Planning Your Digital Marketing Strategy for the Year Ahead
When planning any kind of marketing strategy you need to have clear and defined goals and aims. Digital marketing is no different and you should ensure that your plan for the year ahead is tailored to suit the needs which you have determined.
Digital marketing can be presented through so many channels and you need to make sure you’ve got all your bases covered, whether you are focusing on SEO to help generate leads and sales or if you are more reliant on organic searches. The content and methods you use need to be consistent right across the board, and if you think about the following points you’ll be on the right track.
Set Your Goals
You should have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve. Whether it’s an increase in customer numbers and sales, to be more successful than a competitor or to reach a wider online audience you need to have a clear plan. With such plans in place, you’ll be working your way towards your end goal in a proactive way.
Be realistic with any increases you expect to see. Growth will occur more slowly in the first quarter than the fourth and your projected figures should reflect this. Success isn’t always easy and patience will be required, in addition to meticulous planning.
Think of a famous brand. Chances are you can immediately say what colours they use in their campaigns, what their logo looks like and even what font they use in all of their campaigns. This is a sign of true success. It’s not just about creating a great marketing campaign, although that is very important, but it’s about a brand identity.
You want people to instantly recognise your name and your brand and that can be done, or at least helped along the way, by a consistent use of the same style. Make sure your logo is always present and make sure your use of colours and fonts are always the same. That way you have a greater chance of being noticed.
Content isn’t just there to pad out a website – it’s incredibly important to engage with your audience. That’s why more careful consideration need to be place on it. What kind of voice do you wish to have? It should be friendly and informative, never patronising or overly wordy and above all, interesting.
It might take a while to master this, but once you do you need to again ensure consistency. Every platform you use for digital marketing should present your content with exactly the same voice.
You don’t need to use identical content on every platform and you don’t even need to employ the same person to write it all for you. What you need is a style guide which any writer can follow in order to produce consistent content for every platform you use.
Learn from Your Audience
Customers are important – without them you’re nothing. Make sure you pay attention to them. If they give you feedback about any aspect of your marketing, make sure you take it on board. Look at analytics to see which aspects of a campaign are having the biggest positive effect and make sure you target people at the right time of day. Depending on where in the world your customer base is, it could pay to schedule posts for different times of the day or night.
Tick All the Boxes
You need to make sure you always follow the basics with your content too. If you’re using keywords, make sure they are evenly distributed throughout your content and never seeming forced or spammy. Make sure you use images and give them appropriate tags. Videos and links to other pages are also helpful.
The length of content is something of a bone of contention and it should never be too long or too short, but what is too long or too short? 500 to 1,000 words is considered the ideal length which customers will engage with. Make sure to break the content up with headings or lists – nobody wants to read a 1,000-word paragraph on their smartphone.
Observe and Learn
When you launch a new campaign you need to make sure it’s a success. Keeping a constant eye on your numbers will help you to tweak your digital marketing methods if necessary. You’ll find out which channels work better than others and where you should be concentrating the most effort.
Every piece of information or feedback you receive about your campaign is helpful and can be used to your advantage. Remember that digital marketing is an ongoing process – it’s not just about saying ‘go’ on day one and sitting back and reaping the rewards.