Last week we talked about your target audience and understanding them (Read part 1 of our Digital Marketing Strategy Series here) . The next step in developing your digital marketing strategy is to look at where you are currently at.
Are you currently operating in the digital marketing space? What are your current marketing assets / marketing channels?
Your digital marketing assets include:
- Website – desktop & mobile sites
- Social media sites – Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram etc.
- Email campaigns & email systems
- Videos & Podcasts
- CRM or Customer Relationship Management systems
- Affiliate programmes
Note: Think about your target audience and which digital marketing mediums they are using – if you don’t know, then grab the nearest person who meets your target audience criteria and ask them. Repeat this process 10 times and you’ll start to get an understanding of what they use.
Step 1 - Take a look at your current situation and do a SWOT analysis:
Don’t forget to compare them to your competitors and the marketplace. Online tools to help:
- You can use some great online tools to review the basics of your website and social media – try http://marketing.grader.com/ as a starting point.
- Hubspot also have a range of other free marketing resources - https://www.hubspot.com/resources
Step 2 – Competitor Review
As part of your digital marketing asset review, take a good look at your competitors' websites, social media sites & digital marketing assets and looking at their strengths and weaknesses:
- What’s strong?
- What’s weak?
- What are they doing well?
Look for companies that are listed and have to put out annual reports to glean information about the marketplace. This can be a great way to understand what they are spending on marketing, employees etc. and to monitor their growth over time.
Step 3 – Key Focus Areas
Revisit your business objectives from last week & from the Digital Marketing SWOT, choose 3 or 4 key areas to focus on that will help you achieve your business goals.
Looking for an increase in sales leads for your team?
Is your company easily found on google for the keywords that people use – either naturally or through google adwords? Have you set up ways for people to easily contact you & for you to gather customer details? Do you cross-sell and up-sell using tools such as email?
Looking for an improvement in customer service?
What tools do you have on your website to easily answer their questions or customer service issues? Q&A sections? Virtual assistants? On-line chat? Videos? An 0800 number?
Looking for increased engagement from your customers?
Do you have interesting & useful information on your website or blog that they will return to on a regular basis? Do you have social media sites that your customers use? Can customers generate their own content? Can they have community conversations? WIIFM?
If you are a start-up then think carefully about your key (and hopefully niche) opportunities.
A quick note about viral marketing:
Most people think that they can use the digital space to generate huge brand awareness with little or no cost. I hear the term ‘viral campaign’ bandied about as a cheap way to get customers to websites or social media sites. Reality is that true viral marketing (digital or otherwise) is still very unusual and rarely at little / no cost. Often there is a lot of time and resources spent in both creating and seeding a viral campaign and there is absolutely no guarantee of success.
For each successful viral campaign there is bound to have been millions that have failed… Take a look on YouTube at the number of videos posted with just a handful of hits!
The key thing for a viral marketing campaign is that it has to grab people’s attention, usually through the unexpected, and then be worthy of passing it on / sharing, either through humour or interesting / useful information. This means that it can’t be a blatant advertisement for your business – your branding has to be subtle and indirect. The issue with this is that it may fail to deliver your overall objective.
So, be prepared be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses and don’t see ‘viral digital marketing’ as an inexpensive opportunity.
Now you have evaluated your current situation and identified your key areas to work it’s time to develop your SMART digital marketing objectives, which we’ll cover off in the next blog post… See you then!
Other parts in this series:
- Digital Marketing Strategy Part 1: What Is a Good Strategy for My Business?
- Digital Marketing Strategy Part 2: Analysing Your Current Strategy
- Digital Marketing Strategy Part 3: Developing Digital Objectives
- Digital Marketing Strategy Part 4: Decide on Your Strategy & Tactics
- Digital Marketing Strategy Part 5: Test, Measure & Improve
This blog series is written by Debra Chantry, an Executive in Residence (EiR) & Business Coach at The Icehouse working with start-ups and established business to help them achieve their growth goals. Debra is also the owner of Ventell, a Strategic Consultancy focused on growing businesses profitably through business coaching, business and digital strategies and governance.