What Is A Digital Marketing Strategy & Why Your Business Needs One

Apr 19, 2018 9:00:00 AM

“How can I grow my business faster?”

This question has been paramount to every business since the fire and the wheel was invented. 

Well, maybe cavemen didn't specifically say "how can I grow my business faster?" - it was probably a mixture of grunting and scratches, but I digress. You get the idea.

So why do so many people stay in the same rut they've been in since they started instead of digging themselves out?

Business owners everywhere usually start their businesses strong. They have steam at the beginning and that momentum carries them for a while, but it usually dies off.

This is what we call the business rut.

You can identify if you're in it if you start asking questions like:

  • "How can I accelerate my business growth?"
  • "My revenue was high for a while, but why is it now dipping?”
  • "How can I gain an edge on the competition?”
  • "Why is my great service losing to competitors with worse services?"
  • "What can I do to ensure the long-term growth of my business so this doesn't happen again?"

I'd say that every client that has come to us for marketing services has asked these questions in one form or another.

But one that we have gotten time and time again is "What is Digital Marketing and why do I need it for my business?"

We are going to tell you everything you need to know about digital marketing and why you need a marketing strategy.

What Exactly Is Digital Marketing? 

Infographic comparing inbound marketing benefits to outbound marketing downsides


It's exactly what it sounds like - marketing your products or services online.

A Digital Marketing Strategy is a planned combination of online marketing tactics aimed at increasing website traffic, lead generation, and sales.

The past method of marketing, Outbound Marketing, is all but irrelevant in the eyes of the buyers nowadays.

Billboards, commercials, and various other interruptive ads are just too old-fashioned. 

Many professionals believe that outbound is a waste of money because organic (inbound) leads cost 61% less than outbound leads!

You need to be online to keep up with buying trends since most buyers will research solutions and products before purchasing.

That's where digital marketing tactics come into play (for future reference know that inbound marketing tactics coincide with digital marketing strategies).

Using digital/online marketing tactics is key to ensuring your marketing is at work 24/7.

Through the valuable content that you produce, you guide potential clients through the Buyer's Journey until they are ready to purchase from you.

And make no mistake, you are marketing to buyers at all times - almost always without knowing it.

Don't believe us?

Well, if you don't, just know that someone is probably Googling for your product, service, or business as we speak, and if you don't have your digital marketing up to snuff then you're losing business.

Check out this great case study by Lean Labs over their amazing Inbound Marketing success!

Want to know where you stand with your strategy?

Let's do a quick audit of your Digital Marketing strategy and services.

Give yourself 10 points if you have (and actively invest) in any of the following digital marketing areas.

10 Must-Haves For Your Digital Marketing Strategy

1. A Website

This one is probably a given.

Every business has a website and if you don't you're starting the race behind everyone else.

Basic needs for websites include a home page, contact page, and whatever pages pertain to your products or services.

In-depth needs are optimized URL, website speed, navigation, and site structure.

Take a look at ours for reference!

Screenshot of PHNX21creative's home page navigation bar

It's easy to navigate, read, and understand for both user and search engine.

2. Content Marketing

Screenshot of The PHNX21creative's blog page on it's navigation menu

There's an old marketing saying, "Content is king".

That's basically because almost everything that ranks highly on Google is a form of content, usually blogs or longer-form content pages.

The practice of content marketing gets 3x more leads than paid advertising and B2B companies that blog once or twice a month generate around 70% more leads than companies that don't blog.

Point being, If you blog, you get more leads. If you blog more, you get even more leads.

Just make sure they're optimized well!

Now, there are many forms of content (video, ebooks, podcasts, white-papers, etc...) besides blogging, but blogging is the most common and most effective.

3. Social Media Marketing

Screenshot of PHNX21creative's social media links on the home page

If you're more seasoned in life then you've probably gotten frustrated at your phone or how your kids never get off of them.

If you're around the millennial (or just older) age then you probably are reading this on your phone.

89% of people on smartphones are using apps.

So, they're typically not using the internet. They're using social media apps instead.

So, why should you market and advertise on social media?

That's because you get 87% increased exposure, 78% increased traffic and 64% more leads with a social media marketing strategy than those who don't.

4. Email Marketing

The emails you send (or don't send) can dramatically affect your business. It's how you market your products, services, content, and pretty much anything else to the people already on your email list.

Gmail has 1 billion active users worldwide, and it's expected to go up to 5.6 billion by 2020.

This is one channel with tons of traffic you can try and earn through forms and email lists.

Check out our email analysis page within our HubSpot CRM.

screenshot of PHNX21creative's email marketing analysis from October

(This is a test example.)

5. A Marketing Team

This one is rarely a guarantee (unless your business is in the 5 million plus range).

Most often not, businesses are either building up their teams internally or outsourcing to creative marketing companies (cough cough).

While there are respective perks and cons to each, the overall effect is the same.

An invested overall approach to your marketing efforts obviously shows commitment to business growth and should yield results.

It just depends on the needs of your specific strategy and goals.

