Digital Marketing involves the marketing of a business using a variety of digital tactics and platforms that include the creation of websites, blogging content, email targeting, mobile promotion and social media interaction.
Using the above approaches and delivery methods, the following digital marketing checklist will assist you in implementing a coherent digital marketing strategy for your business.
Step 1 – The Website.
It goes without saying that the first step in any digital marketing strategy is to ensure you have a fully optimised website.
At digitalconnectnow.com we create websites using the WordPress platform.
Our own site, for example, was built using WordPress software. WordPress is what is known as a CMS (Content Management System).
This type of software architecture will allow you to implement and manage a website more easily as much of the functionality of the site is delivered through pre-made and pre-programmed themes and plugins.
wpbeginner – a great site to learn all you need to know about WordPress.
WordPress currently powers 30% of websites on the Web
(Source W3 Techs 2018)
WordPress is a flexible and user-friendly platform that provides a solid foundation on which you can build your website.
Step 2 – SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Once you have your website set up the next item you need to implement on the checklist has to be Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for short.
Although your website may have a fantastic design, it will be of limited value if no one can view it online!
A properly executed SEO plan will get eyeballs on to your site. There are many strands to SEO but the cornerstone of it is built around keyword research. Using the appropriate keywords on your site will attract online traffic who are searching for your product.
For example, if you are a hat manufacturer you will want to ensure that you use terms such as ‘ladies hats’, ‘men’s hats’ and ‘children’s hats.’ These keywords should be woven naturally into the content of your site.
Google’s Webmaster Academy – once you’ve created your website this is the next place to go and register it with Google
Moz /Learning SEO – a great place to gain a deeper understanding of SEO
SEM Rush – a powerful tool that amongst other things allows you to keep tabs on specific keywords.
Google Keyword Planner – check what users on Google are searching for.
In the US, SEO spend is projected to increase from 11.44 billion U.S. dollars to 79.27 billion U.S. dollars in 2020
It is important for a company to understand how to attract users online. There is a lot to understand in SEO which is a constantly evolving discipline.
Step 3: Website Optimisation.
Website optimisation is strongly linked to SEO. However, where search engine optimisation is focused on how to attract users on to a website, website optimisation is more concerned with what happens to the user when they arrive and journey on through the site.
To facilitate a clear pathway through the site, you, as the website owner, should have a goal or series of goals you will want the user to achieve. How well these goals are executed will determine how you optimise the set up of your website and measure the success or failure of your objectives.
The goal(s) a company has on its website will vary from business to business.
- An insurance company will want to measure the leads it generates from a form.
- An online publication may want to measure the number of its articles that have been read or books downloaded.
- An eCommerce store will want to measure how many users get to checkout stage in the buying process and also who repeat buy a product.
In order to improve these experiences the following actions could be looked at in terms of onsite optimisation:
- Click to action buttons should be strategically placed.
- Customise the length of a form a user has to complete before making a purchase.
- Vary the positioning of social sharing buttons.
- Check there are no broken links on your website.
websitebuilderexpert.com – great for home page design layouts
Optimizely – A/B testing of what does and doesn’t work on your website
Screaming Frog SEO – allows you to check for broken links
By improving the user experience you will encourage visitors to stay longer on your site which in turn will lead to a greater chance of your site goals being achieved.
Step 4 – Content Marketing
When you’re happy with the layout you’ll want to populate your site with useful, relevant and engaging content.
At this stage, you’ll already have researched the phrases and keywords that people are searching for. You’ll then want to weave this content into the pages on your site. But when we speak about content, we’re not just talking about the written word.
You should also try and include videos and images for your audience as studies have shown there are higher levels of engagement with visual content.
Creating content can place a strain on resources and it should not be rushed. However, if done correctly, there can be a great payback for a website.
Consider the following:
- Great content can encourage extensive sharing of your work outside of your website platform.
- Blogging with freshly updated information can improve your website ranking with Google.
- Insightful content can make you an authority and a go-to thought leader within your industry.
- It can also help you generate business leads by offering content packed ebooks or newsletters to your audience.
To make the creation of your content easier, a Content Calendar should be used to help you plan and schedule blog material, infographics and pictures/video during any given year.
Content Marketing Institute
Hubspot – digital marketing information hub.
Buzz Sumo – Analyse content
Hubspot’s Blog Idea generator
Buffer – social media scheduling tool.
Small businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than small businesses without.
(Source:Content Marketing Institute)
Businesses publishing 16-plus posts a month get almost 3.5 times more traffic than businesses publishing zero to four articles
(Source:Content Marketing Institute )
Content is the foundation of a website. Ensure what you produce informs and engages your audience. Prevent your resources being overstretched by planning your posts and information updates in advance using a content calendar and scheduling tools.
Step 5 – Social Media
Once you have established your content marketing strategy, it’s time to announce to the world that you are open for business!
Social Media is a great way to do this. It will allow you to raise your brand’s visibility with potential customers as well as add an extra dimension to what you have to offer as a company.
Social Media is also very effective at quickly getting a message out about a product or a service.
