I've been reaching out to entrepreneurs and asking them about their online strategy, and what I found is that many don't have one. That's not great if you consider how much time and energy businesses invest into digital marketing.

We all know how to post to social media and send an email. That's a no brainer. But as a business, we aren't here for the likes and reactions. We are here to do business, be our best selves and make money along the way. 

That's why you need an online strategy. It gives structure and purpose to all that writing, developing and posting. The goal of that strategy—to grow your business, revenue and impact.

So, where do we start?

First, you need to acknowledge that online marketing is vital for finding and keeping customers today and that if you don't do it and do it well, you can bet your competitors are, and that should light a fire under you.

The keywords here are, doing it well. To do digital marketing well, you need more than pithy quotes and lovely pictures. You will need an online strategy with clear objectives and goals that meet the needs of your business. And guess what, it doesn't need to be a lengthy report. Instead, what you need is an action plan that is brief, easy to follow and covers the following.

The power behind an online strategy.

An online strategy will establish clear objectives you need to achieve for your business and clear goals that will deliver results on those objectives. For example, an objective may be to increase revenue from online activities by 15% and to do that; you know you need 1500 customers subscribing to your email list per year.

Suddenly everything becomes clear because you have a goal that you can clearly measure. In this example, if you aren't getting 1500 subscriptions per year, then something about your digital marketing isn't working. That means you can double down and look at changing
different elements of your content strategy until you see positive results.

Get to know your customers.

You can't successfully market to your customers unless you know them. I mean, really know them. And you can't do that unless you reach out to your market and speak to them. So make it your mission to understand their desires and needs fully. If you do, all your marketing will sound like you are talking directly to your customer.

Note: As you talk to your customers, you may find your traditionally acquired customer has needs different from your online customers. That will also factor into how you approach your online and traditional marketing strategies.

Research your competitors.

You have to know who your competitors are and what they are doing. If they are successfully marketing to their customers online, what are they doing right? What are they doing differently to you? If you don't understand what your competitors are up to, they will eat you alive.

Whip out a spreadsheet, take note of everything you can find out about your competitors, and compare your service or products to theirs. At the same time, keep an eye out for a niche you can fill. If customers are asking for a green one with stripes delivered overnight, and no one else is doing it, and you can; then you have found a niche that you can promote like crazy. That niche will become your digital marketing super power. 

Read more: Do you understand the power of a niche?

Review your messaging.

After all that research, you are ready to look at whether your current messaging is effective or whether it's time to update. Is the language correct for your market? Does it clearly say to your market exactly what you do and how you can help them?

Once you understand your niche, customer's needs, and what platforms they hang out on, you can adapt your message to make it seem like you are talking directly to them. That kind of clarity will increase your engagement and their desire to subscribe to your email list and hear more from your company.

The power of email.

Most of us tend to focus on increasing revenue, but that only accounts for a small percentage of the interest in your business. Customers purchasing from you are the hot leads. You've earned their trust, solved their problem and they are on board. You also need to have a strategy for your warm and cold leads.

You spent time and money attracting those warm leads, so you will want to find a way to keep them interested until you say something or they see something that makes them want to purchase from you. And that's where your email funnel comes into play. Through emails, you can keep sending warm leads information that is useful to them until they are ready to make a purchase.

Don't forget your keyword research.

To rank on search engines, you will want to do some extensive keyword research. Keywords should form the core of your business. To find out more about keywords, head over to these blogs:

Can you now see why it's called an online strategy?

An online strategy incorporates a strategy for search engines, social media, and email funnels and drives your digital marketing. Not having one is like driving a car blind. You may feel that the car is moving, but you have no idea where you are going and if you have arrived. And don't get me started about the analogy of driving off a cliff. 

Want to develop an online strategy, but feel overwhelmed?

I built a step-by-step program that will show you how to develop an online strategy for your business.

It's a jam-packed masterclass explicitly built to give you everything you need to bring clarity and purpose to your digital marketing.

If this sounds like a solution you need, let's hop on a call to see if your business is a good fit. 

Antonia Grimard

About the author

Hi, I'm Antonia, and I know that through a compelling business strategy and effective messaging, you can inspire people to take action to buy your product or invest in your idea. So getting it right is crucial. My job is to powerfully communicate who you are to your customers, employees and equity partners through a clear business vision.

Whether your business vision includes traditional or digital marketing, I will ensure your message is compelling and clear.