October 22, 2021
Why Every Business Needs a Digital Marketing Strategy
A digital marketing strategy is no longer a nice-to-have. It's a must-have. There are very few industries now who can get away with next to no online presences (and even those people are still losing potential sales). Too often we see business owners throw money at pretty content, or paid campaigns – with no strategy behind their spend and no multi channel marketing approach at play. Here's why a digital marketing strategy makes all the difference to your online, and offline, success.

Who are you talking to?

So many digital marketing questions come back to this simple answer: who are we talking to? Defining your audience is crucial to your business plan in general, but it holds particular weight when it comes to marketing. Most people can loosely describe their target market in broad strokes such as general demographics; age, location, gender. But you need to get deeper than that.

We break down our audiences thoroughly in strategy pieces, covering:

  • Interests
  • What affects their purchasing decisions
  • What do they emotionally care about
  • What do they practically care about
  • Who would they follow on social media, and why
  • How does the brand help them or solve a problem for them

One of the biggest red flags when it comes to vetting clients is if we hear “our target market is everyone in Australia.” Other than the fact that it simply can’t be true, the more specific you can get with your audience, the better you can target them. This informs the rest of your strategy – once you know who you’re talking to, you can figure out where they are online, and what content they’d like to see from you.

What are your competitors doing well vs poorly and where are the opportunities for the taking?

Who are your competitors and what does their digital marketing look like? Think outside your direct competitors here and consider those who may be in a similar industry with the same target market. Have a thorough look at all their channels and note their strengths and weaknesses. What’s not being done well yet and where could you step in to make the most of that opportunity?

Another useful exercise is to look at some benchmark brands. These may be existing businesses within your industry who you look up to, or completely random brands that you absolutely love. What about them grabs your attention? What are they doing that has them standing out amongst the crowd?

At the end of your competitor analysis you just have a heap of ideas generated for your own content, and a list of things you will actively avoid doing.

What are you saying and how are you saying it?

So now you know what your competitors are saying… but what are you saying? Key messages are integral to the success of your communication between brand and audience. Assume that someone has never heard of you. What are the three most important things they need to know? Refine your messages until you have three sentences that reflect who you are and what you’re about perfectly. You can expand under each with different ways to say it, or with further explanation on that idea or topic. You should be able to copy/paste these messages to create website headings, advertising campaign copy and captions.

How are you saying it speaks to your tone of voice. If your brand was a person, what would their personality be like? Warm? Professional? Inclusive? Nut out how you want to sound and come across to your audience and write a tone of voice guide for internal use. This should be used across the organisation in any future comms (website, eDMs, blogs, etc) so that your voice is consistent and reliable. It helps to elicit trust and is the difference between good and great copywriting.

Which platforms should you focus on?

Answering this is easy once you know who your target audience is. Where do these people live online? If they’re over 50s, then Facebook is a safe bet. Female millennial women? Head to Instagram. It’s important to consider both current and emerging audience trends when considering your platforms. Tiktok is huge with Gen Z now, but it’s millennial audience is rapidly growing too.

What does your content look like?

Now you’ve done all your research, you know what you do and don’t like, and you know what you want to say, and how you want to say it. Time to focus on your content buckets. We use content buckets as an easy method to schedule ahead – every time you create a schedule you know which buckets to ‘fill’. It means the hard work is already done and when you sit down to organise yourself, it’s a matter of sourcing the video, photo or graphic, and writing a caption that’s in line with your key messages and tone of voice. It also means you have a reference guide for anyone in the business to use – if the job needs to be shared or responsibilities moved to another person, consistency shouldn’t be a problem.

When you’re considering your buckets, keep in mind one very important question: is this of value to our target audience? If yes, ripper. If no, bin it. Your content should be a mixture of different value adding buckets that keep things interesting for your audience but all tie in with the strategy and what you’re trying to achieve. Usually, there will be a bucket revolving around your team, something educational, your business purpose and values, clients, products or services. These are the low hanging fruit. Get creative and consider some fun buckets that are relevant to your brand but not necessarily directly related to your business. Remember, social media is an indirect sales channel – not a direct one. The point is to create an online community that people want to be a part of, provide that value and position yourself as a thought leader in your space. Hopefully, when people think of a digital marketing agency for instance, they’ll think of WLKR for exactly these reasons.

Have we convinced you yet? Start working through your strategy internally, or if you need a hand, this stuff is our bread and butter. We’d love to help.