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A Winning Strategy for Digital Marketing to Boost Your Performance

A Guide to Digital Marketing Strategy

In today’s dynamic digital landscape, having a solid digital marketing strategy shouldn’t be optional – it’s essential for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a small startup or a well-established corporation, having an effective strategy for digital marketing will help you reach your target audience, boost brand awareness, and ultimately drive more sales. Finding the perfect blend of digital channels and effective marketing tactics can be overwhelming in a digital-first world. That’s why we’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you craft a digital marketing strategy that drives real results, yes even if you’re a small business. To create a digital marketing strategy that drives real results, you need to get back to marketing basics. That means understanding who your target audience is, what they want, and how to reach them through the smart use of organic content, social media and search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques.

What Is a Digital Marketing Strategy?

Digital marketing strategy. It’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot these days. But what does it actually mean and what’s the relevance for you and your business? Strategy and tactics are commonly used in marketing and business—and often, they are often used interchangeably. But there is a fundamental distinction between strategy vs. tactics. It’s the difference between knowing what you want to accomplish and how you’re going to accomplish it. In simple terms, a digital marketing strategy is a plan of action designed to help you achieve your marketing goals using online channels. It’s about figuring out the best way to connect with your target audience and hopefully persuade them to take the actions you want, whether that’s making a purchase, signing up for your email list, or engaging with your brand on social media. Your digital marketing strategy defines the marketing tactics that will be most effective in reaching your overall marketing objectives.

Components of a Digital Marketing Strategy

So, what goes into a digital marketing strategy? There are a few key components you need to consider:
  1. Your goals and objectives: What do you want to achieve with your digital marketing efforts? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, generate leads, or boost sales? Your goals will shape your entire strategy.
  2. Your target audience: Who are you trying to reach with your digital marketing campaigns? What are their needs, their interests and aspirations, and their pain points? The better you understand your audience, the more effective your marketing will be.
  3. Your digital channels: Which online platforms will you use to reach your target audience? This could include your website, social media, email, paid advertising, or a combination of these. Consistent messaging across all marketing channels is important.
  4. Your content strategy: What kind of content will you create to attract and engage your audience and then drive them to take action? This could include blog posts, videos, infographics, ebooks, or other types of content.
  5. Your budget and resources: How much money and time can you allocate to your digital marketing efforts? This will help you determine which tactics are feasible for your business.
Don’t forget that as well as getting the right messages to your target consumers at the right time, it’s a two-way street rather than a broadcast only. Try to focus on building relationships. Engage with your audience on social media, respond to comments and messages, and provide excellent customer service. Remember that your website is a place for your audience to find out more about you and your brand. Create a user-friendly and visually appealing website that showcases your brand and products/services effectively. Optimise the content for search engines to increase organic visibility. Bear in mind that your website should amplify the same messages/messaging as your other digital channels.

Why a Digital Marketing Strategy Is Important

Now, you might be thinking, “Do I really need a digital marketing strategy? Can’t I just wing it and see what works?” Trust me, as someone who’s been in the digital marketing game for a while, I can tell you that having a solid strategy is crucial. Here’s why:
  1. It helps you stay focused and organised. With so many digital channels and tactics to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and scattered. A strategy keeps you on track and ensures that all your efforts are working towards the same goals.
  2. It allows you to measure your success. Without a strategy, it’s hard to know if your marketing is actually working. But when you have clear goals and metrics in place, you can track your progress and make data-driven decisions.
  3. It helps you allocate your resources effectively. When you have a strategy, you can prioritise the tactics that are most likely to deliver results and avoid wasting time and money on things that aren’t working.
  4. It sets you up for long-term success. Digital marketing isn’t a one-and-done thing. It’s an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and optimization. A strategy helps you build a strong foundation for your marketing efforts and adapt to changes in the digital landscape over time.

