How to Build a Winning Digital Marketing Strategy from Scratch


May 2024
Digital Marketing Strategy

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the significance of a robust digital marketing strategy cannot be overstated. As businesses strive to outpace competitors and resonate with an increasingly digital-savvy customer base, understanding and implementing a sound digital marketing strategy becomes paramount.

What is a  digital marketing strategy?

A digital marketing strategy is a plan that helps your business achieve specific digital goals through carefully selected online marketing channels such as paid, earned, and owned media. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, boosting sales, or building customer loyalty, a well-crafted strategy is the roadmap to success in the digital world.

But why start from scratch? 

For one, the digital marketplace is constantly changing—technologies evolve, consumer behaviors shift, and new platforms emerge. A fresh strategy ensures that your marketing efforts are aligned with the latest trends and technologies, providing a clear focus and direction amidst the digital chaos.

Furthermore, starting from scratch allows you to rethink old assumptions, explore new opportunities, and tailor your approach to meet the unique needs of your current audience. It’s about laying a foundation that’s not only responsive to the current digital climate but also flexible enough to adapt as new trends and tools become available.

So, let’s embark on this journey to build your digital marketing strategy from the ground up, ensuring it’s structured, targeted, and effective. 

The Importance of a Solid Digital Marketing Foundation

A successful digital marketing strategy relies on a solid foundation that involves a deep understanding of your market, competitive environment, and target audience. This foundation allows businesses to make informed strategic decisions and uncover opportunities for differentiation and targeted marketing efforts.

Key Components:

Data Analytics: Utilizing tools like Google Analytics, businesses can dive into user behavior, traffic sources, and engagement metrics to gain valuable insights. This data helps in refining marketing strategies by understanding customer preferences and behaviors, thus enabling targeted and effective marketing initiatives.

Market and Competitive Analysis: Tools like SEMrush provide comprehensive insights into competitors’ strategies, keyword usage, and backlink profiles. Analyzing these elements helps businesses understand their market position and identify both competitive threats and opportunities. This analysis is crucial for staying ahead in the market by adapting strategies based on real-time industry trends and competitor moves.

Setting Strategic Goals

Defining clear, measurable, and attainable goals is crucial. These goals should align with your overall business objectives and serve as a roadmap for your digital marketing efforts. Employ the SMART criteria—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound—to ensure your goals are well-defined.

Examples of Digital Marketing Goals:

  • Increase organic traffic by 25% within six months.
  • Boost conversion rates by 15% through enhanced landing pages and targeted campaigns.

Core Elements of Digital Marketing Strategy

With a solid understanding and groundwork laid out, it’s time to delve into the core elements that constitute a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. These elements are the tactical tools through which you will communicate with your audience, represent your brand online, and ultimately achieve your digital marketing objectives.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is a critical component of any digital marketing strategy, aiming to increase your website’s visibility and organic search rankings. This involves optimizing your website content with relevant keywords, improving site architecture, and building quality backlinks. Remember, SEO is not just about driving traffic but also about improving user experience and site usability.

Content Marketing

Content is king in the realm of digital marketing. Effective content marketing involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. 

The types of content can range from blog posts and videos to infographics and podcasts, each serving a specific purpose in your marketing funnel.Develop a content strategy that addresses your audience’s pain points, answers their questions, and provides value.  Leverage various channels like social media, email newsletters, and other platforms to distribute your content to the widest possible audience.

Social Media Marketing

Social media offers a direct pathway to engage with customers, gather feedback, and push content. Each platform serves a different demographic, so understanding where your target audience spends their time is crucial.

Email Marketing

Email marketing remains one of the most effective digital marketing strategies due to its direct approach and personalization capabilities. It involves sending tailored messages to segmented audience lists, ensuring that the content is relevant to each recipient. Email outreach enhances this strategy by actively reaching out to potential customers, fostering engagement, and building relationships.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is an excellent way to boost your visibility and reach a larger audience quickly. This can include PPC campaigns, display ads, and social media ads.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing focuses on using leaders in your market segment to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Partnering with influencers can enhance brand credibility and extend your reach.

By integrating these core elements into your digital marketing strategy, you can create a cohesive and dynamic approach that leverages multiple channels and tactics to achieve your marketing goals.

