Digital has become a primary channel for consuming information, interacting with others and even attending work or school. In turn, research shows that more budget and concentration are now being applied to digital marketing. Digital marketing strategies need to support one’s buyer journey and align with organizational goals to be effective. Here, we outline digital marketing strategy, what it takes to build one and how the buyer’s journey plays an instrumental role.
Digital Marketing Strategy Overview
Digital marketing strategies are driven by preset goals and carried out by integrated tactics and marketing activities that will vary depending on campaign or plan details.
Audience (Buyer Personas) and the Buyer’s Journey
It’s essential to know who your audience is and how you can reach them. Buyer personas are semi-fictional composites of key audience segments and are comprised of descriptive characteristics such as demographics, firmographics, pain points and psychographics. Personas inform messages and the content that will need to be created and delivered.
The goals of a digital marketing strategy should be informed by the buyer’s journey. Audiences should feel informed by content and intuitively guided to take next steps necessary that move them closer to becoming a buyer. The first part of the buyer’s journey is awareness. Once attention is earned, the goal is to have the prospect consider one’s offerings for potential purchase. Next, they move to the decision stage where one seeks to positively differentiate the brand from alternatives and convert the prospect into a buyer. Lastly, retaining customers and transforming them into advocates becomes the focus of continued engagement.
Achieving the overall goal of having a prospect become a buyer or someone that trusts your brand requires the right mix of audience-dependent marketing tactics. Examples of marketing tactics include social media, blogs, articles, eBooks, search engine optimization (SEO), videos, emails and advertising. As we’ll detail later, each tactic has its place across the different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Every goal and digital marketing tactic should be accompanied by at least one key performance indicator. Metrics from your social media, website, ads and other marketing activities should be recorded and analyzed. Targeted results could be generating a certain number of leads from an eBook or demo requests. In all cases, the desired results need to be clearly defined by KPIs that are tracked, analyzed and used for planning future initiatives.
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Digital Marketing and the Buyer’s Journey
Building a relationship with a prospect starts at the very first touchpoint, and although specific digital marketing tactics may vary, they are all driven by the goals defined at each stage. We highlight key content pieces that are influential to the prospect or buyer in their journey.
- Blogs and Articles. Blogs and articles are a simple way to generate awareness. If this content is written with the target audience in mind, then it’s likely that someone reading it can relate to it. If your blog or article can make an impact, that reader will explore further blogs and articles on your website.
- Infographics. Infographics are a great way to draw attention to your brand. Including design and visuals on in content elevates your content to the next level.
- Social Media. Posting original and third-party content on social media can generate awareness. You never know what follower or connection will come across on of your posts and engage with it or share it. This can lead to the further discovery of your brand and offerings by those not in your network or follower base.
- Email Newsletters. At this point, you have generated enough interest where your prospect has downloaded content or signed up for an email newsletter. Keeping your audience up to date on new content, events and company news allows you to keep your brand at the top of mind.
- eBooks and White Papers. These longer-form pieces of content can give your audience even more insight and information.
- Use Cases. A use case is a situation where a product or service can be used. This can help show the prospect how your offering could be of use to them. As they evaluate their options, they can compare yours against others to make their decision.
- Case Studies. Case studies are reports on a customer that include how a product or service offering was utilized and what the results were. This can be a key deliverable to a prospect that allows them to see real clients and real results.
- Testimonials and Reviews. People trust what other people have to say about a product or service. So much so that 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to complete a purchase after reading a trusted review.
- Product demos are often a big part of the decision process. When a prospect can have the first-hand experience of the product, it can allow them to envision if it is the right one for them.
- Product/Solution Tips and Tricks. Fully utilizing a product or solution is the best thing for an organization. Offering tips and tricks for those that purchase your product can help ensure they make the most of it and achieve maximum success.
- Customer-Focused Email Newsletters. Communicating with buyers outside of typical communications can strengthen the relationship. Delivering customer-focused email newsletters is a way to show that your company is focused on them. These newsletters can highlight industry news and company updates that are useful for them.
- Customer Only Webinars. Anything that shows you are dedicated to making your customers’ lives better is essential. Creating webinars that are only available for your buyers can be a great way to retain customers and progress the relationship. The webinar can be an industry topic, a panel discussion or whatever you want it to be. Ensuring that it will be something your customers will enjoy and spend time watching can make them feel appreciated.
- Press Releases. Creating press releases and generating buzz about a client can be a great way to show support and help give them exposure.
- Surveys and Feedback Channels. Feedback is a great way to understand what worked and didn’t work in the buying process and how the product or solution was for them. If you allow buyers to share their feedback, it shows how much you appreciate them and what they can provide for you moving forward.
- Content Exclusives. Content can oftentimes be exclusive, meaning that someone has to download it or pay for it to consume it. But, you can release this content early or exclusively to your client base or charge them no cost at all.
Digital marketing is the future. Form and carry out a digital marketing strategy that the puts the right messages in front of the right people at the right time.