This piece originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse as 7 Key Elements You Need to Build a Complete Digital Marketing Strategy in 2016
My friend AdeJoke Adekunle did a fine piece on What Social Media Trends Would Shape Nigerian Businesses in 2016. This is my response.
Note: This is about a 1000-worder. You don’t have to read all the 7 elements. Whatever point you’re able to read up to, you would have learnt or (have been reminded of) at least one thing.
In my comment, I wrote:
The faster any traditional model starts to realise the need for it to pivot along with the “next in-thing”, the better for the traditional model. If you can’t be the one to change the world, at least, be aware when it’s happening.
The new level of consciousness now assures that the real problem for brands isn’t a lack of ideas. The real problem for major brands in 2016 will be building strategy- conscious teams with the right attitude to consistently align the voice and efforts of the brand across the multiple channels you’ve mentioned (Social, Content, Search, Video, Mobile) at an attractive customer acquisition cost. This takes time, is hard, but can be done. Naturally, this gets us asking:
What are the Key Elements You Need to Build a Complete Digital Marketing Strategy in 2016? Here are 7 of them.
1. First, an Idea
For a successful multi-channel campaign, you at least need something that connects you and your audience, a common ground; something you know your audience wants and for the purpose of a brand campaign, you’re willing to give to your audience, something that permissively steals your audience’s attention. Catch up on Permission Marketing on Seth’s Blog.
If you had a good idea of what your audience wanted, it could drive your arrival at an idea for your marketing campaign, right? We already know your audience doesn’t want more interruptive ads; you can be certain they also don’t want more contrasting colors on your banners.
Your audience wants a bigger bottle of Pepsi. They want you thinking ahead about their travel needs for Valentine’s Day. They’d like 10% off first-time purchases on your app. Oh yes, how about a free professional CV review? Or some recognition from your CMO on Twitter?
Don’t fret it; idea is the cheapest part of this. Everyone has an idea, including the cockroaches in your room, as Emmanuel Okeleji would say.
2. You Always Need the Right Team
You need a team to handle the different channels of your campaign. Some companies like to hire one digital marketing “strategist” who they want to handle everything, from answering queries on Facebook to engaging industry leaders on Twitter to optimising landing pages for SEO to managing their Google Ads account. If the dude will be doing all of those, please tell me, who then will be sitting down to do the actual strategising?
Don’t just go with hunch-feelings ideas. Let your team criticise your idea in-house carefully and test it with a sample subset of your market, or else we’ll do that for you publicly on Medium.
Your team should be balanced in 3 key areas:
Written, Photo, Video.
They must have a fairly good understanding of the factors that affect your brand’s reach on major platforms, how to influence those factors and adjust your campaign.
Understanding of what to measure, how to interpret key metrics form gathered data, report to management and connect the dots with company goals.
3. Leader of the Pack: A Strategist
The idea comes from your team but you need a strategist who can connect your chosen idea with business requirement. He refines it, breaks it down into a business goal, major objectives, actionable steps, measurable performance indicators, what to do when things go wrong and what to do to ride on the heels of a successful campaign.
He leads brainstorming sessions for your team to decide what is done by who, when and how and makes sure tasks get done. A planned pattern of How’s forms the Strategy. The Doing part is Implementation.
4. Need Money? Gotta Spend Money (Ok let’s Call This One “Investment”)
Many web entrepreneurs approach me and ask me questions like what can they do on their website to drive more leads. Usually, they’re hoping for something magical; something out of space; something they’ve not heard before; a secret keyword that doesn’t require effort. Just as you also thought, there’s no shortcut.
You want downloads, leads, conversions, right? You’ll need to be honest with yourself: How much do you want back from a campaign and how much are you willing to give? You will either be giving up some of your profit for the bigger gain or committing a budget to spend on Ads, or offering something completely free. And your online marketing team needs tools and training too; spend money on them, and stop filtering their internet access, please. They are your future.
5. You Need an Audience, a Platform & a Voice
You need an audience on the right platforms. Find which of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn works best for your customer-product mix. Needless to say, you need this audience for your campaign to actually happen.
Whether individual or brand, you’ll need a voice; one that is interactive, as if people were hearing you speak, to the extent, if possible that when people see your blog post – even if it were copied on another website – they should be able to say, “That reads like what was written by Seun.”
6. There’s No Rush, You Have Time
The more patient you are with developing, tracking and refining your marketing strategy, the less money you should have to spend than if you weren’t. Simple math.
Yes,you need time. But you won’t just publish a blog post that has an average 1,300 searches-a-month, and say, “Oh Seun said I need time for these things.” Then you go to sleep and return in 3 months hoping that your page has now somehow found a way to beat Neil Patel’s post to number 1 position on Google.
7. Activity & Consistency are Extremely Important
Once you’ve decided you’re on the path of getting it right with your online marketing strategy, then comes sustaining the activity and consistently so over time. If you’re any fortunate, this is where you start to get the benefit of your hard work.
We’ve just summarised 7 key elements you’ll need for a successful digital marketing campaign. This is by no means all of them. Tomorrow I’m going to find out by another failure of mine that there’s another key element I should be adding to my mix.
You can’t have it all figured out from the beginning; that’s why we have Time on this list. It’s very normal to get confused at times but it’s always fun each time I work with clients on a digital marketing campaign.
You also probably have other methods that you want to share with me in the comments below. We keep learning. And that’s how it’s supposed to be. Please feel free to say something.
Seun is great at Search Marketing and Web Analytics. He’s mostly working on digital marketing, SEO training, product management and humor with startup businesses that have Africa close at heart.