We used to see a lot of business owners with the ‘built it and they will come' attitude to online marketing, which is all well and good in Field of Dreams but doesn’t really cut it in the ever-changing digital marketing landscape. Just planning the launch or redesign of your new website was never going to be enough.
It’s the same attitude we are experiencing with search marketing, where quite simply, SEO is not enough. That you are investing in SEO at some level is a great start, but it’s the foundation of your digital marketing campaign, the platform for which to launch everything else. To really expand your digital marketing and gain traction, you need to be planning a full, integrated campaign.
It’s a difficult question and there’s a different answer for every company, and every budget. But we always advise to get the basics in place and build off additional campaigns one by one. Test, analyse, and refine. Then rinse and repeat and see what works for your market.
So let’s look at the basics, and what you need to be doing to cover off the beginnings of your digital marketing campaign. You have your website sorted and you are reasonably happy with it, right? Great, we’ll come back to that…
You should be thinking about the overall strategy and planning your digital marketing campaign around that. If you are looking for your site to generate leads for example, let’s think about who we are targeting, on what channels, and how can we get the most out of the traffic we are working hard for.
You should start with mapping out several personas of your ideal client, and looking at who they are in detail, what are their online behaviors, what are their characteristics. There’s a lot of work to be done in doing this properly but it proves to be the foundation of all your targeted advertising, so it’s a job worth doing properly at the outset. You’ll end up having a range of potential client descriptions for you to target. This will help with buying and planning advertising, writing copy and blog content and all manner of other sales collateral, on and offline. Having this focus sets the tone for everything that follows.
You have SEO in place, traffic is building, rankings are on the up, but it’s not the golden ticket. This is the part where we come back to your finished website, and talk about basics number one...
Most small business owners think they invest in their new site, and away they go. Post-launch they think they are done and all the hard work has been finished. Really, it’s when the hard work begins. Think about it like this, have you ever run a paid campaign through AdWords? You do the keyword research, write the creative, design and build your landing pages and you test the ads. You test and test and test, from the titles, the copy, url, the landing pages are split tested, headings changed, colours changed, structure, language, everything is tested, analysed, and improved. Running a PPC campaign you typically get your cost per conversion down through testing, analysing and improving every aspect of the campaign to learn and improve… You should be thinking the same way about your website.
We call it continuous improvement, and we use a suite of tools to analyse, test, and monitor all aspects of the site with the simple aim of improving conversions. We talk a lot about designing sites to convert, and we do, but just like with PPC, you can always make improvements and tweak the most out of your organic traffic as much as you do with paid.
One aspect to consider when looking at the conversion rate on the website is what are you trying to convert specifically? A sales site is fairly obvious but if like a lot of small businesses you are trying to capture leads, not sales, you need to look at providing a compelling reason for a user to engage with you.
From the very basic to the hugely complex, this can be a science unto itself, but marketing automation as it’s called these days is another tool to add to your arsenal. Whether you go for the minimal approach or want to build a complex system is up to you, your site and sector and of course budget, but the essential thing here is to engage with your audience. You can be pushy about it, or aggressive with pop ups or popovers or many other mechanisms, but you are essentially offering up something of high perceived value in return for their details. Once successful with this you have captured their details and are putting them into your series of sales messages, and building your sales funnel. When you think that only 1 - 3% of website visitors in general make buying decisions when visiting a website for the first time, it’s important to capture them right there and then. Then you can reinforce your brand with helpful insights, information, blog posts or whatever it is - that keeps you fresh in their mind until they are at the stage of making a purchasing decision.
I would consider the above the building blocks of your digital marketing campaign - essentially getting your website ready for your continued efforts and investment into digital marketing, ensuring you get the most bang for your buck for whatever you invest here on in...
I remember very well, literally being laughed out of the room when I recommended to a past client that they sign up for a Twitter account…(hi Claire) Honestly, I’ll never forget it. It was very early days in social media back then, but these days there’s no such risk of that happening again. It might not be right for you, but you simply cannot argue against the importance of a well thought out and strategic social media campaign. It is the very glue that binds all of your online marketing efforts together. It forms the basis of building and managing your online reputation amongst your peers, your industry and of course your clients.
Each channel has its own merits, and I wouldn’t advise you sling content around to all of them hoping something will stick. Like all digital marketing efforts, you need a strategy, and you need to test, analyse, then rinse and repeat. You might find LinkedIn and Twitter ideal for sharing your thought-leadership pieces for example, or Facebook for engaging with your target market. Instagram has been blowing up for online marketers recently and all of this can be a daunting prospect.
If you are able to bring in a agency or consultant who can plan and carry through an engaging social media strategy - you have the basis for everything else that comes next.
Yeah, it’s another biggie and I’m just covering off the basics here. But with everything above in place, this should be your next port of call. Building insightful regular content into your marketing plans is a must, adding it to your website, your blog, your sales funnel, and then looking to build your reputation further afield with guest posting.
Having your social media platform to help drive engagement with your original content is an absolute must. Does content marketing and guest posting still work? Yes. Yes it does. We’ll revisit this over the coming weeks and months...
That’s it for what I would call the basics. With the above in place, finely tuned and working, driving traffic and conversions through multiple channels, you are now ready to venture into the likes of PPC, paid social advertising (spoiler: this is huge), affiliate marketing, online PR, creative SEO, link bait, influencer marketing, email marketing, remarking, video marketing, take a breath, social selling, display advertising, webinars, podcasts…. is that enough for the time being?
Like any marketing activity, you need a well thought out and cohesive strategy to come together - don’t just throw money at any of this for the sake of it.
However, take it from me, when you have the solid foundations in place, and you see proof of concept - the conversion coming in and having a genuine, positive effect on your business, the fun stuff just gets going. Then you master the more advanced part of the DM spectrum and look at continuous improvement in all areas of your strategy, the results just get better, and better...
We’ll cover off all of these in more detail in the coming weeks. For now, drop us a comment or get in touch. We’re here to help.
Click the download button to get your PDF copy.
Thank you for your comment. It has been submitted for moderation and will appear here as soon as we have been able to approve it.
Addictivity is a trading name of
Element 10 Ltd. Registered in
England and Wales.
Company Number 04950164
VAT Registration 832507835
10 - 14 Accommodation Road,
Golders Green, London NW11 8ED