Improve digital marketing strategy

Steps to Improve Digital Marketing Strategy

Are you satisfied with where your current digital marketing strategy is taking you? Do you see actual results and benefits for your business? Depending on the type of business you’re running, and the strategy currently in place, there are a couple of steps that you can use to improve your overall digital marketing strategy.

In this article, we are going to look into the following 8 steps:

Step 1: Explore the current trends
Step 2: Analyze the past activity
Step 3: Define realistic goals
Step 4: Analyze digital marketing channels
Step 5: Focus on content creation
Step 6: Consider allocating the budget for paid advertising
Step 7: Work on relationships
Step 8: Create a realistic action plan

Step 1: Explore the current trends

Digital marketing is a fast-changing environment, so to make sure your strategy is always on track, you’ll need to follow the current trends. Industry standards and best practices are prone to change from time to time. Since those directly affect the success of your efforts, keep an eye on the updates and modifications that will help you optimize your strategy. Here’s how to keep up with the trends:

  • Find an influential blog(s) and start following it
  • Participate in forums and discussions about digital marketing
  • Discover helpful resources, guides, and digital marketing courses
  • Attend a webinar on the topic related to digital marketing
  • Join a mailing list that sends relevant news and updates

It’s important to keep up with your online presence and catch up with industry standards and updates so that you can apply the latest helpful tips and tricks to improve your strategy.

Step 2: Analyze the past activity

If you want to improve something, you need to figure out what you’re doing wrong in the first place. The best way to do so is by analyzing your business statistics. Start by determining the current situation. Focus on those statistics that are essential to your business success, regardless if those are website visits, sales, lead generation, etc. You can always focus on several of these areas. Once you do so, start the comparison. There are two references here to compare and focus on:

Previous period – For a start, you can use the prior period as a reference and compare it to the latest metrics. It can be the same period last year; it can be a month before, etc. You need to compare the statistics for these two periods and determine what could have influenced the discrepancies you notice, both in a positive and negative way.

Your plan – The second reference you have to take into account when analyzing the past activity is your global plan. When starting a business or testing a new strategy, you usually set up a comprehensive plan and goals you want to achieve. Reflecting on those is a perfect way to start analyzing the pros and cons of the approach you have used in the past and figuring out new ways to improve that approach.

Learning from your own experience is something that can provide amazingly helpful insights into how you can take your strategy to the next level.

Step 3: Define realistic goals

If you’re unable to measure the results, or if those results are constantly far behind your goals, this means that there’s something wrong with your goals. Either they’re non-existent, or you’ve been too ambitious and unrealistic when defining goals. This is why it’s important to (re)define your goals.

To make a digital marketing strategy realistic, be objective when determining what you want to achieve and how you want to do it. The actions you plan to take should be plausible. During the period of reflecting on the past efforts and planning new exciting ventures for your business, take a moment to make sure that you’re not getting carried away. You should always have in mind the realistic possibilities, as well as limitations of your business. This will help you in two ways.

Plan in a smart way – When you’re realistic about your strategy, you should be able to see the negative sides to it as well. Being able to see both positive and negative results is crucial. You have to be your critic and look at your work objectively. You’ll have more success at achieving your goals if you’re utilizing smart planning because you’ll know exactly what you can and cannot achieve right from the start.

Predict the obstacles – As much as it’s beneficial to focus on the positive thinking, being aware of the possible obstacles and drawbacks of your approach will help you predict and prepare for those, planning possible solutions and corrective actions in advance.

Step 4: Analyze digital marketing channels

The next step is the analysis of the marketing channels you use. Since each of those contributes to the business success in a certain part, analyzing them individually helps to improve separate segments that collectively make a huge difference.

Website

Take a moment to analyze your website performance. Check the metrics such as the number of visits, bounce rate, average session duration, etc. All of these can help you evaluate if you’re attracting enough visitors and whether you’re able to convert those visitors. You might notice some space for improvements, such as:

  • Getting more visitors
  • Creating a lead generation page
  • Improving the website speed
  • Optimizing website for mobile devices
  • Creating engaging content
  • Getting more links

Social media

In the modern world, chances are you’re using at least one social network. You’re using social networks to present your business and interact with those interested. Social networks are also great for generating new leads, organizing different sorts of promotional campaigns, introducing new products and services, hosting live events, etc.

Since social media performance directly contributes to the success of digital marketing, working on improving social media marketing is something that can help you with reaching higher goals. Here are some practical tactics to start improving your social media marketing:

  • Use personalized approach
  • Publish engaging content
  • Organize a giveaway or a contest
  • Use promoted posts or sponsored stories
  • Collaborate with influencers
  • Leverage the power of visual content
  • Offer quality content and efficient customer services through social media

For further read on how to boost your social media marketing, take a look at this fantastic article: 15 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Social Media Marketing in Under an Hour.

