How to Build a Digital Marketing Strategy

If your business uses digital channels to find and reach customers, developing a complete digital marketing strategy to optimize costs and sustainability is essential. Strategy has a great impact on results as well as on business performance and all other aspects. Even so important, there are a lot of businesses struggling to build their own strategies. The strategy is not something that is too difficult or too high to be true, just to understand and understand the steps, almost everyone can build the right strategy for the business. mine.
This article is intended to help readers understand the fundamentals of strategy as well as step-by-step guidance on how to create a complete digital marketing strategy. And with these steps you can create almost any type of strategy, not just about digital marketing.
* Before entering the article, I want to say that what I write and share in the article is the way I am using to build my strategy. This is not the only way, and I believe that everyone can have their own way and that there may be others who are more efficient and better than me.

What is strategy?

Strategy is a high-level plan to achieve one or more OBJECTIVES under uncertainty conditions - Wikipedia
What you need to pay attention to in the definition above is the keyword "target." The essence of a plan can become a strategy in that it must serve one or more strategic goals. What is called a strategic goal?
The strategic objectives of a typical business or company will only be one of the following:

The strategy has only three types of goals: revenue, interest or something
Revenue: is the sum of the proceeds from the sale of goods, merchandise or services and not deducted or charged to other expenses.
Profit: The remaining amount of the company after deducting all other costs including production costs, advertising, taxes, etc.
To achieve something: there is no need to explain.
An example of a revenue-driven strategic goal is this month's $ 10 billion revenue margin with a profit margin of 10%, but next month you want to increase revenue by $ 20 billion by willingly sacrificing profit margins and leaving it hole up to 20% (by applying discount, voucher or promotion, etc ... to stimulate purchase demand). To increase sales, your strategy will often have to target the outside.
For example, the profit target for this month is 10 billion dong with the profit margin of 10 percent. In the following month, the revenue is only slightly increased by 2 billion dong, but the profit margin has to increase to 15 percent. By reducing production costs, improving workflow, saving costs, reducing marketing costs, etc., to increase profitability. To increase profits, your strategy often has to target the internal actors of the business.
An example of winning or achieving a goal would be to win the election with 80% of the votes or occupy 60% market share after 3 years.
All three of the goals set out above are linked to a clear and measurable number (sales, profits, percentages), and each of these strategies is designed to serve Achieve a predefined goal.
We will have a more detailed discussion on how to set up a digital marketing strategy below.

Floor level of strategy

The strategy also has several levels and levels that serve a certain target. Usually, we have three levels: Corporate Strategy, Business Strategy, Functional / Operational Strategy.
Corporate Strategy: This is the highest level strategy that will determine what the company (or companies) will do business, how they stand and how they do business, how to distribute financing for the applications how the business units below (if the corporation has many companies). Because of its nature, corporate-level strategies are more value-based, platform, and concept than concrete and detailed plans such as Business and Operations level strategies.
Business Strategy: A strategy at a corporate level that analyzes market factors and gives directions and how to allocate resources and how to compete with competitors. on the market and the company's financial goals.
Operational Strategy: Operational strategies are usually divided into departments such as Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Operations, etc. The strategy at this level will go into the development of the plans. details about the operation, development direction for the operation.
Within the scope of this article we will only go into the establishment of a digital marketing strategy, a Functional / Operational level strategy.

How are the strategies and tactics different?

Many people still confuse tactics and tactics or do not understand the difference between the two terms.
Simply put, tactics are smaller plans that are part of a strategy that you set out to achieve your stated strategic goals. Tactics also pursue their own goals and the achievement of these tactical goals, though not decisive, will directly affect the achievement of your ultimate strategic goals.

