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How to Build an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy in 2021


With the majority of content consumption taking place online, Digital Marketing has become a necessity for all businesses. Developing a strong digital marketing strategy is the key to creating a lucrative business.

In this blog, we have penned down everything you need to know about building an effective digital marketing strategy for your business in 2021 in just 5 steps.

Before we dive into the steps, it is important to understand a digital marketing strategy and the importance of creating one.

What is a digital marketing strategy? Why is it important?

A digital marketing strategy is a set of planned actions performed online using online marketing. tools to accomplish specific business objectives.

Did you know that around 60% of the global population use the internet and 30% of consumers interact with brands through their social media channels?

Creating a well-defined digital marketing strategy helps you in saving time and money on marketing campaigns and ensures efficient use of your resources. It can offer you critical information about consumer behaviour and target specific audiences.

It can also help in long-term decision making, measure your brand’s performance, and ensure continuous marketing growth. A comprehensive training in digital marketing can be extremely beneficial and can help you master different marketing techniques and tools in-depth.

Let’s now look at the steps to building an effective digital marketing strategy.

Steps to Build a Digital Marketing Strategy

1. Set Goals

Before strategizing, one must decide what they want to achieve with the marketing strategy. Goals are set in line with your business objectives. Setting goals will help you take specific steps and enable you to understand each one in detail.

An effective way to set goals is using the SMART criteria. It is a criterion that ensures your goals are achieved within a certain time frame.

The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Let’s discuss each one in-depth.

#1 Specific

For a goal to be effective, it has to be specific. When you set a goal, ask the following questions.

  • What needs to be achieved?
  • What steps are to be taken to achieve the objective?
  • Who is responsible for the actions?

#2 Measurable

Your goal needs to be quantifiable. Measuring the goals makes it easier to track your progress and lets you know when the goal has been achieved.

For example, an entrepreneur wants to increase sales by 10% in the next month.

#3 Achievable

Your goal needs to be within your reach. To put it simply, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Is the goal attainable?
  • Can the team accomplish it?
  • Is it feasible to carry on?

#4 Relevant

You need to evaluate how and why the goal is helping your organization. Link the goal with long term business goals and grasp the larger picture to check the relevancy of your goal.

#5 Time-Bound

The final component is that your goal needs to have a deadline. Set a realistic deadline for your goal and make sure to accomplish it within the time frame.

Source: What is SMART? Create SMART Goals? How-to Setup SMART Goals?

2. Understand the Marketing Funnel

Understanding the basic know-how of the marketing funnel is the key to effectively creating a digital marketing strategy and accomplishing your goals.

A marketing funnel is a visual representation of the stages a person undergoes from the moment they discover your business to the moment they make a purchase.

The marketing funnel consists of 4 different stages. We will discuss each one of them in brief. The objective behind identifying each stage is to create a digital marketing strategy that will help you to push the potential customers from the top to the bottom of the marketing funnel.

The 4 stages of the marketing funnel are:

#1 Awareness:

The awareness stage also called the lead generation stage is the first stage of the funnel. This is the stage where people become interested in the product or service your business offers.

Awareness is spread through the different actions you take like marketing campaigns, events, blogging, webinars, direct mails, content on social media and more.

#2 Interest:

The second stage of the marketing funnel is Interest, also called the research stage. Having grabbed the prospect’s attention, they are interested in buying your product and considering learning more.

Keeping the audience engaged and interested by providing them with crafted content like social media posts, videos, FAQs, downloadable guides, Emails can help you push them to the next stage.

#3 Desire:

Desire is the third stage of the funnel. At this point, you need to show the prospect why they need the product that you are offering. Emails, free trials, demos, advertisements are great ways to push them into making a purchase.

#4 Action:

Action is the last stage. This is where the prospect takes an action, like purchasing the product or booking a free trial. Maintaining customer relations is an important aspect of any business. Hence, offering customers future discounts or coupon codes can encourage them to buy from you again.

Source: (

3. Create Buyer Personas and Locate your Customers on all Stages of the Marketing Funnel

A buyer persona is a detailed description of the people who represent your target audience, created by surveying and contacting a predefined target group.

Buyer personas help you to understand and define your target audience clearly, which enables you to determine where and how to market your products.

Target audiences can be defined by answering a few questions, which includes:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Education
  • Will they use your product?
  • Which media does your target turn to for information?
  • What kind of target audience can afford your product?
  • How can you reach your target audience?
  • How does your product help the target?

Tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Audience Insights, Hubspot can be helpful to answer these questions. A good understanding of your potential customers helps you to locate them on your marketing funnel. It enables you to segregate your customers into groups and determine the marketing channels that you are on.

4. Implement Guidelines to Reach Goals

Once you are clear about your potential customers, you need to implement several tactics that help you to reach your goal. You need to plan a different content marketing strategy and develop high-quality content for each channel that attracts different customers. Hootsuite is a useful tool to map out your content marketing strategy for a period of time.

You can use the following tactics to attract customers:

  • Create a content calendar that includes blog topic, publication date and keywords
  • Do your keyword research to improve your Search Engine Optimization. You can take up an online SEO course to learn how to do SEO effectively.
  • Write blogs using keywords. Include Call to Action and lead magnets in your blogs
  • Post regularly on all social media platforms
  • Share influencer’s content and promote other brands on your social media platforms to increase visibility and engagement
  • Offer downloadable content like e-books, guides, webinars to customers
Source: Content Marketing Strategy 

5. Track and Analyse Results

Now that your digital marketing strategy is up and running, you need to carefully evaluate how your strategy is working.

You can track your progress by understanding the following points:

  • Are the leads turning into conversions?
  • At what point are you losing your leads?
  • Find the place where people are dropping off
  • Which platform is generating the most leads?
  • Which platform is generating the least leads and how can you resolve it?

Mastering the Google Analytics tool can be extremely useful to measure your site’s performance. It provides valuable insights enabling you to track every action taken by the visitor on your website. You can learn Google Analytics to effectively measure site performance.

Hubspot, Hootsuite and Google Search Console are a few other tools that you can use to track and analyse the results of your digital marketing strategy.

Few Final Words

This was the ultimate guide to build an effective digital marketing strategy in just 5 steps.

Beginning to plan a digital marketing strategy can seem a bit overwhelming. However, take your time and frame out a strategy that works best for you.

An effective digital marketing strategy will help you attract the right customers, using the right content for your products.

We hope you enjoyed reading the blog! Will you be implementing the above steps while framing your digital marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments section below.


Author’s Bio

Karan Shah

Founder and CEO at IIDE

An ‘Edupreneur’ and the founder of IIDE – Indian Institute of Digital Education.

He is a passionate public speaker and teacher for over 10 years. He has trained over 1,00,000+ students and 25+ corporates in Digital Marketing via online and offline channels. He is a Harvard alumnus specialising in E-commerce. He is a TEDx speaker and is a visiting faculty at India’s top management institutes like the IIMs.

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