Build a Digital Marketing Strategy That Works! | Business LockerRoom

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By Josh Miles | Guest Posts

Jun 16

Build a Digital Marketing Strategy That Works!

by Josh Miles

Welcome to the sixth installment of the Bold Brand challenge!

If you get the basics of digital marketing right, you will quickly separate your company from 95% of other businesses that simply chase the latest trends without any real objectives in mind. It’s a good idea as a business to look at things like this marketing for saas, or even take a look at seo to give you a better idea of what you can do for your business. Every business looking to push on with a digital marketing campaign is looking for a reliable agency to help them with it. Your business may have already found an SEO Company Montreal that meets your needs, but marketing is a much easier game if you know what you’re doing yourself. So in the spirit of bringing someone in who really knows what they’re doing, this month you’ll be hearing from our Digital Marketing Strategist, Tim Hickle.

In this post Tim will walk you through how to build a great digital marketing strategy, and walk you through the basics to get that strategy rolling.

I’ll see you next month—take it away, Tim!

Hey guys! Are you ready for a secret?

All you need to build an effective digital marketing strategy is three things:

  1. A solid understanding of long-term business objectives
  2. Quantifiable short-term business goals
  3. A solution to solve both areas of focus

So let’s jump in!

Start with Long-Term Business Objectives

This is the single biggest mistake I see clients make on a regular basis. Any time you’re building a marketing plan, you’re also building a positioning plan. If your “marketing plan” is to offer coupons, you’re already positioning yourself as a low-cost option for a price sensitive clientele. If your “marketing plan” is to email a purchased list or build a call center, you’re positioning yourself as a spammy company. Business is a turn-based game, and whether you’re playing the game of chess, football, or business, every move you make will set up each subsequent move.

Put another way, who do you want to be in 3-5 years? Do you want to be twice your current size? Do you want to be entering a new vertical? What kind of brand do you have? Are you a premium provider or a bargain basement? If you ignore the big picture of the business around you, your marketing stands little-to-no chance of generating long term success. It may be worth checking out a reliable digital agency to help you with any concerns you have about your digital marketing campaign.

This vision will inform the “why” of your marketing strategy, while the next step will inform the “what” and the “how.”

Next, Ask Yourself about Short-Term Business Objectives

Now we can start asking about short-term objectives like audience size, revenue, or profit margins. This is, in my opinion, the simplest part of the process, but it is often glossed over by even the best marketers.

No need to dust off your old algebra textbook, because the equation you need to solve is surprisingly simple.

Desired Outcome = (Quantity of People Reached) x (Success Rate)

Sounds easy, right? Then why do marketers continually gloss over the details when we’re building digital campaigns? For any digital marketing strategy, there should be a clear desired outcome, a statistically-backed success rate estimate, and a proposed solution to reach the corresponding quantity of people. If you don’t have these three elements, you don’t have a strategy, you have a list of tactics.

Build Your Minimum Viable Solution to Accomplish All of the Above

So let’s build on this equation. If you can easily reach the number of people you need to reach at a high success rate, you can stop reading now. More often than not, though, it’s our job as marketers to reach more people, convert more people, and do it with a lower budget.

Looking at this equation, one thing becomes abundantly clear… If you want to increase your desired outcome, you have two, and ONLY two, options:

  1. You can increase quantity of people reached
  2. You can increase your success rate

Number one is easy to achieve, but it almost ALWAYS comes from sacrificing success rate. Want to email everyone who’s ever given you an email address? Watch your open rate suffer. Want to purchase a list of people to target on social media? Prepare for lower click through rates and conversion rates. Here are my favorite ways to increase quantity of people reached without sacrificing quality:

Tertiary Email Campaigns
Like most marketers, you probably have a portion of your email list who fails to open or click on your emails. Consider running a “win-back” campaign to this list to get a percentage of them re-engaged. This is a great way to increase the size of your primary list because these people already trusted you with their email once, you just need to earn that trust back.

Facebook Lookalike Audiences
This is the single most valuable thing about Facebook. Using the Facebook ad platform, you can plug in your email list – or emails of people who have recently purchased from you – and you can market exclusively to people who “look” exactly like them. This is a great way to find hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people who are looking for what you provide.

Make Anything Cold VERY Personal
I get it. Sometimes you have to cold call or cold email someone. Don’t make it a habit, but if you absolutely have to, you should make it as personal as possible. Start by downloading Crystal. This email app is designed to crawl people’s social profiles to coach you through how they like to communicate. Imagine DISC or Myers Briggs for strangers. Next, send them a personalized message that has a hyper-personal touch. Are you a funny guy in real life? Include a joke or funny GIF. Make it feel like it’s coming from a friend, not a stranger.

Finally, Write a Wish List and Assess the Cost

Once you’ve built your “minimum viable marketing solution” to complete the equation, it’s time to make a prioritized list of everything else you think could be helpful. Want an ad buy that you can’t justify in the budget? Maybe you want to attend a trade show or think that some old-fashioned networking events would be a great addition. Make a list of those items here to ask for later. A simple spreadsheet will suffice. Make sure you include three columns:

  • Wish list item
  • Proposed cost
  • Estimated return

Now you’re prepared for scaling your marketing efforts and have the ability to go back to your budget meetings more prepared.

Homework: Build Your Digital Marketing Strategy Today

If you’re looking to build out your digital marketing strategy today, there are three big action items that you need to do immediately:

Quantify your goals: “Sell more stuff” isn’t a goal. It’s barely a sentence. A goal is “We want to increase top-line revenue on sales of ‘Service A’ or ‘Widget B’ by 20% in the next quarter.

Figure out your own equation: Now that you have your “Desired Outcome,” work backwards. What’s your average conversion rate on your website? Close rate? How many people do you need to reach to make the numbers add up?

Just hire someone for things you don’t understand: There’s nothing more painful than watching a business struggle to gain a foothold online because they decided to do it themselves with absolutely no digital marketing background. Trust me, I’ve seen plenty of businesses spend six figures in wasted effort and lost revenue because they think they can do this themselves. Nine out of ten times, it’s a lot more cost effective to hire a professional.

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About the Author

Josh Miles is a caffeine and Twitter addict, and the principal and founder of Miles Design. He was honored as one of Indianapolis Business Journal's 2013 40 Under 40. Josh is also the author of Bold Brand: The New Rules for Differentiating, Branding, and Marketing Your Professional Services Firm. His expertise is highly sought after by professional services firms from coast to coast.

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