collaborate with influencers, check out the Shopify Collabs app.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is all about reaching your customers on social media platforms. You should evaluate two main methods when planning your social media strategy: organic and paid.
Organic media marketing means growing your audience without the support of advertising. Usually, this includes sharing useful, engaging or viral content from your business account. With the increase of social media support, like TikTok, this has become easier than before, because the algorithm of TikTok can show who has not followed you your content. However, it still requires a significant investment in content creation to be successful.
Paid social media marketing means taking the time to grow your audience instead of paying to get people through the media. It is a form of digital media. The benefits of this include a customized and specific audience, less need for new content, and the ability to use calls to action (eg, “Buy Now”). The downside, of course, is that you have to pay people to see your ad, which can be expensive.
Search Engine Marketing (Pay Per Click)
Search engine marketing, also known as SEM or pay-per-click, pays to appear in search results. This can be very effective because unlike other methods that aim to tell people why they need your product (known as demand generation), it allows you to reach the target audience. your product (known as the demand to hold). For example, Citizen will show ads when people search for “perfume”. This can be a great way to get new customers.
How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy
To choose which method to use in your first digital marketing strategy, consider several factors:
- Is your product brand new or existing? If it is new, it can attract people’s attention on social media. If it is, potential buyers can Google it (or something similar), and social media may have important affiliate opportunities.
- How does your audience want to be addressed? If you think they prefer email, consider this approach, but if they prefer social media, start there. This insight can come from customer surveys.
- How many ways do you have the budget and capacity for it? It can be difficult for digital marketers to manage more than two channels on their own at the same time. If you are one person, start with two, but if you have the opportunity to grow your team or your budget, add more.
- What do you want to achieve? What metrics are you trying to measure with your plan? Are you focusing on generating profitable sales or increasing brand awareness? Different channels and methods deliver different types of value, so it’s important to define exactly what impact you want to see from your strategy.
Create your digital marketing plan
Once you start your first approach, it is important to be ready to evaluate their effectiveness. One of the advantages of digital marketing strategies over non-digital strategies is the inclusion of feedback. Although marketing plans are only analyzed quarterly or annually, you can adjust your digital marketing strategy as often as monthly, using a real-time analysis tool like Google Analytics.
Pay attention to your size. How is your approach to the goals you set for yourself at the beginning? If they reach or exceed your goal, you may consider doubling down. If they don’t reach your goals, you may need to change your approach.
By using a conversion-based, data-driven approach to your digital marketing strategy, it won’t be a question of “if” you succeed, but of “when.”