The strategy is made up of many tactics
For example, you must develop a digital marketing strategy with the goal of earning a yearly revenue of $ 1 million. At this time, plans for such channels as SEO, SEM, Display, Social, etc. will be tactics created with their own goals (how much organic organic traffic, CPA and CR of SEM and Display is how much, Social must create so many engagement and traffic, etc ...).
Achieving all the tactical goals of each of the smaller channels will get you closer to achieving the final strategic objective mentioned above. Failure to achieve any tactical goals does not mean that your strategy will fail, but it will definitely make it harder to reach the common goal as the remaining channels will now have to work harder. more to complement the unsatisfactory channel.
Here are the basic differences of strategy and tactics in different angles:
TargetAchieve strategic goals that directly affect the survival and growth of the organization.Achieving tactical goals affects an integral part of a whole.
RolePerformed by individuals who have the power to mobilize resources within an organization and understand how to apply a variety of tactics to achieve their goals.Experts on a certain array have the ability to use limited resources to accomplish and achieve certain goals.
ResponsibilityResponsible for the overall development of the organizationResponsible for a particular array assigned.
TimeLong, often unchanging.Short, flexible and can vary according to the market situation.
ResultCreate clear and specific goals for the organization including plans, directions, and KPIs.Make clear results by using manpower, tools and time.
So I often avoid using words like SEO strategy, Social strategy, etc. For me, those channels are just tools and plans for effective use of these channels should be called tactics. The digital marketing strategy is at a higher level than the distribution channels (explained below in the Content section).
Also, the time spent doing something unnatural helps turn it into a strategy. A plan to socialize and develop a fan page for 2 years is just a tactic. Same for a link building, onsite optimization campaign lasts 3 years.

Why do we need digital marketing strategy?

Is strategy needed? And why is it so important? Because without strategy, all we do is touch the wall.
Running an ad, your CPC can only be as low as one, no matter how much you optimize. SEO too, your traffic can not increase forever, some time Google will pull it down again. Same for any other advertising channels. All tactics will come to a standstill at some point. Why?
Because without a higher strategic goal to guide all tactics, you will be more likely to get caught up in the whirlwind of what you do every day. Running KPIs does not make sense at all and ultimately does not realize what you actually do contribute to the whole or not.
Keyword rankings this month increased over the previous month, CPC lower than 10%, Facebook page this month has an additional 5,000 likes. Oh ... then? Can these things help the company sell more? Not sure.
You can argue and say that's what your boss or client wants. They want higher ranking keywords, lower CPCs or more page like. They want that and you give them what they want. But why in the end are you still ... touching the wall? The boss / client still judges that your performance is not good? Sales of the company does not increase? There is something wrong wrong going on here. Yes, that is the cause and also the problem, you are interested in tactics but forget about losing strategy and what is its purpose. And in fact, what the boss / client wants sometimes is not necessarily the right or the real benefit.
Saying that does not mean that tactics are not good because, without them, we are all just wind blowers that can not get anywhere. What I mean here is that tactics need to be driven by something higher. Tactics need to work rhythmically and move towards the ultimate goal of the strategy.
Strategy is essential for businesses to break the law of decline mentioned above and step out of the vicious circle to enter a larger playing field.

The elements constitute a good strategy

These are the factors and also the questions I often ask myself in order to determine whether my strategy is a good strategy:
Clear objective: Does the strategy have a clear goal? Unclear objectives can make your strategy useless, tactics misplaced and lead to failure.
Multi-channel: Are you using multi-channel for your strategy? A good strategy can not rely on only one distribution channel or advertising.
Intensive influence: Do the strategies I create have a profound effect on the company's development? If your strategy does not affect much (ie yes and no), what strategy do you do?
Unblocked: Will this strategy be prevented by blocking in the company? The blocks here are internal issues of the company, such as technical limitations from the Product department or noncooperation from the Sales department. A good strategy will not let those things affect but actually put those factors into the calculation.
Difficult to change: Is this strategy susceptible to change and change? If the strategy is susceptible to change and change, it is not a good strategy.
Creating Tactics: Are the strategies for each of your channels going to serve the ultimate strategic goal? It must be based on a strategic goal to create tactics rather than a set of tactics and then set goals. This is exactly what is said above about the tactics to be led.
Factors and indicators: Does your strategy make the connection between the ultimate goal and the success of each tactic? Monitor and evaluate their success factors using KPIs.
After you ask yourself questions and can answer all of the above questions in a satisfactory way, you can now launch your digital marketing strategy.
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