Digital Marketing Strategy
Building a solid online foundation to support your growth
What is a digital marketing strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is a plan that outlines your goals for earning business online, and details clear methods for achieving those goals.
A strategy doesn’t need to have any one particular layout or format. It can look like anything, so long as it lays out how you expect to get from where you to where you want to be.
Why do I need a digital marketing strategy?
Documenting what you want to accomplish, and how you are most likely to do it, gives you the best chance at actually achieving your goals.
The act itself of writing a plan clarifies your thinking. Having it written down ensures your don’t forget, driving consistent action.
How do I create a digital marketing strategy?
It’s really not rocket science. All you need to do is think about what you want to accomplish, lay out all your options, and document decisions about how you think you can best reach your goals given your resources and competition.
Of course, if you need help, that’s why we’re here.
The Mountwell Approach
If you ever painted a wall, it’s tempting to just start painting, without prepping and priming. It feels good initially to just start acting. But it usually leads to a poor result, or winds up taking longer than it would have if you just planned ahead.
Our goal is to give you a solid marketing foundation to grow upon, and the only way to do that quickly and efficiently is to first develop an intelligent marketing strategy. That requires assessing where your business is at today, determining where you should be, and laying out a path for how you can get there.
That’s why every one of our client engagements begins with a marketing strategy. We don’t do anything until we’re all on the same page about what we’re trying to accomplish, and how we plan to accomplish it.
It’s undestandable to not know where to start. Digital marketing is one of those terms that can mean so many things that it hardly means anything. There’s so little marketing today that doesn’t involve technology to some extent, what isn’t digital marketing?
We define digital marketing as all the strategies and tactics businesses use to promote themselves through the internet.
This starts with the basis of the World Wide Web, which is a website. The foundation of all digital marketing is having an effective website. If you don’t have that, everything else is going to be much more difficult and less productive.
That raises the obvious question, what makes a website effective? That totally depends upon your goals and resources, which should be factored into your web design. You might only need a simple one-page site that serves as a digital business card, or a highly complex ecommerce experience. There’s no one easy answer, but there are also many paths to success.
Next, you need a way to make sure people can find your website. Since most people find websites through search engines, search engine optimization, or SEO, is another basic component of digital marketing.
SEO is ideally part of the web design process, meaning the site is built and filled with content that makes it easy for search engines to find and most likely to rank highly in search engine results. It is also an ongoing process of continuing improvement, because search engines are always evolving, competitors are always aiming to outrank you, and even the best SEO experts go through constant trial and error.
Similarly, because Google is such an essential part of how people use the web today, advertising on Google is another standard part of digital marketing. Paying for your website to appear in ads alongside search results, often called search engine marketing, or SEM, is a simple way to guarantee your site appears when people search using words you select.
There are plenty of other ways to advertise your business online. The other primary way is through social media, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Because people provide these platforms with lots of personal information, it is very easy to specifically target the people you want to reach.
Of course, businesses can also create social media accounts and post for free. Indeed, every business should at least have a Facebook page, just because Facebook has become so popular, it’s almost the entire way some people experience the internet. We often advise people to at least treat it like the modern Yellowpages and set up a business page there even if you never plan to post regularly, just so people can find you if they use that as their search engine.
Other social media platforms are less universally useful, and attracting customers by posting on social media for free is a lot more difficult than many businesses estimate. That said, for certain types of businesses, certain social platforms are absolute no-brainers, e.g. photographers on Instagram, and interior designers on Pinterest.
It gets further specialized as you get into specific marketplaces, Amazon and Etsy. For some businesses, optimizing and advertising on these platforms might be their primary digital marketing goal. It obviously depends on whether you sell products that make sense to be sold in online marketplaces.
Somehow we got all the way to this point and didn’t even mention one of the Internet’s oldest features – email. Despite all the ways technology has made businesses able to reach people with our messages, there remain only three ways to communicate directly with a person, without having to use any proprietary technology: phone number, mailing address and email address.
That unfiltered, unlimited access to your audience is one of the most powerful tools in a marketing arsenal, so it’s almost essential for any business to maintain some kind of consistent email communication with their audience.
Those are the primary forms that digital marketing takes, and as both software and hardware evolve, so do the seemingly infinite opportunities to promote a business digitally. It can get overwhelming, but if you’re lacking in any of these areas, we strongly recommend addressing those gaps before trying to chase some new trend.
The great part is, you can get started on your strategy, right now, for free, but taking our free digital marketing health assessment. By just answering of handful of simple questions, we assess your overall online presence, and offer recommendations for improvement.