Table of Contents
- Analyze past metrics
- Define goals
- Persona research
- Competitor research
- Keyword research
- SEO strategy
- Content strategy
- Blog strategy
- Landing pages
- Social media
- Other channels
- Measurement & analysis
1. Analyze past metrics
Before embarking on a marketing plan, it’s important to know how the business is currently performing. Otherwise, we’ll have a weak sense of knowing whether the marketing plan is really working, or whether any increase in sales would’ve happened organically. These marketing metrics can change from an industry or product perspective but here are some general metrics I look.
- Acquisition data
- Behavior data
- Content data
- Technical data
- Loyalty data
- Revenue/conversions data
2. Define goals
I’ll use goals to help determine and allocate the appropriate amount of resources (time and money) to our digital marketing plan. As digital marketing is completely measurable and can be anticipated to a certain extent, setting goals should also help us track our monthly results, allowing us to improve our key metrics over a period of time.
- Build trust
- Attract new users
- Improve loyalty
- Increase conversions
3. Persona research
It’s really important to think about the type of customer we wish to serve. Getting a bad customer can often be worse than not having that customer at all. It’s also important to know who we want as a customer so we know how and where to find them, which will have a big impact when it comes to targeting our marketing efforts.
We will need to appeal to the specific personality type of those people who are interested in our company. It will be good to have data about our buyer personas but keep in mind that these are fictional characters. Getting to know our ideal customer is a delicate process that requires lots of attention. Here’s some data I’d like to collect.
- Job Title
4. Competitor research
In order to compare our success in the industry, knowing our own metrics is not enough: we should take a look to see how our main competitors are performing as well. By evaluating certain key metrics, we’ll be in a better position to position our brand effectively.
Let’s make a list of our competitors and analyze their strategies from broad to narrow subjects. For example, auditing a competitor for organic traffic data to backlink data to see an overview of their SEO strategy and where they’re getting their link juice. Then we’ll be able to decide what we can do to position ourselves and outline a better-targeted strategy.
5. Keyword research
Keywords are phrases and words that our prospects use to type into a search engine, in order to find a solution to their issue.
For small businesses and start-ups, it is usually better to choose long-tail or low competition phrases rather than single words, as this will increase our chances of ranking for the term.
When selecting our keywords, we should test them against the following criteria;
- Relevance to our brand
- Min. monthly search volume
- Level of competition
Ideally, we’re looking for keywords that have a combination of low competition, a high number of monthly searches, and are relevant to our business.
- Select keywords that people can actually search for
- Perform competitive keyword analysis to grow our list
- Monitor search trends and keep an eye on what people are searching
- Be sure to check keywords on a regular basis and optimize as necessary
6. SEO strategy
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consists of two parts: on-page SEO (modifications our website) and off-page SEO (external efforts affecting our website).
On-Page SEO: Modifications on our website
On-page SEO is a constant effort as the website evolves, and may be adapted over time if necessary to improve search engine relationships.
- Meta tags
- Media alt text
- Body content
- Internal linking
- External linking
- Responsive layout
- Page load speed
Off-Page SEO: External efforts affecting our website
Off-page SEO deals with getting other websites to link to our website. This is carried out after the website is live and should be an ongoing task.
- Link quality
- Link anchor text
- Business relevance
- Outbound link no.
- Page authority
- Domain authority
- Secure (SSL)
- Social share
7. Content strategy
When it comes to maintaining an online presence, we must ensure that we include useful and unique information on our website. We should carefully consider the content included on our website. The more quality content we include, the more likely we’re to be found online, and have more pages indexed in the search engines for a range of keywords.
The following pages are recommended for any website as a minimum:
- Terms and Conditions
8. Blog strategy
Blogging is the most important part of ensuring a successful content marketing campaign. By constantly updating our site with new and useful information, we are greatly increasing our chances of reaching our goals.
It is worth noting at this point that certain posts, such as how to guides and lists, usually perform well. However, we should still carry out tests to see which articles are;
- Case studies
- Company News
- Content Curation
- Helpful Apps / Tools
- Original Researches
- Press Releases
- White Papers
After a new blog post is published, the promotion has an important role in increasing the visibility of our content.
- Make sure users can comment
- Share post on own social media channels
- Email post to your subscribers
- Outreach bloggers, reporters etc.
- Submit the post to relevant forums
- Submit the post to related social bookmarking sections
- Share on social media groups, communities etc.
9. Landing pages
A landing page is a page that allows us to collect our visitors’ information and allows us to convert visitors to leads. When creating our landing pages, the main things we should remember are:
- Use clear titles, descriptions, and layouts
- Structure the form with the visitor in mind
- A/B test
- Focus on conversions
Any content we’ve created already can be leveraged to help us start generating leads. One great way to convert traffic into leads is to offer something of value (our asset) in exchange for contact information, via a landing page.
10. Social media
The first thing to remember when it comes to social media is that this is a great place to engage our prospects or customers; they are in a comfortable, relaxed environment, browsing in their leisure time, chatting with friends and looking at stuff from a variety of sources. This means that they are more likely to be receptive to messages they receive from us. However, there is a high chance of getting blocked too. Setting up a strategy with the user in mind is crucial to start well.
In being active on social media accounts, our aim is to build relationships, establish connections and engage in conversations. The main sites we need to be active depends on the audience we want to reach. Just because Facebook is popular, doesn’t mean that we should be there. There are many other social media channels for each business type.
11. Other channels
There are lots of marketing channels to test and get traction from. But we’re not going to cover them all because it depends on the audience and stakeholder decisions to follow.
12. Measurement & analysis
There are a lot of different statistics that we can measure over a period of time to determine how successful our marketing campaigns are, and how we can optimize the results. It’s important to define and track goals with our analytics tool of choice.
We must be sure to measure our conversion rates, as well as overall numbers, from each traffic source; this includes social media, SEO, blog, landing pages and other marketing channels. Once we have the data in front of us, we can decide which activities to continue, which needs tweaking, and which we can stop altogether, as we’ll have a clearer picture of what’s working and what’s not.