Continuing on Step #2 of setting up your strategy, here is an example:
John is always called on to take photos at weddings, and he frequently has to deal with many different people ranging from the groom to the bride's mother on the actual day. But, it's typically the bride to be that he has to win over initially if he wants to land the customer in the first place. So his first customer avatar is a nervous bride.
The next important thing for him is the photography for local businesses that want catalogs and brochures for their sites. Therefore his second persona is Sarah, who has been running a coffee shop for three years and is set to redecorate her establishment and launch a brand new website.
John knows that his best opportunity to grow his business is to reach bigger customers who have regular requirements. He does not have customers like this just yet, but that's where he wants his business to go next. Therefore his third persona is a marketing manager who works for a large retail brand that is based in his city and launches new products each month. And each time they do, they require photography.
User Persona Template Example:
- Name and bio (age, location, job, family, etc.)
- Goals at work
- How your offer helps them reach their goals
- How your offer helps them overcome those challenges
- What they love about your product or service
- Their objections
- Your elevator pitch to those people
This is an easy five-step plan to create a winning digital marketing plan of your own.
Step #3: Know Your Brand
How and why people choose you over other similar offers from your competitors has a lot to do with your particular brand. Think of your brand as your business's personality. This means that it's something that is absolutely worth defining as clearly as possible.
- What is it that you stand for?
- What character traits are your strongest?
- How does all that translate into a powerful presence? (Everything from the images that you use on your site to the language that you're using in your blog posts and emails)
Conduct a brand 'health check' to see if you really know your brand and what it stands for:
Who is your ideal customer? - Line up your customer avatars, and rank them. Use them to answer questions such as, what problem does your product or service solve, and what challenges are you solving for your customers (from their perspective)? Visualize the perceived value.
What are your unique benefits? - List a few benefits that your customers get when they choose your product or service that they will not get by going anywhere else.
What is your brand promise? - What do you pledge to always do for all your customers? This is another key factor of your proposition which separates you from your competition.
But how does all this fit together?
Use your answers to craft a single paragraph that covers everything. It's alright if stuff merges and overlaps. The objective here is to come up with a unique message. Once that is done, make it shorter, and refine it.
Take your time with this. Review it again and again until you have distilled your brand's value proposition to a single clear line which captures all that you want to say.
Step #4: Watch Your Competition
We are not just talking about those businesses that offer a similar product or service. Think of your competitors in these three ways:
- Direct Competitors: Brands that offer products or services that are the same as yours
- Indirect Competitors: Those brands may offer products or services that are different, but they compete for the same budget or space as you
- Comparators: They have a look and feel that's similar as a brand, or they can be other brands frequently used by your target customers
You need to know exactly what you are up against, and you'll be able to learn vicariously from your triumphs as well as your mistakes. Use your competitors' wins to inspire you and use the differences between you to highlight the uniqueness of your products or services.
If you're not sure how to go about gathering Intel on your competitors, use the following tips to guide you:
- A simple way to get started is by searching for some key terms that are related to your particular industry. Note where each brand is ranked on the search engine results pages.
- Try out your competitors' products, read their online reviews, explore their websites, and sign up for their company newsletter.
- Find out from your customers what they believe your competitors are doing well, and also ask them what they like about brands in different sectors too.
- Make a note of where and when you come across your competitors' ads. Take screenshots whenever possible.
- Follow lots of other brands on various social media platforms
- Use free and paid tools like Alexa to analyze how well your rivals' websites are doing in terms of search rankings and traffic.
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Step #5: Prepare to Start Measuring
Coming up with brilliant concepts on how you are going to generate traffic, boost brand awareness, and increase your customer base is just the start. It's important that you know how you will track your progress so that you can alter your digital marketing plan based on what is returning the best results.
There are a lot of different metrics that you can measure but it's up to you what counts as a 'good' score. Those benchmarks are different for each business. For example, if you posted a new post on your blog with a call to action to download a content upgrade, you might measure how many views you get, how many clicks your CTA got, how many leads you got from the post, and so on.
Prior to beginning any campaign, you have to familiarize yourself with vital metrics that are associated with your campaign goals, such as the examples listed above. Depending on your goals, there are lots of different metrics that you may want to measure, so keep in mind things like demographic or geographic information that you want to track as well.
By tracking the performance of such metrics, you will soon start to get benchmark numbers for how a piece of content is performing.
Putting It All Together
So, now you have your plan. You have a good idea of who and what you are going after. You know what you will be measuring, and you have a clear goal that you want to achieve. Time to get going and start experimenting with different ideas to connect with your audience on the search engines, social media, and on your own website.
What other elements have you included in your digital marketing strategy? Let me know in the comments below!