The digital space offers so many marketing opportunities, but to effectively leverage them requires a well-planned strategy.

The online space has created an abundance of methods that businesses can use to build their brands, generate leads, and increase their sales and customer base – but unless there is a digital strategy behind your digital marketing, your efforts can fall flat or, at worst, lead to confused or negative brand positioning.

Digital marketing refers to any form of marketing that is consumed on a computer or digital device. It takes in a wide range of marketing outputs, including websites, content creation, social media activity, paid advertising, email newsletters, search engine optimisation (SEO), and more.

The digital space offers so many marketing opportunities, but to effectively leverage them requires strategic digital marketing.

What is a digital strategy and why do you need one?

A digital marketing strategy is the plan that underpins all your online activity.

It’s a road map that has a destination – your desired outcome – and pulls in all your digital assets to get there.

A great digital strategy will increase brand awareness, and target customers at every stage of the buying cycle, from awareness to consideration, to purchase.

An effective digital marketing strategy will consider its audience and the best platforms to reach them, content that will deliver results, timings and execution.

The best digital marketing strategies are based on evidence of what has worked in the past as well as a detailed understanding of your customers and their behaviour.

Without a digital strategy you’re wandering aimlessly through the digital landscape, wasting time, money and resources on activity that has little impact and ultimately fails to achieve your marketing goals.

Here’s a top-level look at the steps involved in creating a digital marketing strategy:

1. Create a marketing plan

Digital marketing strategies sit within the overall marketing strategy, and should be one part of the marketing mix, which might take in other elements such as print, TV, billboards and radio.

It’s essential that the marketing strategy is created based on an understanding of market trends, your business offering and brand awareness and the buying behaviour of your customers – all of which should form your detailed marketing plan.

2. Set your goals

A marketing plan will have clear and measurable goals.

It might be to increase sales by a certain amount, grow the number of podcast subscribers, or sell a set number of tickets to an event.

Just like every road trip requires a destination, so too does every digital marketing strategy.

3. Create a content plan, identify key channels, measure results

The most visible side of your digital marketing plan is the content that is created to support it. Content is created to massage potential customers through the buying cycle.

You might produce video explainers to lay out an issue and how to resolve it; you might create how-to guides to assist customers to choose the best product; and you might run testimonials that cement you as being the best company to buy from.

The social media platform and digital assets you choose to run will depend on who uses what and how.

Regular testing and analysis will help you discover what is working best, what is flailing, and what you need to do to maximise your marketing results.

What are the benefits of a digital strategy?

The digital space is great for marketing. It’s cost effective and has the potential to reach a vast number of leads in real time.

It’s also the place where all your competitors are marketing, so it’s important that your digital strategy stands out from the crowd, establishes you as an industry leader, and clearly articulates your offering.

An effective digital strategy will ensure that every piece of your online activity supports your marketing objectives.

Once that’s happening, the possibilities are endless, and can lead to real, tangible bottom-line results.

Consult with the digital strategy experts

If you need a hand designing a winning digital strategy, then Assemblo can help.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne, that are industry leaders in developing and implementing digital marketing strategies.

To find out how we can help your business, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

Setting a realistic marketing budget is a vital step in growing your business, although many organisations still find the task overwhelming.

Organisations of all sizes struggle to find the sweet spot between investing too little or too much in their marketing activities.

Striking the wrong balance can lead to an under-resourced marketing strategy that fails to deliver actual business growth, or overspending on a plan that wastes money that could have been better spent elsewhere. 

Working out the size and shape of an effective marketing budget depends on what stage your company is at, as well as your business priorities.

While there is no reliable cookie-cutter model out there for setting a marketing budget, there are some factors to consider that can help you reach a figure that works for your business.

Setting a budget

The first thing to do is forecast your annual revenue for the coming year to determine how much to set aside for your marketing budget.

You should speak with your finance manager to get an estimate of your business’ gross revenue — a figure that will be based on revenues from previous years, plus potential variables for the year ahead.

The next step is to assess what stage your business is at.

Unlike established businesses, new organisations generally need to allocate a higher percentage of their revenue to marketing activities to grow brand awareness and compete with older, better-known players.

As a guide, start-ups should allocate between 12 and 20 per cent of their gross revenue to marketing, according to American digital strategist and author Ryan Flannagan.

As companies build up their brands and develop customer loyalty over time, they can adjust how much of their overall revenue they dedicate to marketing.

More established companies should spend between six and 12 per cent of their revenue to reinforce brand awareness and increase their reach.

Once you confirm a budget, you can then work out which marketing activities will work best for your business, whether it’s through branding, social media, advertising, content or a website.

How does your marketing budget stack up?

Bare minimum (Bronze)

New businesses: <12% of gross revenue.

Established businesses: <6% of gross revenue.

Branding: Online marketplaces like 99Designs.

Website: Do-it-yourself website builders like Squarespace or Wix.

Social media: Do it yourself or bring in an intern.

Advertising: Tell your friends and family, network, hand out home-made flyers.

Content: Create it yourself.

Good (Silver)

New businesses: 12% – 16% of gross revenue.

Established businesses: 6% – 9% of gross revenue.

Branding: An agency or freelancer can work with you to develop logos, business cards, brochures etc.

Website: An off-the-shelf website template, modified by an agency or freelancer, to include your branding, simple reporting capabilities and search engine optimisation (SEO).

Social media: An agency or in-house team can create regular posts, monitor accounts and respond to customers.

Advertising: An ad hoc approach to print and press advertising, tradeshows, direct mail, email newsletters, digital and social media ads etc.

Content: An agency can work with your business to produce articles, photography and simple videos.

Best (Gold)

New businesses: 16% – 20% of gross revenue.

Established businesses: 9% – 12% of gross revenue.

Branding: Undertake a branding workshop with an agency to determine demographics and psychographics for your buying audience. Research your audience, competitors and marketplace. Develop a holistic approach to branding, covering all customer touchpoints.

Website: A highly-effective website with detailed reporting, integration with a CRM and marketing automation tools, with a focus on user experience and conversions, and supported by SEO.

Social media: A social media strategy that fully integrates with business goals, advertising campaigns and branding. Tailored content is created for use on several social media platforms, comprehensive monitoring and reporting, with social media advertising to increase reach.

Advertising: Develop a 12-month marketing calendar to meet real business objectives. Run regular activities as well as bigger campaigns that support key promotions. Detailed reporting will measure campaigns against KPIs to inform and improve future advertising.

Content: Develop a strategic content marketing plan to meet business objectives, and create a mix of written articles, videos, photography, infographics, podcasts, print products etc.

Review and renew

Just like you monitor the effectiveness of your marketing activity, you should review your marketing budget periodically.

Businesses will benefit from adapting their budgets during different stages, whether it’s increasing spend during growth phases or consolidating activities to cut costs.

The most important point is to avoid halting your marketing activities altogether.

When you put the brakes on a marketing strategy, it compromises your data and undermines insights like where your marketing is working best.

The next step

If you’re still not sure how much to spend, you should seek advice from an expert.

A reputable agency can help you land on a figure that’s right for your business rather than overselling a strategy that you cannot afford.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne, offering a range of expertise with a focus on results-driven strategies to help businesses grow.

Assemblo can help with a single aspect of your marketing plan or oversee an entire strategy and act like an outsourced marketing department.

To find out how we can help your business grow, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or drop us a note via our contact form below.

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