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Putting the Digital Strategy Puzzle Together

Brandon Evans October 18, 2017

by Brandon Evans

When I was just a little guy, I would sit at our kitchen table with my Grandma as she dumped a 1000-piece puzzle onto the table. My eyes would widen looking at all the pieces spread across the table, and my brain would scream: “THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE.” I also remember her telling me, “Just start putting it together one piece at a time.”

My grandma is always right, so that’s what I did. I would put the puzzle together piece by piece. Before I knew it, I was staring at Mount Rushmore, The Eiffel Tower, or someplace I could only dream of visiting at that age.

Grandma loved puzzles–or maybe just spending time with her grandson. Either way, the metaphor I’m laying on here is that my tradition of doing puzzles with my grandma shaped my ability to break down the pieces of a challenging project and put them together in the most effective way.

Skip forward about fifteen years–I’m now a digital strategist here at Quantifi. The same lessons I learned from Grandma hold true when creating a digital strategy for social advertising. When creating an ad campaign, the variables and questions can feel just like a thousand-piece puzzle. What’s my budget? How do I get content in front of the right people? Should I use Facebook and Instagram? What about Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, or Reddit?

Grandma had the secret sauce. She knew like any other puzzle in life, all you have to do is break a problem into small pieces, then put them together again in a way that creates a solution. Let’s lay out Gram’s knowledge and the first pieces to your digital strategy puzzle.

Scoring Goals

Beginning with specific campaign goals might seem simple, but it’s one of the most overlooked steps in digital advertising. What type of goals, you may be asking? Well, that depends on the stage of your company’s product or service.

Goals can include engagement numbers, purchase numbers, or form completions. Does your company host events, webinars, or sell things online? Setting goals should be one of your first steps to your strategy. Without goals, how will you measure success?

Set goals that are both challenging and achievable. Most importantly, your goals must be tied to your overall business objectives.

What Data Tells Us

Being a “data-driven marketer” is a cliché term in our industry, but one that still holds some weight. By stitching together past knowledge and experiences, you can analyze your previous social advertising efforts to determine what has worked and what hasn’t.

Gather data like demographic information and customer interests to gain insights and to form your strategy. Obtain data about the influencers or decision-makers–the people who give the all-important “yes”–as well as the people holding the proverbial checkbook that will provide you with the money for your product or service. All of this information can also help you plan future campaigns with a higher degree of certainty.

Once you have collected all the pertinent data, it’s time to reverse-engineer your path forward so you can hit your goals and assemble the first pieces of the puzzle.

Building a Strategy

There is an old adage: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” I hate this saying because, well, who the hell would eat an elephant? But, it’s a useful philosophy for digital strategy.

When taking that first bite, we like to reverse-engineer it or break down the elements of your plan from your goal all the way to your first step. These components can include budget, creative, targeting, audience, and channel.

Say you are holding an event and want people to buy pre-sale tickets so you can better estimate the turnout. You’ve got your total digital advertising budget, but you also need to know which audiences and channels should take priority. You’re also unsure what creative will work best, so you want to do some initial testing to see what resonates with your audience.

You see how this can get complicated–but through testing and breaking down the pieces of the puzzle, you can reach your end goal and sell those tickets.
Social advertising is always putting a puzzle together, one that success comes with being creative, and innovative with your strategy and testing. If you need help putting together the puzzle, schedule a demo with us today. We’re damn good at puzzles.