7 Steps for Marketing Strategy Development

You might know that a marketing strategy development needs some improvements from time to time. After all, the market is constantly changing, as much as consumer behavior. We live in an era of digital transformation, full of trends that can help us attract new customers and nurture the old ones.

In today’s world, everybody is connected almost all the time. With a well-planned digital marketing strategy and the right tools, such as interactive content and other insights, you can learn a lot from this. Your brand will be able to reach their customers online and observe their behavior.

Through this, your marketing team can adapt actions to grab their attention and bring business growth. So how do you implement a successful and effective marketing campaign? Take a look at this article to discover step by step, as well as some important trends for 2020.

The importance of watching trends

Trends give us a glimpse of the future, especially when it comes to digital marketing. Whether you know what is coming, you can prepare a better strategy development and stay ahead of the curve. Besides, there are at least two more reasons to keep an eye on what is hot when we talk about new marketing trends.

First, the area is an important piece of business planning at all. It works strategically side by side with the sales team to bring revenue, improve lead generation, and meet the company’s goals—short, mid, and long-term. 

Second, when a strategic sector uses out-of-date resources, the brand meets some restrictions and ends up repeating actions, which may not have as much effect as before. In the end, your target customers, as well as your competitors, will not be unaware of new marketing trends. So instead of gaining a competitive advantage, you’ll be missing it.

Interactive content, for instance, is here to show how true it is and how this can improve the customer experience. Alongside with personalization, influencers, programmatic advertising, and other 2020 trends. If it’s not on your radar yet, it should be!

Main Digital Marketing trends for 2020

There is no reason to not look after the new digital marketing trends, right? Great! Let’s share the main tools, techniques and best practices of a big list. After all, this area is full of possibilities and there are more and more trends every day. That’s why it’s important to follow-up whenever you can.

Through digital transformation, technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Augmented and Virtual Reality, and many others, are already changing the way we do things and the way people consume. These innovative tools are among the top priorities for various businesses. Keep reading to meet other ongoing trends that are evolving fast and bringing relevance to marketing strategy development.

Shoppable posts in social media

If there is a place where you can find your customers, it’s somewhere on social media. First, you must figure out which ones are the most suitable to reach them. On Instagram, for example, 90% of 1 billion users follow shopping brands. Once you do this you are halfway to guiding your social media followers through a more social experience.

This growing trend of shoppable posts, also known as social commerce, gives them the chance to research and purchase products directly on social media posts or ads. It also reduces the steps for your shoppers and may impact positively on cart abandonment rates. In 2019, the average percentage was 77.13%, according to the Barilliance report.

Influencer marketing strategies 

Partnering with influencers is great tactic, and you’ll see more and more brands doing so. As The State of Influencer Marketing 2020 report shows, this industry is set to grow by $9.7 billion this year. Beyond that, 91% of 4,000 agencies, brands, and marketing professionals believe this strategy is effective.

One thing to keep an eye on (or two) is the impact of micro-influencers. They have narrower niches, but they are popular enough to reach their followers and establish a better engagement rate. Because fewer followers mean more personal time to each one. It’s easier to specialize in a niche this way, as well as cost-effective.

Programmatic advertising

Programmatic advertising works almost like finding the best spots in physical locations to advertise in, but it’s all online. It’s not by chance that 86.2% of ads will follow this path in the United States by 2020.

You can also count on an automated system to target specific audiences in a much more fast and efficient way. From this, you’ll gain higher conversions together with lower customer acquisition costs.

Generation Z consumers

The Digital Marketing Institute has found some interesting data about Generation Z. People born from 1995 to 2010 tend to represent 40% of consumers this year. So to reach them your brand needs to talk on their own terms and offer content sharped to meet their expectations. Keep in mind the following values:

  • authenticity is a keyword in an era of misinformation
  • privacy is also a hot issue among Gen Z
  • diversity through videos and images represents a friendly approach
  • sense of humor is incredibly unique

Personalized content

Since we are talking about a specific approach, it brings us to the last main important trend to follow up with in 2020 and adds to your marketing strategy development. It’s time for personalized content, products, emails, and everything else related to the buyer’s journey. There is no more space for generic ads.

According to an Epsilon survey, 90% of 1,000 consumers interviewed consider personalization more appealing. This makes them more likely to do business with you when you offer tailored recommendations or even a rewards program.

The power and the benefits of interactive marketing

Personalized and high-quality content draws the path to another fastest-growing digital trend, that deserves an exclusive topic to talk about it. Through interactive marketing, you have an effective tool for lead generation and closing deals. 

In 2020 the challenge is going a step further from static content toward a more dynamic, tailored, engaging, and immersive experience. Do you already know all the possibilities you have in your hands with interactive content?