6. Keyword Strategy

Screenshot of PHNX21creative's google search console keyword rankings

Rarely do companies ever have a keyword strategy.

Keywords are what help Google identify what your web page is about.

Whether it's a blog, pricing page, or e-commerce web page, the words on it (aka web copy) will determine what Google thinks it's about.

So, if you write the words "coffee cup" on your web page selling coffee cups then there's a good chance Google will think it's about coffee cups.

The only catch is there are a million other things that search engines use to rank your web pages for.

Here's a list of the 200 things Google ranks your web pages for!

7. SEO Strategy

SEO, or search engine optimization, means optimizing your web page for search engines to easily find, understand, and rank for relevant web searches.

This ultimately means you show up higher on searches so people are more likely to visit your site and hopefully purchase from you.

As mentioned in that link above, there are tons of things Google ranks for!

Link building, keywords, site structure, url structure, the list is incredibly long. 

Do you have a strategy in place to check off all the SEO boxes?

8. SMART Marketing Goals

SMART goals are something mainly learned about in rudimentary college classes, but they have a great application in the business world.

SMART goals are goals that help you accurately hone in on your marketing efforts.

SMART means simple, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. 

They're the reason diets are successful, bottom lines are met, and marketing services can prove ROI. 

Most people set goals but don't set clearly defined parameters around them.

It's like trying to shoot a target a football field away with a shotgun. 

You might barely graze it.

SMART goals upgrade that shotgun to a sniper rifle and make your life much more simple.

9. Conversion Pathway

So, they are on your website...now what do you do?

Just like talking to your crush in middle school, you have to have a plan.

Conversion pathways are strategies that provide a road for the visitor to travel down, engage with your products/services, and reach out to you.

Email optimization, bots, and clever site structure can help that, and you definitely need one.

10. Sales Software/Automation

Screenshot of PHNX21creative's website chatbot asking to helpEvery buyer loves a seller with a personal touch.

Imagine if you could offer that without having to talk to anyone until they're ready to buy. 

What I'm trying to say is, do you have automated emails that go to people who take certain steps toward buying, bots that answer any questions prospects have, or a CRM (customer relationship management) tool that stores all your information effortlessly?

They're easy to implement and manage, and they save you tons of time.

You could use sales and software automation to revolutionize the way you sell, free up your schedule for other work, and consistently drive higher sales numbers.

Adding It All Up

Well, how did you do?

Did you score a perfect 100?

Probably not, but know that this isn't a bad thing and that all isn't lost!

All that means is that your digital marketing strategy could use some work (or an overhaul depending on your score).

But before we get into the "how" let's cover the "why" (if you're anxious to skip ahead just do so)!


5 Reasons Why You Need A Digital Marketing Strategy

Reason #1: Almost all of your customers are online 

Think of the last time you bought something...I'd be willing to bet you looked up information about it prior to making the purchase.

At the same time, I'd bet you couldn't remember the last billboard you saw.

You don't remember it because you weren't interested!

Interested parties research and learn more these days.

In fact, 81% of all customers conduct online research before making a purchase!

Let that sink in.

That's 81 out of 100 customers, and if you don't have a digital marketing strategy that is running well then those customers are going elsewhere.

Reason #2: Ranking highly in Google means you get the majority of traffic.

Don't believe us? 75% of all searchers never scroll past the first page of Google!

So you can share random posts or poorly optimized blogs, and that will be better than nothing, but it won't garner the return on investment (ROI) needed to justify your efforts.

Remember, you have to be strategic in marketing.

You need a plan in place.

Reason #3: Effective Social Media marketing closes sales

Social media marketing has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than people using outbound marketing.

That's because everyone and their mother has a facebook.

People scroll away on social platforms for hours a day, so why not use this as an attempt to engage them with your helpful content?

Reason #4: Email strategies and automation are the keys to increasing email open rates

Does your company have a massive email list?

More so, does your company just fire off emails to the entire list at a time?

Recipients are 75% more likely to click on emails from segmented campaigns than normal emails.

Running a campaign and automating emails to go out when recipients/leads complete certain actions is vital to minimizing your work while maximizing engagement.

Reason #5: SEO is still the life-blood of search engines

Optimizing for search engines is vital to getting found online.

And don't forget, almost everyone researches before buying and they never leave the first page of search results.

57% of marketing specialists say on-page content development is the most effective SEO tactic to achieve objectives.

This means that making sure your pages are SEO buffed, polished, and shined is the best and easiest way to rank higher.  



Now, you may be thinking, "You've told me what I need and why I need it, but how do I actually fix these things?"

Fixing everything takes time. It really does.

And it takes a lot more know-how and information than anyone could realistically cover in one blog post. 

We will cover it in the next few weeks, (so stay updated by subscribing to our blog) but the first step to effectively set up a Digital Marketing Strategy that will set your business up for industry dominance lies in the Inbound Methodology.

What Exactly Is The Inbound Methodology?

picture of hubspot's new inbound methodology flywheel reading attract, engage, and delight

The Inbound Methodology is the process of attracting strangers, engaging with them through education, offers, and products, and delighting them as customers.

