Now that we’ve covered the definition of digital marketing, it’s time to focus on launching digital marketing at your organization.
Today, we’ll explore the first two steps for building and implementing a digital marketing plan that delivers results:
- Performing a digital marketing audit
- Sequencing your best opportunities
Let’s get strategic!
Performing a digital marketing audit
The term “audit” has gained a negative connotation in today’s business environment, perhaps rightfully so. Having your financials audited by federal or state authorities can be a painful, time-intensive process, even for those who play by the rules.
When it comes to digital marketing, however, an audit shouldn’t make you feel stressed. On the contrary, performing a digital marketing audit can be an enjoyable process that provides you with more clarity and accelerates the effectiveness of your marketing operations.
What is a digital marketing audit?
Similar to financial audits, marketing audits involve the careful collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. Unlike financial audits that look at receipts and tax return filings, marketing audits measure the impact of your existing digital footprint by examining a variety of data sets, such as:
- Website traffic analytics (users, pageviews, referring sources)
- On-page engagement (bounce rate, time spent, events, goal completions)
- Social media trends (follower growth, engagement)
- Email marketing statistics (opens, clicks, list growth, campaign performance)
- Inbound links (quality, quantity)
- Search engine rankings (keyword position, site visibility, domain and page authority, competitors)
- Paid advertising (cost per click, cost per conversion)
- CRM reports (customer lists, prospect lists, lead volume by source, conversion rate, and more)
If you’re totally new to digital marketing, you may not have much data to audit. That being said, most companies at least have a website and social media profiles. Start by making a list of your digital assets (such as your website) and develop a plan for collecting as much data as possible for each asset.
What tools do you need to perform a digital marketing audit?
Unlike offline forms of advertising, such as billboards or direct mail campaigns, digital marketing initiatives are intrinsically data-driven. Of course, this statement assumes that you have the correct tools in place to collect the data.
Notice it’s “tools” and not “tool.” In my experience, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” digital marketing audit tool. To perform an adequate audit of your website, for example, you should use data from several sources:
- Website analytics platforms, particularly the Google Analytics service
- Webmaster tools, such as the Bing Webmaster Tools service
- Site spidering tools, especially the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool and crawler
- Advanced SEO software, such as Moz SEO software
Auditing your social media or pay-per-click advertising will likely require additional tools. The good news is that digital marketing is a hot industry, so there’s no shortage of affordable online services. With a little research, you’re bound to find a plethora of solutions that meet your needs and budget. Keep in mind that spending some time and money on these tools will save you resources in the long run and help you reach your target customers.
What does the data say?
Data provides little value to your business unless it helps you to accelerate growth. To maximize the usefulness of your digital marketing data, use SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis.
What is working? What’s not working? What are competitors doing that you could do better? What is the risk of maintaining the status quo? Use your SWOT analysis to identify data-driven answers to these important questions.
Sequencing your best opportunities
For the productivity-minded person, this step can feel tremendously monotonous. After all, your marketing audit uncovered dozens of great ideas that could deliver substantial impact. Why not just get to work and worry about the details later? Why waste time “sequencing” your next steps?
Here’s why sequencing is so important
The truth is that your organization, regardless of headcount, has a fixed capacity. Simultaneously tackling a website upgrade, tripling content production, and completely overhauling your social media presence could spread resources too thin. When resources are spread thin, nothing gets done the way it should — and your digital marketing suffers.
With a leaner approach, you acknowledge your organization’s finite resources and then sequence your top priorities accordingly. Leveraging a kanban board, such as the one available with Insightly’s kanban view, can help you do exactly that.
Structuring your kanban board for success
Let’s assume that the following actions are your most important digital marketing opportunities:
- Upgrade website template
- Increase search engine marketing
- Launch monthly newsletter
- Ramp up content marketing
- Begin using marketing automation
- Do more guest blogging
- Create whitepapers for lead generation
Let’s also assume that your marketing department does not have enough bandwidth to do everything at once, so you’ll be using Insightly to sequence your team’s work. In this situation, I would recommend creating a dedicated Insightly project pipeline that contains four stages:
- Up Next
- In Progress
Each digital marketing opportunity should have a matching project card in Insightly. Collaborate to identify the cards (aka projects) that offer the greatest impact with the least amount of effort. These projects should be sequenced and worked on first.
Anything that is not “in progress” should be moved to “up next” or placed in the backlog. Remember, if everything is in progress, very little is actually getting done. Focus on doing a few things well instead of trying to do it all at once.
Next up: when the work really begins!
So far we’ve looked at using data to identify and understand your digital marketing opportunities. Everything is neatly organized on your Insightly kanban board, which means it’s time for the work to really begin.
Stay tuned for our next article that provides detailed steps for building your digital marketing team, timelines, budgets, and implementation plan.