While there’s no concrete number for the average amount businesses spend on their marketing and advertising efforts, the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends small businesses (less than $5 million revenue) to spend about 7-8% of their overall revenue.
Whereas large companies – depending on their marketing and business goals – spend about 5-12% of their overall revenue.
These days, businesses spend millions of dollars to fuel their marketing funnels. However, despite spending their top dollars on marketing and advertising, you’ll be shocked to know that nearly 20% of SMBs fail within the first year of kickstarting their operations. And by the end of the 5th year, over 50% of entrepreneurs shut down their operations completely.
Out of the many reasons that may ultimately result in failure, two of the major ones, as listed by Investopedia include:
- Ineffective Business Planning
- Marketing Mishaps
As stated by them, “Business owners who fail to address their business’s needs through a well-laid-out plan prior to kickstarting their operations are setting their companies up for serious challenges.”
And as important as it is to have a business plan, you also need to have a digital marketing strategy in place.
For example, you may have the highest-quality, conversion-focused Facebook Ads up and running. But if your website is poorly optimized, then it doesn’t matter if you are attracting a huge chunk of your prospects towards your website, the bounce-off rate will be high.
Without a digital marketing strategy in place, you’ll be directionless. And despite applying the best tactic in the world, you may find yourself struggling with your marketing and advertising efforts.
That’s the reason it’s extremely critical to build a result-oriented digital marketing strategy – to help you stay clear on your goals, objectives, goals, target audience, competitors, and more.
Note – Building a digital marketing strategy isn’t similar to building a clear marketing roadmap for your business. Rather than building a marketing funnel (from discovery to conversion to retention), a marketing strategy will help you understand where you currently stand, your goals, and how you can conquer them.
This isn’t just another one of those theoretical guides you’ll find on the internet. Instead, we expect you to follow the steps we’ve laid out to build an actual conversion-focused digital marketing strategy for your business.
Let’s dive straight into it.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Build a Results-Driven Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Business
Following are the exact steps we’ll be discussing:
- Understand Your Goals & Objectives
- Conduct Thorough Competitive Analysis
- Perform SWOT Analysis
- Identify Your Target Audience & Build Buyer Personas
- Lock in the Digital Channels
- Bring it All Together
Understand Your Goals & Objectives
You may be planning to launch an eCommerce store. Or maybe you are in charge of a pest control business and want people in your neighborhood to book a call with you for their pest control needs. Or you may be the “Director of Marketing” or “VP of Marketing” of a large B2B company that doesn’t have a strong online presence yet.
Whichever industry you belong to or whatever your business model is, you need to set clear marketing goals and objectives.
For example, if your goal is to generate high-quality leads, you need to understand who your target audience is, understand their pain points, intent, and problems, and based on that build a lead generation strategy for your business – this may involve building a highly detailed eBook for the purpose.
Or maybe you want to boost your brand awareness – and if that’s the case, you need to have a brand in place with a great branding strategy and appealing visual identifiers.
Setting your goals is about noting down what you want and where you see your business in both the short and long term.
Ask yourself – what your marketing goals are. These may be:
- Lead generation
- Lead nurturing
- Brand awareness
- More high-quality traffic
- Higher conversion rate
- Higher retention rate
- Establish thought leadership
- Attribute marketing activities to revenue generation
- And more or less!
Based on your goals, list down:
- Main/Supporting: Some of your goals may be main – whereas others may be supporting. For example, if one of your marketing calls is for your audience to book more strategy calls with you, then lead generation will be a “Supporting Goal” and the same will be attracting more high-quality traffic.
- Tactics: The tactics that you will have to apply to achieve your goals.
- Objectives: How you plan to strategically conquer your goals. Some may be long-term goals whereas others may be short-term. Now, depending on what your goals are, you need to set clear objectives – which will help you understand how you plan to achieve them.
- KPI: Metrics you need to track to understand where you stand with your goals. list out the KPIs so you and your team can have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve.
Here’s an example for your reference:
Conduct Thorough Competitive Analysis
“What enables the wise commander to strike and conquer and at the same time achieve things far beyond the reach of any ordinary man is foreknowledge.”
– Sun Tzu
Your competitors are your biggest piece of motivation.
One of your competitors may be attracting 100,000+ people towards their website – maybe they have a brilliant paid ads strategy in place.
Identifying the strategies that worked from them and the ones that didn’t will help you understand where your:
- You get some idea who they are
- Prospects and customers hang out the most
- What they like
- What they don’t like
- What makes them move
- What they are reacting to
- What influences their purchase decisions?
- And more!
Use tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs to discover who your competitors are both locally and nationwide. For example, if you run a pest control business, then you’d love to rank for keywords like “pest control” and “best pest control agency.” To discover your direct competition, use these keywords and try to gain insights into the businesses ranking at the top for these keywords.
List down their business name, website, and search rank as you go – like this:
And once you have the list with you, try to dive in deeper with a competitive analysis tool like SimilarWeb.
So, let’s say one of our competitors is Ahrefs – in that case, what we’ll do is:
- Head over to SimilarWeb (www.similarweb.com)
- Type in www.ahrefs.com in the search bar.
- Hit “Search.”
