- 20 min. read
Sarah BerryWeb Marketing Consultant
- Sarah Berry is a Google Analytics-certified Web Marketing Consultant at WebFX. She’s written over 400 articles on digital marketing, covering topics like SEO, CRO, and Amazon. When she isn’t polishing her Time Magazine Person of the Year Award, she’s spending time with her flock of ducks.
To accomplish your business goals, you need to create a digital marketing plan and choose the right marketing strategies to include in your plan. Today, there are many options for marketing strategies and channels, so how do you know which ones are right for you?
In this guide, we’ll discuss how to create a marketing plan for your business and discuss the top digital marketing strategies to include in your plan. Plus, we’ll provide examples of how companies successfully used each strategy to help you see how they can benefit your business.
Keep reading to discover the top digital marketing strategies, with examples.
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How to create a marketing plan
Before you begin launching digital marketing strategies, you need to create an overall marketing plan for your business. This plan will guide your various strategies and help you achieve your most important marketing objectives.
Here are eight marketing strategy steps to creating an effective plan.
1. Define your brand
First, make sure you have a clear idea of your branding. Consult your brand guidelines or create guidelines if you haven’t yet developed any. Consider your brand voice, brand values, and unique selling points — the characteristics that set your business apart and convince customers to choose you over other options.
For example, an organic cleaning products company might make its products’ environmental friendliness the focus of its branding. A financial services company might highlight its experience and its transparent approach to working with customers. Your branding will help guide you when creating your marketing strategies for various channels.
Establishing your brand voice ensures you’re delivering a consistent message across all channels.
2. Build buyer personas
Another essential step is creating buyer personas — representations of the various kinds of people that make up your target audience. These personas are fictional but based on data about your real customers or website visitors. When creating your buyer personas, list as many relevant traits as possible, such as:
- Job title
When creating your marketing strategies, keep these personas in mind. They are who you’re trying to reach with your marketing efforts.
3. Create SMART goals
You’ll also need to set goals for your marketing plan. These objectives will keep you on track when creating your marketing strategies. Set overall goals and then break them down into smaller ones that will help you achieve them.
To make your goals more effective, set SMART goals. SMART goals are:
- Specific: Create detailed goals and avoid vagueness. For example, a goal to “increase leads generated by 20%” is better than just “increase leads generated.”
- Measurable: Set up a process for measuring your progress toward your goals.
- Attainable: Set ambitious goals but make sure that attaining them is realistic.
- Relevant: Your marketing goals should be relevant to your overall business objectives.
- Time-bound: Set a time limit on achieving your goals to keep you on track.
4. Set your marketing budget
It’s important to define and allocate your marketing budget to avoid overspending and ensure you make the most of your resources. Research digital marketing pricing and typical budgets for your industry to help you decide on your budget. Your goals will also be a deciding factor in how you allocate your spending since you’ll likely want to dedicate more resources to your most important goals.
5. Choose your digital marketing channels
Next, choose the digital marketing channels and strategies that will best match your brand, help you reach your target audience, and help you achieve your goals. You have numerous options when it comes to Internet marketing strategies. We’ll discuss many of these types of marketing strategy with examples in the next section.
For help choosing the right strategies for your business, consult with a professional Internet marketing strategist.
6. Plan your strategies
Next, you can begin planning your strategies for each channel, as well as how your various strategies will work together to achieve your overall objectives. The planning process varies based on the channels you’re using. Social media marketing, for instance, involves choosing which platforms to use, deciding on the kind of content you want to post, and creating a content calendar.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising involves deciding on the ad platforms you want to use, the types of ads you want to run, and creating targeting and bidding strategies. All plans should include a process for tracking and measuring your results. You’ll learn more about various strategies in the section below.
7. Launch your campaigns
Once you’ve completed the above marketing strategy steps, you can launch your campaigns! Be sure to follow the plans you created and carefully track the steps you complete, along with their results.
8. Track your results
As your campaigns run, monitor your results closely. As you gather data about campaign performance, you may uncover potential improvements. Feel free to refine your strategies as you go based on what you’ve learned.
You can also run A/B tests to gather more information about which approaches work best for your business.
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11 marketing strategies with examples
So, which marketing strategies should you include in your plan? Below, we’ll discuss 11 top digital marketing strategies with examples of how they work to help you decide. For additional assistance in choosing the right marketing strategies, request a free quote or call us at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist.
