If you want your business to succeed, you need to invest as many resources in marketing as possible.
While having an excellent product and customer service are crucial, marketing is what builds brand awareness, so you can capture more customers and turn them into loyal ambassadors.
These days, digital marketing strategies are the keys to success, but not every strategy contains a winning formula for every business.
Plus, as we’ve seen time and time again, marketing trends shift and change regularly to keep up with consumer demands.
So, with that in mind, let’s dive into the world of digital marketing and see how your business can develop strategies to come out on top.
Here’s everything you need to know.
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What is a Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy is a plan of action centered around how your business will promote a product or service.
While specific details can change from one strategy to the next, here are the core components that most strategies should include:
- Value Proposition – What makes your product or service valuable to your target audience?
- Target Demographic – Who are you selling this product to, and how are you appealing to their wants and needs?
- Messaging – An example of a marketing message could be the convenience of your product and how it saves time or energy. Another option could be to highlight the product’s low price.
- Goal – What are you trying to achieve with your marketing strategy? If it’s to increase sales, how much do you want them to increase, and within what time frame?
- Competitor Analysis – Do your competitors offer similar products or services? Are they employing similar marketing strategies or messages? How can you differentiate your brand from them?
- Measurement – Having a goal is one thing, but measuring it is another. For example, if you want to get 1,000 new email subscribers in a month, how can you verify whether you’ve succeeded? Also, even if 1,000 people sign up, how do you know those interactions were a direct result of your strategy and nothing else?
Nine Essential Types of Marketing Strategies for Any Business
While marketing can encompass both digital and physical assets, we’re talking about digital marketing strategies, so let’s look at the top nine ways to promote your business online.
Search Engine Optimization
Average ROI: 2,200 percent (22:1)
Search engines like Google direct tons of traffic to business websites, so it makes sense to invest in high-performing SEO strategies.
The primary goal of SEO marketing is to rank as highly on a search results page for a specific keyword. The higher you rank, the more traffic you get.
On average, the top spot gets about 34 percent of hits, so it pays to be there.
These days, though, Google tends to prioritize paid ads over organic search results. We’ll discuss the value of pay-per-click (PPC) ads later on, but they’ve changed the game.
That said, many users skip past ads, although it really depends on their search.
For example, if someone is looking for shoes for sale, it makes sense to click on an ad for shoes.
However, if someone is searching for the history of a particular shoe brand, an ad doesn’t make much sense.
Average ROI: 3,600 percent (36:1)
Building a list of email subscribers is the best way to promote your brand to a captive audience.
Also, considering that email marketing has the highest average ROI, it makes sense to invest as much into it as possible.
However, this strategy involves more than just sending blasts to your entire email list.
Instead, you need to refine your lists on the back end so you can target the right customer at the right time with the right offer. Segmentation and automation are crucial for ensuring long-term success with your email campaign.
For example, you may segment users based on how they signed up for your mailing list. Similarly, some users may be looking for discounts, while others want informative content.
By taking a unique approach to each segment, you can encourage better engagement and a higher ROI.
Social Media Marketing
Average ROI: 95 percent (0.95:1)
Social media channels dominate our lives, and businesses have been able to tap into these platforms for some incredible marketing results.
While the average return is 95 percent, some businesses earn way more, with several getting into triple digits (i.e., 1000:1).
Part of the challenge of social media marketing is that it requires constant engagement and momentum.
Because there’s so much competition on these sites for users’ attention, you have to be consistent or risk falling behind.
Fortunately, automation tools make it easier to post regularly, but someone has to engage with followers as well.
Also, social media content can run the gamut from text posts to long-form video clips, and each type of content appeals to different demographics.
So, the average ROI percentage reflects the fact that this strategy is relatively complicated to master.
Average ROI: Varies
The primary goal of content marketing is to bring visitors to your site and landing pages with informative and/or entertaining content.
It’s hard to pin down an exact ROI because the nature of content marketing is fluid, and it’s hard to get consistent results.
For example, a single blog post can get tons of likes and shares, but how many new customers did it generate?
Also, a single piece could get shared and re-shared multiple times, getting new visitors with each round.
The primary types of content to use for marketing strategies include:
- Blog Posts – Your website should have an industry-level blog that helps cement your brand as an expert or authority within the marketplace.
- Video Clips – Video content can include testimonials, tutorials, ads, and viral clips. Videos can also be shared across multiple channels, including YouTube, social media, and email.
- Infographics – These graphics are excellent because they digest complex subjects and make them easier to understand. Plus, infographics are great for sharing because they’re visually appealing.
- E-Books – Instead of going through the trouble of publishing a physical book, you can let users download or pay for a digital version. E-books are excellent resources for brands that want to establish authority within an industry.
Average ROI: Varies
Affiliate marketing is excellent for brands of all sizes because it allows you to tap into a broader audience without having to build it organically.
The way it works is that you partner with various affiliates, which can be influencers or content producers.
The goal is to find affiliates that already produce content related to your business so you can capture more of their audience.
Once you have a network of affiliates, they promote your products for a small commission (i.e., $1 per sale).
