It’s difficult to believe that 10 years ago Instagram didn’t exist. Twitter had only been going for a few years and Facebook had 100 million unique monthly visitors (which is A LOT but not when compared to today’s total of 2.27 billion unique monthly visitors). But it’s not just the number of social sites that has changed in the last 10 years. Digital has taken over and it’s part of everything we do. Tablet computers, smartphones, apps, The Internet of Things… we’re all now more connected than ever. While many companies are aware of just how reliant consumers are on digital communication, surprisingly many companies neglect to map out a digital marketing strategy when trying to engage with audiences. But to reach the right people at the right time, a digital strategy is essential.
You’re probably reading this on your smartphone while you’re commuting to work. Or maybe you’re scrolling through during the ad break of your favourite weekly TV show? However you’re viewing this, one thing is for certain: the most popular way to browse the Internet is via a smartphone (72% of adults use a mobile device to access the Internet, according to Ofcom). Here are some other pretty interesting stats:
- Adults are now spending (on average) 24 hours a week online, which is double the amount of time that was spent in 2007 (Ofcom)
- On average over 30% of the total time spent by 16-64 year olds online is on social media (GlobalWebIndex)
- Two thirds of adults accessed online banking in 2017 (Office for National Statistics)
- Reading content online has tripled in the last decade - 20% of adults in 2007, 64% of adults in 2017 (Office for National Statistics)
This data, along with the constantly evolving digital landscape and emergence of new tech, means that brands have to put digital at the forefront of their marketing.
How do you create a digital marketing strategy?
It may appear a daunting task, but once you have a digital marketing strategy in place you can adapt your content as your brand evolves. Here are some steps to consider to kick off your digital strategy:
Have a long-term plan in place. Think about your brand in five years time. Where do you want to be? Having this long-term goal in mind will help you to map out a more comprehensive strategy
Plan for the first 90 days. While you should have a long-term plan in mind, starting with a ‘short’ and ‘mid-term’ plan will help you to create content that reaches more immediate goals
Bring everyone together for a digital planning session and try to include people from across different parts of the business. Use this session to map out your company’s vision, purpose and brand values. Define what makes you different and run a content audit on your existing channels and platforms
Define your audience. You can use focus groups, previous data on your customer base and social media listening tools to really understand your core audience. Once you have this in place you can begin to develop buyer personas that delve deeper into your audience, what information they need/want and the channels they use to communicate
Once you know who you’re talking to you can begin to plan your channel strategy. Which platforms are your target audience on and what content resonates with them?
Create brand pillars. Your digital strategy will rely heavily on the content you create, and creating brand pillars can help you to develop a content plan
Create your content plan and set goals - what do you want to achieve?
Measure! A digital strategy is easily measurable, so ensure you have the right tools in place to measure your KPIs. Whether you’re aiming for more website visits, an increase in followers or sales leads, regularly measure your results to ensure your strategy is working
Adapt. If your digital strategy isn’t having the impact you thought it would, consider elements you can adapt to increase engagement