It’s very easy to lose direction when marketing your business through social media, paid advertising and email marketing. You can wind up spending an extraordinary amount of time monitoring channels and metrics that don’t actually provide any benefit to your business. Page likes, engagement and site visitors are all cool stats, but they are what we call vanity metrics. A thousand likes on your cat video is cool, but does it bring you business? It may well, but if you don’t know how or why, it’s a vanity metric.
To get a better sense of what you should be doing online, you need a plan. The digital marketing world is changing and evolving often, so your plan should be agile and not so specific that it becomes obsolete within a few months. The important parts to identify are the why, to who and how. Already starting to cringe at the idea of developing another marketing plan?
Enter the ‘Ten Minute Digital Marketing Strategy’. The idea is that you should be able to complete the strategy within ten minutes and no more. You can review and even update the strategy within minutes. This makes it easy to understand and to follow by you or your staff.
The most important step of all is identifying your goals. It sets the basis for the entire strategy. If anything in your strategy doesn’t get you closer to achieving your goals, it doesn’t belong in the strategy.
A goal will also help us determine if our strategy is working. In a months time we can assess whether we are closer to our goal, and which parts of our strategy have helped achieved that, and which haven’t.
Some good examples of goals to set are:
- Get 10 new clients by the end of financial year
- Increase sales revenue by 5% each month
- Increase the average order value by $20
- Increase conversion rate by 2%
Now carefully consider who your target audience is. This is the type of person that is most likely to buy your product. Think about what this person looks like, what they like doing, what their problems might be.
Do not fall into the trap of ‘everyone is my target audience’. This is the worst possible answer to this question, but it’s amazing how often I hear it. You will be wasting a whole lot of money, time and effort marketing to ‘everyone’.
Some questions you need to ask yourself are:
- age and gender
- what do they like or dislike
- what problems do they encounter
- what influences their decisions
It can be helpful to think of an individual person when crafting this target persona.
There are three channels you should be considering in any strategy. Website, social, email. Master each one and you’ll have a powerful strategy.
Your website is the foundation of all other marketing. The majority of your marketing will bring people back to your website. So for that reason, it should get the most attention.
Not only should your website design be visually impressive and easy to navigate, but it should appeal to your target audience. Is it the type of look and feel your target audience enjoys or appreciates? It goes without saying, the site should be mobile optimised. There’s no faster way to alienate over half of your audience than with a clunky desktop only website.
Well written, informative content has the two fold effect of attracting customers and ranking well in search engines. It’s important your homepage clearly establishes what your site is about and how it can help the user. Think of your homepage as the ‘money page’. It’s going to get the most attention from customers and search engines. Preferably have a main point, and get straight to it.
Once your standard site pages are setup, you then need to focus on how you will create ongoing content through articles or blogs. It’s no secret that Google loves fresh, regular content on websites, but it’s also how you will promote your website through other marketing channels. Articles should be informative, useful, entertaining or fun.
Again, focus on your target audience. What would they want to read about. Offer value. Don’t make the article all about your business. Think about the problems your audience has, solve them, and you will have gained their respect in the short term and perhaps their business in the long term.
Social media can be an amazing tool if harnessed correctly. The key is genuine, authentic content. Every marketer and his dog is shouting their message. Users are very savvy at mentally blocking these messages out as they filter through their feeds. The key again is value.
But to gain the attention of your target audience on social, you first need to know where they hang out. Choose the appropriate social channel to publish your content on, and then publish appropriate content. Instagram users don’t care about your article on maximising your tax return, just like LinkedIn users don’t care about the crema on your decaf soy latte down at the hipster cafe.
Email marketing is still hands down the most cost effective digital marketing method available. Build that database up over time and you have a real asset. The trick is how you build that database.
Some great tactics for building a list are:
- offer a discount coupon
- offer a free download
- offer exclusive content
The old signup popup in your face is pretty annoying, but it still works. Make your request light hearted and fun, maybe even apologise for the interruption, but make your offer for signing up very clear.
Get in down on paper
So after considering all these things, get in down on paper. Share it around. Talk to your staff or peers to see if what you think is your target audience and aligning strategy is what everyone else thinks is your target audience and strategy. Hopefully because you’ve only invested ten minutes, it will be easy to review and your soul won’t be crushed if you get it wrong.
The most critical thing is to ensure things you implement are aligning with your goals and target audience. Look back at your ten minute strategy often to stay on track.
I’ve created a free template you can use to get started. Heck, with the template you should be able to get it down to five minutes. Analyse and review often. Good luck.