And here we have a detailed report right in front of us:
Perform SWOT Analysis
Now – the next step is to perform a SWOT analysis. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, SWOT analysis is a brilliant strategic planning tactic that allows businesses to identify their strengths and weaknesses as well as any opportunities and threats.
Performing SWOT analysis will help you make unbiased evaluations on:
- Market positioning
- Your business or brand
- Certain campaign or digital channel
- An initiative or project
SWOT and competitive analysis go hand in hand. While trying to gain insights into your strengths and weaknesses, you need to understand what your competitors are struggling with and what they’ve knocked out of the park.
Let’s say you are the owner of a SaaS project management company. Some of your competitors may be Monday, ClickUp, etc. And while they might have some exciting features, there may be some features that only you are offering – which we can consider as one of your strengths. And if there’s a huge market demand for that feature, then you can use it to ace your marketing and advertising efforts.
On the other hand, there may be some features that you aren’t offering yet your competitors are. So, you can add this to the weakness section.
And it’s not just about the features. There are other areas where your competitors excel. And there may be some where you do. You need to identify your strengths and weaknesses and compare those with your competitors’.
Similarly, upon conducting thorough market research, you’ll be able to identify opportunities that you can capitalize on – like an area with really low competition yet high demand. At the same time, you can identify threats that may refrain you from conquering your goals – like an area with strong competition.
Schedule a meeting with your team or the relevant stakeholders and perform a SWOT analysis:
Identify Your Target Audience & Build Buyer Personas
The next step is to understand who your target customers are. If you run an eCommerce store selling leather products in New York, then chances are that your target audience comprises people based in New York looking forward to purchasing leather products.
Imagine running Facebook ads that are targeting people based in California. While you may be attracting a wave of Californians towards your website, you’ll be wasting your advertising dollars unless you ship your products to California.
Hence, it’s really important to understand who your target audience is. And based on that, you can figure out their search intent – while some may be in their discovery phase, others may be ready to purchase. So, you need to understand who your audience is and based on that build buyer personas.
What are buyer personas?
Not all your customers belong to the same category. Some may be millennials, whereas others may belong to other age groups. Some may be in the discovery phase, whereas others may be ready to purchase. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of the different types of people that may purchase from and interact with your business.
So, let’s say you are the marketing head of a B2B company. In B2B companies, there are multiple decision-makers. You need to build conversion-focused marketing funnels for the different people involved in the decision-making process. Some people involved are:
- Technical Leads
- Sales Executives
- Marketing Executives
- Project Managers
- C-Level Executives
And these are not the same people with the same job titles, age, income, search intent, and more. Hence, to target these people in the right manner, it’s best to build fictional representations of the different people you’d want to target.
Here’s an example:
Buyer Persona I
Buyer Persona II
Buyer Persona III
Build a high-quality end-product
Something like: how to manage a software development project
Something like how can investing in a project management tool help you grow your business
Now, you can paint a clear picture of the different types of customers. Here’s a complete list of features we’d advise you to consider while building buyer personas:
- Search Intent
- Job Title
- Reports To
- Communication Preferences
- What Do They Read?
- And more! (we’d like to hear your suggestions if you have any other features in mind).
Lock in the Digital Channels
Now to reach your goals, you can use different digital channels like social media (organic and paid), email, Google, and more. Depending on your goals and where your target audience hangs out the most, you need to identify the digital channels that you’d like to establish a rock-solid presence on.
For example, if you are a real estate investor, chances are that your target audience hangs out the most on LinkedIn. And the same is the case if your target audience comprises C-Level executives.
Once you figure out who your target audience is, what your goals are, and competitive analysis, lock in the channels that you’d like to market and advertise on. For example, if your target audience hangs out on LinkedIn, you can tap into the power of LinkedIn ads to aid your efforts. Similarly, you can build and implement Facebook & Google Ad campaigns.
John (Software Developer)
Michael (Project Manager)
LinkedIn & Google
Google Ads & LinkedIn Ads
John, Michael, Rishi
Michael & Rishi
Bring It All Together
Finally, you know:
- Your marketing goals and objectives
- Who your competitors are
- Your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Who your target audience is
- Different types of customers
- Which digital channels you should be focusing on
Now – based on all the information you have listed down, it’s time to build a rock-solid, conversion-focused sales funnel for your business. This funnel will be heavily focused on helping you achieve your goals in a strategic manner.
For example, if your goal is “Higher Conversion Rate,” then you can build an end-to-end sales funnel, similar to:
- Identify the most popular products
- Create dedicated ad campaigns targeting different people at different stages of their buyers’ journey.
- Redirect them to a dedicated landing page
- Offer a Lead Magnet
- Lead Nurturing – this will help you put your business and products in front of your audience multiple times.
To conquer a goal, you can have different processes in place – which will allow you to knock your marketing and advertising efforts out of the park.
Build Your Marketing & Advertising Strategy Today!
People think of marketing and advertising to be a linear journey – from A to B. But the truth is that it’s not. You need to test different approaches – and most of them may end up crashing down.
You need to learn what’s working – and what’s not. At the same time, you need to make sure that you’re reaching out to the right set of people. Otherwise, you may just end up wasting your precious dollars.
Building a conversion-focused digital marketing strategy is the first step towards conquering your marketing and business goals. And if you need our experts to work their magic for you, feel free to reach out to us today.