10 Steps to Digital Marketing Success

Tom Snyder photo by Tom Snyder on Aug 25, 2020

Our secret sauce for strategic digital marketing is all about our process 

Our mantra has always been that a website is not an event, it’s a process. That process requires ongoing effort, attention and investment to maximize revenue and value. As a digital marketing firm, web design company and SEO partner, we focus on taking responsibility for our clients’ total online success. Here are the steps we believe are necessary for success, and the reasons we include each: 

1.) Discovery 

Your success begins with defining your goals. What specific results do you expect your digital marketing efforts to produce? If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? Whether it’s increased sales for an e-commerce site, new leads for your sales staff to cultivate, top-of-funnel awareness for your brand or obtaining some online donations, it’s only by setting specific goals that you give yourself something to achieve. As your partner, we make sure we’re all sticking to the same plan. 

2.) Development of a marketing strategy and tactical recommendations 

Even thinking about tactics before you develop your strategy is a waste of time. Things like “Getting on Twitter” are just tactics. Achieving the goals you defined in step one requires a broad, deep and integrated plan. Understanding your brand so that you can communicate your value proposition and personality to your audience is your strategy. It’s your guide to determine what tactics will be appropriate and effective in helping you achieve your goals. 

3.) Search Engine Optimization plan 

Guessing at a few keywords and trying get on page one of Google for those keywords is the recipe for SEO failure. In an era of zero-click search results, don’t let “being #1 on Google” be your motivator. Do keyword research to find out the intent of target audience and what they are searching for? Do you know which keyword phrases will produce results, and which will bounce people back to Google to find another result? Do you know the difference between branded and non-branded traffic and why it’s important? Do you know how to uncover which keyword phrases will produce the number of non-bouncing visitors you’ll need to achieve your specific success goals? If you don’t know the answers to these, Google will be nothing but a constant frustration and financial albatross. 

4.) Creation of a fully optimized website 

The creation of a website is the total of what many web design/development firms do. But optimization is the necessary ingredient to a successful digital strategy that many firms miss. Turning visitors into customers requires an understanding of conversion rates and what affects them. Will your site create sales or discourage them? Will people coming on tablets and smartphones be comfortable or frustrated? Will the transactional goal of the site be easy to find regardless of how, when and where visitors enter the site, or will they get lost in a maze of unnecessary information, steps, clicks and questions? 

Within a fraction of a second, most visitors have judged you and made up their mind about your brand. Virtually every element of the site... the choice of content management systems, home page layout, order and depth of the navigational choices, words per page and whether they are paragraphs or bullet points, size, position and quality of images, color choices...impact the visitor’s opinion of you. Unless your approach is strategic, and your developer understands how all of this impacts your visitors’ perceptions and decisions, you won’t get a successful digital marketing tool, you’ll get a website. Nothing more. It’s an achievement, but it is not indicative of success, though many people might think so. Believing business will take off now that you have launched new website is short-sighted. This is where even more work much commence. 

5.) Execution of website content marketing efforts 

Your site is tested and launched, but almost immediately your blog, news section, product details, demonstration videos and other content will require ongoing effort to maintain freshness. Keeping the site updated is only a part. Keeping the rest of the places out on the web that drive traffic to your site updated is even more important. That means email newsletters and promotions, outbound PR, commenting on other sites’ blogs, and legitimate link building. 

6.) Execution of ongoing SEO and SEM tactics 

Just as your website is not an event, neither is your SEO. The algorithms that determine who surfaces during a search change frequently. What worked last month might not work this month. Knowing what has changed and what you need to do to take advantage of those changes requires expertise and never-ending effort. 

7.) Execution of social media tactics 

Once your site is up and running, adding social media will only help your business or organization become more successful. Executing on social media without strategy is pointless. Use social media tactics to support a larger strategy that bolsters your digital marketing plan and boosts its success. 

8.) Execution of traditional marketing tactics 

Just because this is a digital marketing plan it doesn’t mean you need to stop doing traditional marketing. If your strategic target can be effectively reached via direct mail/email, print. PPC and traditional electronic media, you hurt yourself by regarding these tactics as obsolete or irrelevant. You’ll just want to make sure you’re tracking your efforts to make sure you only continue the ones that result in demonstrable results. 

9.) Monthly measurement of key performance indicators 

Remember those goals you outlined 7 or 8 steps ago? How are you doing? Tools exist to measure site traffic, bounce rate, conversion rates, popular navigational paths, transaction values, SEO ranking, social media sentiment. You don’t have to be using them daily. Weekly or monthly is adequate. 

10.) Adjustment of efforts to continue to produce maximum ROI 

Because targets and goals are part of your strategy, and you’re measuring your results, you know what you need to do more of, and what to do less of to produce the results you’re striving for. Sound like a lot of work? It is but remember stepping toward success is a process with moves that can’t be neglected. 

About Tom Snyder

Tom Snyder - TriveraTom Snyder, founder, president and CEO of Trivera, a 24 year old strategic digital marketing firm, with offices in suburban Milwaukee. Tom has been blogging since 1998, sharing the insight gained from helping businesses and organizations reinforce their brands by taking full advantage of digital and web technology as powerful tactics in their marketing and communications strategy.

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

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