Wish you all a Very happy New Year!
As we enter year 2013, here comes a handy list of 13 points which you can have a look at while preparing your Digital Marketing strategy and plan.
WebsiteIs your website up to date to deliver the right message and converse with the audience? Website is the most crucial factor of your online marketing. All your efforts can fail if your website does not deliver the right message, is not consistent with your brand or does not align with other messaging. Remember, the website is not a stone. You can and should change it frequently. Make sure you plan for frequent website updates and conversations. Another most important point is to make sure that your website is mobile compatible. In 2013 you just can’t afford to not have your website visible on mobile
Online Marketing Plan
Start with making a plan. Plan making is not about sitting with a pen and paper. An impactful plan requires a thorough study and research aabout your target audience, their buying behaviors their purchase cycles etc. Make sure you identify and plan the right mix of PPC, CPM, PR, Email Campaigns and social media to reach out to your target audience, connect and engage with them.
Have a hard look at your collateral items (the brochures, flyers, corporate PPT etc). Is it high time that the collateral is looking ancient, mentioning incorrect or old facts and not consistent with your brand image? Your collateral should not merely work as a backup. It should be comprehensive, precise, clear and appealing enough to sell on its own. Plan for phase-wise revision of that to keep it up-to-date.
Search Engine Optimization
Get together with experts and understand what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means – what it means for you. Don’t go for it just because everyone is doing it. If your business depending on ‘being found’ on search engines on first page, then you should definitely start the SEO efforts.
Undoubtedly, email marketing is one of the effective ways to connect with your target audience (if done in a right way). Formulate your email marketing strategy – whom do you want to reach out through email, what message you send across to them and how often would you reach them. Prepare an email campaign calendar and appropriately execute the same. Identify which means are you going to use to design and develop, send and track your email campaigns because all these factors are very important for successful email marketing.
Social Media Plan
As Erik Qualman said “We don't have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.” So don’t join the social media bandwagon unless you strategize and have a solid social media plan. Know your social media objective, identify the platforms you want to leverage, formulate the message you want to send across on social media channels and have a rock solid execution plan. The worst situation you can be in is to have a plan, start your social media efforts and not sustain those because of faulty execution. Have a look at these 10 most commonly asked social media questions to get started.
Social Media Platform Selection and Strategy
Social media is not about creating a page on Facebook or creating a Twitter account. It is much more than that. You don’t have to be on Facebook or Twitter just because everyone is out there. There are hundreds of social media platforms out there. Identify the one most appropriate for you. Decide what is your communication strategy on those platforms because each platform requires a different tone and theme and you should adopt the right one.
Have you created blogging strategy for your business? Decide which blogging platform to use, which kind articles you would be posting, who will create the content, how often will you post, how will you ensure readership for your blog and how will you promote those.
LinkedIn is one of the most important platforms for professional networking and yet the most wrongly used on. LinkedIn usage in most cases is limited to business development teams or to recruitment teams. But do you know that LinkedIn offers Company Pages? You have a very good opportunity of creating company profile on LinkedIn, mention your products and services and also to engage with the audience through frequent relevant updates. Go ahead and explore that in 2013.
Do you think you know your area of business really well? Establish your though leadership in online space. Let the world know what you know really well. Establish a company blog, write guest articles on well-known websites, speak at conferences, conduct webinars or hold local events. All these are opportunities for you to share your knowledge and also to learn in the process.
Technology has made it possible to connect with worldwide audience. Explore the world of webinars/ web demos. You can use webinars to let people know about your products/ services, share your knowledge on a particular topic or requesting your customers to speak about their experiences in interacting with you. Webinars are easy to organize and conduct, are relatively very cheap and very effective. Here is a checklist for you to conduct successful webinars.
Have you identified your press release strategy? Explore the exciting world of online press releases. Press release writing requires committed time and energy. Writing an effective and impressive press release requires business understanding, understanding of online space and knowledge of how search engine works so that the press release helps in enhancing the online brand. Prepare a calendar for your company PR, get well-written PRs out and enhance your online brand.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Campaigns
Various prominent search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN and also other platforms like LinkedIn etc provide paid advertising programs also called as PPC. Under these programs, one needs to bid for competitive key phrases and keywords and substantiate those with a compelling ‘ad copy’ to drive high traffic to your websites. PPC program helps you generate instant traffic on demand while having full control on how much you want to spend almost daily. It’s a quick and effective way to generate right kind of traffic to your website and you need to pay only for the performance. If you think you are ready for paid promotion, you can choose to explore PPC campaigns and prepare plan of action for those. Make sure you regularly monitor the performance and tweak the campaigns for maximum ROI.
What is on your checklist for this year?