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Digital marketing strategy for your small business

digital marketing strategy

How do you come up with a killer digital marketing strategy for your small business that will realise your business objectives? This frequently asked question will be answered right here, in a few seconds. 

How do I create a digital marketing strategy? 

Before we get there, it’s a good thing that you already have your business on the internet, and you are trying to figure out the strategy that will work for you. To this, we say congratulations. Because, unlike you, there are many businesses out there who are reluctant to take their business online; which is where their customers are, and that’s very strange come to think of it. Why on earth will a business owner, who wants to remain in business, not want to close up with  their target audience?

Perhaps, it’s because their businesses are running so well that they don’t see the need to make more money.?

If that’s the case, then, should we say that giant brands like MTN Cameroon aren’t making enough bucks for themselves by staying offline? 

Certainly, they are making much more money than we can ever imagine. And if they are on the internet, its not because they lack what to do. They know they have to because that’s the only means they can interact with their audience on a personal level and keep the customers loyal to their brand. 

Advertising isn’t as easy as it was 10 decades ago, where one brand will have only two to three competitors and thus, enough of the market share for every business. Today, that’s not the case. According to get2growth, there are about 305 million total startups annually and 100 million startups open each year. That makes it a great number of brands showing their faces every year, in an era where people  have lost all trust in brands. 

So how do you as an entrepreneur succeed in carving out an audience for yourself, build a long lasting relationship and drive more sales, if you aren’t present where the audience is? Online?  

Well, that was the general idea behind taking your business online. 

Digital marketing is a necessity for all businesses and selecting the right strategies will be key to your success. 

So now, since your business is on the internet, or if it’s still to, it’s important to come up with a strategy that will succeed in achieving your business goals. If you have no idea on how to do that,  here are 8 steps to get you the perfect digital marketing strategy for your small business. Ready? Let’s start. 

  1. Determine What You Want to Accomplish

What do you want to accomplish with your strategy? Do you want to build brand name  recognition? Generate leads? Get more sales, or email subscribers? Whatever it is that you want, you need to name it.

Knowing what you want to achieve with your strategy is just as important as knowing what your perfect guy/girl should look like. If you go on a bunch of blind dates with no idea what you’re looking for, you might settle down with the first person who you can tolerate.

However, If you have an actual list of traits you want in a person, you’re much more likely to find your match. You get the picture? To find the perfect strategy, have a goal in mind, so you don’t end up settling with a strategy that will neither generate leads, get more sales, or worse, does a little bit of all of them without any concrete impact. 

2. Narrow down your goals.

As we’ve said above, without goals, the strategy simply will not work, so defining them is your main task. To make sure that the goals you developed are suitable, make them measurable.

An example of a weak marketing goal will be: to Increase the conversions on the website next year and create two promotional offers.

What is wrong with this goal? It is non-measurable! How one can measure the progress using this goal?

Here is how a strong goal should be formulated:

Increase the conversions on the website by 20 percent in the first quarter of 2020, and create two promotional offers: free marketing report and a marketing book. Have them online by February and March respectively.

There, measuring the progress becomes possible now. 

  1. Identify your measuring tools

A method to help you measure each of your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is to know which measuring tool you’ll use for what objective. For example, will you use Google Analytics to measure your conversions, your individual social media analytics to track engagement or a tool like BuzzSumo to assess the success of your content marketing?

– A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.

  1. Create Buyer Personas

The next step you’ll need to take in order to create your strategy is to get a solid understanding of who your audience is and what motivates them. This is the whole essence of creating your buyer persona. Amidst the KPI setting, budget fretting and channel selection,  understanding the buyer is often the first thing a digital marketer can forget. 

You have to put your audience at the heart of your digital marketing strategy, cater to their emotional needs and satisfy their deepest desires. This will be essential, because it will help you to speak your buyer’s language, assess which marketing platforms you can find them on, how they’re interacting with it and what they want to see from you. 

Buyer personas should be specific. I love this example from the article I read on disruptiveadvertising.com. They say you don’t want to just say “young moms” as a persona and be done with it. You want to have “Supermom Mary, 25-29 with at least one kid under the age of five who is on a budget in a middle class home. She’s trying to be a good mom and wife but finds personal satisfaction in working. She tries to live an organic lifestyle. but does a McDonalds run on busy weeknights.” This is going to tell you a lot more about your audience, their pain points and what you can do for them.

Overall, the questions you can ask to define your buyer persona are as follows:

  • Questions about their personal demographics: Are they married? What’s their annual household income? Where do they live? Are they male or female? How old are they? Do they have children?
  • Their educational background?
  • Their career path?
  • What are their biggest challenges?
  • Which publications or blogs do they read?
  • Which associations and social networks do they participate in?
  • How do they prefer to interact with vendors?
  • Do they use the internet to research vendors or products? If so, how do they search for information?

Of course, the answers to the above questions can’t be speculated. It’s important to note that your buyer personas should absolutely be based on research. You’ll have to submit the questions to actual customers to obtain accurate answers. 

Love what you are reading? Get in touch with us let’s draft a winning digital strategy for your business.

5. Understand the Digital Sales Funnel

The digital sales funnel is an important marketing concept that you need to grasp before actually developing your strategy. It’s about the buyer’s journey; the different steps that buyers move through in order to get to the point of purchasing and/or becoming long term customers.

Depending on who you ask, the stages may vary in number and in their exact name.  Disruptiveadvertising.com suggests the following stages. 