There are so many social media channels to choose from, it would be wise not to use them all.
Just focus in on the ones that match your audience profile.
When you have made your choice, check out the analytics tools underlying each platform. They will provide you with an understanding of what does and doesn’t work.
For example, Facebook has an analytics package built into it called Insights which provides data on the demographic breakdown of an audience, the time they check your posting content and the reach of each of your posts.
In addition, maximise your use of each platform by using a scheduling tool or take a look at one of the many third-party planning tools that exist.
These allow you to write your posts in advance and deliver them to your audience at a time when they are most likely to be online.
Social Media Examiner
Social Media Today
Hootsuite – (Scheduling Software)
Buffer – (Scheduling Software)
Facebook is estimated to generate $21.57 billion in US ad revenues in 2018, which would account for 83% of the total social media ad spend throughout the US.
(Source: Sprout Social)
Mobile accounts for nearly 80% of time spent on social media networks.
(Source: Sprout Social)
Social media is an important way for companies to engage with their target audience.
However, it should be used strategically as not every platform is relevant to every company.
Step 6 – Email Marketing
Once you’ve engaged with your audience and acquired, through the correct channels, their email addresses, you may want to target them in a more individualistic way. The best way to do this is through email marketing.
Compared to the other channels we’ve discussed here, email may seem rather old school but the stats show that so long as customers have given you permission to use their email address, it can be one of the most effective ways at targeting prospects with useful information and offers.
Although, ultimately, you will be promoting a product or a service, don’t make it all about the sale. Offer your prospect some free information that entertains and informs. Doing so will build trust and lay the foundation for a strong business relationship.
Hubspot – email-marketing information hub.
Optinmonster – lead generation software.
Mail Chimp – can be used to set up email campaigns
In 2017, global e-mail users amounted to 3.7 billion users. This figure is projected to grow to 4.1 billion users in 2021.
Email has a median ROI of 122% – over 4x higher than other marketing formats including social media, direct mail, and paid search.
(Source: DMA and Demand Metric)
Because of the one on one relationships, it allows you develop with users, email is a great way to build trust and loyalty between businesses and potential customers.
Step 7 – Mobile Marketing
Although I’ve listed mobile marketing as one step in the process, it is important to ingrain it throughout your entire digital strategy. As can be seen from the stats below, mobile usage and spend by customers has grown exponentially in the last number of years.
To adapt your digital marketing for this channel, it is important that small business owners build personas or profiles of the types of customers who will approach your site via mobile.
This way you can optimise this channel based around any problems they encountered when using it.
Check whatever analytics package you are using to see what portion of your traffic comes from mobile users – I would hazard a guess that your mobile traffic will exceed desktop.
At the very least ensure you have a mobile responsive website. Most WordPress sites include mobile responsive templates.
Set goals and performance targets for your website. Ensure the mobile website experience for users is a good one and that the website loads quickly: online, you have only seconds to capture attention.
Another type of communication channel, tied in closely with mobile, that should form part of your mobile marketing is SMS messaging.
Again, somewhat old school one would think, but the following stat shows how responsive users are to this platform. The open rate for SMS is 98% compared to 22% for emails.
This can be put down to the fact that you are reaching customers in a highly personal way on a device (the mobile) that is with them for most of the day.
As with email messaging, there are laws and standards that govern the acquisition of mobile numbers for texting to ensure that any text communication is lawful and tactful.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
27 trillion text messages are sent every year, in the US alone, which is 6.3 billion per day or about 20 text messages per person every day.
By 2019, mobile advertising spend is expected to rise to 72% of all US digital ad spending.
Mobile marketing should now form an integral part of a business’s overall digital strategy. At the very least your WordPress website should be mobile optimised
Step 8: Analysing and Analytics
As the saying goes, ‘if you cant measure it then you can’t manage it’
And to prove this point, regardless of any of the suggestions and recommendations I have made in this checklist, the success or otherwise that these digital channels achieve for your business will be borne out by the results. The best way to assess this activity is to use an analytics package.
The software I recommend is Google Analytics. It contains all you need to know about where your website traffic comes from, what it does when it lands on your site and how and where it leaves your site from
Some of the key metrics to check with Google Analytics:
- Acquisition overview – where your traffic comes from.
- Bounce Rate – the number of users who arrive at your site and leave after viewing just a single page.
- Conversions – review the targets and goals you have set for your visitors.
- Behavior Flow – check how your visitors move around your website and the points at which they leave.
Dynomapper – Google Analytics Metrics
It is important to track all digital marketing activity in order to review the effectiveness of your strategy. Google Analytics represents the best free way to do this. All you require is a Gmail address to get started.
Hopefully, this checklist will provide you with all you need to begin building your digital strategy for your business.
If you would like any assistance with your digital marketing strategy, please contact us at the following addresses:
Web – email@example.com
Mobile – 085 774 1180
facebook – https://www.facebook.com/digitalconnectnow1/
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/patjhughes
Twitter – https://twitter.com/patjhughes1
Google + – https://plus.google.com/104000246219421729940