The end of the year is almost here, and that means it’s time for your business to start planning for 2024. Annual planning is a critical component to achieving sustained growth and success year after year. While this planning should focus on all the things necessary to achieve your broader business goals, there are certain aspects of your operations that should be broken out of your larger annual planning and looked at separately. One of these is your digital marketing strategy.
Developing a cohesive digital marketing strategy is an essential component of your planning every year. When you take the time to develop and implement a thoughtful digital marketing strategy, it will improve your ability to engage with your target audience, build your brand, acquire new customers/clients and grow your business.
You may be wondering why you need to develop a new marketing plan each year. After all, you already have your 2023 strategy in place. Why not simply move ahead with these same tactics in 2024, especially if they’ve been successful?
The simple answer is that the digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving and as a result, the efforts that were successful last year may not be ideally suited to deliver your desired results next year. In addition, your business evolves over time, and your current goals and initiatives may require a different digital marketing strategy than you needed a year ago. In order to ensure you address the current goals of your business and accommodate the latest digital marketing trends, you must develop a new plan each year.
Below are some tips to help you develop your 2024 digital marketing strategy. Keep in mind that this advice isn’t going to discuss the latest digital marketing trends (we’ll have more on those in a future blog post). Instead, this information will help provide you with the essential steps you should take when developing your 2024 digital marketing strategy to ensure it addresses the needs of your business and delivers your desired results.
Define Your Marketing Goals
The first step to developing an effective digital marketing strategy is to define your goals. As we mentioned earlier, businesses typically evolve over time, so the goals you established a year or two ago may no longer align with the current trajectory of your company. Defining your marketing goals for the upcoming year will help you remain focused and allow you to tailor your strategy to the specific objectives you’re trying to achieve.
We recommend that you adopt a “less is more” approach when defining your marketing goals. There are a wide range of goals you can set, and it can be easy to establish a large number of objectives for the year. However, setting too many goals can spread your efforts thin and make it challenging to develop a cohesive digital marketing strategy. Instead, narrow your focus to the few goals that are most critical to achieving the overall business objectives you established as part of your annual planning.
Some potential digital marketing goals to set include:
- Increasing web traffic
- Growing your brand awareness
- Generating more leads and sales
- Increasing awareness of a new product being launched
- Growing your social media presence
Once you’ve chosen the primary goals to focus on, you’ll want to identify the performance metrics that will help you determine how well your strategy is achieving your goals. Tracking these KPIs throughout the year will allow you to make any adjustments to your digital marketing strategy that are necessary to deliver your desired results.
See our article: Current Marketing Trends – Brand Focus
Conduct a Competitor Analysis
Your digital marketing strategy doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You’re competing for customers with other businesses in your industry. Knowing what your competitors do can inform your approach and help you to identify ways to differentiate yourself from them. For this reason, conducting a thorough competitor analysis is essential when developing your digital marketing strategy for the upcoming year.
Look at what the leading competitors in your industry are doing with their marketing efforts. Make sure to evaluate:
- The tactics they use, including the digital marketing channels they focus on
- Their messaging (how is it similar and different to the brand story you’re trying to tell?)
- What are they doing well?
- What could they be doing better?
- Potential gaps in the market that can provide you with a valuable opportunity
Knowing this information can help you fine tune your digital marketing strategy, refine your brand messaging and help you identify ways to establish yourself as an industry leader.
Identify Your Target Audience
One of the most important benefits of digital marketing compared with traditional marketing tactics is that you have a much greater ability to target the people most likely to become new customers/clients. But in order to accomplish this, you must first know who your target audience is.
When you define your target audience, you’re able to create messaging that will more effectively resonate with them. You’ll also be able to identify the specific ways they approach the buying process, allowing you to create content that will connect with them at each stage of this process. Defining your target audience gives your digital marketing strategy greater focus and allows you to tailor your efforts to the unique needs of these individuals.
Once you’ve identified your target audience, you should create a detailed buyer persona for each segment of your audience. These personas should contain information on your target audience’s:
- Pain points
- Decision making process
- Preferred platforms to consume information
Identify the Right Digital Marketing Channels
The information you gather when researching your target audience and creating your buyer personas should influence the digital marketing channels you choose to focus on when implementing your strategy. The digital marketing landscape is more diverse than ever, and it’s critical to focus on the channels that are most likely to reach your target audience. This will allow you to maximize the impact of your efforts and generate the high quality leads necessary to grow your business.