So, you get more customers and they earn more money, making this a win-win strategy.
Plus, since your affiliates have done all the legwork to build a loyal audience, you can increase your brand awareness much faster.
The reason it’s hard to pin down an exact ROI is that your affiliate commission depends on various factors.
For example, you may pay one affiliate 50 cents per sale but another $3 because they have a more loyal audience.
Average ROI: 520 percent (5.2:1)
Social media influencers are individuals who have generated a sizable following on one or more social platforms.
Typically, influencers act as entertainers, but they can also be industry experts or insiders. Influencer marketing is similar to affiliate marketing because you’re setting up a similar contract.
That said, most influencer marketing involves paying a flat rate, rather than commissions on individual sales.
Influencers with larger audiences command a higher rate, but they can often generate a higher return for your investment.
Unfortunately, influencer marketing is tough to quantify, especially if your brand doesn’t fit with the influencer’s aesthetic or content.
Basically, don’t assume that because someone has 100,000 followers on social media, they’ll be good for your bottom line.
Overall, you need to do due diligence and work with reputable influencers with data to back up their claims.
Average ROI: 200 percent (2:1)
As we mentioned, many Google search results feature paid ads in the top spots, with organic search results below them.
PPC advertising works on a bid system, meaning that brands that pay more to feature their ads are ranked higher than those with lower budgets.
However, if you pick less competitive keywords, you can often come out on top, even if you don’t invest any more in your bid.
While a 2:1 ROI isn’t as good as other digital marketing strategies on this list, it’s still worthwhile for any company.
Another benefit of PPC advertising is that sites like Google give you access to tons of user data, ensuring that your ads wind up in front of the right people at the right time.
Plus, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, so there’s tons of analytical information to gather as well.
Average ROI: 10,500 percent (10.5:1)
As more people start interacting with brands on mobile devices, mobile marketing is becoming more valuable as a digital marketing strategy. Some examples of mobile marketing include
- SMS Marketing – Instead of sending users an email, you can send them a text offer or notification about a specific promotion.
- Location-Based Marketing – Many people find new stores and businesses by searching on platforms like Google Maps. So, you can invest in making sure your business pops up in these search results and that users can conduct research about your brand on the fly.
- Mobile-Optimized Content – You should create mobile-friendly versions of all your content, including blog posts, video clips, and infographics. This way, these pieces are easier to share and view on smaller screens.
- QR Codes – These codes are making a huge comeback, and they require users to have smartphones. So, developing marketing materials that use QR codes can help you corner these customers.
Average ROI: Varies
Overall, video content is much more engaging than text, images, or a combination of both.
There’s a reason why sites like TikTok and YouTube have such massive user bases. Businesses of all shapes and sizes need to invest in high-quality video content that’s both informative and shareable.
The goal is to create pieces that can either “go viral” or maintain their value over a long period (i.e., evergreen content).
The ROI of video marketing varies because the methods to produce these pieces can vary so significantly.
For example, you can shoot videos on a smartphone, or you can use a professional videographer service to deliver high-end content.
So, the more you invest in your videos on the back end, the lower your ROI.
What is the Best Digital Marketing Strategy?
Technically, the best marketing strategy is the one that works best for your business.
If you’re going based on ROI, email marketing may seem to be number one, but if your customers don’t engage with emails as much as they do with social media, you won’t get the same return.
Realistically, you’ll need to deploy a variety of digital marketing strategies to build brand awareness and strengthen your bottom line.
The key is to utilize analytical tools to see which methods are delivering the best results, so you can focus your attention on those and shed any tactics that don’t move the needle.
Another point to keep in mind is that some strategies may see results immediately, while others might take a while to build momentum.
For example, PPC ads can boost your website traffic right away, while organic SEO strategies can help you rank higher for more keywords over the long term.
How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy
To build an effective digital marketing strategy, follow these steps:
- Step One: Determine Your Goal – What do you hope to achieve with your marketing campaign? Make sure it’s achievable and quantifiable, such as “sell 100 more units of product X next quarter.” Setting a deadline also helps you analyze the results.
- Step Two: Research Your Target Audience – If you want to get your customers to take a specific action (i.e., buy product X), you need to know how to appeal to them. Understanding your audience will help you determine which marketing strategy will get the most traction.
- Step Three: Create Your Marketing Message – Now that you know what you want to achieve and the value you can deliver to your customers, the next step is to create a compelling message. As a rule, it’s best to focus on the tangible benefits of a product rather than specific features. As the saying goes, “sell the sizzle, not the steak.”
- Step Four: Create Specific Marketing Materials – Ideally, you can promote your message across various channels to expand your outreach and deliver better results. So, the next step is to create specific materials like digital ads, social posts, video clips, blog posts, and more. Just make sure they all follow the same message.
- Step Five: Publish and Analyze – Once you pull the trigger and promote your marketing strategy, you need to analyze the results and see what elements get the most traction. Otherwise, you could wind up wasting a lot of time, energy, and resources on a campaign that might fizzle out immediately.
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