“All kids need is a little help, a little hope, and somebody who believes in them.” – Magic Johnson Down with the initial half of the year, there’s still enough of the time left for you to want to prepare, plan and execute that is, a marketing plan that somebody believes in, the support propelling you, therefore, to stay ahead of your competition. More particularly, it’s digital media that’s been emphasized to get everyone preoccupied with for 2017.

Digital Strategy for Success

Before moving to the steps needed for a powerful and effective digital strategy figure out how to integrate them, you need to realize one thing first. That is, the plan is to help you be innovative, to help you identify and measure positive results, overcome challenges and not repeat previous mistakes, to grow.

Digital Marketing

Stage 1: You Set Your Goals and Objective

Definite and clearly-defined is what they ought to be, and this comes by only if you personally know what you want to do, what you want to achieve. Your plan/mission should fit in neatly with these objectives. So don’t hesitate to ask yourself what’s the grand objective you’ll want the digital strategy to achieve; choose your own mission properly to set a strong foundation.

For this matter, you’d need to be specific too about your Key Performance Indicators or KPIs. Setting a realistic, standard figure sees that you are held accountable to achieve it. It ensures that you don’t set yourself up for failure either with high expectations as a number of entrepreneurs tend to do. Consider which tools and methods you’d take to for measuring each of the KPIs, including ones to track engagement and for conversions. ProProfs is a reliable platform, to begin with in this case.

To those who are worried that this asks them pretty much to tread dangerous waters by simply trusting their instincts, well you’re not right in this instance. There’s nowhere indicating you have to be ignorant of past failures and success to keep your focus on what you and your business need. While deciding on which period (month, quarter, or year) you want to analyze, make sure that you’ve planned for a similar comparative period in your new strategy too. Don’t be afraid to drill yourself regularly whether you need to analyze something else or not during the time interval.

Stage 2: You Decide Your Audience and (Consequently) Your Budget

What’s a good plan to you if frankly, it isn’t targeting the customers you want? Nothing, right? Don’t ruin or waste your resources in planning for people your product/service isn’t even used for. Rather than supposing you already know who you want to target, it’s suggested you go over the specific details again. See you’re not missing or over-extending and including people in your list by fixating over the channel, budget, or the KPI. They’re the core of your plan this time, and your job’s to satisfy their needs. Create personas based on the demographics, their problems, their aspirations and any other emotional desires that’d make them tick. Equally important at this stage is that you identify to the influencers, people who can influence your target audience.

It’s thus having settled three major criterion that you shift your attention to the budget along with your own team and the digital channels you have a chance to explore. Don’t postpone essentials like auditing the existing channels. Don’t think you’d manage something or other when the need arises to outsource a particular section. If this is not dealt early on, it’s likely to create an issue later.

Assess and define your overall budget for digital strategy for marketing. Again, factor in data from previous projects to see what works and what doesn’t, whether you’ll be gearing up on paid promotion this time and keeping a separate portion to each of them if you think they’re the ‘cost-effective means to facilitate access to a larger audience and thereby conversions’. This way you’ll be able to cover up in case a certain strategy doesn’t work out and you’d rather invest its budget to something that does bring results. Be decisive again with respect to the current channels you have and whether you want any other.

Likewise, you’ve to ensure no one among your people gets overworked; if you have the means, hire more people instead if you think there’s a need to do so. It’d be a great idea too if you could give them more autonomy so that they review and brainstorm their role in the digital strategy for future.

What’s New for 2017

Finally, The question. I sure hope you didn’t start with printing out a zillion page copy of the plan already; after all, it remains incomplete if it’s not prepared according to this year. What is it that you need to be aware of to map out the strategies correctly?

  • That there’ll be an increase in mobile technology; you’d want your stuff (app, emails, images, website, etc.) to be mobile-friendly. An end-to-end customer experience makes them take that last step from the tipping point to embrace your service/product.
  • That social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo! Google+, YouTube and other communities) will still be mainstream, but with so many businesses already leveraging it with their ads, it’d be great and sensible, to say the least, if you spent on effective social advertising. Ads are still affordable and have good potential to reach so many consumers or you may want to use the opportunity for professional development conferences, eBooks, and other smart campaigns to be an aggressive competitor. Employing good SEO strategies improves your search ranking.
  • The new trends haven’t bailed out on email marketing…yet. So make use of it when it’s still in use. Content, visuals, the subject line, and of course timing are still king when it comes to sending out emails to their recipients.
  • Follow up with the advanced tracking and analytics software to keep everything under control. Consider getting better tools ASAP.
  • No two businesses are same; no two digital marketing strategies will be same either. Include from the tips what you think will provide you with greater visibility and online success in 2017.