What Is A Digital Marketing Strategy? [Framework Guide]

Sakshi GuptaSakshi Gupta | 9 minute read | May 31, 2022
What Is Digital Marketing Strategy [Framework Guide]

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The bedrock of every successful digital marketing campaign is a solid, and well-thought-out digital marketing strategy. The main difference between a digital marketing strategy and a more traditional marketing strategy is that digital marketing relies upon online channels that generate data. This means that digital marketers can hone and perfect their strategies in a way that wasn’t previously possible with more conventional marketing methods. 

Want to know more about what a digital marketing strategy is, how it’s used, and why it’s so important? Then keep reading. 

What Is a Digital Marketing Strategy?

A digital marketing strategy is a roadmap used by digital marketers to reach their ideal customers through online channels. These channels can include a website, social media accounts, paid advertising, and earned media. A digital marketing strategy is designed with specific goals in mind. The goal may be to achieve a certain number of sales for a new product, or to improve brand recognition by increasing your social media following. 

Digital Marketing Strategy Framework: How To Build a Good Strategy

Digital Marketing Strategy Framework: How To Build a Good Strategy

Before you can execute a digital marketing plan, you have to formulate a plan. And the first step in planning is to articulate the campaign’s goals.

Related Read: What Is Digital Marketing?

When setting goals for your campaign, you’ll usually want to include both your revenue goals and your brand goals. Your revenue goals will consist of metrics related to sales, while your brand goals will involve elevating your brand’s reputation or recognition. 

Setting SMART (Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Relevant, Time-based) goals ensures your goals are attainable and will provide you with data points to analyze your results. Let’s break down each letter in that acronym: 

Specific

Setting specific goals removes any ambiguity. If you set a goal of “increasing brand recognition,” you’re likely to fail because there are many different ways to measure this, and so it will be difficult to know if your campaign is effective. However, a more specific goal like “increase email subscribers” will help you create a campaign that helps your brand in a measurable way. 

Measurable

When you set your goals, establish both what you want to achieve and the KPIs you’ll use to know if you’ve succeeded. Per the example above, “increase email subscribers” is specific but isn’t quantitative. However, a goal like “increase email subscribers by 20%” is measurable. Your KPI will be the number of new email subscribers you have at the end of the campaign. 

Actionable

Unattainable goals set you up for failure, so digital marketers use their current data to determine if their goals are actionable. With the previous example, a goal of increasing email subscribers by 200% in three months would be far too ambitious.  

Relevant

This may sound obvious, but it’s important to always remember that the goals of a campaign should be relevant to the company’s business objectives. If you don’t know precisely how a goal will move your business forward, it’s not relevant. To further the example above: increasing your email subscribers is likely to result in more sales, it’s highly relevant.

Time-Based

digital marketing strategy: Time-Based

Decide how long it should take you to reach your goals. Your goals may be long-term or short-term, but they should have an end date. Combined with a specific, measurable goal, having a firm end date puts everyone on the same page and provides a definitive measure of success. For example, if you want to increase your email subscribers by 20%, setting a three-month deadline gives you a specific timeline.  

Digital Marketing Strategy Examples To Learn From

There are many different strategies you can use to launch your marketing campaign. Depending on your goals and your digital marketing channel, you can focus on one strategy or use a combination of digital marketing tactics. Let’s break down some of those strategies. 

SEO

Search engine optimization is a digital marketing tool to improve your website’s ranking in search results. Ranking high on search results makes your site more visible and more likely to attract traffic and opportunities to convert leads into customers. 

This case study from Brain Dean of Backlinko is a great example of a solid SEO strategy. He increased his organic traffic by 652% in seven days. 

He calls this technique Skyscraper 2.0, and here’s how he did it: 

Determine user intent: User intent can be categorized as informational, navigational, commercial, or transactional. Once you determine user intent, you’ll automatically improve the customer experience. To figure out your user’s intent, enter your targeted keywords into Google. Examine the results on the first page to get an idea of what someone would be looking for if they used your search phrase. Do they want a recipe? Are they comparing two products? Are they ready to buy a product or service? Do they want information? 

Satisfy user intent: Create content that satisfies all elements of user intent better than existing content. In your description tags, include terms that appeal to the user intent. Emphasizing and including the current year is a good way to indicate timeliness. 

Optimize for UX signals: No matter how good your content is, it won’t rank well if it isn’t user-friendly. Brian improved his posts by: 

  • Embedding videos
  • Including a table of contents
  • Using a short introduction
  • Including lots of examples
  • Using H2 and H3s
  • Using short sentences and short paragraphs

PPC

Pay-per-click marketing is when you pay a fee every time someone clicks on your ads. The more targeted your ads are, the fewer clicks they’ll generate. This may sound undesirable, but the ultimate goal isn’t clicks. It’s conversions.  

The experts at The HOTH worked with a client to reduce the cost per lead by 85% and increase their monthly lead count six times. Here’s how they did it: 

Tracking and data: They set up tracking to determine where all of their money was going. Inside Google tag manager, they added new tags to send the data back to Google Analytics and Google Ads. 

