Got your digital marketing up and running but not getting results?
Want to increase brand awareness, pull in more leads and build customer relationships, but don't know where to start?
In this guide, we'll walk you through how to create a digital marketing plan that will help you and your business get better results.
Why do you need a digital marketing strategy?
Digital marketing includes all communication of services and products that takes place through digital channels. Digital platforms such as search engines, email and social media can be effective channel choices for brands that want to reach out effectively and efficiently to existing and potential customers.
There are several advantages to investing in digital marketing, including:
- Increased website traffic
- More customers
- Deeper relationships
- Increased trust
- Increased brand awareness
- Analysis of results and optimisation
Does this sound interesting? Great.
We'll go through the most relevant marketing activities available in the market today and give you tips on how to implement them into your company's digital marketing strategy.
But before we jump into the fun, you should analyze how your digital activities are performing today.
Content Audit is an analysis of your existing content, which is published on your website today. The review will help you gather relevant data and metrics for each URL you include in your Content Audit, with the aim of gaining visibility and understanding of which content is most relevant for future production.
Which categories are performing best and actually contributing to your business goals?
In most cases, there are three main goals that underpin the production of your website:
- Main goal: Lead generation or sales
- Sub-goal: Improved Google ranking with SEO
- Sub-goal: Engagement in external channels
In order to get data, you will need access to Google Analytics, Google Search Console and a system to analyse backlink data such as Ranktrail or Semrush. When collecting your data, we recommend using a spreadsheet program such as Google Sheets that is easy to share with your team.
The next step will be to collect all the URLs to be included in your Content Audit.
For example, do you want to analyse your products or your knowledge base?
Determine the scope according to your needs and collect the content in your spreadsheet.
You should also categorize the links by objective, what type of content it is, where in the customer journey the content is relevant, when it was produced, and who the primary audience is.
When compiling your data, you should focus on the following 10 key metrics:
- Visitors: how many of your visitors are organic?
- Visitor trends: what is the visitor trend this year compared to last?
- Bounce rate: how many return to the search engine after clicking through to the page?
- Pages: how many pages are displayed on average during a visit?
- Session duration: how long do visitors stay on your site?
- Conversions: how many leads/completed purchases?
- Number of keywords: how many and which keywords does your website rank for?
- Impressions: how many impressions did the URL generate?
- Clicks: how many clicks has the website generated?
- CTR: how many people have seen the URLs and chosen to click through to your website?
The results generated by the given metrics will give you valuable information about how well your website is performing and what content is driving traffic.
You will also be able to infer visitor behaviour, and gain an understanding of whether your content is leading them where you want them to go. Take these insights into the design of your future marketing activities.
Paid, owned and earned channels
Digital marketing includes paid, owned and earned channels. In many cases, brands apply all three in their strategy. So what's the difference?
Owned channels refer to the media over which you are the distributor, which you own and control on your own. For example, your website or your Instagram account. You create and control all the content, without paying for it.
In paid channels, on the other hand, you pay for your visibility, which can be through Google Ads, a banner or a partnership. Someone else owns the channel, and you need to pay for your visibility.
Earned channels refer to channels that you don't own, but that mention your brand or product for free. These are channels you can't directly influence, you are mentioned because your products or services are earned. This could be through a blog, digital magazine or Instagram stories.
Digital marketing activities
Actively working on a brand-building blog is an important part of many companies' digital marketing strategy. Blog posts keep your website alive and relevant, as visitors can expect new content on an ongoing basis.
It's also a great opportunity for you to sell products and services in a needs-based, genuine and creative way.
Don't forget to keep your readers in focus, they're the ones you should be creating value for whether you're reviewing a new product, sharing a new recipe or explaining a feature.
You can reinforce these through CTAs. If you want readers to click through to a product, contact you or register, you can easily lead them on with the click of a button.
Make sure your CTA is relevant and linked to the content, as you want to create a natural transition from one page to another.
We recommend creating a content plan for the coming months ahead as well as a publishing plan, including what to publish, when and by whom.
Without a clear schedule and continuity in your creation, it's easy for production to either get forgotten or get repetitive. You should also have a clear purpose and objective for your content.
Being able to analyse results and measure behaviour is one of the biggest benefits of digital marketing. It helps you understand if your activities are working or going in the wrong direction. There are countless options for digital advertising today.
