7 Simple Steps for Effective Digital Marketing in 2015
With so many choices for advertising and social media plus SEO, digital marketing campaigns are often a fragmented patch work of individual elements running completely separately and sporadically. It’s easy to set up Google PPC, Facebook ads and a Facebook Page, maybe Twitter, Pinterest and a few other campaigns as you go. Each of these can be turned on or paused, go from very active to dormant, changing targeting and focus along the way. The result is a YoYo marketing program which is how how many digital marketing campaigns run.
While all of these tools and media are separate, an effective digital marketing campaign ties all of these individual elements together into an overall plan with specific objectives. Just like traditional marketing coordinates print advertising, broadcast media (radio and TV), and direct mail into an organized campaign with common objectives and messaging, digital marketing must do the same. Here’s 7 simple steps for creating an effective digital marketing campaign, with a detailed explanation of each step below:
- Develop Your 2015 Marketing Plan
- Create a Content and Advertising Calendar
- Review Past Ads and develop New Creative
- Implement Paid Advertising Campaign
- Implement Social Media Campaign
- On-Site SEO
- Review Results Monthly
At Esotech we develop and implement comprehensive digital marketing campaigns designed for our client’s specific needs and objectives. If you have questions about digital marketing, PPC and RTB/retargeting campaigns, social media, or SEO please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your needs and answer your questions.
#1 Developing Your Digital Marketing Campaign Plan
Developing a plan is an absolute must for an effective and successful marketing campaign. Comprehensive plans are great, but if this is overwhelming and stopping you from creating a marketing plan consider putting a basic plan or outline together. If it lays out your objectives, budget and actions that is sufficient.
The basic steps and parts of your marketing plan should include:
- Review Results: before you develop your new plan, review both recent results and from over the past year. It is important to have a clear understanding of what’s working, what’s not working, and develop a clear understanding of what is going on.
- Google Analytics traffic vs past periods.
- Google Analytics Goal conversions (if you have Goals set up, if not do this for this campaign and track it); this could be inquiries, sales, etc.
- Google Analytics Engagement metrics: bounce rate, average time on site, pages per visit, etc.
- Actual product or services sales vs your goal.
- Audience: most think they have a clear understanding of their customers, but many are surprised when they dig in and look more deeply and their metrics. Review your Google Analytics data and if you have been running Facebook ads review Facebook Insights for some excellent demographic data.
- Audience Targeting: now that you have reexamined your audience, review your advertising targeting to ensure you are actually targeting the right people.
- Objective: reexamine your objectives and make sure you establish clear and measurable goals and objectives.
- Budget: set your annual budget, then a monthly budget allocating specific amounts for each media including allocating funding or time for creating content, managing social media, press releases, etc.
- Metrics: now that you have your objectives set, determine how you will measure progress.
#2 Creating Your Content Calendar
A Content Calendar is critical for several reasons. A Content Calendar helps you plan and organize your content as well as setting weekly and monthly goals to track. To simplify the task of creating the calendar, start with a general month by month outline and then create specific content plans for the next few weeks adding and updating monthly.
#3 Review Current Creative and Develop New Material
Your creative material such as Google PPC ads, banner/display ads, Facebook ads, and content including blogs, PR and web pages is a very important piece of your digital marketing campaign. Images, titles and the lead in sentence in ads can increase your CTR (Click Through Rate) by as much as 3 to 5 times. Review the performance of your current ads, if the CTR is 0.5% or less these ads are underperforming. Good ads with the correct targeting should have a CTR of around 1%, extremely effective ads can achieve CTRs of 2% and higher.
#4 Implement Paid Advertising; Google PPC, RTB, & Retargeting
Paid advertising is an excellent medium to drive highly targeted traffic to your website. Google PPC is well known and pretty much the first thing to come to mind with respect to Internet advertising, but there are more alternatives today. Google search advertising will be a key part of a paid digital ad campaign, but your campaign should also include RTB (Real Time Bidding) or banner/display ads, and definitely retargeting ads.
Retargeting is especially effective as it places your banner/display ads in front of recent website visitors and brings them back to your website much like stopping by a store or showroom for another look.
#5 Rock with Your Social Media
Social media is great for brand building and increasing your brand recognition, and it can also drive traffic and sales to your website. While outright hard “selling” is not effective, soft selling via informative and interesting posts is very effective. An effective and active social media campaign can represent 10% to 25% of website traffic. Make sure at a minimum the major platforms, Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn (for some), and Pinterest (for some) are part of your plan and your content calendar with weekly posts a minimum and daily posts for some campaigns depending on the product and audience.
#6 On-Site SEO
The Google Panda, Penguin, and most importantly Hummingbird updates have made website content more important than ever. Content has always been important, but these changes have place a priority on content quality and depth as well as website structure. Simply put, websites with very little content including low page counts, short pages (one or two paragraph pages), and poor website design and structure will not be competitive in search rankings.
- Ensure your website is designed and structured for current SEO standards.
- Check Google Webmaster Tools for:
- Number of pages indexed – is Google indexing your site and pages?
- Crawl errors and warnings from Google.
- Keywords; how does Google see your site for keywords and which are showing up?
- Check Google Analytics for:
- User flow; how and where are users flowing through your site?
- In Page Analytics: where are they clicking?
- Goals and Conversions: if you have Goals set up how are they performing. If you don’t have Goals set up do this for your new campaign and track it.
- Check Google Webmaster Tools for:
- Update website content – add pages, edit and rewrite old pages.
- Blog frequently; at least weekly and ensure the blogs are relevant and high quality content.
- Page structure and Meta: make each page has a unique and relevant url, unique meta description, good link structure with the rest of the website, and is indexable.
#7 Review Results Monthly
Reviewing your results monthly is critical to the success of your digital marketing campaign. It is important to review the campaign at least every month and not let it run on autopilot. Things can change quickly, and if they do, you need to adjust your campaign accordingly.
Monitor actual performance against your goals as well as are tracking your budget. As the campaign progresses you may want to reallocate your budget, change some of your creative, or perhaps adjust the paid advertising. Likewise, if there are new developments in your product or service you will want to change your campaign to address this.