Assuming you understand the importance and benefits of digital marketing for the success of your business...I have to say "CONGRATS"

Web sources suggest that around 40% of SMBs are still stuck with offline advertising.

You're already in the winners' camp...Now, it's time to join the winners' circle.

To help you achieve that, I'll show you the 6 key factors a successful digital marketing strategy focuses on. I'll try to keep things simple, and here is what we'll be talking about:

  • Business Goals
  • Target Audience
  • Brand Identity
  • Important Data
  • Competitors
  • Marketing Channels

Hi, I'm Evan, the founder of Ernst Media...And you'll learn what it takes to craft a digital marketing strategy that works. First, let's see what that means.

What is a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy?

A successful digital marketing strategy will leverage different online channels to achieve specific goals associated with your business and brand. It involves understanding your target audience, analyzing data and competitors, and utilizing the right marketing channels.

It doesn't sound like rocket science, right?

Yet, a recent report by SmartInsights unveiled that almost half of the companies doing online marketing don't yet have a defined digital marketing strategy.

Let's get to the key factors and make sure you'll be part of the other half.

1. Start With Your Business Goals

You've probably heard of George Doran's SMART goals or the 5S digital marketing framework from Paul Smith and Dave Chaffey.

These goal-setting methods have become popular for a reason...but let's leave them for the big companies with the big marketing teams.

Most of our clients are SMBs, and I know the lack of time makes them prioritize simplicity.

You see, digital marketing channels (besides search engine optimization) allow you to pivot quickly. That means you should focus on your current business goals.

» You run an e-commerce biz and want to generate more sales with PPC advertising.

» Maybe you offer B2B services and need leads, which you'll contact on the phone.

» You have an established brand looking to reach potential customers on social media.

» Or perhaps a nonprofit searching for donations and volunteers to support your causes.

Figure out what you want to achieve this quarter or this year...not in a decade. Then, you need to find out who are the people that need the solutions you offer.

2. Get to Know Your Target Audience

Knowing your target audience is very important for the success of your digital marketing efforts.

It doesn't matter if you focus on email marketing, educational content for SEO, social media posts, etc...Your message must be tailored to meet your audience's needs.

I've done many digital marketing campaigns. If the message isn't right, they won't take action!

Think about your existing customers, or if it's a new business, create an ideal customer persona. What are their demographics, interests, behaviors, and pain points?

If your business already has an online presence, use Google Analytics to see how website visitors behave. Checking the insights of social media posts will tell you what kind of people engage with your content the most.

If you're just starting out, join online forums and social media groups related to your business. Read and engage to learn about people's problems, challenges, and preferences.

The late Peter Drucker said something decades ago, but it's still relevant:

"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself"

3. Build a Strong Brand Identity

While business goals will evolve over time, your brand is a long-term asset. A strong brand identity defines what you stand for and sets you apart from the competition.

why strong brand identity is important in digital marketing

You should start building it from day one.

It will be the consistent image and message your audience recognizes and trusts at each marketing funnel stage. It is essential for the success of your present and future digital marketing efforts.

I'm no expert in branding, but I know a few things about the process.

Here is what to consider:

Clear Mission and Values: Let people know you're not just about money in the bank.

Consistent Visuals: Ensure your brand is easily recognizable across all platforms.

Unique Tone of Voice: Establish a distinct voice that resonates with your audience.

Authentic Storytelling: Build emotional connections and make your brand relatable.

Meaningful Interactions: Reinforce your identity with a positive customer experience.

4. Dive Into Important Data

A digital marketing strategy that isn't based on industry and market data cannot succeed. The thing is...There is so much data and tools that you can easily spend days looking at stuff and see nothing meaningful.

For SMBs Just Starting to Build an Online Presence

Research industry reports and market studies to gain insights into overall trends and consumer behavior in your sector.

Use tools like Google Trends to see what topics and keywords are gaining traction in search engines. See what's hot on Amazon and YouTube if you're selling goods. Explore local market data if you plan to promote your business on Google.

For Businesses That Have an Online Foundation

A good amount of website traffic or engaged social media followers means you also have a wealth of data. Take advantage of it.

Discover the keywords you currently rank for in Google Search Console. Then, use tools like Answer the Public to find related search terms. These will help you create a good SEO strategy.

Look at your social media insights to find the best-performing posts and create similar ads. The higher the engagement rate, the more people will see the ads.

Have you run any marketing campaigns? Check important digital marketing KPIs to measure success and find opportunities to achieve more in the future.

By the way...

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5. Spy on Your Competition

Understanding your competitors' actions will help you refine your digital marketing strategy. See what they're doing to drive business with organic and paid traffic and outsmart them.

how competitors analysis helps you refine your digital marketing strategy

Let me give you a couple of examples from my Boutique Marketing Agency's kitchen:

When helping clients who have opted for our SEO services, we first identify keywords their competitors rank for. We then find the articles that aren't well-optimized or have the fewest backlinks and write better content around the targeted keywords.

Here are two tricks we apply when businesses trust us with their social media management. We target users who have engaged with competitors' pages to increase brand awareness with Facebook ads. To generate more sales, we target folks who have purchased similar products.

Like Nancy Pearcey says:

"Competition is a good thing. It forces us to do our best"

6. Using the Right Digital Marketing Channels

Considering the other factors, it's time to choose the best digital marketing channels for your business. You can't speak to everyone everywhere, so choose wisely.

» Pick digital channels that are aligned with your business objectives and goals. Brand awareness, lead generation, know better.

» Identify where your audience spends time online and which platforms they engage with the most. That's where you'll convert them into paying customers.

» Discover which channels your competitors are using effectively. Then, look for opportunities to differentiate your digital marketing strategy.

You may think focusing on a single platform will be cost-effective, but it won't...This is one of the common digital marketing mistakes of small businesses.

Do you need help with digital marketing?

Let's discuss your challenges and goals!

work with a boutique digital marketing agency to grow your business