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How to Create an Online Marketing Strategy to Help Your Business Succeed

As a young business, everything is new and shiny. But by the same token, this is a time when everything matters and everything can change quickly.

Online marketing is one of the areas where many new businesses falter, specifically in online marketing strategy. Or, rather, the lack thereof.

The good news? You can craft a strategy that works for your business. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to create a strategy that succeeds, even if you’ve never crafted a marketing strategy before.

Think About What You Want to Accomplish

The first step is deceptively simple: thinking about what you want to accomplish. Sounds easy enough, right? And yet many businesses falter during this first step.

Many businesses erroneously believe that they can sum up their goals universally under the umbrella of getting more sales or attracting more customers. But for a digital marketing campaign and strategy, that’s just not going to cut it.

Think hard about what you specifically want to have happen as a result of this strategy. Do you want brand recognition? Sales of a specific product? Email subscribers? A 100-person boost to your social media following?

The more specific you are, the easier it will be to craft a digital marketing strategy that works.

Know Your Audience…

From there, it’s time to get laser-focused on your audience.

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, you wouldn’t have a business. So if you want your business to thrive, your digital marketing should reinforce the same tenet of business you exercise everywhere else: serve the customer.

It starts with knowing exactly who your audience is. You can do this with buyer personas and analytical tools to find out who already buys from you and what they care about.

One thing you should not do is rely on gut instinct. There’s a time and a place for instinct, and your marketing strategy isn’t it.

…And Where to Look for Them

This is in part because in order to serve your target customers through digital marketing, you have to know where to look for them.

For example, where do you tend to get the most traffic from? Your social media? Your email list? Search engines?

From there, you can be even more specific. What social media site do your customers frequent the most? What other sites do they visit throughout the day.

Here’s the thing: if you know where your customers are, you’ll have a far easier time marketing to them. Otherwise, you’re just shouting into the void.

Write Your Brand Story

This is where we get to the fun part: writing your brand story.

Your brand is your business’s personality. Your brand story is the narrative that encompasses the feelings your brand creates. It’s unique from other forms of marketing because it’s explicitly tailored to get an emotional reaction.

Think of it as a story about you. And at the root of the thing, humans tell stories to inspire emotions, to connect with each other. Your brand story should serve the same purpose, connecting your customers to your brand on a deeper emotional level.

Without a brand story to bring it all together, you’ll have a hard time narrowing down who you are and what you want to say. So before you start writing your strategy, you should figure out your brand story. This is especially important to do after you figure out who your customers are, since it helps you figure out how you can offer value.

Develop a Content Strategy

From there, you’re ready to dive into the thick of it and start crafting your content strategy. And yes, that does involve writing content. Yes, even if you’re a bad writer.

The good news is that in this day and age, you can still get good branded material even if you’re a bad writer. You just have to be willing to own the fact that you’re a bad writer and make a strategic investment in the talent you need.

And if you already are a great writer, or you have one on staff? All the better! Just make sure that you keep the writer (or yourself) focused on the brand story.

A Digital Strategy is Key to Your Success

When you’re a new business, the story you tell about yourself is the best way to attract customers. Which means that when you tell your own story, you have to be sure to get it right.

And without a solid digital marketing strategy, the truth is, you’ll always be struggling to keep the thread of the narrative. If you know your business has something important to offer the world, it’s time to tell your story the right way. Time to build a marketing strategy that works.