In the second instalment of our ‘Beginners’ Guide to the Web’ series, we take a look at the key components of a successful digital marketing campaign, and explain how having a clear appreciation for what you plan to do, how you want to do it and when is a key starting point for online success.
Planning and preparation is key
The biggest challenge for businesses is not a lack of tools – it’s a fear of using them, inexperience and the absence of a solid plan to implement. With so much on offer, it’s easy to quickly become overwhelmed and feel as though you have to do it all within a short space of time to see results. Below we’ve broken down the core components of a digital marketing strategy in its infancy. Simply consider each in turn, then put together your own personal plan.
Consider the scope of your campaign
There are now so many options to choose from, and numerous aspects to a business’ online presence. From web and mobile to social media and video, it can feel daunting to choose just one starting point comprising of several elements. To decide which is best for you, firstly think about the nature of your business, and your current client base. What is it you actually sell? How do your current clients interact with you? Then consider your potential clients – the clients you want to reach online. How will they find you? Where can you find them? Lastly, decide where you want this to take you. Determining how you’ll achieve your goal and where to start is only possible if you fully understand it.
Will you take care of the technical and creative aspects yourself, or enlist professional help?
Functionality and content can make or break a site – so it’s incredibly important to think carefully about how it will be sourced, and who will take care of it. You’ll need to decide whether you’re going to manage the technical and creative aspects of your website and digital marketing yourself, or outsource this to professionals. If you choose to keep creative and technical support in-house and go it alone, it will take up a considerable amount of your time and energy (and if you’re honest, can you be sure that you possess the skills needed to guarantee success?) If you choose to outsource, you’ll need to ensure you have a sizeable budget to do so. It may be possible to achieve a balance between the two depending on your personal capability, availability and marketing budget.
Cost and time
Finally, you’ll need to realistically scope out the overall cost and timescale of your campaign. When do you want or need to see results? And does your timescale allow for this to happen?
Firstly make sure that you have set aside a realistic budget. Consider all aspects – website design, build and maintenance, copywriting, social media management, video production. Whatever you want to achieve and however you feel you should get there make sure you provide for every additional cost. Some things can be packaged – for example, you can source your full website development and content from one company. Others may be separate, such as graphic design, blogs and script writing. Secondly devise an achievable schedule with contingency time built in. This ensures you stay motivated and on top of your goals without becoming rushed or missing key milestones, meaning you’re unable to move on to the next stage of your plan. Lastly you’ll need clear objectives and check points – a tangible way of keeping track of your progress. Using analytics you can decide on your goals. Above all, commitment is key. Digital marketing rarely delivers results overnight – so you need to be in it for the long haul and prepared to maintain your strategy at the same level for some time, investing the same money and energy at the middle and in the future as you do at the beginning.
If you’re struggling to understand digital or simply lack the time, inclination and expertise to implement a successful online campaign, why not have a friendly chat with us? We have over 10 years’ experience helping businesses just like yours to succeed and grow online. Get in touch today or read about our Services and Case Studies here.