Why is an internet marketing strategy important?
Quite simply to improve the efficiency of your marketing efforts.
You should not see internet marketing as a separate system from regular marketing, all your marketing efforts work together. You might give your business card to somebody and then they google your name to find your website. Depending on whether they like what they see about you on the internet might be the deciding factor that causes this person to be a customer or not.
When you look at just a few people it is random what will convince them to be a client or not, but when the number of prospects finding you becomes a big number then it is easier to find out why are they choosing to do business with you. This is of course if you have feedback from those people.
How to get useful feedback from your target market
You can get this information from doing independent research or from finding other people's research. General information about what works and what does not work is everywhere on the internet. Marketing companies give this information away for free, you can also pay for this information if you want specific knowledge or deeper research.
Doing your own research
You can also conduct your own research and this is where the internet has so much potential, services like Google Analytics does most of the hard work for you but without knowledge about what all those numbers mean, it can be hard to understand who is visiting your website and what do they really want when they come to your website.
Finding out qualitative information
Qualitative information measures qualities rather than quantities. An example of quantities is how many people visit your website, an example of a quality is what do they think about your website. To get qualitative information you need to ask people questions, this can be done with short surveys or even asking questions in a blog article and leaving a comments section on the website.
Formulating a plan
A plan does not need to be too complex but it has to be realistic and based on real information. You should also review your plan from time to time to make sure your plan is working or not. Once again to know if your plan is working you need feedback. Their are many internet planning frameworks available online, the two that I am most familiar with is the SOSTAC Framework and the RACE framework. These frameworks are designed to be easy to use but also very practical.
Putting the plan into action
With a good plan you should be confident it will work so you will have no trouble motivating yourself to put it into action. If you are not confident then hiring a professional to design, overlook and implement your marketing strategy might be your best option. Before you spend lots of money and time on digital marketing please make sure it is a good option for your business. To do this you must start with some kind of research.
To help you understand more about what a marketing strategy is, I have included this video explaining the SOSTAC framework.