For example, you can sponsor your posts on Instagram, create platform-specific ads on Facebook and LinkedIn, or increase your visibility in the search engines through Google Ads. All of these tools allow you to target your campaigns and see at the ad level what performs best.
In real time, you can analyse the results while your campaigns are running and optimise them if necessary. Digital advertising helps you reach your target audience accurately, in their everyday lives.
Gated content means you offer free content - in exchange for information. This could be a webinar, guide or whitepaper available on your website. Users are given the opportunity to download the content - in exchange for providing their contact details.
The purpose of gated content is to capture potential leads. If the user is interested in your content and is also willing to give up their details, they are likely to be a potential customer.
Once you have the data, you have every opportunity to send out tailored offers, promotions and newsletters via email.
Gated content also gives you valuable information about your visitors, which can help you shape your content going forward.
The aim of SEO, or search engine optimisation, is to increase your visibility in search results.
The more relevant keywords and headings you use, the higher and more frequently you will rank in search results - resulting in more users finding their way to your particular website.
But for this to happen, it's all about creating content the right way, which you can read more about here. SEO also includes features like load time, navigation and mobile responsiveness.
To make your website as relevant and attractive as possible to the search engines, it's important to create the best user experience possible. Want to know more about how you can work with SEO? Read our guide for more tips here.
Everyone appreciates getting something "for free". Whether it's a discount code, coupon or offer. By working with giveaways, you have the opportunity to engage your users.
We recommend performing the activities on the channels you want to grow or drive traffic to, your social media platforms or website.
The most important thing is that you have a clear purpose for your contest - besides delighting the lucky winner, of course. Participants have nothing to lose, except a few minutes of their time. But what's in it for your brand?
As well as engagement and improved relationships, you have the opportunity to increase your number of followers, increase your brand awareness and pull in more potential leads.
Taking Instagram as an example, a contest there can generate more followers, more likes, more shares, more tags - you set the rules.
For example, you could raffle off a gift card on the channel, which you promote in a post. To participate, you set a few rules, which advantageously revolve around activities around the post and your account.
It's very simple, but in many cases effective.
Webinars allow you to create digital events that engage recipients during live webinars. Tools such as polls and chats motivate recipients to engage in dialogue, anonymously if they wish.
Recipients have the chance to ask questions and make their voices heard, while you have the opportunity to sell your brand and lead them to the next step.
You also get valuable information even before the event starts, as users need to register with their contact details. Webinars are a strategy that both builds relationships, increases brand awareness and converts leads. Depending on your industry, the method can be used in different ways.
- If you're in the pharmaceutical industry, you can convey information about medications and new research to potential prospects.
- If you work in beauty, you can create a light-hearted event where you demonstrate your products on each other and let the recipients decide which products they want to see and get tips on.
You also have the option to save your webinars as gated content on the website. So if someone misses out, they can register their details to be able to watch it at a later date. Read more about how to set up an account here.
Podcasts have become one of the most widely used formats in a short space of time, with 51% of all internet users listening to podcast radio, so it's no wonder that more and more brands are seeing the potential of the medium.
Podcasts give you the opportunity to reach a new audience, strengthen ties with your current customers and build the foundation for your editorial marketing.
Audio clips can be posted on social media and content can be rewritten as articles or interviews. It's a small investment that can have a big impact.
The advantage of the format is that it's so easy to absorb and use no matter where you are or what time of day it is. Podcasts that are catching on today focus on clear formats and well-produced content.
So before you start, you need a clear plan of what your podcast will be about, who will be on it and how you will break down the topics of conversation, week by week.
Email marketing is about communicating with leads who have shown interest in a product or service your brand offers. The aim is to create trust, loyalty and build your brand. Email marketing can include promotions, offers, news and information about your business.
The aim is to create value for the customer and that the content is relevant to the recipient. The advantage of email marketing is that you can personalise the content of your mailings, capturing the customer in the buying journey and thus increasing sales.
Read more about the creating an e-mail strategy here.
So, are you ready to get started?
To succeed in your marketing today, you need to have a clear strategy and be active on the channels your target audience is on.
Digital marketing not only helps you increase brand awareness, create engagement and build relationships, it also increases your sales.
We hope our guide has given you a clearer insight into some of the activities that are relevant today and how you can use them in your strategy.