Five key steps to creating a solid Digital Marketing Strategy

My previous blog , Why a Digital Marketing Strategy is critical to your business or organisation, addressed the key differences between a digital marketing strategy and a digital marketing campaign.

We also looked at why a strategy is important and should be the first step before embarking on a campaign.

Many small businesses and nonprofit organisations that we come across have a vague strategy in place but because they often do this internally these strategies are not always congruent with the campaigns they run.

Your company, organisation or brand’s online presence is NOT simply a box to be ticked.

Digital marketing can reap incredible benefits if one’s campaigns are linked to a short, medium- and long-term digital strategy.

This enables you to track results and adjust the strategy accordingly by keeping one’s eye firmly on the ball!

So, now that you realise the importance of a solid digital marketing strategy, the next BIG question is where do we start?

These five steps below are key to ensuring that you have a good foundation to move forward.

1. Create your own buyer/donor personas

To be honest this first tip applies to any marketing strategy.

You need to know who you are marketing to.

This applies both for customers of your business or donors for nonprofits and social impact campaigns.

These include location, age, income group and job sector.

More personal information such as interests, goals or hobbies can also be extremely helpful in drilling down your target audience.

Additionally, don’t forget to ask why this type of customer/donor should care about your offering.

2. Identify your goals

A digital marketing plans should always include goals.

There is no point creating a strategy unless you have measurables that you can use to monitor progress.

The goals should be divided into short-, medium- and long- term goals.

These goals should align with your business or organisation’s goals.

Three important things to remember when setting goals are:

  • What you want to achieve
  • When you want to reach it
  • How you will measure that achievement

3. Audit/evaluate your existing digital marketing strategy

First look at the big picture.

Then systematically work through any existing campaigns you have run, making notes of its successes and failures.

Then, categorise your online presence/assets into owned, earned, and paid media.

Owned media is a list of all your brand or organisation’s digital assets.

These include your website, social media profiles, blog content and images.

Earned media is any exposure you have received organically or via word-of-mouth. Earned media can include any mentions or referrals, guest articles on other’s platforms, reviews of your business, awards, or any other mentions by 3rd party channels.

Paid Media is simple enough to explain. If paid media is currently part of your marketing plan it is important to audit this and align the result with your goals and overall strategy.

4. Establish Budget

Once you have taken stock of your existing digital assets and campaigns it is important to consolidate this to get an overall view of the state of your existing online standing.

This will help to establish a realistic budget forecast for your various goals that you have set out.

It is most effective if you create a budget for each campaign so that you have a good idea what you an spend where but don’t forget to align your goals and targets to these.

If you only have one budget, you could overspend on one campaign and leave another better performing one short.

Establish your budget and resources, so you know what you have before launching your strategy.

5. Bring your digital marketing plan together with a strategy document

Now that you have identified your customer or donor persona, taken stock of your existing digital assets, and set your short-, medium- and long-term goals it’s time to consolidate this into a cohesive strategy document.

This document allows all participants to constantly measure results and be reminded of the end goal with each campaign.

This strategy document should map out the actions required to reach the goals that have been set with the information at hand.

Logically, the more often you use a solid digital marketing strategy and document the more accurate the measuring and expectations will become.

These are just some of the articles we are publishing on Bigger Than Me — Creative Social Change Agency.



Father, Surfer, Muso, Producer, Content Creator & Strategy Ninja, Founder @biggerthanmeZA, Husband to @robyn_on_earth - Kommetjie, CT

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Greg Viljoen

Father, Surfer, Muso, Producer, Content Creator & Strategy Ninja, Founder @biggerthanmeZA, Husband to @robyn_on_earth - Kommetjie, CT