The success of any good marketing campaign is the strategy that supports it. Whether that is developed years in advance or crafted after a viral moment, marketing plans allow for a long-lasting effect to be made on consumers. The term “strategy” can often seem intimidating to those running a small business or team, but it doesn’t have to be. A solid digital marketing strategy can allow time and resources to be allocated where they will have the greatest impact on your communication goals.

More than half of all media spend is being used on the internet – that is a projected 12.4% increase from 2019, according to Ad Age. This number may trend even higher due to COVID-19. Stay-at-home orders have changed where and how people spend their time. This has created a vacuum that media companies – particularly digital channels – are striving to fill.

When it comes to creating a solid digital marketing strategy, there are five things all small businesses should consider.

1. Who Your Audience Is

One of the most revered qualities of digital marketing is the vast targeting capabilities. On many channels, businesses are able to reach their audience on a granular level. However, that ability is useless if you don’t know whom to target.

Knowing your audience allows you to dive into their habits and behaviors to determine how you can best align your brand to them. This is crucial for knowing where your audience is and what actions you can expect from them.

2. Where Your Audience Is

Once you understand who your audience is, you can look to target them through channels where they spend their time. You wouldn’t be targeting Baby Boomers on TikTok, and shouldn’t be targeting Gen Z through digital ad placements with AARP.

Using your resources to target your audience – both organically and through paid efforts – where they spend most of their time saves your business from tossing out lines into the void.

3. What Your Bandwidth Is

You want your resources where your audience spends the most time. Businesses also need to ensure they have the bandwidth to follow through on reaching their audience by creating a realistic digital marketing strategy.

If you don’t have access to quality audio equipment or editing software, a podcast may not be the best option for your business. If you are unable to create a consistent email schedule, you may want to consider alternative methods of reaching your audience that fit within your means.

4. What Your Goals Are

One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make with their digital marketing strategy is having either no expectations for their efforts or unrealistic ones. Goals should be specific and attainable. Typical goals include follower growth, awareness, sales, etc.

Measurement is the key to any marketing plan. Knowing what those metrics are on the front end can help you judge the success of your efforts. It can also help you determine needed adjustments.

5. What Your Budget Is

One of the other great qualities of digital marketing is affordability and scalability. Small businesses can easily dip their toe in the water with social media advertising. As your company or goals grow, other tactics can be phased in, such as email marketing and Google Ads.

Businesses must invest time and money into these channels to reap the rewards they tout. Good digital ads can raise the profile and sales of your company; bad ones can sour public perception.

No matter what industry or vertical channel your small business operates within, a digital marketing strategy can help you navigate promoting your business and its goals. A solid strategy will keep things from falling through the cracks and allow you to focus your time on implementation and creative development, rather than creating campaigns on the fly.

If you aren’t sure where to start on your digital plan, contact inferno today to learn how we can help!