With thousands of brands and companies competing for attention online, it can be difficult for businesses to find their footing and know where to start with digital marketing. Maybe you’ve started a Twitter account and trailed off, unsure how to reach customers in all the social media noise. Or maybe you’ve held off on digital marketing because it didn’t seem worth the investment without a firm plan in place.
Our digital marketing roadmap breaks down the key stages of the process to help you develop a results-driven, actionable plan. By customizing the roadmap to your business and timeline, you can efficiently allocate your team and resources, saving time and money.
1. Know your target market
Digital marketing makes it possible to create specific, targeted messages that speak to your customers authentically and personally. Doing so requires a deep understanding of your ideal customers. What are their pain points or challenges? Their goals or desires? How do your offerings align with their needs or help solve their problems?
Creating buyer personas helps you visualize your audience and articulate your knowledge of your customer.
2. Choose metrics for success
Set concrete, realistic goals and key performance indicators to define what success means for your campaigns. If you’re seeking to increase site traffic, you could focus on increasing organic or social referral traffic; if you want to boost customer engagement, your goal could be to decrease bounce rate or increase the time customers spent on your site.
Use Google Analytics to evaluate where you are now and track progress over time. Gathering data can also help redirect your marketing budget to where it will have the greatest impact and return on investment.
3. Design a delightful website experience
For your customers, your website is a hub of knowledge on your product or service. All ads and marketing campaigns funnel your customers to your website—it should be intuitive, easy to navigate, interactive and engaging. A well-designed website fosters trust in your company—according to Forbes, when customers were asked why they didn’t trust a website, 94% of responses mentioned design over content.
Your website is a powerful means of driving conversions and moving customers further down the sales funnel. By building customized landing pages, you can encourage customers to request a demo, sign up for newsletters, or otherwise engage further with your company.
4. Search engine optimization
SEO ensures that your customers will find your site when they enter relevant keywords or search terms. Designing your website and content according to SEO best practices drives more qualified leads to your page—according to Marketo, 67% of all search engine clicks are on the first five websites on a search results page.
Conduct an SEO check to ensure that all links work, that metadata and headers are properly tagged, and that your site loads quickly. Up-to-date and consistent Google Maps and local listings improves your search rankings and ensures customers see the correct information however they find your business.
5. Build trust with engaging content
According to Meaningful Brands, “84 percent of people expect brands to provide content that entertains, tells stories, provides solutions, and creates experiences and events.” Purely promotional content that shouts at users to buy, buy, buy is a turn-off for your customers. While informative, inspirational, or thought-provoking content is more difficult to create, it’s more valuable in driving engagement and building relationships with your target audience.
Effective, on-brand content—in the form of social media presence, blogposts, or video and other interactive media—boosts your search rankings, increases social media reach and ultimately attracts potential top-of-the-funnel customers.
Nurture a reliable online presence that demonstrates your expert knowledge of your field and your customer’s needs with an editorial calendar centered on your core keywords.
6. Engage on social media
Social media allows companies to communicate and build relationships with customers in a more far-reaching and authentic way than ever before. It can also create a daunting feeling of overload and saturation—effective social media marketing builds on laser-focused messages that address your ideal customer. Not all companies need to be active on every form of social media—turn to your buyer personas to choose social media channels where your target audience spends the most time, and concentrate your energy and time building a consistent presence there.
By monitoring keywords on social media, you can listen into what your customers are saying about your brand and adjust your marketing approach to better fulfill their needs. Social media is also a key customer service tool, and allows you to respond to customers before issues become PR crises.
7. Target ads to the right viewers
Paid search and social media ads allow you to advertise directly to the customers most interested in your services or who are located in your area. Google and Facebook collect a host of data on their users—apply it to your advantage with their advertising platform.
Customers look for different information at different stages in the sales process. By delivering the content they’re looking for in each phase of the purchase decision, you can strategically move the audience through the sales funnel and deliver an enjoyable experience. Learn more about the buyer’s journey in our blogpost here.
8. Nurture leads with email marketing
Email marketing is a powerful tool to convert prospects into customers — according to Emma, 59% of B2B marketers say that email is the most effective channel for generating revenue. Delivering relevant, educational emails, leveraging your website’s content marketing, can drive engagement with qualified leads.
Email marketing platforms allow you to target specific audience segments. With automated reminders or follow-up emails, you can tailor communications to different stages of the sales process and boost open and click rates—ultimately forging a stronger connection with your ideal customer.