The World Wide Web is replete with how-to’s and professed miraculous tricks for amplifying your business’s online presence. These surface-level tips typically have two outcomes: ineffective results that discourage companies from investing in marketing, or a highly-publicized, cringeworthy #EpicFailure. And believe me, you do not want your brand to face the wrath of the internet post-marketing debacle. Many businesses overlook the importance of establishing a calculated marketing strategy – one in which there is a direct correlation between your company’s overarching goals and the ‘why’ behind the content you produce.

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Strategy Vs. Tactics

While integrating the latest innovative marketing tactics into your plan is valuable, your efforts will be futile without first crafting a strategic approach to your marketing endeavors. This requires laying the groundwork for your marketing campaigns through research and gaining an understanding of your target audience. Define your objectives and establish palpable answers to questions like, how can our business provide genuine help to our audience? What kind of value can be delivered to our audience that will prompt them to take action?

Your strategy is the vision that will guide every tweet, blog post, and marketing-related activity your business uses to create brand awareness. In comparison, a tactic refers to a single action, whether that be jumping on a trend or implementing a new algorithm. Your strategy is purposeful, piloting the company’s marketing efforts in connection with its mission statement, whereas a tactic defines how you will carry out individual initiatives. The two must intertwine with one another, otherwise, it will derail your marketing efforts.

For further clarification, let’s take a look at a specific scenario.

The Strategy: Distinguish ourselves as a leading consultant for website developers who are looking to increase their customer base.

The Tactics:
Devise content to distribute through industry-specific social platforms like Hacker News, HTML5Rocks, etc.
Create a compelling mailing list offer for visitors interacting with our website for the first time.
Deploy email marketing campaigns that are segmented by a developer’s geographical location and stage of their career to provide relevant content.

In the above example, you can see how the strategy is a broad, high-level representation of the company’s goal, while the subsequent tactics are the distinct methods that will be used to fulfill said goal. Without a clearly defined strategy, the above tactics would lack guidance, failing to a communicate a cohesive message.

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
– Sun Tzu

Additional Benefits
Tactics accompanied by a strategic mission will allow your business to focus on one initiative at a time rather than throwing irrelevant content into the black abyss of the World Wide Web. For evaluation purposes, implementing one campaign at a time will allow your company to analyze the results and determine the effectiveness of that specific tactic. Additionally, the execution of a medley of tactics can water down the efficacy of your efforts as your marketing will lack focus.

Final Thoughts
By being purposeful and using one tactic at a time, your business can develop an optimal process for increasing your digital presence and captivating your intended audience. Once this blueprint is designed, your company can repurpose content in the future, and even automate some of the distribution when launching new products or services.