1. Search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization, commonly called SEO, is one of the best strategies for growing your business online. What is SEO? It’s a digital marketing strategy that helps your website show up on search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant search queries, which drives more qualified traffic to your site.
It encompasses a wide range of tactics, from including keywords in your content to earning links from other websites to improving your page speed. SEO is an important business strategy because of the popularity of search engines and the competitive nature of SERPs. Organic search — the unpaid listings in search results — drive more than half of all website traffic, and about 75% of search engine users don’t go past the first page of results.
So, landing on the first page of search results for an important keyword can lead to a significant boost in traffic to your website. Creating an SEO strategy involves steps such as:
- Performing an SEO audit of your website to determine which areas require improvement
- Analyzing your competitors’ SEO performance to inform your strategy
- Conducting keyword research to determine which keywords to target
- Researching opportunities for link building
For an example of a successful SEO strategy, let’s take a look at KOA, a network of public campgrounds with locations across the country. KOA turned to WebFX to help them create a custom SEO strategy that would boost their market development strategy‘s effectiveness by driving more traffic to their website and reaching qualified leads. As a result of their campaign, KOA improved its keyword rankings and saw a 150% increase in organic traffic and a 198% increase in organic transactions.
2. Content marketing
Content marketing is a marketing strategy that involves creating content to attract potential customers to your business and meet your marketing and business goals. This content come in many forms, including:
In your content, you cover topics related to your business or industry and relevant to your target audience. The goal is to provide users with value, while establishing yourself as an authority in your field. Content marketing will also help your target audience get familiar with your brand and move leads closer to becoming customers.
Most of your content will be freely available online to attract potential customers. You might require information such as email addresses to access some long-form content in order to convert prospects into leads. For an example of effective content marketing, check out the ‘grow’ blog from Acorns, a financial services company that focuses on micro-investing and robo-investing.
Acorns partnered with business news organization CNBC to create high-quality content for its blog, which offers practical financial advice. The blog is well-designed, gives readers useful information, and introduces users to what Acorns offers. Partnering with a leading news organization is not a requirement for using content marketing, but working with professional content creators can be beneficial.
Whether you’re creating your own content or working with a content marketing pro, Acorns’ blog is an excellent source of inspiration.
3. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a method of placing ads online in which advertisers pay for each click their ad receives. The two main types of PPC ads are search ads, which appear on SERPs, and display ads, which show on other websites. Search ads are the most common type.
To place these ads, you bid on keywords. Your ads can then appear above the organic search results when someone searches those keywords. Creating a PPC advertising strategy involves:
- Setting up your ad account
- Choosing your advertising platform(s)
- Conducting keyword research to determine which keywords to bid on
- Setting your budget and choosing your bidding strategy
- Creating, testing, and refining your ads and landing pages
PPC advertising is an excellent strategy for getting results quickly and creating ads for events such as holidays or sales. You can learn more about the effectiveness of this marketing strategy with examples. Let’s take a look at Furbo, which makes interactive dog cameras that owners can use to see, talk to, and give treats to their dogs remotely.
The company took advantage of the benefits of PPC advertising when they partnered with us on a campaign for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For the campaign, we created a Smart Shopping campaign on Google Ads and used the Maximize Conversion Value bid strategy. The ads ran on Google Ads’ Search, Display, YouTube, and Gmail ad networks.
The campaign resulted in a 348% increase in conversion volume, a 76% increase in return on ad spend (ROAS), and a 54% decrease in cost per acquisition (CPA).
4. Email marketing
Email marketing involves using email to build relationships with leads and convert them into customers. When done right, email can have a return on investment (ROI) of as much as 4400%. To create an email campaign, you’ll need to choose an email marketing platform.
These platforms allow you to:
- Manage your subscriber lists
- Draft emails
- Segment your audience to enable increased personalization
- Test your emails
- Automate your campaigns
To build your email list, add opt-in forms to your website as pop-ups or in footers, sidebars, and elsewhere on your site. Offer incentives to users who sign up for your email list, such as access to exclusive content or a coupon code. One benefit of email marketing is that subscribers opted into hearing from you, so they’re likely highly qualified leads.
