Strategic Marketing Guide: Your Complete Guide to Strategic Marketing

Strategic marketing campaigns are essential for businesses to reach their goals of increasing brand awareness and driving conversions. Without marketing, companies would cease to exist, because not only does marketing create brand visibility, it also drives sales.  

That’s why brands must invest considerable time, effort, and resources into creating a solid marketing plan that employs leading tactics to boost business. Strategic marketing can help enterprises of all sizes, and across industries, differentiate themselves from the competition and provide value to their audiences and stakeholders.

Let’s dive into what strategic marketing is, why it’s essential, what trends you need to incorporate, and how strategic marketing benefits businesses (when its executed in the right way!).

Critical Components of a Successful Strategic Marketing Plan

Strategic Marketing Planning

An effective strategic marketing plan will create brand awareness, generate leads, and ultimately convert qualified leads into customers. But without the right components, your attempts to boost your business could go bust. That’s why you need to understand and incorporate the essential parts of a practical strategic marketing blueprint. 

  • Market Analysis – Collect and analyze data on your previous inbound and outbound (or more conventional) marketing efforts to determine the successes and failures of those strategies. 
  • Organizational Marketing Goals – Make sure that your strategic marketing plan aligns with your organization’s values so that you can promote a more consistent brand image and voice. 
  • Target Audience – Your strategy should cater to your exact target audience. Research and create buyer personas to target appropriately, gather feedback, address your ideal customers’ wants, needs, and pain points. 
  • Advertising Strategy – Understand the right platforms and methods to market your products or services to ensure the maximum effectiveness of your plan. 
  • Monitoring and Measuring – You have to know if your strategic marketing plan is working. That happens by measuring the results. Monitor KPIs and adjust your approaches when efforts aren’t quite hitting the mark. 

Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing: Determining What Works With Your Brand

Strategic Marketing Presentation

There’s intense competition in the marketplace, and your prospects see thousands of advertising messages every day. It can be difficult for businesses to stand out and get the attention of their target audience – but it isn’t impossible.

Marketers have two distinct pathways through which they can communicate their brand’s message: inbound marketing and outbound marketing.

Outbound marketing is a traditional approach to pushing out your product’s information to prospects, hoping that it will reach the right audience and result in sales. It does not necessarily involve technology, but it strives to create brand awareness in very little time. This might happen through conventional advertising, such as print ads or billboards. 

On the other hand, inbound marketing works subtly to gain the interest of a prospect. It educates buyers and provides them value–instead of blatantly promoting products in a sea of messages. This approach prioritizes the customer’s best interests, and businesses use it to build stronger relationships with their existing and prospective customers.

Both approaches have their benefits, but ultimately, you’ll need to choose the best marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals.

The Importance of Advertising of Your Strategic Marketing Plan

Team Meeting

A successful strategic marketing plan includes an effective advertising strategy.

Whether you choose to use digital advertising approaches or more conventional advertising, or a blend of both, what matters most is how audiences are most likely to respond. 

When creating your brand’s advertising strategy, your company’s values must be kept in mind. If it’s not on brand, your audiences definitely won’t respond. After that, determine your advertising campaign budget, since that directly influences the channels you’ll use to promote your brand.

Additionally, your budget will also determine the frequency of your ads to extract maximum ROI.

The main goal of your advertising strategy should be to gain as much exposure as possible to your target audience. The more potential customers who see your brand’s message, the more leads you will generate.

Should You DIY Inbound Marketing of Hire an Agency?

Businesses are increasingly adopting inbound marketing strategies. But it can be difficult for managers to decide if they should have an in-house inbound marketing team or hire an agency to execute their campaigns.

Our take: You specialize in what you do for a reason. Keep doing what you’re great at and leave your marketing to the experts

Game-Changing Strategies For Content Marketing

Content Marketing

Content marketing no longer remains an option for businesses. High-quality, original content has become a necessity for brands that want to thrive in the digital space. Content marketing has the power to increase brand awareness, attract organic traffic to your websites, and generate more leads. 

The formula for a successful content marketing campaign is to post quality, consistent content through blogs, articles, social media posts, and videos or podcasts that are niche-specific and targets a distinct audience. Then, your content should be promoted through social media channels, digital advertising, and e-newsletters to make sure it’s being read and seen.

