Building a digital marketing strategy


Smart tips to help you build your blueprint for success

Success in digital marketing depends on a sound strategy. Being strategic about marketing includes identifying your objectives; knowing what success looks like and how you will measure it; defining and finding your target customers; understanding how they buy; and clearly expressing why they should buy from you.

To help you start creating your business’s digital marketing strategy, we’ve collected smart tips from top small-business experts who have spoken at Rogers Small Business Centre events. We’ve also linked you to more great tips from these experts. Read on, and start building your blueprint for success.

Know your SMART goals and how you will measure them

If you’re starting your digital marketing campaign without knowing what your goals are, you are already going to be wasting money. It is important that whatever you do, you ensure you understand your goal —don’t just do something because “everybody else is doing it” or “your competitor is doing it.” Be intentional with your marketing spend and efforts. Setting a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goal will keep you accountable to your marketing efforts. Setting that goal is only the first step—make sure you know how you will evaluate that goal too. Identify your KPIs and methods of evaluation. Without that, you won’t know how successful your campaign is. Amaan Fazal

Know the who, what and where of your audience

Knowing your audience will help you make decisions about how to message, what mediums to use and where to spend your money. Every single one of your marketing decisions should be weighed against your target market―if you aren’t playing to your target market, you’re wasting your money. Amaan Fazal

Locate all the steps and make the connections

From the moment a prospect encounters your business to when they have successfully made a purchase and are referring others to you, there are many steps. Take the time to list out every possible touchpoint they would have with your business, both externally and internally, and you will then have a beginning roadmap for enhancing the customer experience journey…. Once you know what you would like each of the experience steps to be, start to look for ways (resources) to put those steps in place. It may not be something that can all happen at once, but work away at it and you will be making the customer experience journey more valuable, memorable and a stronger reason to choose you rather than your competition. Shaun Whynacht

Define your customers: build buyer personas

The most effective digital marketing tactics are incredibly hyper-targeted to reach your target audience. But it’s impossible to find that audience if you haven’t yet defined them. Building a buyer persona is an exercise in capturing all the nitty-gritty details about your target customer. It’s a blend of demographics and psychographics. It’s everything you can possibly articulate about them. How old are they? Where do they live? What gender are they? How educated are they? Do they have kids? What motivates them? What are they afraid of? What do they do for fun? What are their goals? The answer to every question you ask becomes another important clue about how to reach them with your digital marketing tactics. Robert Burko

Create your brand story and identify your target audience

Why does your business exist? What is the bigger vision beyond just the numbers? What are the values you and your company represent? Who are your ideal customers? Creating a brand story helps you develop a persona for your company, and inadvertently builds a roadmap for your marketing strategies to follow…. Remember, a brand story isn’t a glorified About page. It isn’t just about the “what”, the “how”, or the “history” behind your company. It’s about your mission, your passion, your vision, and ultimately, “why you do what you do.” Also, you can’t please everyone in the world, so really think about the target audience you want to serve and pour your heart and soul into servicing/reaching them. Derek Leung

Develop a clear strategy

Before starting any activity on social networks, you must take the time necessary to put in place the basis of your communication. It's important to know your target audience, to determine the key messages you want to deliver and to choose the appropriate tone. These factors will determine the strategy, or guiding principle, for all your pages. This strategy must be incorporated in the vision, mission, and objectives of your enterprise. Everything must be congruent if you want your social media strategy to be efficient. Francis Gosselin

Looking for more ideas to help you grow your digital footprint? Our Digital Marketing Playbook offers a collection of smart, actionable tips that cover the key areas of digital marketing, including developing your strategy, building your brand online, engaging customers with content, mastering social advertising, social selling and much more.

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