The advent of technology has greatly influenced diverse aspects of human interaction all over the world. People can stay connected from different locations regardless of distance to carryout everyday functions like shopping, paying utility bills etc on the go. As an entrepreneur, leveraging the market opportunity that technology and the internet has made available could help you reach a wider market on a limited budget.

Technology has disrupted the traditional way of doing things. With the on-going disruption in traditional marketing/ advertising processes, your business will be better positioned to reach its target markets with the development of a digital marketing strategy.

How to Develop a Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital strategy is often characterized by the application of new technologies to existing business activity and/or a focus on the enablement of new digital capabilities to businesses[1]. A good marketing strategy should explain the goals you need to achieve with your marketing efforts while your marketing plan should entail how you are going to achieve your marketing goals. Therefore, it is important that you have a marketing plan before launching your product/ service into the market.

A model that is sure to help your business get ready for marketing campaigns by focusing on the implementation stages of the process is the SOSTAC marketing model. Marketing experts have adapted SOSTAC to a number of specific situations[2], especially when developing digital marketing plans.

SOSTAC is an acronym for Smith’s six fundamental facets of marketing, which stands for[3]:

  • Situation Analysis: An understanding of the current market situation of your business or where you intend to start your business is important. This helps you know exactly where you are in your line of business. Situation analysis could be approached through:
    • Competitor Analysis: You need to do a research on identifying who your competitors are and finding out more about them by continually tracking their market system.
    • Market Analysis: Using Google Trends will help you better understand the market trend in your line of business.
    • Customer Insight: Knowledge of your customers gives you an edge because you recognise what tickles their fancy.
  • Objective: Having a set objective will enable you know what pinnacle you intend to take your business. Ensure your objective targets customer acquisition and retention, customer satisfaction, engaging customer, and adds value.
  • Strategy: Having a good strategy will help you scale your business. A good model to use is the segmentation, targeting, and positioning (STP) model.
  • Tactics: Have a well detailed plan of how you intend to achieve your market plans which would include content and contact plan.
  • Action: You should a clearly defined structure and responsibility that states who does what and when.
  • Control: Ensure to have a good system for monitoring performances.

Implementing your Digital Marketing Strategy

There are lots of creative ways to use the web to move your business forward. A few implements you could use to grow your business include:

  • A website: Having a brand corporate website which is responsive and offers the same experience across all devices will enable growth in your business.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) campaign: A good tool to use is Google Adwords. With this potential customers are able to see what your services are whenever they search on Google for stuffs similar to what you offer[4].
  • Social media: This is useful from a trust building perspective. Visitors/ potential customers may want to check out if you have a community of interested people. You also need to post content regularly to demonstrate your expertise[5].

Components of your social media strategy should include:

  • Keywords that describe your business: Using keywords that give precise information about your business on your social media platforms would help potential customers that are seeking information about your services.
  • Platform selection: Not all platforms are able to help your business grow. Hence, selecting the right platform for marketing your business can not be over emphasized.
  • Content strategy: It is important to know that content drive social. Hence, having good content on your online platforms will better help market your business.
  • Email marketing: This is helpful for customer retention especially for e-commerce businesses. It also helps keep top of mind. Research has shown that email marketing has provided the highest return on investment.

Developing a good marketing system would make it easy for the right customer to find you. It is important to ensure you keep track of your customers by understanding market trends and reviewing your market strategy continually.

[1] Wikipedia

[2] Wikipedia accessed April 3, 2017

[3] PRSmith Marketing Success, SOSTAC Planning, accessed Apr 3, 2017

[4] Google AdWords, Get your ad on Google today, accessed Apr 5, 2017

[5] revenizer, Oct 24, 2016: How to Create Your 2017 Digital Marketing Plan accessed Apr 5, 2017