Determining how to build the right digital marketing plan for your business isn’t always straightforward. In fact, a “one size fits all” model is probably not the best approach. Every business and industry are different, and when you’re developing a digital marketing plan, you’ll want to think about your specific business wants and needs to help guide you along the away.
Here at Aztek, our team likes to take a comprehensive approach to digital marketing. Whether you’re creating an in-house marketing campaign for your organization or working with an agency, we’re sharing the many key components of a digital marketing plan you’ll want to consider.
Define Your Business Objectives and Goals
Before you can begin to create a successful digital marketing plan, stop for a moment and think about why your organization is putting a plan together in the first place. Do you have overall business objectives defined? What are your goals? How will you know if your efforts have been successful? Definitive goals will help drive your strategies and tactics to put into place. Once you’ve thought through the purpose of your campaigns and what results, or KPIs, will indicate success, you can then turn to the many digital marketing tactics to help drive those results.
Digital Marketing Disciplines to Use in Your Strategy & Planning
You’ve likely heard the cliché, “content is king,” but it’s true; content is everywhere, from the copy on your website to the 280 characters your brand puts out in a tweet. But before you put anything out there, think about what you want to say and how you can use content in a variety of forms to convey your key messages. We’d recommend approaching content through not just pages of your website but also with a steady stream of quality content on a blog to keep your customer base engaged, capture new audiences, and increase thought leadership. You may even want to consider creating downloadable whitepapers or guides for longform pieces that can be leveraged in other digital marketing avenues.
Inevitably, yes, writing content is a time investment. But spending time keeping up with a consistent content calendar and refreshing your website will not only help better represent your brand and draw in the right type of customer, it can help grow your visibility through search engines. Which leads us to…
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO and content go hand in hand. SEO is the process of optimizing your website and content for visibility within search engines. SEO can encompass several strategies, but we typically like to break it down into four main areas when putting together a digital marketing plan:
- Technical SEO: A great web design won’t matter if the foundation of your site can’t be crawled and discovered by Google. When we say technical SEO, think everything behind the scenes of your website – meta data, indexing, internal linking, and more.
- On-site SEO: Making your webpages user friendly and load quickly are just a few of the factors that can increase exposure in search. Making on-page optimizations can also include optimizing image descriptions or improving the format of your text for search engines to crawl the most important keywords or content of your page.
- Off-site SEO: Optimizations on your webpages themselves aren’t the only places search engines will evaluate. Off-site “signals,” such as backlinks from reputable sources to your site, can also help improve the credibility of your website and improve your rankings.
- Local SEO: This tactic is great to get your business on the map. Whether it’s creating and optimizing a Google Business profile or generating customer online reviews, making sure your business is known to customers on a local level can be important for many organizations.
While building your website presence organically in search engines can take time, digital advertising can help with bringing traffic and leads to your site immediately. PPC stands for pay-per-click – simply put, you pay a fee for each time someone clicks on your ad. You can use PPC through a variety of digital platforms, including Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and more.
You’ll want to consider where your audience may be spending time online to determine the best platforms to capture leads, as well as the size of your budget. Depending on which platform you explore, the cost-per-click can vary and management of your campaigns may be an investment of time. Though some organizations may see success with just Google Ads for example, others may want to explore multiple avenues of digital advertising to get in front of audiences simultaneously.
Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, can be powerful platforms for connecting and engaging with your audiences. Just as you would do your due diligence determining the right digital advertising platform, you should also consider where your audience is most appropriate to be reached through social media and what messaging will resonate best on each platform.
Growing your presence on the most meaningful social platforms should be done by creating a consistent cadence of new content per channel. It’s also important to maintain those relationships with your audience by responding to comments, joining in on relevant hashtags, and sharing useful content.
Email Marketing & Automation
Once you’ve captured a user’s information (with permission, of course), email marketing and automation are tactics used to stay in front of your customer base or nurture leads that will ultimately translate to loyal customers. Automated emails, such as a monthly newsletter, can be largely effective in supporting your organization’s sales team by maintaining communication with your audience on the latest news, products, or blogs.
Conversion Rate Optimizations
Testing is a key part of evolving your digital presence. When putting together your digital marketing plan, you’ll also want to consider how you’ll test variations of success or how your users are engaging with your site. Using digital marketing tools such as CrazyEgg can empower you to monitor how users are scrolling and interacting with specific pages of your site, or even give you a sense of which call-to-action is driving users to click a button. No matter how long or new your website presence has been established, running A/B tests, using heat maps, or even user testing can be highly impactful to developing a stronger website that not only pulls in users from digital channels, but coverts them into qualified leads.
Website Tracking, Analytics & Reporting
Your efforts toward developing a digital marketing plan and implementing your tactics won’t show a return on investment if you aren’t able to track your website activity. In order to track and report how your efforts are performing, you’ll want to implement web analytics tools, such as Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager, to track everything from specific site pages gaining the most traffic to revenue generated from ads.
Implementing Your Digital Marketing Plan
Rolling out a new or improved digital marketing plan can be an exciting time for an organization! Whether you have the time and budget to dedicate to all of the digital marketing tactics described above or just a few, it’s important to keep your business objectives and goals at heart. Putting time where you can be effective and active to drive results is key.
Need help developing a digital marketing strategy or resources for implementing next steps? The digital marketing team at Aztek is here to help. Contact us today to discuss our digital marketing services.