How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy

Alright, so you’re convinced that you need a digital marketing strategy. That’s great! But how do you go about creating one? A digital Marketing Strategy Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Define Your Marketing Goals and Objectives

The first step in creating a digital marketing strategy is to define your goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve with your online marketing efforts? Your marketing goals must align with your overall business goals and objectives – that is so important for success. Some common digital marketing goals include:
  • Increasing website traffic
  • Generating leads
  • Boosting sales and revenue
  • Improving brand awareness and reputation
  • Engaging with customers and building loyalty
Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For example, instead of just saying “increase website traffic,” a SMART goal would be “increase website traffic by 25% over the next quarter.”

Identify Your Target Audience

Once you have your goals in place, the next step is to identify your target audience. Who are the people you want to reach with your digital marketing campaigns? To define your target audience, consider factors like:
  • Who does your product or service appeal to and why?
  • Demographics (age, gender, location, income level, etc.)
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Pain points and challenges
  • Online behaviours and preferences
Creating buyer personas can be a helpful way to bring your target audience to life. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data and research. It includes details like their background, goals, challenges, and how they make purchasing decisions.

Evaluate Your Existing Digital Channels

Before you start creating new digital marketing campaigns, it’s important to assess your current online presence. Which marketing channels are you already using, and how are they performing? What’s the mix of offline and online marketing channels and how are they currently performing? Some key channels to evaluate include:

Your website:

Is it user-friendly, mobile-responsive, and optimized for search engines? Does it effectively communicate your brand and value proposition?

Social media:

Which social platforms are you active on, and how engaged is your audience? Are you posting regularly and responding to comments and messages?

Email:

Do you have an email list, and how often do you communicate with your subscribers? What kind of content do you send, and how do your open and click-through rates compare to industry benchmarks?

Paid advertising:

Are you running any paid campaigns on platforms like Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn? How are they performing in terms of clicks, conversions, and ROI?

Use analytics tools like Google Analytics to gather data on your website traffic, bounce rates, and conversion rates. Look at your social media metrics to see which posts are getting the most engagement and driving the most traffic to your site.

Plan Your Content Marketing Strategy

Content is the fuel that drives your digital marketing engine. Without quality content, you’ll struggle to attract and engage your target audience. Content Marketing - key to growth of your audience That’s where content marketing comes in. Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. To create a content marketing strategy, start by identifying the types of content that will resonate with your target audience. This could include:
  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Ebooks and whitepapers
  • Social media posts
  • Email newsletters
Consider the topics and themes that are most relevant to your audience and align with your brand and offerings. Use keyword research to identify the phrases and questions that your audience is searching for online. Create a content calendar to plan out your content creation and distribution. Assign responsibilities and deadlines to ensure that your content is consistently published and promoted.

Implement Paid Advertising Campaigns

While organic traffic and engagement are important, paid advertising can be a powerful way to amplify your reach and drive more targeted traffic directly to your website. Some common types of paid advertising include:
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) ads on search engines like Google
  • Social media ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
  • Display ads on websites and apps
  • Retargeting ads that follow users who have previously interacted with your brand
To create effective paid advertising campaigns, again start by defining your goals and target audience. Choose the platforms and ad formats that are most likely to reach and resonate with your audience. Create compelling ad copy and visuals that grab attention and communicate your value proposition. Use targeting options to ensure that your ads are shown to the most relevant and qualified users. Set a budget for your campaigns and monitor your performance closely. Use A/B testing to optimize your ads and landing pages for maximum conversions.

Optimise for Search Engines

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your website and content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). When done effectively, SEO can help you attract more organic traffic to your site and build your brand’s visibility and credibility. To optimise your site for search engines, start by conducting keyword research to identify the phrases and topics that your target audience is searching for. Use these keywords naturally throughout your site’s content, meta tags, and URLs. Ensure that your site is technically sound and easy for search engines to crawl and index. This includes having a responsive design, fast page load speeds, and a clear site structure. It’s worth remembering that SERPs change constantly. All the hard work you do can easily get diluted when the algorithms get updated – just like your writing in the sand gets washed away by a wave! Build high-quality backlinks to your site from other reputable websites. This can help improve your site’s authority and relevance in the eyes of search engines.

