Digital Marketing Essentials for 2022 and beyond: How to plan and execute a digital marketing strategy to grow your business.

Written by
Nick Burrage

If you are looking to launch or relaunch your digital marketing (and actually make it really profitable this time) then this is the guide for you.

Marketing directors and business owners will find it useful to understand these fundamentals - if you’re in a rush then jump straight to the ‘immediate actions’ and get started!

Contents

  1. Key Terms
  2. Digital Marketing Is Powerful
  3. Problems With Digital Marketing
  4. Define Your Goals
  5. Create Your Strategy
  6. Immediate Actions

Digital Marketing is powerful

Wouldn’t it be nice to spend a quiet moment with your target market? Perhaps in the comfort of their home or when they are stressed out at work and need a solution just like yours ? Digital marketing is here to deliver just that moment. Done right it is an incredibly powerful way to get in front of the right people at the right time.

Problems with Digital Marketing

Important note: It is tempting to engage someone to ‘do some SEO’ or to quickly pay for some Google ads but there is a great risk here of massively overpaying if the basics are not correct. Paying £4 per click when your better organised competition is paying 40p per click is a sure fire way to lose an awful lot of money.

Without the foundations of a completely solid, audited digital footprint including ALL of your digital touchpoints, a digital marketing campaign is doomed to fail.

Key Terms

Inbound Marketing

While advertising of old went out into the world and tried to grab attention with a TV ad or a poster on a train platform wall, inbound marketing aims to attract your target market to you. This usually relies on content ( see below) that has a specific interest to your buyer on their journey (also below).

Content Marketing

This is a useful umbrella term for any marketing activity that is carried out on the internet - so this includes your website, anything you do with Google, Facebook or other social platforms, email marketing etc.

Digital Marketing

This is a useful umbrella term for any marketing activity that is carried out on the internet - so this includes your website, anything you do with Google, Facebook or other social platforms, email marketing etc.

SEO - Search Engine Optimisation

This refers to work done to improve your standing with the various search engines. In practice this really means Google although of course Bing does capture a small share of the market. The aim here is to have your website on page 1 of the results page (sometimes you’ll see SERP which just means : Search Engine Results Page). Being on anything other than page 1 will reduce your site visitors dramatically. Note that you’ll see the word ‘organic’ used here. This refers to your ability to generate site visitors without paying directly for them.

PPC

Pay Per Click Advertising ( PPC) is a form of online marketing in which you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. This could be on the Google results page or elsewhere on the internet. This form of promotion can be extremely powerful while your organic work is building up.

Digital Display

Often used to target prospects who have not yet started to consider your product or service, this advertising aims to place your product or service in front of the right people at the right time.

Remarketing

This is a useful tool where you have a target group who have expressed some interest - e.g. they have landed on your website but have not purchased or enquired. Remarketing allows you to follow them around the internet and nudge them with further stimulus such as an offer which will be enough to convert some of them into buyers.

Email Marketing

Building a database of groups of people who are at various different stages of your sales funnel can be a very powerful way to keep that funnel full.

Define Your Goals

Without defining your target, it’ll be hard to hit

Your marketing department goals may already be clear and as business owner you may well be carrying around a revenue amount in your head. In any case it’s worth writing them down and studying them.

The gap between where you are now, and that goal will inform the strategy that follows.

Note that a goal may directly link to strategy: If achieving the right profit means moving more into a new sector or geography then now’s the time to get that down too.

Make the ultimate goal big and scary.

Goal setting is something that you might find harder than you expect. ‘I want to drive a Ferrari by Christmas’ isn’t actually as daft as it sounds. Your overall business goal is actually a good starting point and if it gets you that new car and that’s a goal that motivates you, then go for it.

If it’s your business or you know the boss will reward the marketing department for major success, then this is the time to nail down what that success looks like.

Ultimate Goals - measurable and results focussed

Your ultimate goal should probably be a 3-5 year goal - as Tony Robbins says:  ‘Most people underestimate what they can achieve in a year but overestimate what they can do in a week!’

Ideally it should be a number which you can measure and a number that excites and motivates you. If it doesn’t get your adrenalin flowing to some degree, then it’s either the wrong goal or not big enough!

SMART goals are: Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely

Intermediate Goals - measurable actions and results

Nxn Along the way it will be good to check progress. This may simply be a division of the final goal but could also include the actions you have done to help. In this case we’d want to bring in our digital marketing actions and results.

