- Define Your Business’ Objectives
You should be able to define the “why” in your business. A good place to start is by identifying your top goals. But remember to focus on goals that are measurable, and attainable. It may also be helpful to think of the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) technique while defining your goals.
- Develop Audience Personas
It’s advisable to come up with at least 3 or 4 customer personas of the people you intend to target, to help craft your messaging to these groups of potential customers, while you’re building your digital strategy. A typical persona focuses on several aspects such as reservations, career, values, goals, and the background of the person. Interviewing your audience also helps to create the right personas for digital marketing.
- Identify the Key Platforms or Channels
It’s essential to note that using all the social media platforms may not be a wise marketing move. In fact, it may even dilute the benefits of your digital strategies by spreading your efforts thin across multiple platforms. Essentially, you can end up investing your time and resources where your target audience is unavailable. Facebook and Twitter are the popular options, and they also offer tools to help you connect and interact with your audience. Identify the right times when most of your audience is using these platforms as this helps in targeting and sharing relevant content.
- Competitor Analysis and Benchmarking
List out your main competitors and try to evaluate their digital strategy. Identify what tools and channels they are using and how they are using them to help them with their digital strategies. It may also be helpful to create a comparison chart that will help you find quick wins and define a more effective strategy. Don’t forget about your indirect competitors either, you can learn a lot from what is working, or not working for them as well.
- Keyword and Content Strategy
Content marketing focuses on creating and distributing relevant and valuable content. A critical section of this approach is the use of the right keywords that your target audience is likely to use when searching for products or services online. Keywords help identify what your audience needs or wants for search engines working to connect potential customers with the content they will find valuable. Tools, such as Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends, can help you to select the right target terms.
Be sure to identify and focus on the right content types such as infographics, videos, guides, reviews, opinion posts, how-to, lists, case studies, eBooks, and podcasts. Working with the type of content your audience is likely to respond to is the best way to start getting the attention you want on the content you create. Once you’ve decided on the types of content you want to produce in your digital strategies, be sure to create a tapestry of content to grab different types of customers in your target groups.
- NAP Consistency
NAP or NAP+W stands for (N)ame, (A)ddress, (P)hone Number, and Web(s)ite. It’s crucial for business’ NAP to be consistent across search engines and directories. A consistent NAP will help your business appear in Google maps as well as the maps feature of other main search engines. Search engines want to provide their users with the most up-to-date and accurate information.
When search engines are crawling the web they take into account even the smallest inconsistencies, which causes them to think your business has separate locations. It’s best to run a search to check the how the NAP appears across different search engines or directories to identify the most commonly used format. If you spot an inconsistency it’s best to use a tool such as PowerListings+ to clean them up and control how these bits of information truly represent your business in the online world.
With these essential steps, you can easily work out an effective plan that fits your particular business type while meeting the needs of your audience. Remember to also claim your Google+ listings, as this is a key ingredient to appearing in the Google Maps directory. With a few steps, and little pre-planning you can integrate your digital marketing strategy with other marketing activities, while also having the ability to continuously monitor and analyze the results for making any necessary adjustments as your digital strategy kicks into motion.