  • assessments: often used to collect user’s inputs about a specific topic, while it identifies a need and other types of self-diagnosis
  • calculators: applied to educate leads about what they could expect from a product or service (ROI, savings, payment etc.)
  • eBooks and white papers: deep content pieces full of relevant information that help to nurture potential customers and allow readers to navigate as they wish
  • interactive infographics: coverage of key stats or facts from a survey, report, or case study to provide an immersive experience to the user
  • quizzes: used to test leads’ knowledge about a specific topic and offers a more friendly and interactive approach, besides recommending the most relevant content. 

The best thing about these resources is that you don’t need to learn how to code. Your business can rely on Ion’s tools to begin exploring the power of interactive content. According to the 2015 Content Preferences Survey, 91% of consumers prefer interactive content rather than other formats.

Experience is everything nowadays. Interactive tools are fresh, original, engaging, memorable, and make the customers feel more connected than ever to the brand. Remember that we live in a world full of branded content and that readers’ attention is easily distracted. 

So your audience starts to demand a different type of approach. Interactive content comes as an answer to this search and as an effective tool for your planning. To be relevant and stand out you need to innovate in your digital marketing strategy development.

5 steps to a successful marketing strategy development

Now that we know some of the main upcoming and growing trends, we can move on and start to delineate plans. In order to bring on a successful strategy development, let’s talk about the planning for actions and digital marketing campaigns. After all, it helps to organize:

  • short, mid, and long term business goals
  • the best channels to reach your potential customers
  • campaign segmentation to provide more value
  • attract, convince, and convert in the sales funnel
  • the necessary budget to succeed
  • all the roadmap of actions and the time to activate them

All settled! So let’s move on with a step by step guide on building a consistent digital marketing strategy. To make things easier for you, we’ve condensed the most important points into 7 simple topics you can start applying right now.

1. Profile your target customer

The more you know about your audience, the cheaper and easier it is to attract them — this statement is constantly being reassured after each new campaign in Digital Marketing.

And the reason behind that is obvious. When you understand your customer habits, wishes, and, especially, expectations, you can narrow your strategy down to what matters to them.

That is the main difference between traditional and Digital Marketing. You trade general reach for precise, compelling content.

To do that you will need more from your target customer than age and class. You will need aspirations, desires. You will need to know their routines.

Fortunately, this info is easier to get today using social media and interactive content development to engage and connect with them. The company can gather as much information as it needs to create its buyer personas.

A buyer persona is a fictional character that represents your audience. It has a face, a voice, a life. It has its pains and is actively trying to solve them.

If Digital Marketing is about efficiency in costs and execution, one or a few buyer personas can help you define a better scope and never deviate from what is important to your customer.

From now on, you will start assessing and planning if you want a truly successful campaign in such competitive markets as today.

2. Understand your current situation

Now that you know your customers better, how about learning more about yourself? If you are starting to plan a new marketing strategy development, this is the best time to revise what you have been doing until now.

First, you and your team can start with the basics: what is the essence of the product or service your company sells? Who are the competitors and what are they doing?

You can also start analyzing your financial situation, especially the budget available for your next campaign. Will this money be available at once? Will you need to show some results to keep the investments going?

The company’s structure will dictate most of the marketing scope. The money, the talent, the time frame, and the market it is inserted in.

That knowledge is also great for optimizing the campaign. Digital Marketing is always flexible, so don’t be scared to know the company’s limits. We can ensure you that it fits any budget when you plan with creativity.

3. Conduct a Marketing SWOT

A SWOT analysis is a popular and effective method of key points assessment in a business so you plan and execute strategies aiming directly at them.

It is used, normally, as an administrative tool but is also great for marketing purposes.

So, how about doing a SWOT especially for that? It will not only help with our last item (knowing the business better) but will also help you to find creative ideas for very specific demands in your promoting plan.

So, let’s explore these four points (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) and see how they are applied to marketing.

Strengths

Here you can list what the company is already doing right to advertise and which assets are available to improve on.

A social profile with good numbers, loyalty programs that already work, your competitive edges in both voice and brand image. These are the points you are going to reinforce in your marketing strategy development.

Weaknesses

Where is your business failing in reaching and engaging your audience? In what social media are you absent? What kind of content isn’t resonating with your leads?

You don’t have to be scared of finding weak points in your strategy. It is the first step to solving them anyway.

What you have to do is to be objective and accurate: identify a problem, know its roots, and plan how to correct it.

Opportunities

Digital Marketing is a dynamic environment, with new channels and new communication ways appearing every time.

So, you need to plan now thinking about the future. Which of these networks and platforms have the potential to be big in the future? What kind of niche may grow with specific demands?

Tik Tok is a recent example of that. It quickly became a popular and profitable social media channel. For those who weren’t looking around in the market, it seems like it came from nothing.

But the companies that identified this movement first are already present and generating brand visibility.

Threats

In the same way, innovations and changes in habits can be approached as an opportunity, it also can be identified as a threat.

What if these new media channels are more expensive in the future? How can your budget cope with that?

What if a profile that gathered engagement and numbers simply becomes irrelevant because your audience simply moved on to another app?

Threats should always be seen as a constant reminder that marketing demands a non-stop effort. Analyzing, adjusting, tweaking, repositioning, reposting, all these verbs need to be present in a marketing manager’s routine.

