Digital Strategy, How To Make It Stick
No Matter if your a seasoned pro or have no digital presence at all now is the time to look at your plans. Digital accounts for over 68% of the research conducted in the decision making process, leaving you 68% less likely to make a sale if your either not there or not good enough.
At Metrix we have spent more time client side than most, meaning once we get involved its likely that we will have a deeper understanding of how things work on your side when compared to an agency. We get results, fast! No learning curve, no head in the clouds style strategies and no top knots!
From a recent hupsot blog they indicate that "46% of brands don’t have a defined digital marketing strategy, while 16% do have a strategy but haven’t yet integrated it into their marketing activity". Those numbers make you wonder, if over 90% of our population is online and online sales is passing traditional offline sales in retail and consistently growing year on year, aren't you missing out?
Of course, we'd be delighted to help and put you on the digital map, but if your just dipping in your toe have a look at the steps below.
What's the point, decide why you are doing this?
Define the overall mission/objective first, which should already be done! – your digital marketing mission must fit into your overall plan.
Answer these questions:
What is the overriding objective you want your digital efforts to achieve.
Are you looking to sell, inform, persuade or simply grow your brand awareness.
What level of resources can you dedicate to this platform, time, manpower, money?
Set Your KPIs:
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator and if you are bulking your digital strategy you will need to set some targets. Conversions, leads, newsletter sign ups and sales all have a place on your KPI dashboard.
Get specific by identifying the figures you will be held accountable for achieving.
Stay realistic, your not the only one trying to make inroads in the digital road! ensure you aim for a positive increase on your previous results, while helping you to avoid setting your expectations too high. If your new, set a benchmark based on industry research and see how close you can get.
Identify a method to help you measure each of your KPIs – for example, use Google Analytics, Buzz Sumo and your social platforms analytics. Word of advise, Google Analytics can be tricky, get some advise on setting it up properly, most only use it to 5 -10% of its capabilities.
Most importantly, find out which metrics matter to the person paying your wages, we'd suggest having them at the top of your list!
Analyse, Learn & Repeat
Obviously if your new to digital marketing this step doesn't apply to you yet, but once you get up and running this is what will help you grow and of course put you on track for a healthy ROI.
Choose a time period you’d like to analyse – for example decide on whether you’re going to look at the previous week, month, quarter or year.
What do to:
Determine the time period you would like to analyse and set your Google Analytics calendar to match this timeframe.
Try out Google’s Benchmarking Reports in your Analytics account to compare your progress to your competitors.
Then analyse your competitors’ marketing strategy – create a spreadsheet of their online activities (you can use SEMrush to identify their strategy, i.e. what keywords are driving the most organic traffic to their website. It can also be used to compare the organic and paid traffic of different websites so again quite useful to see how aggressive they’re being with their paid spend.)
Repeat on a regular basis
3 Engage with you target market, don't over complicate things
Don’t let the planning take away from the people you’re trying to reach. You already know who your audience are (at least we hope you do) but sometimes they’re the first thing a digital marketer can forget with all the planning and analysis.
If your selling fine wines, opening with fart jokes probably won't win you many customers. To engage customers you need to put your audience at the heart of your strategy, cater to their emotional needs and satisfy their deepest desires.
Develop Useful Personas:
Note down all the demographic information you know about your target consumer – like age, gender, interests and location.
Then dig a little deeper and Identify the problems you can help your target persona solve.
You can dive deep into the ‘Audience Reports of your Google Analytics account to identify key characteristics of your target persona like age, sex, career, etc.
When creating your personas this is the perfect time to identify the people who will be of influence to them – these will be the influencers your marketing strategy should target.
Identify Your Means, don't empty your pockets, digital is only one part of an all encompassing marketing strategy
Three things are important for identifying your means:
your digital channels
your team (or people)
It is important to take stock of all of your resources before deciding on what else you might need for the next period.
How to Identify Your Means:
Define your overall digital marketing budget.
Look at the historical data of what has worked before (for example, have any specific channels brought you quality leads at a low cost?) - if your struggling with budget setting, get in touch, our team can provide free advice.
Decide whether you will use paid promotion (for, example Adwords or paid ads on social media).
Allocate a specific portion of the budget for each digital channel you want to use for paid promotion (delve into your Analytics to help you assess the most cost effective digital channels with the largest reach and conversions and the lowest Cost Per Click).
If a certain element of your paid promotion strategy isn’t bringing you the results you desire, revisit it and invest the allocated budget figure into the channel that’s bringing you the best results.
Look at your current team and assess what you are capable of achieving (be realistic here and ensure that no-one will be over stretched or over worked).
Identify whether you need to hire more people or better yet contact Metrix, our guys are experts at this stuff and you save on recruiter fees, ramping up period, training, employers liability and various other costs associated with a new hire.
Get your team members to review their digital marketing activity and brainstorm a few ideas for their future marketing strategy.
Review your current digital marketing channels and decide which channels to keep and whether you’d like to invest in any new ones (this depends on where your customers are and the time you have available).
Clearly articulate what each digital channel is trying to achieve.
Make sure you have at least one KPI attached to each of your digital channels.
Keep your channels relevant, if your customers don't go there, don't waste your time.
Create a rough plan!
In all honesty plans don't work and there no fun anyway. Create a guide in what direction you want to go, set your KPI's and let your people work towards them, if you don't trust them why did you hire them?
Things change and your strategy will need to constantly adapt to meet your goals, and although you may have carefully constructed a plan based on a set of insightful assumptions and analysis you still can’t predict exactly how your customers will behave.
Create Your Digital Marketing Calendar:
Try creating your timeline using Outlook, Google Calendars or whatever platform your comfortable with – that way you can share it with your team members and allow them to edit it where necessary.
Highlight the key campaigns you’ll create and promote throughout the year and allocate a timeframe for each.
Document the digital channels needed to ensure the success for each campaign.
atOnce all these steps have been followed it is imperative you set aside time on a regular basis to analyse, setting up your strategy is the easy part, driving growth and meeting KPI's is the tricky bit. Digital can be extremely rewarding when done correctly, if you take a look at some our our previous advice articles you'll know we are all about matching your online and offline presence, keep everything similar. If possible have the one person overseeing both aspects, that way they will keep the same uniformity across all channels. If there is anything we can do or if you just want some advice, get in touch