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James Parnwell

James Parnwell

Digital Marketing SWOT – A Simple Guide

What is SWOT?

If you’re new to the SWOT framework, here’s a quick introduction.

SWOT is a tool which can be used to analyse strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT).

Strengths and weaknesses are about you and your business. What are your personal strengths? What about your business – what strengths does it have? And weaknesses?   

Opportunities and threats are about what’s going on in the business world and in the market around you. These are external factors. For example, what opportunities, potential threats and competitors are out there that could impact you and your business? 

We want to  figure out what’s working (good news), what’s not working (needs some work) and create some action points around these.

SWOT Analysis - Strengths

What are your strengths? 

Ask some trusted friends and family members what they see when it comes to your website and brand etc.  

Have you got a good, strong, professional logo that puts your best foot forward? Your logo has ten seconds to grab peoples’ attention and make them feel good about what you do so it’s vital that you get this right.

Do you have branding guidelines to make sure your content is consistent? Does your website clearly state what you do? Ours says “Digital marketing that puts people first” – which means we really love working with people and we want to put you – and your customers – first.

Does your website include clear calls to action? For example, “Contact Us!” Can visitors land on your website and within 10 seconds, know what you do, what they need to do next and be resourced with everything they need to take action (eg. your phone number)?

What’s your USP (Unique Sales Proposition)? What’s different about you? What is it about you that will make a customer want to deal with you? What do you have that your competitors don’t? Our USP is the fact that we put people first. What is it that strengthens your brand?

Do you have well set up, professional LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram profiles? There are more than three social media platforms but these three are the must haves. Are you regularly posting engaging, interesting, relevant content to these platforms?

Once you’ve asked yourself these questions and have thoroughly thought through your answers, write down your strengths. This will give you an idea of what isn’t so strong and what’s needing help.

SWOT Analysis - Weaknesses

Let’s talk about leads. Are you getting any leads? A few? Where are they coming from? Word of mouth? Through your website? It’s important to be brutally honest with yourself here.

Word of Mouth Leads:

If you’re getting leads by word of mouth, congratulations! Word of mouth is the best form of marketing, ever. Our job is to get you digital marketing leads – but they’ll never be better than leads which come via word of mouth. The problem with word of mouth leads is that they’re not consistent. Let’s say one particular customer is very happy with your work. They may recommend you to a friend at a BBQ on Saturday night. That person could take three weeks to contact you. The problem with word of mouth leads is that you don’t know when, or from where they’re coming. You want word of mouth – but you want other types of leads as well. 

Website Leads:

If you’re getting leads through your website, they’re probably coming via Google. This is what we call SEO leads (organic) or Google Ads (paid). How are people getting to your website? Social Media leads are included in this as well, as more often than not, Social Media will point people to your website. Thankfully, this is easily trackable, making it easier to see what does – and doesn’t – work.

Figure out where your leads are coming from and then figure out which ones are weakest. If you’re getting some great leads through word of mouth, this means you’ve got a great business, that you’re doing something right and that people like you. If you’re going to grow further, how are you going to augment and make more of those leads?

SWOT Analysis - Opportunities

This section is all about opportunities from external sources. Let’s start by looking at the marketing funnel. 

The marketing funnel says that there are three types of customers:

Cold Customers:

People who have never heard of you or your brand and they’re not ready to do business with you. Sitting at the top of the funnel, these customers need to hear your brand name and learn what you do and that you exist. The goal of your marketing campaign to cold customers needs to be about building brand recognition and exposure. If your business doesn’t have enough exposure, then you won’t have enough hot customers at the bottom of the funnel. Brand recognition and exposure can be built by using social media or Google Display Network.

Warm Customers:

These people have heard of you and they like you – but they’re not ready to do business with you yet. Now it’s time to engage them and educate them about what you do and how you can help them. If they’re going to your website, signing up for your email or engaging with your Facebook page, make sure you use these opportunities to educate them and build trust. You want to help them feel comfortable about buying from you.

Maybe you need to write blogs or come up with a leadmagnet that people can download, to help with this process. By giving away information for free, you’re helping build trust.

Hot Customers:

They’ve been cold, and then warm and now that they’re hot, they’re ready to buy. Now’s the time for a solid call to action: Contact Me. Book Now. Whatever it is that you’re offering, tools like Google, social media and emails will help you reach hot customers digitally.

SWOT Analysis - Threats

When we think about threats, we need to look at the outside environment and what could potentially take business away from you. The main thing to consider is your competition and you can do this by conducting a very simple competitor analysis.

DIY Competitor Analysis:

Find three competitors. Don’t look at ten – you’ll just get overwhelmed. Three is enough to give you a sense of what’s happening. There are a couple of ways you can do this.

To find out who’s competing with you on Google, search Google for one of your top generic keywords, related to one of your products or services. Take note of the top three results. To gain the top ranking for a particular keyword, it means you have most of the traffic and therefore, most of the leads. So it’s a safe bet that they’re amongst your top competitors.

Visit your top three competitors’ websites and take note of:

  • Their logo and branding. Is it clean and clear?
  • What is their core message?
  • How easy is it to use their website? Can you easily access what you need?
  • Do they have a clear, unique servicing proposition that sets them apart?
  • What are their calls to action?
  • Do they have phone numbers and contact us, easily accessible?
  • Do they have an onboarding method?

Now take a look at their social media. Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are the big three. Here’s what to take note of:

  • Are they posting regularly?
  • What are they posting? Is it interesting?
  • What can you learn from their social media?

You’re going to come across a whole stack of ideas. Maybe your competitors are doing really well with their digital marketing, or perhaps they’re not. Maybe there are opportunities here, even though this is the threat section, where you might be able to fill a gap.

Just remember. There’s a lot of competition out there, all competing for ‘that’ customer. What are you doing to compete and how much of a threat are your competitors to your business?

Now it’s time to make a roadmap and an action plan of what you need to do to get your marketing singing. If we can be of any help please feel free to reach out. We’d love to help!

SWOT Analysis - Putting People First
James Parnwell
James Parnwell

James is the Managing Director and resident strategist at TheOnlineCo. He is clever and creative with a flair for making complex things sound simple. He has been in the marketing game for over 2 decades and has watched the landscape slowly shift. James has his finger on the pulse of every aspect within TheOnlineCo, meeting with all clients as well as every core team member and strategising a specific plan tailored to each client.

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