Leverage Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing generally involves using social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to build brand awareness, engage with your audience, and drive traffic and sales. It’s usual for B2C brands to focus on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, whereas B2B tend to be more focused on Twitter (OK, X – formally known as…etc) and LinkedIn. To create a social media marketing strategy, start by identifying the platforms where your target audience is most active. Create a content plan that includes a mix of promotional and engaging content, such as industry news, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and user-generated content. Use social media advertising to reach a wider audience and drive more targeted traffic to your site. Consider partnering with influencers or running social media contests to build brand excitement and encourage user engagement. Monitor your social media metrics to track your performance and adjust your strategy as needed. Respond to comments and messages promptly to build relationships with your followers and show that you value their feedback. Remember, a digital marketing strategy is not a set-it-and-forget-it endeavour. It requires ongoing optimisation and adaptation to stay ahead of the curve and meet the evolving needs of your audience. But with a clear plan in place and a commitment to continuous improvement, you can create a digital marketing strategy that drives real results for your business. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start creating your strategy.

Types of Digital Marketing Strategies

Digital marketing strategies come in all shapes and sizes. But which ones are the most effective? In my experience, there are 5 key components that you should consider in a digital marketing strategy. You don’t have to include all of them at the same time, but the right mix can help you reach your goals:

1. Content Marketing

Content marketing is all about creating valuable, relevant content to attract and retain your target audience. This could be anything from blog posts and videos to infographics and ebooks. The key is to provide genuine value and build trust with your audience. I’ve seen firsthand how powerful content marketing can be. By consistently creating helpful, informative content, you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and drive more traffic to your website.

2. Paid Advertising

Paid advertising involves paying for ad placements on search engines, social media, or other websites. It’s a great way to get your brand in front of a targeted audience quickly. Some common types of paid ads include pay-per-click (PPC) ads, display ads, and social media ads. The key is to create compelling ad copy and visuals that grab attention and drive clicks. I’ve used paid advertising to great effect in my own marketing campaigns in the past. By carefully targeting my ads and optimising my landing pages, I’ve been able to generate a steady stream of sales opportunities.

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to nurture leads and build relationships with your customers. It involves sending targeted, personalised emails to your list of subscribers. The goal is to provide value, build trust, and ultimately drive conversions. This could be anything from a welcome email series for new subscribers to a promotional campaign for a new product launch. I’ve seen email marketing work wonders for businesses of all sizes. By segmenting your list and personalising your messages, you can create a powerful connection with your audience and drive real results. Remember though, that not every email needs to be a sales letter – that’s one of the quickest ways to increase the number of people unsubscribing!

4. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing involves promoting your brand and engaging with customers on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik-Tok and LinkedIn. Each has a different style and type of audience, so make sure you post content that users of each platform would expect to see. The key is to create compelling content, run targeted ads, and actively engage with your followers. This can help you build brand awareness, drive website traffic for specific campaigns and audience segments, and even generate leads and sales. By consistently posting valuable content and engaging with your audience, you can build a loyal following and drive real results.

5. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing involves partnering with individuals who have a significant following on social media or other digital platforms. These influencers can help promote your brand, products, or services to their engaged audience. Influencer marketing tends to be more effective in B2C or DTC marketing. The key is to find the right influencers who align with your brand values and target audience. You’ll want to set clear goals and expectations for the partnership and measure the impact of the campaign. I’ve seen influencer marketing drive incredible results for businesses in a variety of industries and seen some disasters too. Authenticity is the key. By tapping into the power of influencers, you can reach new audiences, build credibility, and drive real business results.

Measuring the Success of Your Digital Marketing Strategy

So you’ve implemented your digital marketing strategy. But how do you know if it’s working effectively? Measuring the success of your digital marketing efforts is crucial. It allows you to see what’s working, what’s not, and where you can improve. Here are a few key things to keep in mind:

Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

The first step in measuring your marketing success in digital channels is to set clear, measurable KPIs. These should be specific to your business goals and aligned with your overall marketing strategy. Some common digital marketing KPIs include website traffic, lead generation, conversion rates, and revenue. The key is to choose KPIs that are most relevant to your business and track them consistently over time. I always make sure to set clear KPIs for every digital marketing campaign I run. This helps me stay focused on what matters most and track my progress along the way. One campaign I remember well was a disaster and I was able to stop it in the first month. If I hadn’t been measuring it it would certainly have been a very costly error!

