Digital Marketing is like a video game. You are on a quest. You must beat your adversaries to take your reward. You start as a newbie, leveling up as you go. Just as you think you’ve beaten the game, a new DLC is dropped (that’s downloadable content for you non-gamers) and there’s a whole new storyline to be played. Characters, skins, challenges and maps may change but in the end, it’s about refining your skills, obtaining the rights tools and knowing when to use each one. Whether it’s a video game or your local lottery, one principle is the same: You must play to win.
If you haven’t set SMART goals for your digital marketing program yet, stop what you are doing. Marketing in general can be one of the most expensive cost-centers in any business and is one of the most challenging to track return on. Save yourself a lot of time and frustration and make sure your goals are defined and there is alignment from the top. If your effort is exploratory and you are testing a new tool or tactic, that is fine too, but you can quickly get sucked into the digital marketing rabbit hole, subscribing to one service after another until you forgot where you began.
The intention behind any digital program isn’t necessarily about growth alone and isn’t always directly about the customer. Most of us want to grow our business for obvious reasons, but the path to growth includes offshoots into other areas such as client retention, client satisfaction, Net Promoter Score (NPS), attracting employees, retaining employees or driving adoption of new channels, etc. You may wish to launch a program or single campaign to boost employee morale or increase organizational alignment. Sometimes campaigns must be focused on restoring trust in your brand after a product recall. Whatever it is, identifying the purpose behind the goal ensures alignment across your organization and helps when determining the right tools or tactics to employ.
You have taken the leap to exist in the wide-wide world of the Internet. You're happy with your domain and have created a website.
You feel good about how it portrays your service offering. You may not have done a full SEO project yet but your site is stable and looks professional.
You understand the importance of content creation, targeted landing pages for specific audiences.
You have the resources internally or externally to do the work.
At a minimum your executive team supports the effort. At best, the whole organization is behind the effort.
Documenting your current client segmentation provides critical insights and will help you to target more effectively when designing campaigns. This includes the segmentation of your current customers as well as your prospective customers. Ensuring your target audience groups are well defined will be key in measuring the effectiveness of one campaign over the other. Each segment dimension is unique to your business, your industry and your customer base. Segments can (and will) also change over time. Initial segmentation analysis and routine updates is key to ensuring messaging is on-target. Below are some examples to get your gears turning!
Before diving into any SEO campaign, the best place to begin is with an in-depth look at your competitors offerings, digital marketing, products & services. Analytics tools today can show traffic to competitor sites, paid vs. organic, keywords driving traffic and specific tactics that your competition is using to drive traffic. Before you even CONSIDER investing in paid campaigns, you must have a game plan. Whether it’s keyword bidding or pay per click – knowing what you are targeting and the volume associated with those keywords make a huge difference. Some examples of the various ways you can slice and dice your competitor analysis are included below, but this will vary industry to industry.
We’ve all heard about the importance of content in Digital Marketing and even Product Development. Most of us understand the importance of using keywords and phrases strategically to ensure searchers FIND our website and can explore our products and services. Once they land on your site; however, the quality and relevance of your content is what will keep them there, and ideally, get them to convert. Many of you will write your own copy and others may work with a copywriter to help. Regardless of who is writing the story, you need to have well defined personas to work from. Persona development is unique from client segmentation as it takes the experience to the user level. Segmentation helps us to understand and prioritize opportunities where personas represent the individuals involved in the journey. The researcher, the RFP Manger, the gate keeper or the decider are a few. Understanding each persona and the problem they are trying to solve is an ongoing process. Some examples of considerations when building out your persona map can include:
Defining your client acquisition strategy is a fancy way of saying you are going to prioritize the channels and tactics to be used along with establishing some budget to go against each. In an ideal world, this is done in concert with Sales and Marketing NOT in a silo. There are efficiencies of scale to be had by leveraging existing Sales team efforts and dovetailing it into your digital marketing campaigns. Digital can also be a healthy lead generation stream for your business development folks if implemented properly. For those of you also focused on produce marketing (think mobile apps and e-commerce) the marriage between the two is critical. Even if your organization chooses NOT to invest in Google ad campaigns, it may wish to invest in SEO or e-mail marketing. There is no one-size-fits-all solution and most business can’t do it all at the same time. We’ve listed a few variations of approaches that you may be familiar with:
Last but certainly not least, we want to bring attention to the application of Digital Marketing tactics to your talent acquisition strategy. So many businesses today are competing for talent or depend on a complex supply-chain of contractors, independent professionals and the like. Whether you have a gig-economy, contractor, employee or hybrid model, we need to begin to focus equally on the messaging to our most critical team members. Digital marketing teams can and should be HR and Ops teams best friend. The same tools, technologies and metrics apply. Just as you monitor your app store ratings and make sure you reply quickly to comments left on social media accounts, recruitment professionals monitor third-party job and company ranking sites and must pay attention to the content that is there.