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The importance of creating a long-term digital strategy

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Long term digital marketing strategy

When it comes to shaping your digital identity and presence, there is a need for the creation of a thoroughly researched strategy before diving in and creating content for your digital channels.

Without a strategy in place, it's difficult to gain a full understanding of exactly what you're working towards. It's important to have done your research in order to establish important aspects of your marketing plan, such as getting to know your target audience, what you're hoping to achieve, the steps you need to take to achieve your long-term goals, etc.

Get to know yourself

If you dive straight in without a clear strategy in place you'll essentially just be throwing any old content out there in the hope it might be well received, so it helps to have a clear understanding of exactly how you want to be seen as a brand. It sounds obvious, but we've seen instances in the past of businesses being unsure of exactly what they're offering and what their brand ideals are. Without knowing this, it's impossible to shape an accurate brand identity. The whole point of establishing a digital presence is to showcase your offering online, so in order to do that, you need to know exactly who you are, what you offer, and who you want to reach.

Keep your friends close...

Without any pre-planning how will you know exactly who your target audience is? How they behave online? What grabs their attention? Any content should be created with your target audience in mind, so it's hugely important to have put the time into getting to know how they tick before trying to reach them. We explore how to target your audience in our 'Make sure you're targeting the right users' blog post...

...but keep your enemies closer

Competitor research plays a big part in the creation of a strategy. Whilst you don't want to become an exact replica of your competitors, it's likely you're targeting the same audience, so it's good to know what's working for them. By identifying what type of content generates a positive response from your audience, you can then use this to see recurring trends in your sector and use it as inspiration for your own content.

Patience is key

It's important to understand that much of what you want to achieve from your digital marketing won't be an overnight process. Establishing yourself online is a journey and you need to plan and prepare for that journey and any difficulties that may arise along the way.

Creating a strategy and setting yourself some short term KPI's along the way can help you to understand how successful your ongoing journey is. Creating regular reports and referring back to your strategy when looking at the results can give you a good indication of how to move forward to continue on your way to achieving your long-term goals.

Be flexible

If the results are suggesting that your strategy isn't particularly moving along as planned, don't be afraid to adapt this over time if you can see a way forward that isn't in line with the original plan. Having a strategy in place before you get started on your digital journey is important, but there's room to be flexible and adaptable.

It's best to use your strategy as a general guide to keep you on track and give you some direction to your content creation, but always keep track of your results so you can figure out what's working best for you to allow your business to move forward efficiently.

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