How to Create A Digital Marketing Strategy For Your Business [New Guide]

A graphic that explains the Digital Marketing Strategy Building Process

You build your business’s Digital Marketing Strategy to attract, engage, and delight your target audience along their journey with your business.

What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?

A digital marketing strategy is a plan for reaching a specific internet marketing-related goal (or goals) in a focused and achievable way through carefully selected online marketing channels such as paid advertising, customer reviews, and your published content.

It takes into consideration what your business is currently doing well (and what you are not) in regards to the goals you set, so you are more likely to reach them.

So, a digital marketing strategy is the series of actions you plan and take to achieve your digital marketing goal and then you keep track of your strategy’s performance and optimise it according to your goals.

We have helped many businesses and advertising agencies to succeed in Digital Marketing, contact us now to help you create your Digital Marketing Strategy!

Digital Marketing Strategy Examples

Here are some examples of digital marketing strategies and their goals:

  • Create an email campaign to reach your existing customers to tell them about a new product, to get new sales

  • Publish a blog to talk about your business and industry, to gain authority, credibility and brand exposure

  • Offer free educational resources to any member of your audience who sign up to your email list, to increase email list signups

  • Optimize your content to rank higher on the search engine results page (using SEO techniques), to get more organic views of your content

  • Test different search engine marketing campaign types, to find what works best for your audience

  • Advertise your website on a specific social media platform (e.g. Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads), to get more social referrals

  • Organize a webinar to explain a relevant topic to your audience and promote your service, to gain authority and sales

  • Produce a podcast about your industry and share news and interviews, to gain credibility and brand exposure

Keep reading, and I will tell you more about Digital Marketing and why it is important to your business, and how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy for your business.

Here is the Table Of Content for this guide:

So, what is Digital Marketing and how is it different from traditional offline marketing?

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is all the marketing efforts that use the internet as a medium. Businesses use digital marketing channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to publish useful content to connect with current and prospective customers.

A graphic that compares traditional marketing and digital marketing.
A graphic that compares traditional marketing and digital marketing.

Digital Marketing Compared to Traditional Offline Marketing

The main difference is that digital marketing uses the internet as a medium to deliver your message to your audience.

And the most important difference between them is that you can measure the performance of your digital marketing campaigns in real-time.

Because digital marketing has so many options and strategies, you can get creative and experiment with a variety of marketing tactics on a budget.

With digital marketing, you can also monitor the success of your campaigns more than you could with a traditional promotional content such as a billboard or print ad.

You can run your digital marketing campaigns to target your audience and achieve specific goals (like driving more visitors to your website), and you can easily track the performance and the return on your investment, of your campaigns in real-time.

You can not have the same performance insights with traditional marketing.

Why is a Digital Marketing Strategy Important to Your Business?

When someone has an interest in your industry or in your topic of expertise, or when they first hear about your business, the first thing they are going to do is research about you online.

If a potential customer can’t find you online, they may conclude that your business doesn’t appear to be legitimate, then your target audience begins to search for a business similar to yours and are able to find your competitors’ website but not yours. And you would lose business.

If you have an online presence but your competitors are easier to find than you, you would lose business.

If you want your targeted audience to find your business on the internet, then you need to have a Digital Marketing Strategy in place to ensure that your online content can be found by your targeted audience.

We have helped many businesses and advertising agencies to succeed in Digital Marketing, contact us now to help you create your Digital Marketing Strategy!

Now that you know more about digital marketing and what a digital marketing strategy is, it is time to learn how to create your strategy.

But first, let us talk about the components of a digital marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing Strategy Components

Your business's Digital Marketing Strategy will use a number of digital marketing components to reach, engage and delight your target audience.

The choice of digital marketing channels will depend on your target audience and where, when and how to reach them.

Your business digital marketing strategy can use a combination of the following components:

  • Content Marketing

  • Email Marketing

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

  • SMM (Social Media Marketing)

  • Affiliate Marketing

  • Influencer Marketing

Let me explain each digital marketing strategy component briefly.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing is the creation and promotion (free or paid) of helpful high-quality content (content can be in any form) for the purpose of getting more views of the content to encourage audience engagement, generate brand awareness and business leads.

Marketing is impossible without great content, great content should be at the core of your marketing efforts. Regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of your process, not something separate.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is the use of email messages to communicate with your target audience to promote content, new products or services, discounts, offers, events and news updates.

Email is a professional medium, and people expect to receive information about your products and services through email messages.

Email marketing messages give your business the ability to connect with your email subscribers (who have explicitly told you they want to hear from you when they signed up for your email list) in a targeted and personalized way.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your content to be listed higher in the search engine results pages, increasing the amount of organic (free) traffic that your content receives.

