March 29, 2021

Where to Start with Your Digital Marketing Strategy: A Step by Step Guide

Did you know that, according to SmallBizGenius, strategic landing pages helped 68% of businesses in 2018 acquire new leads? Additionally, the most successful marketers in 2018 spent 40% of their marketing budgets on content marketing.

These statistics demonstrate just how powerful a digital marketing strategy can be.

If you’re a local business owner or company decision-maker looking to get more leads, make more sales, or improve your branding, then a strong digital marketing strategy is key.

That’s why we’ve put together this step-by-step guide. In it, you’ll learn everything you need to build an effective digital marketing strategy for your business.

Finally, your business can be as successful as ever. Read on to learn more.

Strategy: Start at Your Sales Funnel and Work Backwards

The first step you need to take when creating a digital marketing strategy is to start at your sales funnel and work backward. To understand how to do this, you first need to understand how a sales funnel traditionally works. Imagine this:

You have a sales funnel that’s set up in the non-backward way, then you have the large part of the funnel at the top and the smaller part of the funnel at the bottom.

When using the traditional marketing funnel, you’re trying to get a large number of visitors to come to your website (that’s why it’s larger at the top).

Then, as they get closer and closer to buying a product or service from you, there are fewer and fewer customers.

By the time they get to the bottom of the funnel, you have a few customers.

Many businesses manage to make this happen by using marketing automation when visitors come to their website or interact with them in another way.

If this strategy seems forceful, it’s because it is. With the traditional sales funnel, you’re bombarding your leads, hoping that they’ll eventually become customers.

The Solution: Working Backwards

There’s a better strategy that works: starting at your sales funnel and working backward. To do this, you simply turn the sales funnel upside down. With the smaller part being your first focus, you’re prioritizing the customers you already have.

If you’re just starting out with your digital marketing strategy but already have customers, then you already have some of your work cut out for you. (Otherwise, you’ll need to learn about your customers’ values and needs, which we’ll cover later.)

Once you’ve prioritized your customers, they’ll recommend you to their friends, and their friends will recommend you to their friends.

To make this work best, you need to use the right strategies to prioritize your customers.

These include treating your customers incredibly well (giving them free content, for example), focusing on keeping the customers you have around, and allowing them to spread your brand for you.

Set up CRM and Some Automation

Now that you know what your general attitude toward your customers should be when creating your digital marketing strategy, it’s time to set up your CRM and some automation. CRM, also known as customer relationship management, is huge.

To get started with your CRM marketing, there are several steps you have to take. First of all, you need to map your customer journey. This includes several stages: awareness, consideration, purchase, service, and loyalty expansion.

To map the customer journey, you need to ask yourself these questions:

  • “How do customers find out about my business?”
  • “At what point are they ready to buy?”
  • “How do your sales assistants close the deals and make the sale?”

The second step of setting up your CRM is to define what your business and sales processes are. Let’s say, for example, that you get a lot of your potential customers through Facebook. In this case, you can set up a process for attracting customers through Facebook.

The third step for setting up your CRM is creating custom pipelines, stages, and fields. With your custom pipelines, you’ll list what the stages of your sales process look like.

With custom stages, you’ll list what the stages your customers take are when engaging with your business. With custom fields, you’ll be storing the data of each potential customer.

Once you have all this information, you can migrate that information, which is the fourth step of setting up a CRM.

Then there’s the fifth step, integrating your tools and automation. You can integrate many elements, such as calendar appointments and social media interactions.

Automation

You can automate many of the steps you take when using your CRM. This includes marketing and email automation, contact capture and creation, lead scoring, engagement tracking, list clean-up, lead scoring, status changes, and contact segmentation.

It also includes deal creation, lead routing, reporting, and task creation.

Once you’ve set up the processes you want to automate in your CRM, the last step is adding users and setting permissions for people working in your business.

Logo and Website

The next step of your digital marketing strategy is creating your logo and website. If you already have these, then you might want to take a step back and think about branding. If you don’t, then you need to ask yourself several questions before getting started:

“What are my competitors doing with their branding and websites?”

“What do I offer my customers, and how can this be reflected in my branding?”

“What color schemes and designs represent my business best?”

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be ready to start designing (or re-designing) your business’s logo.