The Inbound Methodology is holistic in its approach to business.

Source: HubSpot

It's a concept that provides value to the prospect from the second they interact with any of your content until the end of time. Literally.

Attract Example

The Attract stage of the flywheel consists of attracting customers.

You do this with content, emails, social media, various outreach forms, and your website.

All of those things are what pull people to your site.

Engage Example

The Engage section consists of all the methods and modes you use to interact with a client.

Emails, segmentation, AI, and actual correspondence with the people on your site.

Delight Example

This stage consists of everything that you do to delight a customer from the moment they make a purchase.

And it goes on forever.

The point of this is so you can ensure they keep coming back to buy and that they tell everyone about your product!

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools, so don't waste it!

The Flywheel In Action

Two things about me: I like video games and I am incredibly forgetful. To a fault.

I bought a gaming headset (basically big headphones with great quality) because I like to waste my money.

When it arrived I pulled it out of the box and instantly noticed a faulty wire on it.

I called the sellerPlantronics, to have it replaced, but I misplaced the receipt.

Plantronics said that if I ship it in I can replace it for free, and they'll even pay for the shipping!

How is this the flywheel in action? 

I researched good headsets online and was attracted to their website with their product page and information.

Screenshot of Plantronics home page website with information based on inbound methodology flywheel

They engaged me with a streamlined buying process that had all the information I needed to make the decision.

To delight me and keep me as a customer, they replaced a faulty product for free even though I lost the receipt!

I can easily tell you that I'll buy from them again, and I'm already plugging their gear online.

That's the power the Inbound Methodology has! 



Marrying Philosophy With Practice

We geeks here at PHNX21creative get jazzed up about this stuff!

Implementing digital marketing strategies for companies is, quite literally, our business.

So, how does the Inbound Methodology play into your digital marketing strategy?

Let's walk through a hypothetical example of marrying the Inbound Methodology and a personalized Digital Marketing Strategy to show you exactly how you can implement this strategy ASAP.

caveman with primitive toolsYour name is now Gursh and you sell fire.

<- (That's you)

Despite Grug stealing your fire idea and trying to sell it as his own, you are determined to outsell him and get way more pelts and pretty rocks than that scallywag.

How do you do this? Well, you decide to make a long-term investment in your digital marketing strategy.

You build a website on HubSpot's CRM (that has all the marketing resources you need), outsource your marketing team, set up your goals, and you're ready to go.

After extensive research, you decide to attract customers in the form of blogging at your ideal customer.

So you start writing blogs and optimizing your website for the keywords "fire" and various other similar terms.

You write about the problems people have and ways to solve them.picture of a fire pit

Things like "How To Properly Cook Mammoth Porridge" and "The Best Ways To Fend Off Feral Beasts".

People needing to cook food and protect their tribe (or whatever just play along) research ways to do that, and since your website and content is ranking well for their searches they start looking at your site to buy.

Your information is relevant and valuable.

From there, you engage with them!

You place a form on your website asking them to subscribe to your blog or to request an ebook or appointment.

Now that they've filled out some basic contact info, your bots suggest more content like an eBook talking about how fire like, "6 Ways To Incorporate Fire Into Your Next Pillage!"

You're still providing great information while also engaging them. That ebook leads to a form to request a sales call.

You continue engaging with them throughout the meeting personally, and you successfully close the sale.

But you're not done yet!

Lastly, you contact them after they've received their product, and ask for a product review that you'll reward with more content about fire's uses or more relevant products you have (this wheel thing is gonna be big).

This is how you consistently delight your customers.

You've attracted them with blogs, engaged with them throughout their journey, closed the sale by great sales nurturing, and continued to delight them with content offers!

Great job, Gursh! Now, you're fire business consistently outsells and out performs all of the other imitators.

And your continual efforts only guarantee this keeps happening (since content marketing success compounds over time)

This is a perfect example of how to apply a great Inbound Marketing strategy.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Stick with it! Despite rarity in overnight inbound success, the average lead cost decreases by 80% after 5 months of investing in consistent Inbound Marketing.
  • Inbound isn't focused on your product. While your product is a big part, the Inbound Methodology focuses on the customer and solving their problem with your product.
  • You're never really done with this process, because customer delight is a priority, and it will prove itself as your best business promotion.

In Summary

So...how can you grow your business faster?

It depends on how much you're willing to invest in your digital marketing strategy. 

You need to invigorate these areas to experience that drastic growth and ROI digital marketing offers:

  1. Your website
  2. Email strategy
  3. Content marketing strategy
  4. Social media strategy
  5. A marketing team
  6. Keyword strategy
  7. SEO strategy
  8. SMART goals
  9. Conversion optimization
  10. Sales software/automation

Marrying the best practices in these areas with the Inbound Methodology is vital to seeing results.

Don't skimp out on these things too.

Deep investment in these areas has provided consistent results time and time again.

Want more crucial tips and tricks to improve your marketing strategy?

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