Streamlined ad copy: They created new ad copy to increase the ad relevance score and match user intent, and targeted specific keywords in their ad headlines and descriptions. 

Use landing pages: When you direct your ad to your website, it’s easy for users to get lost. Creating a specific landing page clarifies what you want a user to do. It appeals specifically to the user you targeted with your ad. High-converting landing pages can significantly reduce the cost of your ad campaign. 

Content Marketing

digital marketing strategy: Content Marketing

Content marketing strategy involves sharing thought leadership and valuable information to your users to generate leads or sales. Marketing Insider Group shared a story about the startup College Raptor using content marketing to increase the traffic to their website to one million visitors in one year. They used this three-pronged approach to achieving these results through digital channels

Evergreen content: College Raptor focused on creating evergreen blog posts that would always be relevant to college students, such as “What Is a Good ACT Score?”

Viral content: Next, College Raptor created content was likely to go viral, even if it wasn’t focused on SEO. The goal was to increase their brand awareness. Most of this content was shared on their social channel.

Link building: Finally, College Raptor integrated a link-building strategy to increase the number of links leading to their content. They created a large amount of valuable content and backlinks to their website. 

Social Media 

Social media marketing uses a social media platform to sell your goods or services to potential customers or increase your brand’s reputation. Social media marketing includes organic social media, social listening, social feed-based ads, and influencer marketing.

Related Read: Digital Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

Social Pilot shared a case study of how the coffee giant Starbucks uses social media to amplify its brand. Some of Starbucks’ marketing tactics include: 

Chasing trends: Starbucks isn’t afraid to take a stand on social issues and jump on trends. They partnered with Born This Way to help raise money for the LGBTQ+ community on their social media platform.

Keep it simple: Starbucks’ social media posts are clean, striking, and simple. They’re visually appealing and communicate one idea powerfully in a social media post. They also limit their weekly Instagram and Facebook posts to three or four. 

User-generated content: User-generated content increases your brand’s trustworthiness. It also saves you from having to create content and builds rapport with your customers. 

Video Marketing

digital marketing strategy: Video Marketing

Video marketing helps drive conversions and typically has a good return on investment. Satish Raju, a UX designer, explained how he increased his subscriber count by 150% in six months with the following strategy: 

Creating personas: Raju created four different personas—each representing different kinds of viewers—so he could better understand his audience and their needs. He included information such as how they access the internet, their education level, and why they watched his YouTube channel. They included a paan shop owner, a guitarist, a store supervisor, and a software engineer. 

Tracking data: Using YouTube’s built-in analytics, Raju was able to see which videos were performing well and which weren’t. He used this information to form a strategy for producing higher-performing videos. He also analyzed his competitors to compare their metrics to his. 

User interviews: As a user-experience designer, Raju is accustomed to performing user interviews, so he met with five users and asked them questions about his content. 

User testing: He also conducted user testing to gain feedback from his viewers, and would then optimize his content. 

Experiments: Finally, Raju used this feedback to conduct A/B testing, to see if the feedback he received from some viewers resonated more widely. 

Where To Start With Your Marketing Strategy

Where To Start With Your Marketing Strategy

When you first start developing a marketing strategy, consider the following questions: 

What Resources Do You Already Have?

If you don’t have an internal marketing team, you may need to hire a digital advertising agency. And if you do have an internal marketing team, you need to consider what marketing skills you have at your disposal. You might need to hire freelancers or contract workers to help you out.  

What’s Your Budget?

Some strategies are more costly than others, so make sure that you have a budget in mind before picking a strategy. 

What Are Your Business Goals?

digital marketing strategy: What Are Your Business Goals?

Now it’s time to set your goals, and you can use the SMART acronym we detailed above to help you meet them. When articulating your goals, include both revenue and brand goals. Also, set short and long-term goals that align with your business strategy.

Digital Marketing Strategy FAQs

Do You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy?

Yes. A digital marketing strategy is your roadmap to the right path. Without a clear plan, you’ll have no way of knowing what your goals are or if you’ve achieved them. 

Is One Marketing Strategy Better Than Another?

There’s not a single best digital marketing strategy, but there may be one that’s a better fit for your company. 

For example, if your company is trying to raise brand awareness and become a recognized authority, you may want to focus primarily on content marketing. On the other hand, if you have a large email list but haven’t been using it as a primary marketing tool, you may want to start by creating an email funnel to leverage your list. 

Are Digital Marketing Strategies Easy To Build?

Digital marketing strategies are easy to build, but they require time and effort. The amount of effort depends on your starting point. If you already have a lot of data and information about your ideal customer available, you’ll be better positioned to start building your digital marketing strategy. If you don’t already have this information, you’ll have to do more extensive research.

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Sakshi Gupta

About Sakshi Gupta

Sakshi is a Senior Associate Editor at Springboard. She is a technology enthusiast who loves to read and write about emerging tech. She is a content marketer and has experience working in the Indian and US markets.