When designing it, make sure that it will work not only for your website but also on your social media platforms and app (if you have one).

Your logo should have similar branding to your website. Rules of the thumb with branding include choosing a brand that matches your business’s personality, being original, and staying consistent.

This consistency applies throughout every single interaction your customer has with you, no matter how they find your business. Additionally, it should be consistent in that it doesn’t suddenly change from one year to the next.

Your customers will come to recognize your brand, so it’s best to avoid re-branding in the future unless it’s completely necessary.

Learn Your Customers’ Values and Needs

Speaking of your customers...everything that we’ve reviewed so far will be impacted by your customers’ values and needs. When you’re branding, you need to know what your customers want from you. The same goes for how you reach them on social media with free content.

What content will engage them when you’re setting up your social media marketing?

What will cause them to like your article or share it, or go to your website to check out your products or services? What advertising will be effective?

You won’t know this unless you know your customers’ values and needs. To do this, you have to do your research.

If you already have some customers, then you can reach out to them directly. Send them a survey, asking them about what frustrations they have in their everyday lives.

Ask them about what types of products and solutions might be able to help them.

However, if you have a new business and don’t have customers yet, create a buyer persona and do market research. Then fill out the buyer persona, putting in information about your customers’ values and needs.

Once you have an idea of all this, you’ll be able to create content and brand yourself with your customers in mind.

Budget-Paid Media

The next step is to set up your budget-paid media. This includes Google ads and lead generation. When you use Google ads, you can advertise your business as a paid result whenever someone does a Google search related to your business.

Basically, there are ad groups (bids, keywords, and ads) that share settings such as budget and location. This paid solution makes it easier for your customers to find you. It also uses SEO.

You can also pay for lead generation. Even though some lead generation occurs organically, you can benefit from paying Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms to “push” your ads.

This type of digital advertising will make it more likely that customers come across your business, which means you’ll get more leads.

Content and Content Marketing

Speaking of lead generation occurring naturally...one of the best ways you can do this is by creating content and perfecting your content marketing strategy. This is the next step in your digital marketing strategy. Fortunately, you’ve already done some of the work.

This is because you now know what your customers’ values and needs are. This information can guide you when you create blog posts, videos, eBooks, and other content.

To create an effective content marketing strategy, you also need to know where your customers spend most of their time online (so you can offer them this content). You also need to know when they’re there.

That way, once you’ve created your high-quality, customer-oriented content, you can create a content calendar that will automatically present them with this content at the right place and right time.

It’s also smart to collect their information so you can stay in touch. Many customers will be happy to give you their information in exchange for some premium content.

DIY or Agency?

Now that you know all the steps you need to take to get started with your digital marketing strategy, you might be wondering whether it’s best for you to DIY all these steps or hire a digital marketing agency to do them for you. It can be a challenging decision.

On the one hand, you can do many of these strategies yourself without having to pay much money. You might have to shell out some money for a CRM (though there are free ones out there).

You also might have to spend a bit on budget-paid media. But, otherwise, you could do a lot of this for free. So when do you hire an agency for this part of your business development?

When To Hire a Digital Marketing Strategy Agency

There are several situations you might come across when it makes sense to hire an agency to do your digital marketing for you. For example, if you need a digital marketing team but can’t afford to hire one, you should probably go with an agency.

If your business is growing at a rapid pace and your marketing team can’t keep up, this is another reason to hire an agency.

Finally, sometimes it helps to have an outside perspective. For example, if you’re rebranding and need a total reset, an agency with fresh eyes can help.

Agency Pricing and Budget Considerations

Of course, if you do hire an external digital marketing agency, you will need to know a bit about agency pricing and whether your budget can actually be used to pay for an agency. It helps to put together a realistic budget first. How much can you spend?

Once you’ve done this, you can get in touch with different companies and let them know what your budget is. They may have pricing plans that work for you.

Even though some agencies might be too pricey, others might have payment plans that make the cost affordable for you.

Need More Information?

Now that you know about the different steps you have to take to start your digital marketing strategy, you might need more information. Maybe you want to learn more about digital marketing tips. Or maybe you want to find an agency near you.

Whatever information you need, we’re here to help. At Concinnity Digital, we’re experts when it comes to digital marketing. We also offer digital marketing services. To learn more about how we can help you, schedule a consultation now.

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