Wherever your potential customers are, your brand needs to be. These days, the largest shopper hub in the world isn’t a destination your GPS can take you to—it’s the internet. Whether you run an online store, a brick-and-mortar shop, or something in between, you need to nail down a standout digital marketing strategy if you want to succeed.
In this article, we’ll provide a handful of effective tips to give you a solid starting point for your online marketing plan.
Table of Contents
- Create Goals to Guide Your Decisions
- Focus on the Right Marketing Channels
- Design Engaging Visual Content
- Organize With Content Calendars
- Automate Your Digital Marketing
- Invest in Digital Advertising
- Track Key Performance Indicators
7 Tips for Building Your Digital Marketing Strategy
If you haven’t just emerged from under an internet-free rock, you’ve been exposed to digital marketing. And if you’re on social media, you’re probably getting marketed to every time you jump on your favorite platform.
Brands are constantly fighting for your attention online—and they’re doing the same thing to captivate your target audience’s attention before you. Not promoting your brand on the web is a surefire way to be forgotten, but just blasting out any and every kind of marketing isn’t the smartest move either.
To stand out among your competitors and convert shoppers on the web, you need a winning digital marketing strategy. Here are seven tips to help you create one.
1. Create Goals To Guide Your Decisions
If you want to get from point A to point B fast, you need to know what your “point B” actually is. Work backwards—think about what the end result of all your online marketing efforts actually should be, so you can start building your path to get there.
Do you want to generate brand awareness? Generate website traffic? Boost your lead generation? Whatever your marketing goals are, pinpointing them and setting deadlines can help you steer your digital marketing campaigns in the right direction so all of the tactics you invest in actually get you closer to where you want to be.
Each of your marketing goals should also help you achieve your greater business goals so you’re not just marketing for the sake of it.
2. Focus on the Right Marketing Channels
While most consumers in the U.S. and many other countries are using the internet, they’re not all using the internet the same way. Just looking at social media platforms alone, there are huge differences in user demographics. For example:
- LinkedIn is ideal for reaching potential B2B clients, but not for reaching consumers (especially those under 25)
- TikTok is heavily used by Gen Z but won’t effectively reach Gen X
- Pinterest is excellent for reaching women under 49—especially if your business fits into popular categories like food, style, travel, and the home—but doesn’t have a strong male audience.
Here’s a more general example of the differences between marketing channels: Social media marketing is a great fit for reaching just about any Millennials or Gen Z buyers. However, older generations would sooner turn to search engines than they would to social for product research, making blogging and search engine optimization (SEO) far better marketing tactics.
Do research on your target audience and industry trends, so you know exactly which digital channels are worth your time.
3. Design Engaging Visual Content
A great content marketing strategy usually goes hand-in-hand with a great digital marketing strategy. After all, there’s no escaping content on the internet. No matter where you turn, there are photos, videos, graphics, written content, and more flying at you.
Great visual content is key to capturing attention—and creating it doesn’t have to be hard. To start, you can use free Spark templates to create high-quality graphics for a variety of online channels within minutes. Tap the templates below to start customizing them for your digital marketing efforts!
When you’re ready to give your graphics an upgrade, you can use motion to get your audience even more engaged by animating your designs with a tap in Spark.
Every piece of content you create—whether it’s your social media captions, email marketing campaigns, or landing pages—can (and should) be paired with stunning visuals that shoppers can’t help but stop for.
4. Organize With Content Calendars
Once you have a great digital marketing plan, you should no longer go posting on the fly. Executing your strategy wisely is all about prior planning, which gives you time to consider the right keywords to use in your website content, the right hashtags to use on Instagram, and more.
A content calendar is the marketing tool you want to use to store everything you’ve planned out. Create calendars for all your marketing channels—from your podcasts and newsletters to your Facebook and YouTube channel—so you know exactly when, what, and how you’re publishing every piece of content.
You can create custom content calendars for your business just by using Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, or you can search for templates online. There are plenty of free, downloadable templates on the web (like these content calendars for social), so you can look around for one that works best for your business.
5. Automate Your Digital Marketing
Marketing automation can save you a lot of time when executing your strategy. Luckily, there are a lot of free and affordable tools out there that help digital marketers like you launch campaigns, even if you’re not available to post at the exact right time. For example, you can use tools like Sprout Social or Buffer to schedule social media posts, or Mailchimp or Constant Contact to schedule email campaigns.
Think about what processes you’re repeating every week or every day, and there’s more than likely a tool out there that could help you streamline your work, so you can have more time to perfect your digital marketing strategy.
6. Invest in Digital Advertising
So far, we’ve mainly talked about ways that you can market to online shoppers organically. However, investing in ads—specifically, on Google and social media—can give you a powerful boost toward your digital marketing goals.
These online ads usually take the form of pay-per-click (PPC) ads, which means you only pay when shoppers actually tap on your post or link. What’s more, Google and social media platforms, especially Facebook, offer extremely advanced targeting options—you can even narrow in on specific zip codes—which means every click can be from someone who perfectly fits one of your brand’s buyer personas.
Google ads give you the chance to promote key webpages like your product listings, blog posts and landing pages when people search your target keywords.
Social media ads are a bit more flexible. You can promote links, drive people to your business pages, drive up brand awareness, and more—just make sure to include a call to action (CTA) with every social media ad, so your audience knows what to do after engaging with your ad. In addition to a CTA, make sure to use Adobe Spark templates to create stunning graphics for your social media ads, so you get as many users to stop and click as possible.
Learn more about creating a digital advertising plan to make the most out of your investment.
7. Track Key Performance Indicators
Once your campaigns have launched, you need to know they’re on track to help you achieve your goals. This is what key performance indicators (KPIs) are for.
KPIs are metrics that tell you if you’re actually achieving your marketing goals. The exact KPIs you use will depend on what you want to achieve. For example, your conversion rate is a great metric to track if you want your digital marketing strategy to drive sales, while the engagement rate may be better if you want to grow brand awareness.
Similarly, the numbers that actually “indicate” good performance may vary from brand to brand. What you consider a great follower growth rate may be low for others, so pay attention to your metrics to figure out what the norm is for you (and where you should set your measurable goals).
As you start implementing a smart digital marketing strategy and improving your KPIs, you can start experimenting with more ways to engage current and new customers online. Watch these 10 tutorials to learn how you can whip your marketing into shape with Adobe Spark—creating far more than just the graphics we’ve already mentioned.