It’s impressive how digital technologies are impacting customer interactions with brands. There’s no escape for brands from improving their online visibility. Therefore, companies need to create effective digital marketing strategies for business.
A modern customer wants to browse and research fast, assess brands, and click the “Buy” button when they’re ready. They want to do so via virtually any platform of their choosing, irrespective of their location, time zone, or device.
Moreover, they want to share their experiences online and, most importantly, they want these opinions to be heard and valued.
Customers also want you to deliver highly personalized content and offers.
But the good news is that digital marketing is based on facts and data that let you set clear goals, understand your target audiences, and tailor your digital marketing strategy to your business model with greater precision.
Here are a few popular digital marketing models, as well as some helpful tips on digital marketing strategies for business.
Different Models of Online Marketing
Firstly, there is no uniform digital marketing strategy. The foundation of your strategy and its further development depend on a wide range of factors, including your target customers, industry, or goals.
Most importantly, they need to align with your business model. Here are a few key digital marketing models to consider:
1. Businesses Focused on Brand Building
Many businesses don’t use digital marketing to make sales directly. Instead, they focus on building a solid brand. They switch from some linear forms of marketing towards more comprehensive marketing experiences that engage customers at every stage of their buyer journey. These are usually brands in the consumer products industry, freemium-model businesses, and online retailers.
Their strategy is usually focused on building a spotless website experience and nurturing strong customer relationships through high-quality content, influencer campaigns, and social media marketing. Moreover, their primary goal is not only to attract a customer but to bring lifetime value and inspire their loyalty.
For instance, a typical business focused on digital branding is Coca-Cola. Why do we always choose it over its cheaper alternatives? Because of its name, logo, and storytelling. Coca-Cola doesn’t sell carbonated drinks. They’re selling happiness, friendships, holidays, and positive feelings.
For decades now, the brand has been certainly focused on keeping pace with changes in popular culture and remaining a part of it. Just look at their content. What you will see is consistency in messaging, social influence, and imagery.
Their goal is to create personalized customer experiences, create emotion-evoking content around these experiences, and engage community members to share content through the continuous website and social engagement.
2. Businesses Focused on Customer Experience
Called customer experience designers, these brands collect customer data to provide customized customer experiences. Their focus is to provide smooth interactions with their customers, impressing them at multiple touchpoints.
One such example is Starbucks. Apart from their exceptional services, they’re focused on building a strong, customer-centric brand. For example, they’ve created an amazing mobile app that allows customers to order items from the menu and pick them immediately without waiting in lines. The app is also mobile-friendly, meaning that mobile users can make payments, check their balance, and get loyalty points effortlessly.
Above all, Starbucks is all about retaining their loyal customers. The loyalty program is highly targeted and tailored to their customers’ individual needs. For example, a customer will get a free birthday product and redeem a highly personalized offer from their mobile app.
3. Businesses Focused on Conversion
These are usually retail businesses. Their entire marketing strategy is focused on generating more leads and converting these leads into paying customers.
Sure, to increase conversions, they need a strong online marketing strategy. They invest in responsive website design with catchy CTAs and simple navigation. SEO, especially on-site optimization, local SEO, and link building, boosts their site’s visibility.
Chatbots, mobile-connected apps, and social networks enable omnichannel communication with customers in real time. Finally, content (eBooks, guides, how-to articles) is the foundation of their strategy, as a major lead generator.
Amazon could be an example of a conversion-oriented business that is famous for rocking customer personalization. For example, they use geotargeting, making sure that the price and product information is accurate.
A customer can also find the product they viewed before, view similar products and customer reviews, as well as get targeted emails based on their previous searches.
4. Businesses Focused on Increasing Consistency across Multiple Locations
For many entrepreneurs, buying into a big franchise brand is one of the best business ideas. The benefits of this business plan are obvious- a franchisee launches their own business and, at the same time, acquires a business model that already works and has the full support of a strong brand.
From a marketing viewpoint, franchise businesses can be classified both as brand builders and customer experience boosters. Still, promoting a franchise is challenging. Franchisors need to focus on maintaining a cohesive brand image across all business locations and yet, tailor their marketing strategy to local markets.
Also, one such example is McDonald’s. If you pay closer attention, you will notice that McDonald’s has separate sites, social media accounts, Google My Business Listings.
On the other hand, the brand name, location, data, and messaging always remain the same. This simply means that they let their local franchisees handle their online presence. Besides, they have strong brand guidelines that ensure brand consistency.
How to Build Your Own Digital Marketing Strategy?
These digital marketing models are not industry-specific for a good reason. Sometimes, companies within the same industry can take two totally different approaches to digital marketing.
That is exactly why you need to build your own digital marketing strategy around your business’ specific goals. And, here are a few key steps to take:
1. Create a Buyer Persona
The foundation of any solid digital marketing strategy is to know who you’re addressing. And, to do so, you need to build solid buyer personas.
These are semi-fictional representations of your “perfect customer” and can be created by collecting customer feedback through interviews, surveys, and research. Most importantly, creating customer personas is not something that can be done randomly, as making assumptions may distract you from your priorities.
Whenever possible, you should try to get a rounded image of your persona by using real customer data, both qualitative and quantitative.
2. Tie Marketing Goals with Business Ones
Your marketing goals should align with your business goals. For example, if you want to boost your sales by 15%, your marketing goals should be to generate more website leads by 40%.
The mere goal means nothing if it cannot be measured. Only by setting clear and measurable goals can you calculate the performance of your strategy and update it accordingly.
3. Audit your Current Digital Marketing Tactics
To improve your digital marketing strategy and tailor it to your specific business needs, you need to audit the channels and tactics you already use. This includes all aspects of your digital marketing campaign, such as:
Owned media are all digital assets your company possesses and controls, including your website, social networking profiles, blog, imagery, as well as certain off-site content like articles on Medium. This part of your strategy is based on your content.
Content marketing helps you rank high in the SEPRs, attract people to your site, engage them, and convert them into leads.
Sure, to get the most out of your content strategy, you need to know what content resonates with your target audience.
- Make a list of your content.
- Audit it.
- Identify the major gaps in your messaging or targeting.
- Use this data to build a more informed content creation plan. It should include the rules on title creation, formats, goals of content, target audiences, promotional channels, the budget you want to allocate to content marketing.
This includes guest blogging, building links on authoritative sites, your PR efforts, and customer reviews and user-generated content. To see what tactics work for you best, you can track them and even rank them using Google Analytic.
Paid media includes any aspect of your marketing strategy that requires you to pay to gain exposure, such as Google Ads, paid social ads, native advertising, etc.
So, if you’ve been already investing in paid media, you need to evaluate your assets to see whether they meet your business needs.
If most of your PPC budget goes to Google Ads, but you’re not seeing the desired results, maybe it’s time to rethink your targeting, keyword optimization, landing page design strategies or even focus on some other platform that would yield better results.
4. Combine your Tactics for Better Results
Now it’s time to bring these tactics altogether to build a solid marketing strategy that makes sense for your brand.
Your digital marketing strategy should be built in the long-run and consist of a series of actions you will achieve. For example, you could build a yearly digital marketing strategy. Use spreadsheets to create a step-by-step plan that will guide you towards achieving your business goals.
A path towards digital marketing success starts with a solid plan.
There is no one-size-fits-all marketing template you can apply to scale your business. The main goal of your digital marketing plan is to map out all tactics that will lead you to long-term success. And, as such, it needs to align with your business’ demands and communicate your unique brand identity.