Developing and Understanding Your Audience

The core of an effective digital marketing strategy is understanding your target audience. Knowing who your customers are, what they need, and how they engage with digital content is crucial for crafting resonant and converting messages and campaigns. 

By creating detailed buyer personas based on real data about demographics, behaviors, and preferences, marketers can tailor content and campaigns more precisely to different customer groups. 

This process involves collecting data through surveys, interviews, and tools like Google Analytics to gain insights into the audience’s online behavior and preferences.

Further, mapping the customer journey—from initial awareness to loyalty—reveals key touchpoints and stages that influence consumer decisions. This process helps guide the optimization of interactions, enhancing the customer experience and driving conversions.

Utilizing behavioral analytics and A/B testing helps marketers understand and predict customer behaviors, refining tactics to ensure they resonate well with the target audience. This structured approach not only boosts the effectiveness of marketing efforts but also ensures efficient resource use, maximizing return on investment.

Strategic Planning Using the SOSTAC Model

Strategic planning is crucial for the success of any digital marketing strategy. One effective framework for this purpose is the SOSTAC model, developed by PR Smith. It stands for Situation, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Action, and Control. This model provides a clear structure for organizing your strategy, ensuring all aspects of your digital marketing efforts are thoroughly planned and aligned with your business goals.

Situation Analysis: Where Are You Now?

Start with a situation analysis to assess where your business currently stands in the digital landscape. This includes evaluating your existing digital assets (website, social media, email lists), current performance metrics (traffic, engagement rates, conversion rates), and understanding your market environment.

  • Competitive Analysis: Analyze your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. What are they doing well? Where are the gaps that you can exploit?
  • Market Trends: Stay updated with the latest digital marketing trends. How can these trends impact your strategy?

Objectives: What Do You Want to Achieve?

Next, define clear, measurable objectives for your digital marketing strategy. These should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Objectives could range from increasing brand awareness and improving engagement to boosting sales or growing your email list.

  • Example Objective: Increase website traffic by 30% within the next six months through SEO and content marketing strategies.

Strategy: How Do You Get There?

Your strategy outlines how you plan to achieve your objectives. This involves deciding on the key themes and messages that will resonate with your target audience, as well as the overall approach for reaching them.

  • Content Strategy: Develop a content strategy that aligns with your objectives, focusing on themes that will engage your target personas.
  • Channel Strategy: Determine which digital channels are most effective for reaching your audience. Will you focus more on organic social media, paid ads, or a combination of both?

Tactics: What Tools Will You Use?

Tactics are the specific actions and tools you will use to implement your strategy. This includes the types of content you will create, the social media platforms you will use, and any other digital marketing tools.

  • Content Types: Decide on the types of content you will create, such as blogs, videos, infographics, and podcasts.
  • Technology Stack: Identify the marketing technology tools that will support your tactics, such as SEO tools, content management systems, and analytics platforms.

Action: The Implementation Plan

The action phase involves the actual implementation of your tactics. This includes creating a timeline, assigning responsibilities, and setting up processes to ensure smooth execution of your digital marketing activities.

  • Project Management: Use project management tools like Trello or Asana to keep track of tasks, deadlines, and responsibilities.
  • Content Calendar: Develop a content calendar that outlines when and where each piece of content will be published.

Control: Measuring and Optimizing

The final phase of the SOSTAC model involves controlling and measuring the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy. This includes setting up key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success and regularly reviewing and adjusting your strategy based on performance data.

  • KPIs: Establish KPIs that align with your objectives, such as conversion rates, click-through rates, or engagement rates.
  • Analytics Review: Regularly review analytics to understand what is working and what isn’t. Use this data to refine your tactics and improve your overall strategy.

By following the SOSTAC model, you can ensure that your digital marketing strategy is comprehensive, structured, and capable of achieving your business goals. 

This structured approach lays the groundwork for a culture of continuous improvement—essential in the dynamic field of digital marketing. 

Encourage your team to embrace experimentation and feedback, regularly update their skills, and utilize A/B testing to refine strategies and discover what truly resonates with your audience. This cycle of learning and adapting is key to staying competitive and innovative in your marketing efforts.


Building a winning digital marketing strategy from scratch  involves careful planning, execution, and ongoing management. By understanding your market, setting clear goals, planning your tactics, and adapting to new insights, you can develop a dynamic strategy that resonates with your target audience and drives measurable success for your business.