Track and Analyse Your Results

Once you have your KPIs in place, it’s time to start tracking and analysing your results. This involves using tools like Google Analytics, social media analytics, and email marketing platforms to gather data on your performance. KPI Dashboard Look for trends and patterns in your data. Are certain channels or tactics driving more traffic or conversions than others? Are there any areas where you’re underperforming? I can almost guarantee that there will be some surprises! By regularly tracking and analyzing your results, you can gain valuable insights into what’s working and what’s not. This can help you make data-driven decisions about where to focus your efforts moving forward. There is a vast array of martech tools available to help track and analyse the performance of your digital marketing campaigns.

Adjust Your Strategy Based on Insights

Finally, once you have insights from your data, it’s important to use them to adjust and optimise your digital marketing strategy. This could involve doubling down on high-performing tactics, testing new approaches, or even “pivoting” your strategy entirely, i.e. changing direction based on the insights. The key is to stay agile and adaptable. Digital marketing is constantly evolving, and what works today may not work tomorrow. By continuously monitoring your performance and making adjustments based on your insights, you can stay ahead of the curve and drive real results for your business. I’ve learned that the most successful digital marketers are the ones who are always testing, iterating, and improving. By staying open to new ideas and approaches, you can keep your digital marketing strategy fresh and effective over the long term.

Digital Marketing Strategy Case Studies

When it comes to digital marketing strategy, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. The best strategies are tailored to the unique needs and goals of each business. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from the successes (and failures) of others. Case studies are a goldmine of insights and inspiration for crafting our own effective digital marketing campaigns.

KFC’s Digital Marketing Strategy

KFC’s digital marketing strategy is all about engaging with customers on their turf – social media. They’ve mastered the art of the witty tweet, often going viral with their cheeky humour and pop culture references. One of their most famous social media stunts was when they followed only 11 people on Twitter – the five Spice Girls and six guys named Herb. Get it? 11 herbs and spices, the secret to their famous fried chicken recipe. This clever move got them loads of attention and cemented their status as a brand that knows how to have fun online. But it’s not just about the laughs – KFC’s social media strategy also drives real results, with increased brand awareness and customer engagement.

Nike’s Digital Marketing Strategy

Nike’s digital marketing is all about inspiration and empowerment. They create powerful, emotionally resonant content that celebrates athletes and encourages everyone to push their limits. Take their Dream Crazy campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. The ad took a bold stand on a controversial issue, aligning Nike with a social justice message. It sparked intense debate, but also earned Nike major props for authenticity and fearlessness. Beyond big splashy campaigns, Nike’s day-to-day digital marketing focuses on building community and driving sales through personalised content, targeted ads, and seamless ecommerce experiences. They meet customers where they are, with the right message at the right time.

Apple’s User-Generated Content Campaign

Apple’s Shot on iPhone campaign is a masterclass in harnessing the power of user-generated content (UGC). The premise is simple: showcase amazing photos and videos captured by real iPhone users around the world. It’s about encouraging someone to go out and try and film their own launch video. By featuring authentic content from their own customers, Apple not only promotes the impressive capabilities of their cameras – they also create a sense of community and creativity among their fanbase. The UGC approach lends an air of authenticity and trustworthiness to Apple’s marketing. It’s not the brand telling you their camera is great – it’s real people showing you what they’ve created with it. That’s a powerful testimonial. Plus, “Shot on iPhone” is an ongoing, ever-evolving campaign. By continuously sourcing new UGC, Apple keeps things fresh and relevant, driving sustained engagement over the long term.