How to Calculate the ROI of Your Strategic Marketing Campaign

Calculating

If you do not measure your ROI, you don’t have a good sense of whether your strategic marketing is working. Start the process by clarifying your goals and streamlining your processes; then ensure a successful implementation and execution of your strategic marketing plan. This process is crucial to evaluate its effectiveness through campaign ROI.

Then, you can evaluate your strategic marketing campaign ROI through a simple formula. 

(Sales Growth – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost = ROI

Add up all the expenditures and revenues for the marketing team, internal expenses, fees, and any other expenses incurred during marketing. Now subtract this number from the sales that occurred due to these marketing efforts.

There are other formulas to calculate marketing ROI. Still, those depend on specific strategic aims of the marketing campaign, such as calculating the increase in sales or determining the value of each customer’s relationship with your business.

Give Inbound Marketing a Chance – Here’s Why!

Working on a campaign

Inbound marketing helps brands enhance their digital footprint by presenting products and services to customers who are already looking for similar offers.

Inbound marketing matters for businesses. Here’s why. 

  • Inbound Marketing is Cost-Effective. Writing and promoting several SEO-optimized blog posts can be comparatively cheaper than a billboard ad. Research suggests that inbound marketing costs 60% less than outbound marketing methods!
  • Inbound Marketing enhances your company’s reputation. Inbound marketing leverages different mediums to educate new and existing customers on why they need your particular product or service.
  • Inbound Marketing guides leads through the sales funnel. Inbound marketing can help expedite and simplify the decision-making process for a potential customer, making it easier for them to ‘buy now’ or for you to follow up.
  • Inbound Marketing is relevant. Inbound marketing attracts customers by providing them appropriate, timely, relevant, and informative content–rather than bombarding them with unsolicited advertisements. 
  • Inbound marketing offers better analytics. You can effectively analyze the results of your inbound marketing campaigns and apply that data to help you determine your next strategy. 

The Elements of Digital Marketing 

Analytics

Digital marketing is a form of strategic marketing that helps businesses reach their target audience through mediums that are more effective and impactful than traditional marketing. If your company does not have a digital marketing strategy in place, you are missing out on a broad audience base.

You can take advantage of digital marketing to maximize marketing efforts through the following approaches:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Search engine marketing (SEM)
  • Email marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing (SMM)
  • Mobile marketing
  • Pay-per-click advertising

A digital marketing strategy that encompasses some or all of these tactics all is the ultimate way to effectively promote your brand’s products and services to a wide range of audiences.

6 Types of Content to Drive Conversions

Podcasting

Content marketing is possibly the most effective digital marketing strategy for businesses. There are six main types of content marketing that you can use to engage your targeted audience and boost your brand’s image:

  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • eBooks
  • Checklists
  • Podcasts (and then consider breaking up podcasts into a series of written articles!)

By using each of these formats, or by repurposing content across these formats in different ways, you can engage leads and boost online activity or sales for your business.

Why SEO and Content Marketing are a Perfect Match

No matter how informative and engaging your blogs are, new customers won’t be able to find you unless your content is ranking on Google. That’s why it is crucial to optimize your content for search engines with appropriate SEO tactics. The only way to attract leads is by leveraging the power of SEO for your website.

SEO and content marketing work hand-in-hand to enhance the effectiveness of your digital market campaigns. Here’s what you can expect. 

  • Improved user experience – Content that is easy to understand, organized, and SEO-optimized assists in converting quality leads.
  • A better understanding of the audience – When you optimize your content for search engines, you are also inevitably understanding how your audience searches for you online. Figure out what pain points you need to target, and you’ll have an extremely effective content marketing campaign.
  • Quality content – The combination of powerfully written content and proper SEO can help your audience access content they will appreciate.

While there is no denying the benefits, it is also important to remember that you won’t see the results of your SEO and content integration strategy overnight. Be consistent, continually refine your SEO tactics and content creation, and also keep up-to-date with the latest trends to get the most from this strategy.

Woman on Computer

How Can Inbound Marketing Help Your Business?

Businesses are deviating from traditional marketing tactics to inbound marketing since it helps them form long-term, mutually-beneficial relationships with their prospects.

But that’s not all–there are numerous benefits of inbound marketing, including:

  • Value for money – It is less expensive than other outbound strategies since it requires fewer resources to execute a marketing strategy. 
  • Better customer relationships – By providing quality content, inbound marketing helps to generate leads that convert to brand advocates.
  • Efficient analytics – It helps businesses track their marketing efforts so that they can devise an even better strategy in the future. 

