While often used synonymously, strategies and tactics are terms that are intricately related but different in scope. It is important to understand how these terms are linked in order to achieve your company’s overall marketing goal. Once your business has a goal, you need a plan for how to achieve that goal.
Defining a good goal for a digital marketing campaign can be challenging. Of course, the main goal of any business’ website is to get the customer to buy the product or to develop a lead that will result in a conversion down the road, but these are certainly not the only goals that a digital marketing campaign can have. Great examples of digital marketing goals include the following:
- Sell. Of course, revenue and profits are important to any business (or donations if you’re a nonprofit), so it’s not surprising that this is a common goal of digital marketing campaigns.
- Get to know your customers. This is most commonly accomplished through social media outlets, allowing you to widen and deepen the dialogue you have with those who buy your products.
- Add value. Starting a “knowledge bank” for customers to visit and improving your customer support enhances your online image and strengthens trust.
- Extend the reach of your brand. Creating a positive brand experience is a very popular goal of digital marketing.
Strategies you might consider to reach any of the above goals could include increasing website traffic or improving your online brand image. Both of these strategies are ultimately about marketing your business more effectively and gaining more consumers, but there are multiple tactics that could be useful in implementing these strategies.
Put simply, your strategy is the “what” and your tactics are the “how.”
If your digital marketing strategy includes increasing website traffic, some of the tactics you might consider are as follows:
- Develop a quality website that is user friendly. Your website is your storefront in the digital world. It is the first impression and you hope it will make a lasting impression. Much like you wouldn’t leave a brick-and-mortar storefront cluttered or frustrating to navigate, your website should receive the same consideration.
- Increase content output. Content is king in internet marketing, both to the consumer (providing them useful information will bolster your brand’s image and make you a true information resource in your industry) and to the search engines (well-written content that is put out on a regular basis will improve your standing in the SERPs). Blogs, press releases, articles, newsletters, eBooks, and whitepapers all constitute content. You must remember that content expansion must be well thought out and planned. You should only create content that will entice social sharing and link acquisition.
- Create a site that is easy for a search engine to crawl. Indexability issues can make your efforts for visibility fruitless.
- Develop an information architecture and site layout that is easily understood and navigable by user and search engines as well. Content that site visitors cannot reach on-site nor understand where it fits within your site makes it hard to understand or be accepted by the reader.
- Incorporate accurate and relevant keywords into your online content for easier search-ability. There is definitely an art to using keywords correctly, but a strong strategy here can improve standing in the SERPs.
Strategies for digital marketing to improve your online include the following:
- Become an analytical tactician! Reviewing how your users consume your content will help you understand what content works the best on your site and what content may need improvements.
- Utilize social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.). This makes working with your clients easy, fast, and low-cost. Social Media can be an effective channel to build a community but you must also nurture and engage your audience if you want to make them loyal participants, frequent site visitors and evangelists of your content.
- Create a consistent and recognizable voice to use across multiple platforms that humanizes your business and makes you approachable to your online audience. Think of your brand like a person. It will need to have a personality, a way of speaking, and a way of presenting itself. Your brand may be cheeky and fun, or professional and competent. No matter which style you go for, make sure to keep the tone consistent across your website, your social media outlets, and any other marketing outlets.
- Use automated postings to keep your social media pages fresh with new content, but do not forget to engage with your audience via social media in real time. A social media platform like Hootsuite can make managing social media much easier, but it’s important to always have an eye on social media so that your presence is organic and flexible, rather than robotic and stilted.
As you can see, tactics are the individual steps that lead up to your goal. They are shaped by the strategy your company focuses on. It is important to incorporate multiple tactics that work toward the same strategic goal. Weaving together more than one method will allow you to reach your goal more efficiently – and with greater success.
Digital marketing strategies are plans for the long term, while tactics are short-term steps to execute that plan. Develop both strong tactics and clear strategies in order to reach your marketing goals and in turn grow your company. Whether you want to increase your search engine optimization and digital traffic or improve your social media presence, we are here to help!