Once leads are part of your email list, you can send them personalized content that encourages them to become customers — this is known as lead nurturing. Drizly, which lets users order beer, wine, and spirits online for delivery from local stores, provides a great example of effective email marketing. To encourage users to sign up for their email list, Drizly offers a $5 discount.
In the emails, subscribers are treated to the same humor and tone as the brand uses on its website. The brand’s emails relate to current events, such as holidays, and sometimes include special offers. The emails even reference the weather in the subscriber’s area and encourage them to order from Drizly rather than going out in the rain.
5. Social media marketing
About seven in 10 Americans use social media, and 77% of social media users buy from brands that they follow. If your company isn’t using social media yet, now is a great time to start! Social media marketing involves growing your business by using social networking sites such as:
You can use these sites to build relationships with potential customers, answer customer questions, and bring new leads to your website. To create a social media strategy, you need to:
- Decide which platforms you want to use
- Determine the kinds of content you want to post
- Choose the tone you want to use and the personality you want to convey
- Decide when you want to post and create a content calendar
- Track and analyze your results
As with creating your overall marketing plan, your brand, audience, and goals will help you develop an effective strategy. For instance, you need to know which social media sites your audience uses when choosing platforms to market your business. For an example of an innovative and inspiring social media campaign, let’s turn to personal care products company Dove.
In 2019, the brand launched Project #ShowUs and worked with women and non-binary individuals to create a library of more than 10,000 photographs that “offer a more inclusive vision of beauty.” The photos show women and non-binary individuals from a variety of backgrounds participating in various activities and challenging stereotypes about beauty. Dove shared the photos across Instagram, YouTube, and other channels and encouraged users to submit their photos. The company also encouraged media and advertising companies to use the photos in their content.
The campaign encouraged participation from Dove’s audience, stood out due to its innovative nature, and fit perfectly with Dove’s brand.
6. Video marketing
Audiences are 10 times more likely to engage with, comment on, or share video than text. Videos are highly engaging, memorable, and user-friendly, making them an excellent way to connect with customers online. You can use videos in a number of ways in your marketing, including:
- Video ads
- Educational or entertaining videos for content marketing
- Company culture videos
- Product demonstration videos
- Customer testimonials
When creating a video marketing strategy, follow these tips:
- If using video for content marketing, create a publishing schedule and post new videos regularly
- Make sure your videos fit with your brand and show off your personality
- Have a goal for your video and choose the format that best matches that goal
- Incorporate stories into your videos to keep them engaging
- Include calls to action (CTAs) in your videos
- Optimize your videos for search by including keywords in your video descriptions
- Check video analytics and track your success
One brand that excels when it comes to video marketing is GoPro. Since the company makes video products, this might not be surprising, but GoPro’s approach to their videos takes their content to the next level. Many of GoPro’s videos focus on extreme sports and adventure since that’s the primary use for their cameras, and these videos are highly engaging.
One of their most successful videos, though, deviates from this theme slightly and features a firefighter saving a kitten from a burning building. The video has racked up over 44 million views at the time of writing.
GoPro also features videos from independent creators and creates product videos and tutorials.
7. Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is a growing type of marketing strategy that lets you work with people who have influence with your audience to promote your brand. These influencers could be traditional celebrities. More often, they’re someone who has established a strong presence and reputation online in a certain niche, such as a blogger, YouTuber, or social media personality.
Consumer-to-consumer word of mouth results in more than twice the sales of paid advertising, according to a McKinsey study. Influencer marketing lets you tap into that power by working with consumers who are influential but still relatable to your audience. Here are some steps you can follow to create an influencer marketing strategy:
- Choose a platform: Determine which platforms your audience uses. Perhaps your audience uses a certain social media site or regularly reads blogs on a certain topic.
- Identify influential users: Explore your chosen platform and look for users who have a larger-than-average following and whose content fits with your brand or products. The user doesn’t need to have a huge following, but they should have an engaged audience with whom they interact.
- Look for natural partnerships: The brands of the influencers you work with should align with your company’s brand so that the partnerships feel natural and authentic. It’s also helpful to send influencers samples of your products so that they can use them before they promote them.
- Reach out to influencers: Once you’ve created a list of potential partners, reach out to them about working together. Once you find an influencer who’s interested, you can work out an agreement.
