5 essential steps for building a comprehensive digital marketing strategy

No matter if you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for many years, it’s never a bad time to think about your digital marketing strategy. Whether you need to create a brand new one for your new business, service or product, or evaluate and update your existing strategy, there are a couple steps you can follow to ensure you’re creating the best, most comprehensive strategy possible.

5 essential steps for building a comprehensive digital marketing strategy

Following these tips will lead to a successful, powerful new digital marketing strategy.

1. Define your audience.

The best way to start with any marketing strategy of any kind is to think about your audience. After all, if you don’t know who you’re marketing to, how can you market to them effectively? This is a common mistake made by anyone new to marketing: you just think about reaching “people”, not WHICH people. It’s time to think critically about and define your audience before you try to reach them.

Try asking yourself these questions when defining your audience:

What’s some demographic information about my audience? Age, location, gender, etc.
What are some example positions or jobs that my audience holds?
What does my audience care about on a daily basis?
What’s their economic bracket?

2. Make a list of the best places to reach them.

Think about an average day for someone in your audience. If you found you have multiple audience types that are pretty different during question 1, do this for each one. What are they doing when they wake up? What does their commute look like, and what are they doing during it? What are they most likely doing when they get home and before bed?

Write out a scenario and notice all the digital marketing opportunities you’re bringing up. Does this person listen to the radio or podcasts? Research online before making decisions? Use social media? If yes, which networks? Does she watch YouTube videos?

3. Brainstorm: What are their pain points, and how can you address them?

This sounds straightforward, but you can go more in-depth with it than you think. Think beyond the obvious of why they need your product or service and brainstorm around what else you can provide, such as answers to questions they have. Cast a wide net at this step!

Now, next to each pain point, note how you can solve it. Use what you discovered in step two about where you can reach your audience. For example, you can:

Provide them with your product or service
Answer their questions on your blog
Make videos that show how to do something
Create a downloadable guide
Share quick explainer graphics on social media
Explain something new in weekly emails

4. Bring it together. What strategies did you pinpoint in your research?

Alright, so you’ve thought about your audience, what they do online, and how you can reach them to address their pain points. Now it’s time to bring it all together to determine what pieces of a digital marketing strategy you should employ to best reach your audience.

Here are some questions to think about with digital marketing tactics to help:

Does my audience research online before buying? (SEO and PPC)
Is my audience spending time on social media? (Social Media Marketing and Social Media Ads)
Is my audience heading to YouTube when they need answers? (Video Production)
Does my audience spend a lot of time on YouTube, in general? (Video ads)
Can I answer questions my audience is searching for answers for with my content? (Content Strategy)
Would it make sense to keep in touch with my audience on a weekly or monthly basis? (Email marketing)

5. Prioritize & Plan

It’s easy to look at the list in the previous step and say “yes” to all of those questions. Chances are, though, something (or a couple things) there will stand out to you as being the most important for your unique audience at this time. Evaluate your budget, determine how many things you can start with, and go from there.

You can also consult a digital marketing agency, as we have a lot of experience with “digital marketing strategy!

Bonus! An Example:
Audience Brainstorming

Let’s say you’re a security systems company for residential homeowners. More than half of your calls come from females, so in this case, your audience is female homeowners. Those who use your services are often younger and middle-aged moms, wanting to protect their families.

So, let’s call this audience person Melissa. Melissa, age 32, has a 3-year-old toddler and a new 4-month-old baby, and she and her husband have just moved out of their starter home into a more spacious home. She’s thinking about putting in a security system to protect her family.

5 essential steps for building a comprehensive digital marketing strategy

In the morning, she hops in the car to bring her 3-year-old to Pre-K and her 4-month-old to daycare before heading into work as a marketing professional. After dropping off the kids, she listens to her favorite podcast on her drive in.

Once at work, she focuses on her job, but checks her personal email at lunch time and just before she leaves for the day. In the evenings after her kids go to bed, she checks her social media feeds to see what’s going on with her friends and others she follows.

After that, she does a little online research via Google to get some information about security systems to determine which is right for her home.

Pain Points

Melissa isn’t sure if she wants a security system that’s more DIY or fully installed by a professional. She’s also not sure how much they cost, so she’s doing some price research. She also wants to see which companies in her area have the best reviews, so she can choose a reputable one. Mostly, she just wants to make sure she finds a great service that works well to protect her family.

How to Reach Melissa

To reach a customer like Melissa, you’d want to have an SEO campaign set up so that you’re showing up in Google searches for security systems in her area. If it’s in your budget, a PPC campaign would be great because it would guarantee you a spot among the top results.

Since she checks her social media feeds daily, having a social media presence would also be a great way to stay in front of her. You could even do some social media advertising that targets homeowners and moms her age to catch her eye with an ad in the right place at the right time.

She also checks email on a daily basis and listens to podcasts – two more opportunities to reach her, although maybe not the most important of the bunch in this case. It’s also clear that you need great reviews, so she won’t phase you out during her research for a company whose reviews are much better.