Your digital marketing strategy

Creating a digital marketing strategy is a daunting exercise that involves more than a logo, static website and ‘contact us’ forms. It must include a SMART strategy, flexible tactics, great content and effective tools to help you to attract and convert your targeted prospects into repeat–buying customers and raving fans.

 

The graphic below is a simple visualisation of how the five main digital marketing tools work in conjunction with your overall digital marketing strategy and brand corporate identity to achieve marketing success. This book will demonstrate how these primary digital marketing pieces fit together and how you can use them to achieve marketing success.

Your Digital Marketing Strategy

The yellow hexagon represents your digital marketing strategy. Your marketing strategy supports your entire marketing foundation. Without it, you’re building your digital marketing platform and ecosystem on shaky and unstable ground. Your marketing strategy provides the stable foundation from which you can build and connect everything else, and should ideally include the following:

 

  • ·        A clear and compelling value proposition: A value proposition describes all the tangible and intangible benefits that a customer gains from using your product or service.

    ·        Your targeted customer segments and personas: The most specific, honest and relevant description of the market you serve, and your intimate knowledge thereof.

    ·        Your customer relationship–building process: The intentional and empathetic way you intend to establish and maintain relationships with your customers and community. This includes your marketing, sales and customer experience approach.

    ·        Your brand tone and personality: How you will consistently convey and express your brand purpose and message to your staff, partners, customers and all other stakeholders.

    ·        Your brand corporate identity.  

Brand Corporate Identity

To еѕtаblіѕh a solid digital рrеѕеnсе and loveable brаnd, уоu nееd a modern lоgо and user–friendly wеbѕіtе dеѕіgn. If you already have a logo, thаt’ѕ grеаt! There’s nо need tо create a new оnе. But, if you feel that your logo doesn’t express your brand or connect with your customers, then you should get a new one. There are several places where уоu саn get a great logo dеѕіgnеd for уоu.

 

If you are looking to redesign your logo, or are creating it for the first time, then you need to look at designing a basic Corporate Identity (CI) package and not just a logo. This should include a logo, business card, company letterhead, company profile brochure and website, all with the same look and feel. Ideally, you should get these from the same designer, or from a company that provides both CI design and website development. This will help you to get a comprehensive solution from one service provider and reduce the stress of having to manage multiple service providers.

 

Your brand CI differs fundamentally from branding. Branding refers mainly to the quality of the experiences that you are delivering to your customers. When we talk about branding, we are talking about the idea of a brand promise – a commitment from the company to provide a very specific quality of experience to customers, business partners, members of the media and the society within which it operates.

 

Unfortunately, CI falls outside the scope of this book. However, in the extract below, from The A–Game Business Blueprint, I have provided a guide to creating a basic brand CI, should you not have one in place.

Six simple steps to creating a corporate identity

Marketing agencies charge a fortune to create corporate and company identities, and for good reason. This identity plays a crucial role in marketing, brand identity and sales. While the approach taken by marketing agencies is extensive – and expensive – primarily because it involves multiple creative teams, it can, in fact, be replicated by a business of any size.

 

Here are the six key requirements of a compelling company identity:

 

1.      Start with the company’s core purpose, inwriting.

 

2.      Make sure that you have a clear value proposition.

 

3.      Create a company profile. Use your core purpose and value proposition to write, or revise, your company profile into a single page that includes the services/products your business offers, and how customers can access these.

 

4.      Create a strapline: a single sentence that articulates the value proposition and the core purpose. Use this as your strapline – the text that goes beneath your logo.

 

5.      Develop a logo. Does your old logo fit the new version of your business? If not, commission a logo that encapsulates the spirit of the new business and one to which your customers will positively respond. The items described above will help you to simplify the brief to the designer.

 

6.      Roll out the basics. Use the colours of your logo as the palette to create a website, business card and the look and feel of a one–page brochure that tells existing and prospective customers what you do. In the digital and post COVID–19 age, business cards and brochures don’t even have to be printed. You can simply email them if you don’t have the time or budget to print them.

The details of a corporate or company identity can (and should) evolve. The results of the above process matter less than the fact that you go through the process and think about every step along the way.

The One-Page Digital Marketing Strategy

So, let’s get to what is, for many experts, the very beginning: The Marketing Plan.

 

I believe there is an essential problem with most marketing plans, in that business people start writing them without having done any thinking beforehand about any of the elements. When people do this, they come out with a thirty-page document. Why? Because they’re thinking out loud.

 

The problem with a thirty-page marketing plan is that, for most people, it is unreadable. Rather than offering a summary of the marketing plan that anyone can understand, the document goes off on every possible tangent, making it of no use to anyone except the person who wrote it!

 

As a result, I believe that a one-page marketing plan is not only possible, it is preferable. If you can’t summarise your marketing plan – in a page – then you probably don’t have a decent plan. So, here is a template for a short marketing plan. It shouldn’t take too long to complete, as long as:

1. You have gone through an authentic business plan process; and

2. You have thought (deeply) about the content of this book, including the coming chapters.

If you’ve done the above things, the one-page marketing plan is yours! If not, step back and do the hard work.

The One-Page Digital Marketing Strategy

Introduction

Our target market is made up of (detailed description of business’ target market). Our target market is made up (list target market) with a minimum (products or services) order of (amount) per month.

 

Our aim is to provide companies/customers/consumers from (insert customer segments) with (business product and\or service) solutions that guarantee (summary of business’ value proposition).

The Marketing tools we plan to use include

 

1.     A Search Engine-Optimised website that promotes (business name) and provides information and resources to new prospects as well as to our existing customers,

2.     Hosting of …. workshops at (venues such as community halls, specialised shops and schools);

3.     One free monthly electronic newsletter on (relevant business and\or industry news, public events, flyers) to clients and prospects,

4.     Two blog articles per month,

5.     Attend at least two networking events, seminars and other business events every month. Make sure to meet and greet at least three new prospects at each event and follow up with them thereafter,

6.     Maintain business’ Facebook page and LinkedIn profiles with at least one post a day,

7.     Publish and maintain the business’ LinkedIn profile,

8.     Engage SCI initiatives in order to help create PR opportunities in the media; and

9.     (list other Marketing activities – but not too many – you don’t want to end up overwhelmed).

(Business name) must be marketed and positioned as a (business positioning statement: as an innovative, practical, approachable, highly competent, reliable, results-oriented and easy to work with …. business).

The monthly Marketing budget to be used will be (a specific amount of money or a certain % of the monthly income).

 

Marketing plan Guideline:

 

A report detailing Marketing successes & failures must be compiled monthly and reviewed in order to:

·       Determine working strategies and maximize them,

·       Eliminate those that are ineffective, and

·     Add and implement new marketing strategies.

Getting Expert Assistance

Should you have the budget, I highly recommend that you seek the counsel of an experienced brand strategist. But don’t get trapped by the idea that the process should halt or fail without a big budget. There are many online marketplaces for digital agencies and marketing freelancers (such as on fiverr.com) where you can find professional, yet affordable, freelancers on the internet. Some tools allow someone without design experience to create a logo and a basic corporate identity package. Try canva.com and tailorbrands.com, for instance, to see how accessible graphic design has become.

 

 

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Next, we’ll discuss your digital marketing platforms and ecosystems. Starting with Effective Website Development.

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