Example - Ryan’s Gym

Ryan runs a large gym and has set an ultimate goal of 300 members in 24 months’ time. This would provide £24,000 revenue each month. This number gives him the lifestyle he wants and allows constant re-investment.

Ryan’s intermediate goal is to break even which he needs to do within 12 months at 70 members.

For year 1 his goals are as follows

Month 1 - get the website speed up to scratch with Google Page Speed Insights.

Month 2 - Complete first round website content in line with SEO requirements and ‘They Ask, You Answer’ book by Marcus Sheridan

Month 3 - Revisit brand to make sure messaging is coherent

Month 4 - Have a content strategy running so that new content is appearing every week on the website. This means time is allocated and the right content guides are in place.

Month 5 - Complete a written sales funnel so that he knows what actions happen at each stage. For example - are enquiries being followed up, do people who attend get a proper induction and goal setting to keep them coming.

Month 6 - Sales target: 45 Members

Build your strategy

Create Personas

A persona is simply an invented person who represents a chunk or ideally all of your target prospect group.

Gather as much information as you can about who they are, what they want, what their mindset is now, what they might be worried about that relates to your business etc.

Create a sketch of them with the key details as a handy guide.

At The Ambitions Agency we know that our audience are smart, ambitious career marketing professionals and business owners who work in or own a business that is £1m to £100m in size. They are busy - so time poor -  but want the best for their company and are worried about the myriad confusing offers of agency type available. We help them by getting to the point quickly, offering learning and coaching to help them feel confident in their choices and being transparent about what we can and cannot do for them.

Digital Marketing
Adding a photo to your personas will help to make them more real

Persona: Ben, Chief Marketing Officer 30 - 55

Budget: £150k - £500k

Goals: business growth by finding key support partners for his sales & marketing. Growing his team’s skillset and knowledge base

Challenges: lack of time, lack of detailed knowledge in specific areas, missing skill sets within his team. No ‘go-to’ support agency in mind for some tasks

Concerns: Agencies over-promise and cannot always deliver, wasting time is huge problem, internal reputation damage from wrong choice

Draw your funnel

Keep it as simple as you can - here is an example.

Example of a Funnel

A funnel lets you see which tools you need to employ at each stage.

You may start with just the minimum amount of activity in order to get a flow of clients. You could then move on to optimise each stage by improving the activity or adding more actions.

Immediate Actions

Use this pre-launch checklist to make sure you are fully prepared for your digital marketing campaign

Set up all the accounts you’ll need

Before doing any digital marketing, it is essential to make certain that you at least have access to your complete digital footprint. Yes, that means everything:

Google Manager Account
Google Console / Data Studio
Google Tag Manager
Google Analytics
Google My Business
Google Ads
YouTube
Website CMS
Domain
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
LinkedIn
Any Third-Party Integration or Re-seller Platforms
CRM e.g., HubSpot
Amazon

Set up all the tracking that will allow you to measure your success

Check your contact forms are all working and sending to your email

If using HubSpot then check you have it set up correctly and that you will be able to measure which pages on your site are generating the most dwell time and responses

Set up Google Data Studio or one of the sub-platforms such as Google Console. Make sure you have a good basic knowledge of how each works or get some coaching in their use.

Key website metrics you will need:

Sessions - the number of visitors
Channels - where they come from
Bounce Rate - very important measure of how many visitors do not say on your site
Goals - shows numbers taking the actions you want
Engagement - shows how interested visitors are in your content
Site Content - page by page dwell times etc.
Devices - how are people viewing the site
Landing pages - which landing pages are most effective
Exit Pages - shows what triggers people to leave your website

For a fuller explanation visit https://www.purelybranded.com/insights/top-10-website-analytics-you-should-be-measuring-and-learning-from/

Check your site speed

From August 2021 Google monitors site speed as the absolute key data piece before all else. This is fundamentally a pass/fail test and one that you can take for free right now by visiting https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

If your site fails you must remedy it before you move forward. Contact a technical specialist agency or freelancer if you do not have the expertise in house.

Starting Point Assessments - website audits

Any good digital agency will offer a website or digital audit.

These can be done at a basic level where the agency will not log in to your various dashboards such as Google Console. Often this can be done quickly and at low or no cost. A useful guide to your current position.

A full digital audit will mean that the supplier gets access to all your digital platforms and then spends a few days compiling data before sharing this with you in a walk-through meeting. These are never anything less than fascinating, so we fully recommend.

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