Admit it. You like some digital marketing activities more than others. You naturally navigate towards things that you like to do and you tend to ignore things that you find boring or don’t understand. Don’t feel too bad though. That’s a normal, natural tendency.
However, it’s important to be aware of the activities that you aren’t doing, and the impact that your inaction is having on your business.
For instance, it’s quite common to enjoy interacting with customers on social media – be it Facebook, Twitter or some other site of that ilk.
I’m not questioning your time spent on social media, but I do want to focus your attention on the importance of knowing what your call to action is, and optimizing how effectively your customers and potential customers convert towards your desired outcome. Because let’s face it, if you have lots of raving fans, but your website’s horrible, you’re not going to get many customers.
I believe that there are 4 distinct phases, which should be followed one-after-the-other, to give you the best possible chance of implementing a successful digital marketing strategy.
The following are my 4-Phases of Digital Marketing:
PHASE #1: Software & Structure
The first phase, Software & Structure focuses on the importance of having a fast, efficient website that looks good, is relevant for the target audience and works effectively on multiple platforms.
There are 2 main areas that I want to talk about here – site speed and mobile design.
1. Site speed
According to an Amazon study it is possible to expect a 1% increase in revenue for every 100ms of site speed improvement. In other words, it is quite plausible to achieve a 10% increase in revenue for each second that you improve your page speed.
2. Mobile design
Many of my clients are currently experiencing a surge in website visitors via mobile devices. It is now not uncommon for more than 40% of a website’s visitors to be through a tablet or smartphone.
But the important question is how does your website look and convert when people are viewing it on a mobile device? If you’re not using responsive design, then you’re probably not optimizing your user’s experience.
PHASE #2: Get Social & Turn on the Tap!
Only once you get your website being delivered at a rapid pace and converting effectively, that’s the time to start driving significant volumes of paid traffic at your site to test your metrics. Use this process to determine how much each visitor is worth, and what you can afford to pay for future advertising campaigns.
Another important element of this phase is to launch your social strategy. At least now that your website is working efficiently you’ll be comfortable with people telling their friends about it.
PHASE #3: Broaden Your Base
The third phase of your digital marketing plan should involve reducing your reliance on single sources of traffic that are driving a significant percentage of your visitors.
Too many websites that are successful rely on either pay-per-click traffic or SEO to drive the majority of their visitors, which is good while the ‘sun shines’, but a potential business killer if something happens to that single source of traffic.
Additional sources of traffic can be tougher to build – but with concerted effort, decent volumes of visitors can be driven from guest posting, affiliate partnerships and relevant directories and industry resources. And by spending the time to increase the quantity of your traffic funnels, you’ll be making your business more secure for the future.
PHASE #4: Broaden Your Horizon
I call the fourth and final phase of a digital marketing plan Broaden Your Horizon. This phase introduces new media content marketing into the mix, taking advantage of apps, podcasting, video marketing and other non-web page based ways to drive traffic to a site.
I’ve personally added thousands of potential customers to my database as a result of new media content marketing and this figure will only increase as a percentage of new leads in the future.
Something else to think about is that search engine optimization isn’t limited to conventional search engines like Google. You can certainly influence the ranking of an app in iTunes or a book in the Kindle store, and that’s an important aspect of new media content marketing.
The challenge with digital marketing these days is that there’s so much to do, it’s difficult to know where to start. This means that a lot of marketers just end up starting where they feel most comfortable rather than where’s best for the business.
However, it’s important to be sure that what’s being done is having an impact. And unless a website is fast, relevant and logical to use, the impact of other marketing activities are going to be significantly diluted. Implementing your digital marketing plan in the right order can be a significant challenge, but it can also reap the most rewards.