SEO also covers the technical optimisation you do to make your content load for your audience faster (like hosting the content on a fast server or making the image files on your content smaller).

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search Engine Marketing is the process of purchasing ads on search engines (like Google) to get targeted views for your content.

The Search Engine Marketing term was used as an umbrella term to encompass both SEO (search engine optimization) and paid advertising on search engines. Over time, the industry has adopted the SEM acronym to refer solely to paid search.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social Media Marketing is the sharing, and paid promotion, of your content on social media platforms (like Facebook or Twitter) to encourage audience engagement, increase brand awareness, drive more traffic to your content, and generate leads for your business.

Notice that social networks are a personal form of communication used to keep up to date with friends and family.

And when people log in to their social media accounts, they are there to see photos and updates from people they know and care about.

So, create your social media content to network and engage with your target audience, not to sell them anything.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is a type of marketing where you pay a commission to content publishers on the internet for promoting your products or services on their content (e.g: Amazon Associates Program).

An affiliate of your business will place mentions of your brand, service and products on the content that they create for their audience. They will use a special link that refers their audience to your content where you can close the deal.

Affiliate marketing is a powerful way to use the collective marketing efforts of your affiliates to promote your product or service and gain more exposure for your brand.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing is a beneficial collaboration between your business and a person (or brand) who has an influence on your target audience.

An influencer can have a large following on social media sites like Instagram and YouTube, and you will enlist their help to promote your products or services to their audience if they are similar to your target audience.

An influencer can create content that specifically promotes your brand, or can mention it to their audience in their content.

So, now that you have learned about the Digital Marketing Strategy Components and why to use them, I will show you how to start the process of creating your digital marketing strategy.

You will need to plan your strategy for the long term, typically around 6 to 12 months is a good starting point, depending on your business.

A graphic that explains the Digital Marketing Strategy Framework. Source: Equinet Academy

Here are the building blocks for your Digital Marketing Strategy:

  • Clear profile(s) of your buyer persona(s) derived from your target audience

  • One or more digital marketing goals

  • An inventory of your existing online content, customer reviews and referrals, and paid advertising campaigns

  • An audit of your existing online content, customer reviews and referrals, and paid advertising campaigns

  • A content creation plan

We have helped many businesses and advertising agencies to succeed in Digital Marketing, contact us now to help you create your Digital Marketing Strategy!

How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy

1. Build your buyer personas.

For any digital marketing strategy, you need to know who you are marketing to. The best digital marketing strategies are built upon detailed buyer personas, and your first step is to create them.

Buyer personas represent your ideal customer(s) and can be created by researching, surveying, and interviewing your business's target audience.

It is important to note that this information should be based upon real data whenever possible, as making assumptions about your audience can cause your marketing strategy to move in the wrong direction.

But what kind of information should you gather for your own buyer persona(s) to inform your digital marketing strategy?

Here are some starting points that you can finetune and tailor to your business:

  • Quantitative and Demographic Information: like location, age, income, job title

  • Qualitative and Psychographic Information: like goals, challenges, hobbies, interests, priorities

By combining all of these details, you'll be able to create buyer personas that are accurate and highly valuable for your business.

2. Identify your goal(s).

Your marketing goals should always be tied back to the fundamental goals of your business.

For example, if your business's goal is to increase revenue by 20%, your marketing team's goal might be to generate 50% more leads from your website than the previous year to contribute to that goal.

Your marketing goals should align with your business’s goals.

Whether it is to earn a certain amount of money or obtain a specific number of leads, you will want to set strategic goals that help you achieve your overall goals.

When you set marketing goals, you must establish what you want to achieve, when you want to reach it and how you will measure that achievement.

3. Evaluate your existing digital channels and assets.

When reviewing your existing digital marketing channels and assets to determine what to incorporate in your strategy, it is helpful to first consider the big picture.

Gather what you have, and categorize each channel or asset in a spreadsheet, so you have a clear picture of your existing owned, earned, and paid media.

The Owned, Earned, Paid Media Framework

To do this effectively, use the owned, earned, and paid media framework to categorize the digital assets, or channels you are already using and decide what is a good fit for your digital marketing strategy.

Let me explain what they are.

Owned Media

Owned media are the digital assets your brand or business owns or controls. Like your website, social media profiles, blog content, and images.

Owned media are the digital assets that your business has complete control over.

Earned Media

Earned media refers to the exposure you earn through word-of-mouth marketing.

Whether that is content you have distributed on other websites (e.g. guest posts), PR work you have been doing, or the customer experience you have delivered.

Earned media is the recognition you receive as a result of those efforts.

You can also earn media by getting press mentions and positive reviews and by people sharing your content via their networks (e.g. social media networks).

Paid Media

Paid media refers to any channel you spend money on to catch the attention of your audience.