Traditional approaches would at-best get them one-off sales, but inbound has the power to deliver loyal, repeat customers.

Digital Marketing Tips, Tricks, and Trends

Digital marketing can be overwhelming for businesses that are turning to it now, after working with more traditional methods for decades. Better late than never, because it is essential to embrace these new tools and strategies if you want to gain an advantage over your competitors.

These are the top digital marketing trends that you can incorporate in your company’s marketing mix. 

  • Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality – Enable customers to inspect and ‘test-drive’ the product before the actual purchase.
  • Voice search optimization – Allow customers user-friendly access to products, services, and your website by speaking into their voice devices.
  • Shoppable posts – Help your customers buy a product directly through social media posts featuring the product’s picture, price tag, and a click-through button.
Mobile Testing

Streamline your digital marketing processes with these tips:

  • Produce personalized advertisements – Tailor your ads to align with a defined geographical area, age, sex, and other demographics. Remember, people like to buy when ads are targeted to their specific personality traits or preferences. 
  • Target Gen Z – Gen Z has the purchasing power and the ability to make your business a success. Show them how your brand aligns with their values! 
  • Video Integration – Videos relay your brand messages, and they also help you highlight the most promising features in a way that remains etched into the mind of your target consumer.

How to Create a Budget Plan for Strategic Marketing

Budgeting

To budget for your strategic marketing efforts, you need to consider all the costs for every marketing effort you plan on implementing. Here are some ways to maximize the budget for your strategic marketing efforts. 

  • Use social media to streamline your budget – Social media is a cost-effective method of marketing that can add real value to your campaigns, all the while maximizing your budget.
  • Recycle your marketing campaigns – Instead of spending money on creating new promotions, you can repurpose your previous successful strategic marketing campaigns. Reuse what worked and add to it for maximum success. 
  • Use email marketing – Email marketing is more cost-effective and helps generates more ROI than direct mail.
  • Encourage word-of-mouth marketing – Encourage your customers to share their love for your brand on social media to create engagement, which attracts new leads.
  • Create quality content – To increase your brand’s visibility, you need to create high-quality content through blogs and social media, which costs less than traditional marketing.

Telling Your Brand Story Through Content Marketing

Stories help customers to relate to a brand, and when it comes to strategic marketing, businesses are maximizing on this opportunity to create content marketing campaigns that, ultimately, convert customers.

Content marketing is, by far, the best opportunity to write a captivating brand story that aligns with your customers’ values and touches their lives in meaningful ways. 

Leverage different content marketing platforms and keep the following elements in mind when creating an engaging brand story. 

  • Prioritize audience preferences – Research what your target audience wants to read, and then convey your brand message to solve their problems effectively. 
  • Purposeful messaging – Your story must have a purpose behind it to show your audience that you value their time and attention. 
  • Include visual content – People process images faster than text, so by incorporating visual aids in your content marketing strategy, you can increase customer interaction with your brand. 
  • Incorporate videos – Use videos to tell your brand story and show your customers that are more than a business. 
  • Deliver authentic content – The digital marketplace is saturated with so many brands, so your business must create trustworthy and reliable marketing messages to reach out to your target audiences. 

The Most Common Strategic Marketing Problems–and Their Solutions

Team Meeting

The road to an effective strategic marketing strategy is full of challenges that can derail your efforts if ignored. These marketing problems include generating new leads, limitations of a marketing budget, attracting the wrong customer base, intense competition, or mixing your marketing approach.

But these difficulties can be diminished by precise strategic marketing solutions that involve improving the quality and reach of your content to grow and nurture leads.

It’s also a good idea to use a combination of outbound and inbound marketing campaigns to balance the budget. Creating a specific buyer persona and appealing to the individual needs of a customer will also help you solve these marketing problems.

Creating a Strategic Marketing Approach For 2020

Here are some of the leading strategic marketing trends for 2020

  • Improved customer experiences – Buyers are tired of traditional marketing tactics, which is why they have learned to ignore the never-ending messaging. To gain their attention this year, create more personalized campaigns that deliver high-quality experiences. 
  • Creating purpose-driven brands – Customers prefer brands that create an emotional connection with them–instead of bombarding them with promotional offers.
  • Enhanced customer service – Responsive and efficient customer service will help in attracting and retaining your customers. 
  • AI integration – Artificial Intelligence provides a competitive edge. It saves costs, time, and generates higher ROI to create better customer experiences. 
  • Social media communities – Get micro-influencers to work with your brand instead of celebrity endorsements to build a more relatable connection with your customers. 