For an example of a successful influencer marketing campaign, we can look at Bigelow Tea’s partnership with Ashley Thurman, a blogger and social media influencer who blogs about DIY projects and recipes. Ashley created a recipe for Bigelow Iced Tea with Lemonade Ice Cubes and shared it on her blog. This helped Bigelow reach Ashley’s blog’s readers and her social media followers and increased their visibility on the first page of Google for searches like “ice lemonade drink.”
8. Web design
It’s important to think of your website as a strategic asset rather than just something you need to have. Your website is at the center of your digital marketing and is crucial to your success. It’s where users often go after they interact with your marketing materials, and it drives conversions for your business.
A well-designed website also creates a positive first impression on new visitors. Make sure your website:
- Has an aesthetically pleasing, professional design
- Is easy to use and navigate
- Reflects your business and brand
- Is optimized for search
- Is optimized for conversions
For an example of a well-designed website, check out Wealthsimple’s website, which was featured on awwwards. Wealthsimple is a financial company, but they set themselves apart from their competitors with a clean, modern design that features fun, animated GIFs. This design style complements the company’s brand and products since it focuses on making investing easier for the average user.
Their website is also pleasing to look at, fun to explore, and easy to navigate. Design aspects such as these can encourage users to stay on websites longer and help them absorb the information the sites present.
9. Website personalization
Creating personalized experiences for your website’s users can keep them engaged longer and more effectively convince them to become customers. To create personalized website experiences, you can divide your website’s audiences into several groups based on their characteristics, such as:
- Job title
Then, using software such as PersonalizeFX, you can present each type of user with content designed specifically for them. That’s the approach Wheeler Machinery, a Caterpillar dealer in Salt Lake City, Utah, used when working with us to improve their website’s performance. Wheeler Machinery decided to group their audience by industry, and we created custom homepage banners for each industry.
That way, when a user arrives on the company’s website, they see an image and headline customized for their industry. We used PersonalizeFX to enable this customization. The personalized content resulted in 82% higher average time on site.
10. Online reputation and review management
Online reputation management is a strategy that allows you to respond to and manage reviews, social media posts, and other types of posts about your brand. To manage your online reputation, you need to closely monitor your social media accounts, profiles on review websites, and other profiles online. You can also use brand monitoring and social media monitoring tools to keep an eye on your business’s mentions.
When you come across a mention of your brand, the best course of action is typically to respond. If the comment is positive, simply say thank you. If it’s negative, acknowledge the comment in a friendly, respectful way and offer to resolve it through a private channel such as direct messaging or a phone call.
Taco Bell is well-known for its humorous posts on social media. They also use social media for customer service and reputation management. The brand has a customer care Twitter page called Taco Bell Care, which it invites customers to direct message if they need help or have an issue.
This approach allows Taco Bell to solve customer service issues privately while making it clear publicly that the brand cares about its customers.
11. Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
For your business’s website to succeed, you need conversions. Whether it’s signing up for an email list or making a purchase, these conversions are what fuel your business’s growth. Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, is a type of marketing strategy that involves updating your website to maximize conversions.
To determine which updates bring in the most conversions, you test various changes. The changes you test could be substantial, such as overhauling the design of your landing page. They might also be relatively small, such as changing the size of a CTA button.
For example, we redesigned the homepage for Triple Crown Corporation to increase conversions and make it more user-friendly. This optimization resulted in a nearly 50% increase in conversions. As an example of a small change that led to major improvements, consider our work for Warren CAT.
We increased the font size on their site from 10pt to 12pt to make it easier for users to read. This relatively minor change resulted in a 34-second increase in average visit duration and a 20% increase in conversions.
Get started with your custom digital marketing strategy
Today’s companies have lots of options when it comes to digital marketing strategies. The right strategies for your business depend on your goals, audience, industry, and other factors.
Typically, you’ll use a combination of several of the above strategies to reach your goals.
If you want help choosing the best digital marketing strategies for your business, consider working with WebFX. Our team of experts will talk with you about your business and goals and work with you to develop a custom digital marketing strategy. Then, we’ll implement, test, track, and refine that strategy to get you the results you need.
Want to speak with a strategist?
Sarah Berry is a Google Analytics-certified Web Marketing Consultant at WebFX. She’s written over 400 articles on digital marketing, covering topics like SEO, CRO, and Amazon. When she isn’t polishing her Time Magazine Person of the Year Award, she’s spending time with her flock of ducks.
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