How we build your strategic digital marketing process.
Let's talk about where your business is and where you want it to be. Having a complete, easy to follow digital marketing process is a big step forward.
If I asked you what you wanted to accomplish with digital marketing, you would probably say something like “I want more sales and customers.” But if I followed that up with the question, “Okay, how will you accomplish that?” Would you know how to respond?
Building a marketing plan starts with identifying what success looks like. Be specific. Instead of saying, I want more customers, does it make sense to say, I want 1,000 new customers by the end of the year?
Determine a duration.
How long will your strategic digital marketing plan be relevant?
Define your audience.
What does your ideal customer look like? Building client personas can help you understand your prospects better because they force you to look at your business from their perspective. If you are able to do this, you’ll see your company in a new way.
Your investment in online branding will be more focused and how your advertising dollars are spent will be more refined, and more likely to pay off.
Craft your message.
What are you, and your business, really good at? What sets you apart? When you can answer these questions, you have laid the groundwork for an effective Call to Action (CTA). This is a phrase or sentence that quickly and clearly conveys why your audience should engage you. It’s the first step to getting people through the door. You may not win a new client with your CTA alone, but you can lose one.
Research keywords … and your competition.
Keywords are words or phrases that you identify with your business. For example, if you have a local sporting goods store, “football equipment” might be one of your keywords. When you write the content for your website, blog, landing pages, and ads, you can think of keywords as your guide - what the content is about.
In turn, when people search for these keywords, you want them to find, and click on, your listing.
When choosing keywords it’s important to think not only about your content, but that of your competitors. What keywords are they using and why? Your business should be competitive and set itself apart.
Tools are available to help you perform keyword research. You can list things your company does, get suggestions, and see how many searches are performed on specific keywords. Understanding and applying these practices will help drive more, and more qualified leads to your website.
Set a budget, and stick to it.
Like any other part of your business, it’s important to understand where your marketing budget is going. Your budget should be comfortable, with a hard ceiling. Revisit your spending at intervals you set in advance - monthly, quarterly, whatever works for you.
Most marketers won’t recommend starting small because the amount they earn is often a percentage of what you spend. But if you are new to digital marketing patience really is a virtue. Every business is different, and finding the winning formula can take time. While a well thought out strategic marketing plan can be a difference-maker, it’s often still worth easing yourself in.
Identify the resources you have, and the ones you need.
The chances are great that you have capable people on your team who can assist you with your online strategy. One of them is you. Telling your story, writing great content, even photos of your workplace can be done in-house. It’s also likely, though, that you’ll find a need to outsource. You and your team are busy running your business after all. Your marketing plan will come with a needs analysis and recommendations on how to proceed.
Hint: We can do it for you should you choose that route.
Put your digital marketing plan into action.
Above I mentioned some reasons for starting small. There is, however, a difference between failing spectacularly and failing fast. It is a near-certainty that some tactical instances will leave you wanting; it’s a natural learning curve. And I always, above most everything else, encourage you to fail fast. In other words, if you find something not working - your analyst can present this information - discard it quickly and move on. Don’t hope it will get better, and don’t throw good money after bad.
Monitor progress and analytics.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to be aware of your plan’s progress and results. Are you meeting your goals, measured by KPIs? What’s working? What’s not, and why? Spending time compiling digital analytics data and turning it into actionable knowledge is the difference between good and great. Which will your results be?
Don’t guess your way through marketing your business. Analytics can provide data that is used to form knowledge. This knowledge, in turn, can inform business decisions which lead to success.