Your Marketing Plan.
Have you got an actual plan for your marketing? Or are you just giving a few different things “a go?” Successful businesses spend time thinking and planning about what the following year of marketing will look like, before commencing.
Every time you see a big brand advertising something you can be sure that plenty of thought has gone into who that content is speaking to, what it is intended to communicate, which channels will be used to communicate it and what the outcomes need to be in order to define success.
Whether you are a small, medium or large business, you need a plan in place. This is where our Digital Marketing Playbook comes into place.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!”
What is the Most Common Reason Campaigns Fail?
Often, we have clients who come in and know exactly what they want to do. They might say, “I want to run Facebook ads because ‘Joe’ down the street told me that that was the way to go.” However, this may not be the best tactic for their brand. They almost set themselves up for failure because they have not taken the time to analyse what is the best channel for them, or considered what their competitors are doing in that space. This can happen for Facebook, Google Ads or SEO, where clients don’t take time to consider the bigger picture and are left wondering why their digital marketing didn’t work for them. In other words, they have picked a tactic before doing any strategic work, however, that tactic may not be the right one for them.
Furthermore, when looking at your ‘brand voice’ we consider your brand ‘voicing’. This means we look at how your language is really setting up your brand. Here we consider whether you’re speaking with empathetic tones of voice or whether you’re having a commanding presence in your tone. This is important to know as it makes a difference in how you are writing your ads, and how you may be presenting yourself on your website.
This is how you present your brand in a way that meets your target market well. Big Brands like Disney for example do this successfully. They know that they’re in that magical space and in order to appeal to their target customer and what they want from the brand. Disney must create an essence of beauty, magic and imagination.
The first thing people want when they come to your website isn’t to see you have a grand imagination with your beautiful statement. We work with our clients to ensure they have a strong, clear statement that shows their customers they have landed in the right space. This is called the “Clarity Statement”. Is it clear that your website is in the Health space? Or the financial space?
When you are creating ads on Facebook, what are you going to say? Are you saying the right things or the wrong things? It’s important to establish these things first.
4. SEO Strategy
Now we arrive at SEO Strategy which stands for “Search Engine Optimisation”. Also known as the “Google Organic” side of things, this involves ensuring Google knows how to find you and what it is looking for. We ensure there is a strong plan in place for the year, as you don’t want to be doing a bit of SEO this month and figuring out what we might do next. You need to have a clear plan. At the core of this is your Keyword Strategy.
What are the big keywords (“A Class”) that you are going to rank for, followed by the medium size keywords (“B Class”)? It’s just as important to know your “B Class” words, as these often have strong intent so people are looking for the thing you are selling. However, the “B Class” words won’t have as many search queries as the “A Class” words. We will make a business case for all these words to help with your SEO and use these to create content to put across your website. Then it begins to get a bit more technical.
Once we have your keyword strategy in place, we will also work on your website to make it as friendly to Google as possible. The technical side includes the load speed of your website, ensuring there are no broken images or pages and focusing on your meta titles and meta descriptions. Having the technical side of your website in order means Google can come to your website, read your code and know exactly what you are about.
Once we have the technical side of things in order, we will optimise your website for local. If someone types in your suburb or an area near you, this ensures they will find you in their search. When we work on backlinking, we create links from other websites to your website, which provides more authority with Google. Finally, we focus on the user experience. How do your customers experience your website and does it work how it should?
Audits and Media Budgets
In order to determine what strategy is your best approach for Google Ads, if you’re running a campaign, we will do an audit. This will show a score out of 100 for what is happening currently in your campaign, giving us a clear view of what needs to be improved. If you are not running a campaign, we will do a media budget. We will determine the amount of money you can spend to dominate your industry and area, and then work out how much of that you actually want or have to spend. There is a lot of detail to this, but simply put, we would figure out your budget, offer small recommendations, and give you options about where you could invest. Google Ads, when it works, is one of the best lead-generation tactics. However, it isn’t always right for everybody, so using the Digital Marketing Strategy Playbook process allows us to determine if this is right for you.
7. Organic Social Strategy
The Organic Social Strategy is your unpaid Social Media. This is integral to building trust. Have you ever seen a product in your Social Media feed, and wondered if it’s any good? Most people will go to that product’s organic Social Media feed to see what they have been posting and determine what this company is about. They might follow that page to keep track and see if they can trust this company’s product.
This can lead to clients wanting to stay focused on an organic social media strategy, aiming to grow their product this way. However, it’s important to note you still need to “feed it” by also utilising paid social strategy. The two work hand in hand. Paid feeds the organic, but organic builds that trust which pushes people over the line.
It’s also important to establish a rhythm to your organic social media posts. Some people will ‘hammer’ the business all the time in every post, which can lead to disengagement as followers stop liking the posts or interacting with them. For our clients, we put together a sample rhythm of the different types of content that should go up. Content that adds value and connection, through a social or inspiring post, or a video. This allows followers to interact with different things and when you do a business post, your followers will see it in their feed since they have already been interacting. There is a subtle art to making sure it works well, and the Digital Marketing Playbook allows for this to happen.
8. LinkedIn Strategy
One component of your Social Media strategy could be the use of LinkedIn. The thing to understand about LinkedIn is that it can be its own beast. It’s like the other social platforms, but it also isn’t. Through our Digital Marketing Playbook, we have a strategy in which we can really utilise LinkedIn, through both an organic and paid approach.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is our primary approach. It is specifically for Business to Business (B2B), as it pretty much has the entire Western world on its database. When you subscribe to LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you gain access to that database, enabling you to reach out to these people in your specific industry. You can create new connections and generate leads in all kinds of industry areas.
9. Email Strategy
You may think that email is not quite what it used to be. But it is still a huge component of digital marketing. There are lots of tools now that enable you to use automation to your advantage and take a lot of the legwork out of what you could be doing. If you’re feeding people into your email database, you can have consistent touchpoints with them, asking them for reviews or for referrals. In our playbook, we offer monthly and fortnightly emails, we can work with you to build out email automation, and recommend exactly what could work well for you.
We understand people are going to make investment decisions around what they can afford, and then what their growth objectives are, and there is often a tension between these two. While you may want to see growth fast, The Online.Co always recommends that people should invest at a level that is affordable for them. You shouldn’t be losing sleep because you’ve over-invested, taking a big risk in the hope that it all turns out. It’s important to understand marketing plans work consistently, however, it may not all work out in the first three months!
When we do a Digital Marketing Playbook, we will tailor something to your budget and give you some options. You can choose which services you want and customise between them quite easily. So the budget is an important question, how much is this going to cost over the course of the year? So then you can look at returns on investment? What’s it going to bring in the front door, and how’s my business going to grow as a result?
We answer all these questions as a component of a Digital Marketing Playbook.