The Digital Marketing Success Roadmap ™

4 stages to launching & scaling a successful digital marketing program.

The “what” and the “why”

There’s no such thing as an overnight digital marketing success. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either overpromising or describing a one-in-a-million exception.

Achieving digital marketing success is like running a marathon, not a sprint. You need to prepare a long-term strategy that is sustainable, strategic, and results-oriented. According to Semrush, 80% of the most successful companies have a documented marketing strategy. In contrast, 52% of the least successful don’t have a strategy in place. Digital marketing success doesn’t happen by chance or magic. It takes a carefully considered roadmap on how you’re planning to go from Point A to Point B

Recommended strategy

The following strategy is what we use at LeadsPanda for a clear step-by-step roadmap to digital marketing success. It recognizes not only the action steps needed but also the problems and challenges marketers face in each stage.

This strategy is composed of four stages. The stages are distinguished by a different set of identifiers, digital marketing status, and action steps.

Phase 1. Striving

The seed stage

You may or may not be in this stage, but most small business owners and marketers who are not currently using any digital marketing strategy would most likely find themselves starting here. Maybe you’ve got the seeds of marketing ideas or have started dabbling in digital marketing, but aren’t getting the results you want.


NO TIME & NO RESULTS. Digital marketers are frustrated and overwhelmed at this stage. They know the importance of creating high-quality content in their overall marketing strategy, but they haven’t found the time to create content — and they don’t know where to start.

Digital marketing status

  • Digital marketers in the seed stage are getting 0 – 1,000 visitors to their website and blog per month.
  • They’re getting almost zero leads from their digital marketing efforts.
  • They have no marketing plan in place.
  • Content creation and publishing is inconsistent. They are most likely posting one or two blog posts per month, far below the ideal.

Action plan

There is nothing to be ashamed of if you’re in the seed stage of digital marketing. The important thing is that you recognize you need to start at the ground level — and know that you are not stuck in this stage.

To make progress, you need to take these steps:

  • Complete keyword and competitor research.
    If you’re in the seed stage, there’s a good chance you haven’t taken the necessary foundational steps of preparing content to deliver positive business results. This includes surveying the landscape and having an SEO strategy in place.

  • Create a content calendar.
    After looking at what your competitors are doing in terms of content marketing and compiling a list of high-volume and long-tail keywords you need to target, it’s time to come up with content ideas and organize them into a content calendar.
  • Implement your content calendar.
    Lastly, you need to follow the content calendar you created. Post regularly on your blog and social media.

    In short, your goal at this stage is to come up with a solid content marketing strategy and a content calendar to prompt you to publish content on a regular basis.

Phase 2. Sustaining

The sprout stage

Having a content marketing strategy and a content calendar are pretty basic elements of digital marketing. If you have both, but are not seeing the results you want, you might be in the sprout stage of the digital marketing success roadmap™. At this stage, your seeds are growing, and you’re starting to see some results. But, there’s still plenty of room for growth.


NO TIME, SOME RESULTS. You have an SEO strategy and content calendar in place, but you still don’t have enough time to create the content that you need. You’re seeing some results, which is enough to get you excited.

Digital marketing status

  • You’re getting some results, but they’re small and inconsistent.
  • The average number of monthly visitors to your blog or website is between 1,000 and 10,000.
  • You’re publishing consistently according to your content calendar.
  • However, you don’t have lead magnets in place and don’t have an email nurture sequence for new leads.

Action plan

To move past the sprout stage and move up to the next stage of the digital marketing success roadmap™, you need to do the following:

  • Build lead magnets and landing pages.
    Offer free content that people can download in exchange for their email addresses. Make sure these offers are on high-converting landing pages.

  • Create lead nurture autoresponders.
    You need to strike while the iron is hot. After subscribing, you need to have an automated email sequence featuring additional content that is sent to your new leads.

  • Manage guest posting and link building programs.
    You may be getting some traffic at this stage, but you can reach more of your target audience by having a guest posting strategy in place. You need to work towards getting backlinks from authority websites in your niche.

Phase 3. Growing

The plant stage

When you’re here, your sprout is starting to mature into a full-grown plant. Like a plant starting to flower or produce fruit, you’re seeing more positive results at this stage and regularly getting new leads from your lead magnets. However, you might not be converting these leads into actual paying customers. Your plant still has room for growth and development.


SOME TIME, MORE RESULTS. Since you’ve implemented some automation, you’re not as burdened to come up with new content. However, most of your content is educational in nature. You have no branded content, no PR outreach strategy, and no sales email sequence in place.

Digital marketing status

  • You’re getting significant traffic, anywhere between 10,000 and 100,000 monthly visitors.
  • You’re getting consistent and predictable results.
  • You have multiple lead magnets in place that are constantly generating new email subscribers.
  • However, you lack branded content, PR outreach, and you have no sales email sequence in place.

Action plan

The results you’re getting at this stage are already satisfying, but getting leads is not the end goal of digital marketing. Below are the steps you need to take to reach the last stage of the digital marketing success roadmap™:

  • Create branded content.
    This includes white papers and case studies that can solidify your authority and credibility in your niche. You need a content-driven sales autoresponder to convert leads into actual paying customers.

  • Do strategic PR outreach.
    Reach out to relevant journalists, influencers, or media outlets with the purpose of introducing your business, building relationships, and increasing brand awareness.

  • Employ paid promotions and establish metrics and systems.
    How will you know if your digital marketing efforts are successful, and how do you ensure your digital marketing machine is functioning well? This is where you set KPIs and create systems. Likewise, if you want to accelerate your digital marketing, you need to invest in cost-effective paid promotions.

Phase 4. Harvesting

The garden stage

This is the final stage of the digital marketing success roadmap™ and the pinnacle of where you want to be. You’ve sown your seeds and put in the work to grow your business. In this stage, you’re truly enjoying the fruits of your labor. Your digital marketing strategy is like a well-tended garden, producing measurable harvests for your business.


MORE TIME, MORE RESULTS. You’re generating high-quality leads consistently. You are no longer scrambling for time because you have efficient systems in place. You are regarded as an expert in your industry and you’re proud of your marketing and legacy.

Digital marketing status

  • Your website is getting upwards of 100,000 visitors per month.
  • You have scalable systems that allow you to expand your operations anytime.
  • You also have scalable metrics that you can use to measure your performance.

Action plan

You are already successful, but there are a few things you can do to build on your success and maintain your garden:

  • Build a solid team and maintain agency partnerships.
    To stay at this status, you must have a solid team with you, or you may need to supplement your digital marketing efforts by partnering with a third-party agency.

  • Partner with industry experts.
    If you want to remain the best, you have to partner with industry influencers and experts.

  • Regularly contribute to top industry publications.
    Contributing content to leading industry publications regularly will help you strengthen your thought leadership in your niche.

Complete the roadmap with help from LeadsPanda

Just like growing a real garden, moving from one stage of the roadmap to the next will take significant time and effort. Attempting this process on your own can take months, if not years. However, the results you’ll see will be so worthwhile. And partnering with LeadsPanda can help you supercharge the process, making it easy to get the results you need.