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Ndumiso Sikhakhane - Create a results driven digital marketing strategy

Digital marketing has become an integral part of every business. South Africa continues to grow its consumer internet accessibility, people are spending more time online, and as a result marketing budgets are now shifting toward digital. With so many opportunities in digital marketing, having a digital marketing strategy is important in order to monitor return on investment (ROI).

As a digital marketing strategist, I often see business owners that poorly manage their company’s marketing efforts. This means that some campaigns can end up being a waste of money. This is avoidable, you just need a results-driven marketing strategy to get started.

Continuously investing in this strategy is one of the best ways to grow your digital ROI. Below are five important elements that you need to include when building a digital marketing strategy that generates results for your business.

1. Define your business goals & set clear expectations

Many people underestimate the power of planning and goal setting. Before you even start anything, the first thing you need to do is define your business and your goals. Maybe you want more loyal customers, to increase your revenue or maybe you want to expand to a new market. Writing this down will make it much easier for you to create a clear marketing strategy that will be aligned with your goals.

2. Understand your customer & create a buyer persona

What makes or breaks any business success online is how to identify and reach their ideal target market. You should spend time creating a buyer persona for the people you want to target, this will help you create detailed targeted ads. Ask yourself these questions; who are our ideal customers, what gender are they? Where do they live? How old are they? What are their interests? What are their pains? What needs do they have that you can help them with?

Answering these questions will make it easier for you to create quality campaigns that appeals to your target audience. Your buyer persona should be worked on frequently or refined when market opportunities arise.

3. Map out your media & content strategy

Building a media strategy takes the longest time in this process and may at times require an expert or agency to detail all the different tactics. This is about building a clear strategy based on what and how you want to achieve it. There are templates available online that can help you develop a digital marketing and content strategy. It’s also advisable to use the GSOT strategy framework which stands for goals, strategies, objectives and tactics which will help you align your plan with the goals. Your content calendar needs to be planned and reviewed monthly to monitor progress.

4. Set up lead generation platforms & tactics

Once you know the content required, you need to choose the channels that are most likely to give you the best results. Consider all potential marketing channels, tools and tactics that you could use. Then think about how each channel contributes to meeting your goals.

There are lots of different digital channels available. The most popular include web blog posts, email marketing newsletters, social media marketing, search engine optimisation or paid media. I always advise my clients to consider using more than one channel and to integrate digital and traditional media for optimum success.

5. Set key performance indicators

Finally, it is important to track all marketing campaigns. You will need to develop set key performance indicators (KPIs), which you will monitor frequently. Tracking ROI on sales is important for a lot of business owners, you need to track the overall sales revenue since the campaign started against all campaigns. This will also show you which parts of your campaign are successful and which are not. Each activity that you invest in should have a clear KPI, which is your measure of success, then set monthly benchmarks that clearly indicate what needs to be achieved.

Digital marketing tactics and trends are ever changing, something that worked last year may require tweaking to work today. When planning, take some time to make sure that you are using best practices, you don’t have to create a set plan and stick to it. If a plan isn’t delivering results pause and try new creative tactics until you get consistent results. The key to growing your results is to build a clear plan and stay focused.

T: +27 (0)31 307 1988 /+27 (0)81 246 5781


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