Email

As one of the most profitable parts of digital marketing, email marketing holds that special place in every business strategy. Improving your approach in email marketing is a sure way to boost the potential of this digital channel even further. Here’s how to do so:

  • Explore the current situation
  • Segment the mailing list
  • Refine your style
  • Work on being even more personal and engaging
  • Explore ways to improve email deliverability
  • Consider ways to grow your mailing list

If you want some ideas on how you can refine your approach and improve email marketing, here’s a useful article: What Makes an Effective Email Marketing Campaign.

Step 5: Focus on content creation

Content is an essential step in digital marketing nowadays. So if you want to improve your strategy, another segment you should focus on is content marketing. Start from new content ideas, repurposing content, or even new content formats. Content marketing represents an enormous potential that can help with:

  • Generating visits
  • Generating leads
  • Gaining links
  • Encouraging social media shares

Indirectly, this all leads to more conversions, more success at engaging the users, increasing sales and building influence and popularity. Since all of these are benefits that can be attributed to content marketing, this is a field you need to explore in depth. It’s not enough to publish more content all of a sudden or to completely change the approach and start with a different writing style, different content formats, etc. While these are completely valid tactics, they aren’t effective unless they are based on the concrete evidence that this is what you should aim for. Instead of piling up new ideas, start by a batch of analytics data first. Focus on what kind of content is:

  • The most popular on your website
  • What your audience needs/wants/expects
  • Evergreen
  • Gaining more links or social shares
  • Most engaging
  • Gaining the most conversions

Improving the strategy means exploiting the real power of content. You can only do so if you focus on your content that has been performing the best so far. Determine what made this content so successful at gaining you links, shares, conversions, etc. It might be the topic that is extremely relevant or unique. It might the way you have explained the issue and provided a practical solution. Perhaps, it might be a particular content form that is engaging, such as a list, a Q&A, etc.

Step 6: Consider allocating the budget for paid advertising

Paid advertising can make a huge difference in your strategy, especially if you haven’t been focusing on this tactic of reaching customers and promoting your brand. Even though paid advertising is becoming more and more intrusive and online users are showing growing resistance with the installation of ad blockers, paid advertising is still a strategy worth exploring.

Using Google AdWords for search engine ads, as well as social media advertising can help a lot in your daily efforts. The usage of advanced targeting options and promoting the content of exceptional quality are essential for making a successful online advertising campaign.

One of the questions that will immediately come to your mind as soon as you start exploring the possibility of paid advertising is how to determine your budget. You should always have in mind that paid advertising is essentially a way to spread the word about your business, which is what’s going to help you generate sales. Here are a couple of ideas to help you estimate your budget: How to determine your marketing budget.

Step 7: Work on relationships

Even though it’s done through the usage of online software, virtual communication is a significant aspect for every digital marketer. Working all day on digital marketing, you might start to feel pretty isolated in your office. Sitting there alone, you might not realize this, but you’ve actually been in contact with people all day long. This happens through emails, social media replies, forum discussion, etc. You should communicate online the same way you would with your friends in the cafe, or with your colleagues at work. Establishing relationships in the digital world is different from real-life communication, but quite beneficial for your career. Here are some ideas:

Learning from influencers – Following influencers in the industry is a good way to keep up with the news and trends. However, this also opens up a possibility for potential collaboration in the future.

Learning from experience – When you participate in forum discussions, Q&A sessions, etc. you get to learn a lot from those who might have had the same problems and issues you’re facing at this moment. It’s also an incredible opportunity to learn handy tips that might help you overcome some obstacles more quickly.

Meeting the right people – While following people from the marketing niche is helpful, your relationships should not be limited. It’s essential that you meet and interact with people from other sectors, such as designers, software developers, writers, etc. Apart from learning more about their field, those relationships can turn into great collaborations.

Besides learning a lot from the people you interact with and being open to working on joint projects, through building successful relationships in the online world, you’re actually building your own reputation and influence along the way. All of this together will help you evolve as a business professional and refine your digital marketing approach.

Step 8: Create a realistic action plan

Finally, wrap everything up in an excellent, actionable plan. Digital marketing strategy involves efforts in many different areas. You need to work on each of those independently and optimize each in a way to improve actions you plan to take, to improve the overall strategy.

The steps we talked about so far are all united with one mission alone – to improve your business and expand reach. Your ultimate goal is to help you tweak your strategy. You want to make it better, and the best way to do so is by:

  • Learning more about digital marketing and keeping up with industry standards
  • Determining what needs to be improved in your current strategy
  • Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your business
  • Building lucrative relationships and collaborations
  • Redefining your approach

As much as it’s important to work on your digital marketing efforts actively, the time comes to stop for a second and review everything. When you do so, when you reflect on your work and analyze your efforts, you might discover some new exciting ways to improve your digital marketing strategy.