December 6, 2007 ByBrent Nau
As 2007 comes to an end and 2008 is just around the corner, now is the time to review just how far you and your business has come.
Did you improve your website, adjust content, include conversion, develop tools that benefit your audience; are you getting more out of this 24 workhorse than you did a year ago?
If the answer is no, you need to start looking making changes.
And if the answer is yes, then you are most likely already planning changes for 2008.
So Where Do You Start to Plan Your 2008 Digital Marketing Strategy?
The Basics and Build from there
1. Review your web site
Does it meet your visitor's expectations? It is dated? Does the content motivate and sell while being search engine friendly? Does your site build a relationship with your customers or just provide information?
Many companies are not sure how there website stacks up, so consider hiring a company that can thoroughly does website evaluations. The benefit of this approach is that you get an outside, unbiased view of your site.
Answer these questions honestly and then start setting the plan, revised and new content, better conversion paths, new graphics, etc...
Here is a tip - always start with the content first
2. Review traffic sources
Where are visitors coming from Search engines, social networks, pay per click, banner advertising, banner advertising, other web sites, news sites, etc... and what is the value of these sources.
Depending on your business, loyalty of users, target audience and how you advertise you traffic will vary but...
Search Engine traffic can be some of the highest converting
Social Networking in business to business can be some of your best qualified leads
Pay Per Click Services can drive volume and allow for geo-targeting
Direct Traffic - Success of Branding and offline marketing
Then you need to identify where you can get more traffic from and what you are will to invest to get that traffic, leads and sales.
3. Social Networking Strategies
How active is your company in social networking? MySpace, LinkedIn, FaceBook are the most talked about but there are many layers of social networking sites and various way to utilize them for business.
Do you have a corporate strategy for your business and each employee? Do you need one? We recommend that you set guidelines for your business pages, but know that social networking means that we are all connected. That includes past and present employees.
Are you doing it and should your business be blogging? Well, blogging can be a powerful tool but companies really need to identify how they would like to use it. Some options include:
Share Business Information - Build Reputation
Commentary and Opinion
Custer Service - Product Updates, Upgrades, Solutions
Informational - News, Events, Company Information
While there are more options and these topics may overlap, the style and presentation of each could vary.
Note some of the best blogs deal with tough customer service issues online. Readers of these blogs quickly learn whether companies address issues or ignore them. Those business that quickly move to solve problems often win loyal followers.
5. Review, Improve, Repeat
Continue to improve and test new things on your website. Always keep testing new ideas, revise old ones and accept that some will fail. The knowledge you get from a test that does not succeed can sometimes be more valuable then those that succeed.
Looking back at some key clients who are now having record breaking success, the one common factor is that small improvement were made all year long. New copy, improved search functionality, revising the header, revising and improving ppc ads, keywords and bids and improving the navigation structure all have helped client achieve 30 and 45% increases in 2007 over 2006 without a significant increase in expenses.
There is more but...You will notice that I didn't touch on video, widgets and other emerging technologies in this article and there is a reason why. Most companies fail to get the basics down first. Basically they spend $20,000 on a pay per click campaign and then realize that the site doesn't convert.
My approach is build a solid foundation and build from there a successful Digital Marketing Strategy starts with the basics and layers on more and more success, while continuously working to improve performance.
If you are looking for a company to consult, advise or review your 2008 Digital Marketing Strategy give Sales & Marketing Technologies a call 407-682-2222.
We work with companies with sales from $1 million to over a billion dollars and have one objective to make them more successful and I know we can do it for you too.
Author: Russell Troutman
Digital Marketing Manager, Sales & Marketing Technologies