Build your buyer personas.
Buyer personas represent your ideal customer(s) and can be created by researching, surveying, and interviewing your business’s target audience. It’s important to note that this information should be based upon real data wherever possible, as making assumptions about your audience can cause your marketing strategy to take the wrong direction. To get a rounded picture of your persona, your research pool should include a mixture of customers, prospects, and people outside your contacts database who align with your target audience.
Identify your goals and the digital marketing tools you’ll need.
Your marketing goals should always be tied back to the fundamental goals of the business. For example, if your business’s goal is to increase online revenue by 20%, your goal as a marketer might be to generate 50% more leads via the website than you did last year to contribute towards that success.
Evaluate your existing digital channels and assets.
When considering your available digital marketing channels or assets to incorporate into your strategy, it’s helpful to first consider the bigger picture to avoid getting overwhelmed. The owned, earned, and paid media framework helps to categorize the digital ‘vehicles’, assets, or channels that you’re already using.
Audit and plan your owned media campaigns.
Every message your brand broadcasts can generally be classified as content, whether it’s your ‘About Us’ page, your product descriptions, blog posts, ebooks, infographics, or social media posts.Content helps convert your website visitors into leads and customers, and helps to raise your brand’s profile online — and when it’s optimized, it can also boost any efforts you have around search/organic traffic. Whatever your goal, you’re going to need to use owned content to form your digital marketing strategy.
Audit and plan your earned media campaigns.
The idea here is to build up a picture of what earned media will help you reach your goals, and what won’t, based on historical data. However, if there’s something new you want to try, don’t rule that out just because it’s not yet tried and tested.
Audit and plan your paid media campaigns.
This process involves much of the same process: You need to evaluate your existing paid media across each platform (e.g., Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to figure out what’s likely to help you meet your current goals. 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’d like to remove from your strategy.
Bring it all together.
By that definition, your strategy document should map out the series of actions you’re going to take to achieve your goals, based on your research to this point. A spreadsheet is an efficient format — and for the sake of consistency, you might find it easiest to map out according to the owned, earned, and paid media framework we’ve used so far.