If you have an online business, and you reach out to customers online, then that means you have a digital marketing strategy, right? Well, not exactly. While any efforts you put in to get the word out about your products or services through internet-based platforms is online marketing, the simple use of these resources doesn’t mean you have a strategy.
Strategy involves planning, analysis, and even metrics. So, simply throwing out a few tweets doesn’t necessarily meet the criteria. And, if you are marketing online without a suitable strategy, you may be missing out on opportunities to grow your business.
Before you add another post or promote another link, here is why it is better to put those tasks aside in favor of creating an actual digital marketing strategy.
Strategy Supports Focused Efforts
While the general goal of most businesses is to increase sales, often this idea is too broad when it comes to implementation. It doesn’t give you the opportunity to focus your efforts and could lead you to dedicate your time in the wrong direction.
By taking a moment to identify your goals, you can create a plan that makes those specific goals more achievable. For example, signing up to have your ad randomly displayed on other websites does increase your visibility. But, if those ads aren’t reaching the right people, the effort (and possibly money invested in ad placement) is wasted.
For example, if your business revolves around selling women’s clothing, you might not see a lot of benefits if your ads end up on sites dominated by male viewers, like certain technology or sports-oriented sites. While female viewers may also stop by these websites, the likelihood of the ad being presented to a male is higher.
Instead of casting blindly into the world, it makes more sense to choose an ad service that reaches your target market.
Strategy Creates Cohesiveness
If your company has more than just you involved in the decision-making process, creating a strategy ensures everyone is on the same page. Otherwise, you are dealing with a group of individuals who may all be working based on unique priorities. If everyone isn’t working together, then you aren’t getting the most out of your efforts.
Digital marketing strategies create a singular vision regarding company growth. This can help ensure funds are managed properly based on a primary goal, and it allows online activity to be driven by known priorities instead of by personal whims.
Additionally, you lower the chance of duplicated efforts. For example, if you think a social media marketing campaign can help meet your goal, and a coworker has the same idea, then you both may be spending time and energy working on the exact same thing. Worse, you may be using the same platforms for two different purposes, creating mixed messages or conflicting brand images.
Strategy Promotes Organization
If you have a strategy, you can organize and schedule your efforts. Social media posts or ad campaigns can be released in a supportive manner, allowing each effort to build upon the last. Since you are able to create a full picture of the progress of a digital marketing campaign, you can make sure everything is set up to create optimal results.
Strategy Identifies Shortcomings
Sometimes, we don’t realize what we don’t know until we sit down and look at our strategy as a whole. Unguided digital marketing often results in people defaulting to the mechanisms with which they are the most comfortable, and not necessarily those that could produce the best returns on your investment.
If you are working on a strategy and realize you aren’t reaching out in all of the ways you could, then you can create a plan for managing those shortcomings. For example, you might decide that working with a digital marketing agency is a smart investment, or you may choose to bring in a consultant to assist.
Often, it is hard to recognize the holes in your approach until you list everything you know and relate those points to your goals. And, by taking the time to do so, you can ensure your digital marketing strategy reaches your ideal market to improve brand awareness and increase sales.
In the end, you’ll develop a strong platform from which to work, and that makes any time spent developing your strategy a worthy investment.
Originally published on Real Entrepreneur. View Original