When you research your target audience, make sure to identify the digital platforms they use most often. Which social media platforms are most popular with them? Do they respond well to email marketing? Will paid ads help you deliver your message? What kinds of search queries and keyword terms do they use to gather information?
Similarly, you should know the type of content mediums that resonate best with them. Do they like to watch videos? Do they listen to podcasts? Will longer content pieces such as case studies and white papers provide the information they need? Do they like to consume information in an engaging visual format, such as an infographic?
Understanding the ways and locations where your target audience consumes information will allow you to identify the channels that will deliver your desired results.
Develop a Content Strategy
Content forms the backbone of any digital marketing strategy. Creating high quality content that resonates with your audience will help you create meaningful connections with these people, tell your story, grow your brand and establish your business as a trusted industry expert.
Once you determine the channels to use in your marketing strategy, you’ll need to create a plan that details the information you’ll distribute on these channels. Always focus on quality over quantity. Your content should be informative, relevant, engaging and provide value to your audience. As part of this value, it should address their pain points and offer solutions to these problems.
Your content strategy should be nuanced, as each segment of your target audience might resonate with different content mediums and different types of messaging. For example, one segment of your audience might consume a lot of blog content, while another segment prefers to watch videos. Some segments may be more active on social media than others. You’ll need to make sure your content strategy addresses the needs of each segment of your target audience.
Identify the Right Analytics Tools
Digital marketing provides a wealth of data to help you understand the effectiveness of your efforts. When you set your goals earlier in this process, you established a series of key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you measure your success. Make sure you identify the proper analytics tools necessary to track and analyze the metrics that are most critical to your success. This will allow you to be adaptable and make slight modifications to your strategy as needed to ensure you’re achieving your desired results.
Keep in mind that it can take time to set up a new analytics tool and learn how to leverage its features. This is particularly true with many of the new AI-driven tools that are now available since there may be a significant learning curve if you’re unfamiliar with how this new technology works.
If you identify new tools that are essential to incorporate with your 2024 digital marketing strategy, start setting them up now so that you’ll be ready to hit the ground running with these tools once you begin implementing your strategy in January.
Set Your Budget and Allocate Your Resources
In a perfect world, you’d have unlimited resources to devote to your marketing efforts. But that simply isn’t the case for most businesses. Make sure you set a realistic budget that allows you to achieve your goals within the financial resources available for this aspect of running your business.
Digital marketing can be expensive, and it’s important to track your spending to ensure you’re getting the best ROI. You won’t necessarily want to apportion your budget equally among all the channels you choose to include in your strategy. Instead, evaluate the return you get on each channel, and devote a larger portion of your budget to the areas which are generating the best results. Being selective with the way you allocate your resources can help you stretch your marketing budget further and ensure you get the most value for your efforts.
Webolutions Can Develop a Digital Marketing Strategy That Grows Your Business
There are many components involved in creating an effective digital marketing strategy for the upcoming year, and this process can be overwhelming for many businesses. It can be helpful to work with an experienced digital marketing agency who can guide you through this process and help you develop a strategy that will set your business up for continued growth and success.
Webolutions has been Denver’s leading digital marketing agency since 1994. For nearly three decades, we’ve worked with businesses of all sizes in a wide range of industries. This broad experience helps us understand the commonalities involved in creating an effective digital marketing strategy, regardless of the industry, and it also allows us to tailor your plan to the specific nuances of your unique business and industry. This holistic approach to creating a digital marketing strategy has resulted in a strong track record of success, and we have the industry accolades to prove it.
You’ll benefit from a data-driven methodology that customizes your marketing strategy recommendations based on your unique industry, the factors impacting your market, and the value you provide for your customers/clients. Leveraging comprehensive data and insights about these factors ensures your digital marketing strategy incorporates the most effective tactics to achieve your desired outcome.
Our transformational Intrinsic Multiplier™ Approach helps grow your business smarter, faster and easier. This approach engages your team on a collaborative journey that helps you achieve highly competitive differentiation based on your company’s purpose, core values, mission, strengths and unique culture. By conveying your true value and what makes you special to your audience, our approach delivers the results necessary to position your business for ongoing success.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Webolutions provides comprehensive digital marketing services to clients nationwide from our offices in Denver, Colorado.