Why a strategy is needed for online marketing

Marketing online without a strategy is like a ship without a steering wheel and compass that is torn apart by the wind. The online marketing strategy helps to select the right channels, to use them correctly and to set priorities.

In online marketing, in particular, countless routes can be taken. The strategy accordingly brings a shared understanding of where the journey should go. 

Because without clear objectives, resources such as time and money cannot be used efficiently, and projects can only be assessed insufficiently. 

If the strategy is lacking in advance, it is also challenging to measure later successes and derive further measures from them. 

Often there is no common thread in corporate communication so that the customer does not perceive the brand on different touchpoints as one unit. 

Holistic marketing approach

Often, it is not only online and offline communicated differently, but also within related areas in online marketing, such as on the website, in social media, in the newsletter and online advertising. 

This happens when the different departments in the company do not work together and do not have a common understanding through a predefined strategy. For this reason, it is essential to show that holistic online marketing can only be successful if everyone rows in the same direction and knows the destination of the trip.

The strategy also ensures that resources are used more efficiently if the funds are used sustainably through a clear objective

Excellent team coordination prevents tasks from being duplicated and additional resources being wasted. 

With a rigorous approach, measures can be successfully implemented so that effort and income are ultimately balanced

Addressing the right target group

Perhaps you are familiar with this situation: You know that you want to attract more visitors to your website and therefore generate more sales.

But you probably have not (yet) wondered which users should be addressed, what their search intent is and whether their search needs and expectations are met when visiting the website. 

This also raises the question of whether more traffic on the page brings the desired added value. Or whether other factors such as relevant content and thus SEO visibility, user behaviour or selection of keywords play a role in search ads

After all, a short visit to the website alone is not enough to increase sales. The goal is always to trigger interactions with the customer, e.g. via contact inquiries, newsletter registration, order confirmations, etc.

Collect data about user behaviour

Interactions on the website provide clues about user needs and at the same time, generate relevant data about user behaviour.

The data collected not only help you to understand your target group better, but also minimize wastage. 

If you cannot pinpoint your target group and you do not know which channels they are on, you may reach people who do not belong to the target group and thus unnecessarily increase your advertising costs

But to find out which data is relevant, you need a strategy with clear goals.

Without a strategy, it is difficult to find out which goal is being worked towards and how promising the activities are. 

Also, new opportunities can be discovered when developing a strategy by collecting comprehensive insights about the business area, its market and its target group, as well as needs. 

Instead of merely creating classic target groups or buyer personas with socio-demographic characteristics such as gender, age, income, marital status or school education, the findings can also be grouped and assigned to so-called user types

Components of an online marketing strategy

For example, the following characteristics can be analyzed:

  1. User
    needs What are the different needs of the individual user types? 

    Motives like motivators or intentions are interesting here, why someone should buy or use the desired product or service. 

    Think about the different interests of your target groups and how you can best address them. 

    Ideally, the needs and motivations are based on real (online) data and are coordinated with the micro-moment journey (cf. blog post The 4 micro-moments of Google search queries and their influence on SEO ). Then give your user types meaningful names that make it easier for you to assign them.
  2. Channels
    On which channels and platforms can the different user types be found? 

    Based on the needs and interests, you can derive which advertising options appeal to your user types. 

    This will help you find out whether you can reach your target groups, for example, through email marketing, affiliate marketing, viral marketing, social media marketing and / or search engine marketing.
  3. Promotional touchpoints
    How online-savvy is your target group?

    Ask yourself whether the user type uses online or offline media (social media, TV, print, etc.), how often he does this and which formats they are (reviews, blog posts, apps, on-demand solutions, etc.) ).

    Address your target groups wherever they are and spend money.
  4. Messages
    To which content does the user type react positively or possibly negatively?

    You reach environmentally conscious people by emphasizing resource-saving and sustainable advantages. Bargain hunters, on the other hand, react particularly with content with cheap offers and bargains.

    Think of suitable messages for your user type, which can help you, for example, to write the right advertising messages.
  5. Key figures
    Determine suitable key figures how you want to measure the success of the goals for your user types later.

    The online strategy helps you to find suitable KPIs and optimize them.

Market and target group-specific analyzes help to refine the strategy and increase the success of marketing measures. 

A look at the existing customer data and the information collected on the website also help with the evaluation and structuring of relevant information. 

Use all possible data sources such as your CRM tool and tools from third-party providers such as Google Analytics, Search Console from Google, Facebook Insights, Youtube, Pinterest or Instagram Analytics and look for any abnormalities and similarities in user behaviour and the characteristics of your customers. 

Don’t forget to audit your existing website, social media channels and marketing activities. Because how do you optimize your performance if you do not know where your strengths and weaknesses? An initial audit also serves as a “zero measurement” to measure the success of optimization measures.

We now know that many roads lead to Rome. But only through a well-developed strategy can you know which of these is the most efficient

Of course, you can try many different paths without a guide to see which one is the right one. But you lose a lot of time and money. 

The relevant tools such as a compass, world map and weather forecasts, on the other hand, take you to the safe harbour without any major detours. 

So use the right tools in online marketing and plan your trip.

Conclusion

There are six good reasons why a strategy is needed in online marketing:

  1. The plan is trend-setting and sets priorities
  2. It creates a shared understanding of where the journey should go
  3. It reveals opportunities and potential
  4. The strategy helps better to understand target groups and markets and their needs
  5. Potential customers can be addressed with the right message at the right time
  6. The overarching strategy not only saves time and money but also supports you in optimizing your goals

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Categories: Digital Marketing, E-commerce, Google, Marketing, Social Media

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