  • Discovery. People hear of your brand or product for the very first time ever.
  • Research/consideration. Some name brand recognition has been established, and the user is willing to look into your products or services to learn more. They may also research your competitors at this stage.
  • Purchase. Users are willing to become customers and purchase from you at this point.
  • Loyalty. Repeat clients may become loyal to your brand or product and eventually may become advocates for your brand.

6: evaluate digital marketing channels

Analyze the digital assets and channels that you are already using, including website, blog content, social media account, word-of-mouth, native advertising, Google Adwords, paid advertising and so on. Ask yourself: how effective were they and how they can be used in 2020? 

It is okay if your future digital marketing strategy does not incorporate all of these elements, but it sure should use those that were the most effective in 2019. For example, if a landing page you recently created has been effective in generating leads, use it again but improve it as much as possible. The same applies to other assets and channels.

In the case where it is your first time to run a campaign on the internet, carry out some research on the channels to see which one of the marketing funnels can be most used by your target audience. With time, you can always refine to see what works or not. 

7: Confirm your differentiators

If your company is not different from your competitors, you should not expect high profits in 2020. Make sure you change (or reinforce) your difference from the others by talking to your existing customers, offline or online, and asking them why they selected your company. Then, fix your existing differentiators if needed.

  1. Implement Specific Guidelines to Reach Your Goals

You’ve got your marketing mix selected and you know how you expect your audience to react. Once you do this, it’s time to start tying everything together and create specific tactics that will help you reach those end goals.

A few of these tactics might include:

  • Placing lead generation widgets or lead magnets on the sides of all blog posts, along with featuring a Call To Action (CTA) at the end of posts to get in touch.

A lead magnet is an incentive that marketers offer to potential buyers in exchange for their email address or other contact information. Lead magnets usually offer a piece of digital, downloadable content, such as a free PDF checklist, report, eBook, whitepaper, video, etc.

  • Sharing influencer’s content on social media in order to build a relationship and increase visibility and brand recognition.
  • Encouraging testimonials with email plugins that you can then place on your site, or request that users submit reviews on Google business to improve your local SEO scores.

Again, specificity is key here. Map out very specific steps that you’re going to take in order to accomplish your goals. Go beyond “write blog posts to attract leads,” and include those CTAs and links back to a lead magnet or a webinar until you start to get results.

  1. Create Your Digital Marketing Calendar:

Try creating your timeline using Google Calendars – that way you can share it with your team members and allow them to edit it where necessary. The calendar basically helps you to keep track of important dates. In this calendar: 

  • Highlight the key campaigns you’ll create and promote throughout the year and allocate a timeframe for each.
  • Document the digital channels needed to ensure the success for each campaign.
  • Review Your Marketing Strategy & Identify Changes Needed:
  • Create a measurement and monitoring plan (this should fit in with your KPIs).
  • Check the success of the individual elements of your digital marketing strategy at continuous intervals.
  • If something is not working (i.e. you’re not achieving the KPIs you’ve set out) isolate the different elements and try to identify what is not working (e.g. is it the time you’re posting content or the taglines you’re using for your ads?).
  • Revisit your previous analysis, personas and budget allocation and try something new.
  • Create a clearly defined KPI for your new venture.
  • You’ll learn how to strategize, budget, select the correct digital channels and analyse your campaigns’ performance.
  1. Track your progress

Constant monitoring should be provided to ensure that the strategy is working effectively. This is done by assigning teams that would deliver this task. Remember to learn from the mistakes and always find improvement opportunities!

Conclusion

The key to an effective digital marketing startegy is… to not stick to it! Yep! Make the Plan & Don’t Stick to It? but, what do you mean?’ Okay before you roll your eyes to this advice, let me explain…your plan is never going to be perfect from the outset. Not every assumption you make is going to be correct.

And although you’ve taken every care to craft a carefully constructed plan based on a set of insightful assumptions and analysis, you still can’t predict exactly how your customers will behave. It is, therefore, essential to continuously measure and monitor the performance of your digital marketing strategy and to change elements where needed.

Have an upcoming campaign? Let’s help you plan it! Talk to us today , and let’s craft out an effective digital marketing strategy that will assert your online presence, engage your community with quality content and therefore market your products / services. 

 

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Digital Gong is a digital marketing agency.

At Digital Gong, we offer complete digital marketing solutions tailored to your needs and your budget. Our services include: Digital Strategy Consulting, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, PPC Marketing and Search Engines, Web Analytics, Email Marketing, Digital Content Creation, Digital Marketing creation and branding strategy.

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Since we operate as an extension of our clients business. Just contact us and let’s start business, your online visibility is our priority. We will permit you to generate thousands of leads and convert them to revenue.

So do not hesitate to start today by contacting us online or placing  a call on the contacts below. We will discuss how you can earn more leads and turnover with online marketing!

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tadbet Averra

Tadbet Averra  is the Public Relations Officer and Content Manager at digital Gong Technologies, a branding, strategic and creative digital marketing agency in Douala, Cameroon. She’s provided content marketing  and strategy advice  for the agency and its clients. She also holds a Bsc degree in Journalism and Mass communication. 

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About Digital Gong Technologies

Digital Gong Technologies is made up of a group of passionate technologists, marketing strategists, learners, and creatives, putting out efforts to increase customer satisfaction and retention by intersecting Marketing, Technology, and Design.

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