4. Research distribution channels

So, here we start the planning phase. Create great content is always the center of your Digital Marketing strategy but how these messages reach your audience is also quite important.

Again the word optimization is relevant to us. There are a lot of distribution channels available and they all offer some benefits in participating.

But they also demand different kinds of investment in time and effort. And there is a lot of them. So how could you give equal attention to so many?

This is another reason why we put the customer as a first step. Knowing which websites, portals and social networks they consume the most is a way of focusing on research and strategic planning on those with more potential for engagement.

Then you have to go deeper. After pinpointing the channels, you need to understand how they work, the best ways of sharing content on them, the relationship their public have with free and paid advertisement, etc.

But remember: this research cannot stop when the campaign is running. If social media is such a volatile channel, the ones ready to adapt are always rewarded with visibility and engagement.

At last, we can talk about two channels that are always part of successful marketing planning: your company’s blog and E-mail Marketing.

These distribution channels have some advantages that keep them always recommended by specialists: they are cheap, constant, engaging, and always in your control.

Content and E-mail Marketing are great to test your new strategies, find a voice, see what works best when communicating with your buyer personas.

They can even be the center of the plan, an endpoint that captures all leads attracted via other channels and nurture them with useful, relevant, and compelling information.

5. Develop a strategy

When you get to this point in marketing strategy development, you already have a better understanding of:

  • your persona;
  • the company’s financial and structural situation;
  • the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing team;
  • the opportunities and threats to attack;
  • the better distribution channels to invest.

So, now you have everything you will need to start your planning for real. This is when you gather your team, have ideas, and make decisions.

It is hard to give a full step-by-step when planning marketing because every business has its budget, your audience, and especially its own goals.

But there are main points related to everything we discussed until now that you need to pay attention to. Let’s see some of them.

Type of content

Also related to knowing your persona and your budget, an important definition now is what type of content will be more engaging to your audience.

First, you can’t limit yourself to one or a few. It is time to test what works and what doesn’t. Keep your options open.

A good mix is made of informative content, relationship-based interactions, and some form of interactive marketing. If you researched your target customer, format, and subjects will be clear and easy to produce.

Frequency of content

Digital Marketing depends a lot on relationships and emotional connections. Especially in social media, a brand needs to be seen as a close friend, a constant presence in their lives.

To do that, you need to have a frequency. A great marketing strategy development is done with a tight schedule — a structure to produce and distribute content. That way, you optimize the marketing workflow and reduce costs and time spent on it.

Brand Persona

If you created a fictional character to represent your target audience, why not do the same to represent your company?

brand persona helps the marketing strategy by defining a cohesive voice to all content you produce. It makes content easier to elaborate and reproduce, with clear and simple guidelines.

So, in one end, you get a more constant and relatable face to your brand when interacting with the public. In the other, you have the opportunity to decentralize and even outsource your marketing execution.

6. Use the “7 Ps of marketing”

The 7 P’s of marketing is a traditional model to construct strategies that are more logical and objective to understand.

It was designed way before the internet was a thing, but its broad concept still works as it should. So we are going to list them to you know and answering these questions will help you understand better your marketing plan. Let’s take a look:

  1. Product: What do we want to sell and how this product/service can be positioned for marketing?
  2. Price: How much does this product costs? Is it possible to adapt pricing models to create a new appeal for marketing?
  3. Place: What are the main distribution channels we should invest in this campaign?
  4. Promotion: What will be the split between organic traffic, paid ads, and media channels?
  5. Physical evidence: How can we prove to the audience that our product is better than the competition? Can we give trials, use tutorials and other forms of education?
  6. People: What talents do we have in our team and what skill gaps should be resolved?
  7. Partners: What kind of partners should we seek so we can accelerate results and get better ROI?

Focusing your planning in those questions and gathering the knowledge accumulated from the previous topics we discussed, a Digital Marketing strategy becomes as simple and easy as it gets.

Just always remember to go back to them, even when the campaign is already running. It will stop you from losing sight of your main goals.

7. Measure your outcomes

So let’s finish talking about your goals and how can you know if you successfully reached them. Analyzing data is a routine for you from now on.

From the first contact on social networks to brand loyalty, from landing page to payment page, a great Digital Marketing strategy development needs to follow the audience’s every step.

It means having specific key performance indicators so you can follow the evolution of your campaign from short to long term.

These KPIs need to be related especially to engagement. The number of interactions in social media, traffic in your website, leads generation and mainly conversion rates.

They will not only help you calculate your marketing ROI but also they will give hints about what can and should be improved.

After all, a great marketing team knows that planning is only the start of a journey. Building an online presence and an image to your brand is a constant effort that demands investment, intelligence, and monitoring results.

So think about marketing strategy development as a cycle, as a virtuous circle. Plan, execute, improve. It is a dynamic, creative, and rewarding way of reaching your audience.

Want to learn more about it? Take a closer look at content performance and leverage your digital strategy achievements.

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