Converting Leads With Strategic Marketing

Strategic marketing plays a vital role in lead generation and conversions. Getting this right means leveraging social media marketing platforms to engage customers and build your brand’s credibility.

Google Ads is also an excellent way to re-engage visitors by introducing your product ads whenever they search online.

And, another useful tool is email marketing. Email marketing plays a vital role in lead generation and conversion. Send promotional emails with a call-to-action button that appeals to the customer to take immediate action.

Keep This in Mind When Choosing the Best Strategic Marketing Agency

Many brands are confused about how to choose the best strategic marketing agency. It is essential to understand that the right agency perfectly aligns with the values and culture of your company, and that is crucial for your brand’s success.

Before signing a contract, make sure that you can communicate your goals with them. Furthermore, you must check references provided by other clients they have worked with and assess if they are the right fit for your business and marketing goals.

The Role of Social Media in Your Strategic Marketing Plan

Social Media

Social media offers an effective platform for brands to build long-term relationships with their customers, enhance their brand’s image, and increase their credibility.

Social media marketing can also increase customer interaction, augmenting the effectiveness of business marketing strategies and boosting sales for a brand.

Strategic Marketing Trends – The Next Big Thing

When it comes to strategic marketing trends, the future belongs to businesses that are invested in creating more personalized and enhanced customer experiences. This should help them establish a genuine connection and reduces client acquisition costs.

Moreover, AI and automation technology will continue to further enhance the marketing tactics this year with increased improvements in customer retention strategy.

Creating a Balance Between Story-Telling and SEO in Content Marketing

By integrating SEO tactics in your content marketing strategy, you get to tell an engaging brand story that is visible to the customers who search for you online. It is imperative to strike a balance between the two to produce an effective and comprehensive content marketing strategy.

Avoid generating content that is keyword-loaded and bland. Instead, tell your brand story in a way that creates an emotional appeal with your customers to give you a competitive edge. Then, your content should reflect the values of the company and leave a lasting impact on customers’ minds.

To make these strategies work, you need to analyze and understand your audience and encourage them to engage with the brand.

Determining Your Strategic Marketing Goals

The success of a strategic marketing campaign requires achieving essential objectives. Here are some of the top strategic marketing goals to keep in mind. 

  • Increase in sales – Start working toward an increase in sales by increasing your brand’s credibility. 
  • Brand awareness – Promote your products and services to create awareness, which will drive more purchases and an increase in sales. 
  • Customer retention – A loyal customer base buys more from your business than new customers. To expand your business, you must deploy strategies to retain them. 
  • Web traffic – Increased traffic leads to the increased conversion rate of new leads. 
  • Conversion rate optimization – Improving the conversion rate through CRO programs help in enhancing a business’s revenue

Companies Executing Strategic Marketing Trends The Right Way

Team Meeting

Successful businesses utilize multiple marketing platforms to create a solid strategic marketing plan that actually works. Here are some brands that got it right:

  • Evernote, by leveraging customer stories as a content marketing strategy to engage with their audiences. 
  • Nike, by producing motivational videos as part of its strategic marketing plan. 
  • Ford, by creating opportunities for customer engagement through mobile marketing to increase their conversion rate. 
  • Pampers, by creating an emotional appeal for its consumer base through social media marketing. 

Expectations Vs. Realities in Strategic Marketing

Businesses need to realize that not every strategy works for everyone.

Most businesses expect to come up with innovative ideas quickly – they also believe that lead generation can happen automatically when they spread awareness about their products.

What they fail to realize is that no one can reap overnight results with an out-of-the-box idea or by generating vast amounts of content on all marketing platforms. It takes a strategy to ensure the success of a brand or business.

That’s why it is crucial to invest in customer-centric strategic marketing solutions to solve the problems of their businesses.

In a Nutshell

Strategic marketing helps businesses achieve their target revenues by enhancing customer experiences and ensuring consistency in their campaigns.

This definitive guide offers you in-depth guidance on how to wield the power of strategic marketing and use it to reach new audiences and boost your brand’s image. 

For more advice on creating an effective strategic marketing plan that gives you a competitive edge, download our free e-book,  Everything You Need to Know About Strategic Marketing. This free resource is full of expert, insider advice on everything you need to know about strategic marketing. Use our insight to plan for success and create a lasting impression on your audience. Download it now or reach out to C-leveled today!

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