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What Is a Digital Marketing Strategy?

What Is a Digital Marketing Strategy?

woman holding tablet with floating digital marketing icons

A strong digital marketing strategy is crucial to organizational success in today’s business landscape. Companies thriving in the digital world typically allocate significant resources to the development of digital marketing strategies. In the process, organizations reach customers across various digital and social platforms, driving positive revenue gains, improved conversion rates and engage with their customers.

From a higher-level standpoint, marketing strategy is the process of identifying specific marketing goals. An overall marketing strategy highlights achievable goals for traditional (print, radio, broadcast) and digital channels. Using established strategies and goals, marketers evaluate various marketing tactics necessary to achieve those strategic goals.

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What Does a Digital Marketing Strategy Look Like?

In an era when many consumers transact business on their mobile devices, a well-executed digital marketing strategy can be crucial to organizational success.

In this context, it is important to audit the current state of an organization’s media assets. Viewed through a macro lens, this means that marketers need to evaluate their organization’s owned, paid, and earned media:

  • Owned Media – Owned media represents any communication channels that an organization owns and operates under their complete control. From websites and blogs to podcasts and video channels, organizations can leverage owned media to fit just about any marketing strategy or tactic.
  • Paid Media – Paid media refers to content that third parties display in exchange for compensation from the owner. Sponsored content may be influencer marketing, PPC/SEM or native advertising.
  • Earned Media – Earned media refers to third-party content that is completely separate from the company or brand. In the digital world, this type of exposure often occurs in the form of awards, testimonials, reviews or user-generated content.

A strong digital marketing strategy seeks to maximize the impact of owned, paid and earned media. These marketing strategies encompass multiple channels and approaches — spanning website content and blogs as well as online advertising, testimonials and reviews. A digital marketing strategy should change based on the type of business and industry in question.

Marketing strategy involves identifying goals and the ways they may be achieved. Marketing tactics represent the specific steps or actions needed to achieve those goals. In the process of creating a marketing strategy, it is necessary to create tactics as well to delineate the plan and the timeline.

Digital marketing campaigns are the execution of the strategy and tactics. The marketing tactics used to execute these campaigns often vary by channel, audience, and other factors. An effective digital marketing campaign will reflect a substantially similar message across multiple channels.

What Are Several Common Examples of Digital Marketing Tactics?

There are countless digital marketing tactics in existence, often adjusting to meet the varying organizational goals and marketing strategies. Several common digital marketing tactics that many organizations employ successfully include:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) SEO refers to the practice of optimizing content to improve rankings in major search engines. By following established SEO practices with all digital content, organizations can better reach prospective customers through major search engines.
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM) – SMM is the practice of utilizing social media networks to reach customers and communicate corporate messaging. Businesses that leverage Social Media Marketing tactics effectively can reach customers directly through their preferred social channel.
  • Digital Advertising – Digital advertising refers to the placement of company ads in various online locations, including search engines and social media networks. Paid placement in search results and pop-up ads are examples of digital advertising.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) AdvertisingPPC advertising is a subset of digital advertising where companies place ads with a third-party website to drive online traffic. But unlike other forms of advertising, companies only pay for PPC advertising when a user clicks on the link.
  • Content Marketing – Content marketing is the practice of utilizing a company’s owned media channels to target prospective customers. When companies create and post high-quality content on a regular basis, it can help improve rankings and drive traffic to their website.
  • Website Marketing – Within the domain of content marketing, an organization’s website is an extremely powerful tool. By creating geo-targeted and optimized landing pages, an organization can become a thought leader within their industry and reel in potential customers with effective call-to-action messaging.
  • Email Marketing – Used to drive engagement with a current or prospective audience base or to grow customer relationships. Email marketing services are a strong tool with proven success.
  • Downloadable Content – A subset of website strategy, downloadable content provides an efficient way to build leads. Companies can produce high-quality content that prospects can download for free, providing valuable contact information in the process.

Taken as a whole, there are many different marketing tactics that organizations employ every single day. Successful marketers are able to clearly identify goals and then choose appropriate tactics to achieve those goals, while maintaining focus on overall strategy, business needs, and budget constraints.

What Type of Digital Marketing Strategy Is Best for My Organization?

The components of an ideal digital marketing strategy can fluctuate greatly from organization to organization. After all, the overall business directives and specific marketing goals will reflect differences, often based on culture, product offerings, revenue targets, and the like.

But by aligning multiple strategies and tactics with SMART business goals and segmented buyer personas, businesses of all shapes and sizes can enjoy the benefits of digital marketing. Though the precise benefits do vary based on the amount of resources dedicated to digital marketing strategies and tactics.

For startups and small businesses, digital marketing strategy will likely focus on cost-effective tactics to meet organizational goals. These organizations can leverage SEO, SMM, and content marketing at a low cost to realize digital marketing goals. The lower barrier to entry and cost for these tactics enables organizations of every shape and size to take advantage.

As organizations grow, their marketing and advertising budgets typically expand in kind. Accordingly, the potential benefits from effective marketing tactics can increase exponentially through overlapping marketing, advertising, and public/investor relations campaigns. Add this all together, and organizations that dedicate significant budget and resources to digital marketing can reap tremendous rewards.

Do You Need Help Rolling Out a Digital Marketing Strategy?

If you need assistance with the creation or implementation of a digital marketing strategy, it can be tremendously valuable to join the ranks of the American Marketing Association (AMA). As a leading voice in the marketing world, the AMA assists its members through analytical publications, certifications, networking, and many other membership benefits. If you are interested in improving your marketing skills and network, join AMA today!