This includes things like Google Ads, paid social media ads, or any other medium through which you pay in exchange for increased visibility.

A graphic that explains the Digital Marketing Media Mix
A graphic that explains the Digital Marketing Media Mix

For your strategy to work successfully, you will want to incorporate different parts of the framework rather than just working with owned, earned, or paid media alone.

For example, if you have a piece of content on your website that was designed to capture your target audience information on a business lead form.

You may need to increase the leads it generates, and you know from your audit of your owned, earned, and paid media that your content is performing well in social media.

So your strategy may include a paid advertising campaign on Google Ads to bring more leads through your form.

And to make your strategy more successful, you might link to your leads page from relevant content on your website to get more organic traffic to your leads form.

4. Audit and plan your owned media campaigns.

Whatever your digital marketing strategy goal is, you will want to incorporate owned content.

To start, decide what content will help you reach your goals.

For example, the web page that your lead form is on might need to be better written to convince your audience to give you their contact information.

So you would add an A/B test of your leads page content to your strategy.

Here are a few steps you can follow to find out what owned content you need, to meet your digital marketing strategy goals.

  1. Audit your existing content

Make a list of your existing owned content, and rank each item according to what has previously performed best in relation to your current goals.

For example, if your goal is lead generation, rank your content according to which pieces generated the most leads over the last year (such as a blog post, ebook, or site page).

The idea here is to figure out what's currently working, and what is not working so that you can set yourself up for success when planning future content.

  1. Identify gaps in your existing content

Based on your buyer personas and your target audience, identify any gaps in the content you have.

For example, if you are a digital marketing company, you might have found through research that your target audience is struggling with Google Ads.

So you would need to create content that makes your customers' life easier when they run Google Ads campaigns.

Add it to your list of content that you need to create.

Then, when you create your helpful content, you would use it to promote your leads page.

  1. Create a content creation plan

Based on your findings in the content gaps analysis, make a content creation plan outlining the content that is necessary to help you hit your goals.

Your content creation plan should include:

The content's title, format, goal, promotional channel(s), why you are creating the content and the priority level of the content.

This can be a simple spreadsheet, and should also include budget information if you're planning to outsource the content creation, or a time estimate if you're producing it yourself.

5. Audit and plan your earned media campaigns.

Evaluating your previous earned media against your current goals can help you get an idea of where to focus your time.

Look at where your traffic and leads are coming from, and rank each earned media source from most effective to least effective.

The idea is to know what types of earned media will help you reach your goals and what will not, based on historical data.

However, don't rule out something new you want to experiment with until you have data to base your decision on.

6. Audit and plan your paid media campaigns.

You need to evaluate your existing paid media across each platform (e.g. Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to figure out what is most likely to help you meet your current goals.

For example, if you have spent money on Facebook ads to get more leads and you have not seen good results, maybe it's time to refine your approach, or scrap it altogether and focus on another platform that seems to be yielding better results.

By the end of the process, you should have a clear idea of which paid media platforms you want to continue using, and which if any, you would like to remove from your strategy.

7. Establish your budget.

When setting up a digital marketing strategy, it is essential to know how much you can spend and what resources you have for your campaigns.

You don't want to plan for an online marketing strategy that goes beyond your means.

It is most effective if you create a budget for each campaign.

This division ensures that each campaign has a set budget, and you know how much you can spend on each one.

You will also want to establish your resources.

People are one of your most essential resources. You must determine how many people you have to work on your online marketing campaigns.

Another resource is tools.

If you have any marketing tools, like Google Analytics, that help you run or analyze your campaign, you will want to take those into account towards your budget and means.

Establish your budget and resources, so you know what you have before launching your strategy.

8. Create your digital marketing strategy document.

You have done the planning and the research, and you now have a solid vision of the elements that will make up your digital marketing strategy.

Put all that in a Digital Marketing Strategy document.

Your strategy document will be very specific to your business, which is why it is impossible to create a one-size-fits-all digital marketing strategy template.

And the purpose of your strategy document is to map out the actions you are going to take to achieve your goal over a period of time.

And as long as your strategy document communicates that, then you have completed the basics of creating a digital marketing strategy!

And that is it, you have successfully created your business’s Digital Marketing Strategy!

Remember, testing and optimization allow you to iterate your marketing efforts and make ongoing decisions based on hard data rather than intuition.

Just as research is the bedrock of your marketing, testing and optimization is your continuous guide. You should never stop testing your marketing campaigns and adjusting them accordingly.

We hope you found our guide helpful. We have helped many digital marketing agencies and businesses like yours to succeed in Digital Marketing. Please contact us to help you with your digital marketing strategy now!

About the author:

Seiffeddeen Keilani is a Google Ads specialist and founder of the S2HA2R company (www.s2ha2r.com).