Marketing has always been about connecting with your target audience in the right place and at the right time.
Today, that means you need to meet your target audience where they are spending most of their time. The place is on the internet.
Did you know that in 2022, there were more than 4.95 Billion global internet users? This was up from 400 million users in 2021. That is a huge number of people, a huge number of people that could be your customers too – but only if they know about you.
Want to learn more about digital marketing and learn why it’s important? Keep reading.
Digital marketing is an umbrella term for all of your company’s online marketing efforts.
Digital marketing is how your target audience will find you online, engage with your Brand, fall in love with what you offer, build trust and ultimately… buy from you.
Let’s dive in to:
Read on to learn more about Digital Marketing, what it is and how you can create a digital marketing strategy for your business to reach more customers than you ever thought possible.
1. What is Digital Marketing?
In this digital era, anyone can use technology to promote their business. Create innovative designs and share it on the internet.
Digital marketing is otherwise known as Online Marketing or Internet Marketing. It embraces many traditional marketing techniques but includes some important ‘upgrades’ so they apply effectively in the digital space.
Digital marketing is defined as the use of digital channels or technologies to sell, or promote, a product or service.
So, what does digital marketing consist of? We call them the 9 pillars of digital marketing and they are:
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing (SMM)
- Search engine marketing (SEM)
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Influencer marketing
- Mobile marketing
- Marketing analytics
- Affiliate marketing
All 9 pillars fall under the umbrella term ‘Digital Marketing’ and come in no particular order – all 9 are equally important these days.
But for a real-life example of these pillars in action… if you are being encouraged to buy something when you’re browsing online, that is the 9 pillars of digital marketing at work.
2. What are the benefits of Internet Marketing?
The number of potential customers or, prospects, you can find online is much larger than you’ll ever be able to attract locally.
We are talking a global audience of 4.95 billion people here, a number that is growing considerably each year. Imagine the possibilities if you opened the doors of your business to that many people.
It could be life changing for you and your family.
By incorporating only 50% of the digital marketing pillars into your digital marketing plan, you will be able to reach a global audience in a way that’s cost-effective, scalable and measurable.
Some of the key benefits of digital marketing include:
- The ability to interact with your prospects and learn exactly what they are looking for (in otherwords, get to know your customers better!).
- The ability to reach out to anyone, anywhere, as there are no geographical boundaries in the digital space.
- Target the right audience at the right time – personalisation is simpler with digital marketing.
- Communicate with your prospects at every stage of the buying process.
- Save money by reaching more customers for less.
- Get to know your audience and drive engagement to create brand loyalty.
- Gain inspiration from the power of customer loyalty schemes.
- Track and monitor responses to your marketing efforts easily and quickly.
3. Digital Marketing Strategy vs Digital Marketing Plan
Even though marketing professionals often use these two terms interchangeably – Digital Marketing Plans and Digital Marketing Strategies differ from one another.
But do keep in mind that to find success in business online, both are necessary.
The most notable differences between the two are that a digital marketing strategy is something you establish first. Followed by your digital marketing plan which outlines how you’ll accomplish all the goals you’ve defined in the digital marketing strategy.
Here are some other differences between a digital marketing plan and a digital marketing strategy:
- Definition: The digital marketing strategy is the reason you have digital marketing efforts. This might be because the business needs to earn more to support its growth, or the business requires more brand recognition to secure long-term customers. In contrast, a digital marketing plan is the method by which you’ll deliver your strategy.
- Purpose: The purpose of a digital marketing strategy is to align your digital marketing goals with the overarching goals of the business. While the purpose of a digital marketing plan is to develop the specific steps you’ll need take to realise your marketing goals.
- Focus: Another difference between a digital marketing plan and a digital marketing strategy is in what each focuses on. Your digital marketing strategy will include your goals, campaign objectives, target audience, methods of communication and competitor analysis. Comparatively, your digital marketing plan should focus on the implementation method and more tactical steps you plan on taking to achieve the goals you’ve included in the strategy.
Now that we’ve covered the differences between the two, hopefully you’re now clued up on why they’re both important. So next, we’re going to delve into how to write your own digital marketing strategy!
4. How do I write a Digital Marketing Strategy?
A strategy gives you direction, this is true in all aspects of running your business. A digital marketing strategy is no different and why it’s often described as a roadmap to grow your business online.
From our experience, many companies without a digital marketing strategy lack clear strategic goals. They often come hand-in-hand and it draws into question whether there is a deeper strategic issue within the business. If you are struggling to find the time, or just don’t know where to start – this guide from HELM can really help put you back on track.
A clearly defined digital marketing strategy provides you with clarity. Without one, it makes it very difficult to allocate resources to specific digital marketing channels and even more difficult to measure whether you’re hitting your targets. Here are three questions to illustrate this point…
- How much profit did we make?
- How well did our customers respond?
- What could we have done better?
Three very easy questions to ask that are, often, very difficult to answer – unless you have written a digital marketing strategy.
So, how do I write a digital marketing strategy?
You can start by writing down answers to these questions:
- What am I trying to achieve? (state all your goals)
- Who is my target audience? (age, demographic, location etc)
- What is the ideal customer persona (e.g a young male professional with an affinity for green living?)
- Which digital channels are most suitable? (e.g Instagram, Facebook, Google Ads based on market research)
- What is my maximum budget? (include a small contingency)
- How many staff do I need to assign?
- What is the market demand for this product/service?
- How do I measure and report on the campaign?
Once you have answered all these questions, you will be 90% of the way to have written your digital marketing strategy. Build upon it further by adding questions specific to your niche and goals. Before you know it, you’ll have a digital marketing strategy that you feel confident will drive your business forward.
Now, let’s focus on the execution of your strategy and that is the digital marketing plan!
5. How do I write a Digital Marketing Plan?
Firstly, let’s do a quick recap – what is a digital marketing plan? We can then provide you with a template showing you how to create your own.
Remember that digital marketing is achieved through digital marketing channels, embracing the 9 pillars, as outlined above. Therefore a digital marketing plan involves a deliberate decision-making process regarding your digital marketing strategy and decides upon the most appropriate digital channels that will help you fulfill it.
In short, a digital marketing plan is defined as a step-by-step, actionable process that focuses upon delivering the digital marketing strategy.
Now that you fully understand what a digital marketing plan is, here is a real-life example of one based on a Gantt chart.
What’s really useful about this example is that it is an interactive Gantt based template, most are offline PDF’s which don’t provide you with a great deal of value-add. But with this interactive gantt, you can clearly see step-by-step, how to build your own digital marketing plan with some realistic time frames included for each task too. Super helpful!
Now that you’re fully prepared, it’s time to write your digital marketing plan!
Your next steps.
At VIEWFULE, we appreciate that it takes time to develop an effective digital marketing strategy and, in-turn, write an effective digital marketing plan. But if you invest the time to do so, the rewards can be huge and life changing that much is clear… engaging with a market of 4.95 Billion global internet users is no joke. Riches are to be made if you get it right and many companies do each and every day.
Should you need any guidance on writing either one or perhaps just an honest chat on digital marketing for your business. Reach our for your FREE consultation and we’ll talk through digital marketing, from effective digital channels to strategy and plans so you keep ahead of your competitors and gain market share!