The Future of Digital Marketing Strategies

As a digital marketer, I’ve seen firsthand how quickly the landscape can change. What worked last year may fall flat today, and what’s cutting-edge now will be old news tomorrow. That’s what makes marketing so interesting, and digital marketing moves at a fast pace that’s for sure! To stay ahead of the curve, we need to keep a pulse on the latest trends and technologies shaping the future of digital marketing. Here are three key areas I believe will define the next era of digital strategy:

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

AI is already transforming the way we approach digital marketing, and its impact will only grow in the coming years. From chatbots and predictive analytics to dynamic ad optimisation and hyper-personalisation, AI tools are helping us automate and enhance nearly every aspect of our marketing efforts. The beauty of AI is that it allows us to scale our strategies while still delivering highly targeted, individualised experiences to each customer. By analysing vast amounts of data on user behaviour and preferences, AI can surface valuable insights and recommendations that would be impossible for humans to discern on their own. Some worry that AI will replace human marketers, but I believe it will actually help to make us better at what we do. By automating routine tasks and providing data-driven guidance, AI frees us up to focus on the creative, strategic work that machines can’t replicate – things like crafting compelling narratives, building authentic relationships, and driving innovative campaigns. Remember that AI can’t feel empathy, sympathy, or anything else for that matter. The AI we currently have available is not capable of experiencing sentience, and whether it ever will remains unclear. There are very many highly publicised examples of AI tool hallucinations such as Google’s new AI search tool advising users that eating the right rocks can be good for you because they contain minerals that are important for your body’s health. Another example was to add glue to pizza sauce to add to its stickiness.

The Growing Importance of Personalisation

In the age of information overload, personalisation is no longer a nice-to-have – it’s a must-have for any successful digital marketing strategy. Today’s consumers expect brands to understand and cater to their unique needs and preferences at every touchpoint. Personalisation goes way beyond addressing someone by name in an email. It’s about creating deeply customised experiences across all channels, from dynamic website content and product recommendations to targeted ads and tailored social media interactions. The key to effective personalisation is data – the more you know about your audience, the better you can serve them. By leveraging AI and machine learning to analyse customer data points like demographics, past purchases, browsing behaviour, and engagement history, we can create hyper-relevant marketing that feels like it was made just for each individual user. The key to getting personalisation right is authenticity, it should create a positive feeling rather than giving an “eeew creepy!” feeling. When done right, personalisation can be incredibly powerful. It can boost engagement, build loyalty, drive conversions, and create a true sense of connection between brand and customer. But it has to be executed thoughtfully and transparently, always respecting user privacy and preferences.

The Shift Towards Video and Interactive Content

As attention spans shrink and screen time grows, video has emerged as the format of choice for digital marketers looking to capture and keep their audience’s interest. From ephemeral stories to long-form tutorials to live streams, video content is versatile, engaging, and highly shareable. But it’s not just about passive viewing anymore. The next frontier of video marketing is all about interactivity and immersion. Think 360-degree videos, shoppable videos, choose-your-own-adventure style narratives, and augmented reality experiences. By inviting users to actively participate in and shape the content they consume, interactive videos create a sense of connection and memorability that traditional linear content can’t match. They also provide valuable data points on user preferences and behaviour, which can inform future marketing efforts. Beyond video, interactive content like quizzes, polls, calculators, and games are also on the rise as marketers look for new ways to entertain, educate, and engage their audiences. The key is to create experiences that are not only fun and memorable but also aligned with your brand identity and marketing goals. As digital marketers, our job is to tell compelling stories and build meaningful connections with our audiences. Video and interactive content give us powerful new tools to do just that – but only if we wield them with creativity, authenticity, and a deep understanding of what our customers really want.

Conclusion

Creating a successful digital marketing strategy takes time, effort, and a willingness to experiment and adapt. But by following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to developing a comprehensive plan that helps you reach your business goals and connect with your target audience in meaningful ways. It’s worth emphasising that you don’t have to do all of the things above at the same time. The secret to thriving in digital marketing is adaptability. With the digital landscape in a constant state of flux, your digital marketing strategy must be agile enough to keep pace. By staying current with the latest developments and continually testing new approaches, you can ensure your digital marketing efforts are consistently yielding results for your business. Don’t let fear hold you back – take a leap of faith and try out innovative digital marketing strategies. With a well-crafted plan, the sky’s the limit for your business. If you’re overwhelmed with choice or have questions about any of the above, we’re happy to answer any questions. If you’d like help to understand how to leverage the latest strategies, techniques, tools and thinking and maximise your return on investment get in contact. We’ll help you to stay ahead of your competition. digital marketing strategy . . .some images created with the help of midjourney!