Many businesses are hesitant to dip their toes into the world of digital marketing. Many know that they need to be doing it and usually lack the knowledge or expertise to understand where, how and why to allocate resources to certain activities. It may be that you hire an agency to implement a range of strategies or a bring a resource in-house to grow your marketing efforts online. The first thing that is important to understand is that there is no one size fits all. Different business, different markets and different competitors will require varying plans to achieve success. There are multiple ways your business can market itself online. Most businesses know about search engine optimisation, search engine marketing and they’ve heard of terms like content marketing & re-marketing among others. You know about it, you know it’s hard to do and you don’t know how much to spend or if you should even spend anything at all. So where do you start?

The first thing you should do is to analyse your business and understand where your customers are online and what they are doing. It’s no good to decide you’re going to start doing an SEO campaign just because you think high rankings on Google are important. Don’t get me wrong the majority of the time this will be the case. Everything you do should have a business case and a measurable return on investment. What traffic to your website can you generate if you undertake an SEO campaign? How many leads can you generate? If more of your customers are reachable through a channel on social media why aren’t you targeting them on this channel instead and will it be more cost effective?

The great thing about digital marketing is that everything you do can be measured. How much you spend should be directly correlated with what return your business can generate from a particular activity. Implementing a marketing plan online should be fluid and the periods you measure results and return on should be short to allow for adjustments of your plan. There is no use in locking yourself into 2 years worth of SEO before you can even measure if the results both intangible and tangible are delivering bottom line growth to your business. The best course of attack is as follows:

  1. Identify your ideal audience
  2. Identify where you will find them online – social media, YouTube, search engines, other websites
  3. Build a complete strategy and invest resources into each channel – SEO, SEM, Social Media Marketing, Content
  4. Have measurable and reviewable goals – X amount of traffic growth to the website, Y number of lead generated for your sales team, Z number of sales
  5. At the end of your review periods develop an ongoing budget or investment plan to grow your campaign

The more you test and measure your strategies the better you will be able to assess if investing money into a particular marketing activity is worthwhile or not. You may find that your social media marketing in conjunction with the content you are creating is delivering a consistent stream of traffic and a high conversion rate. The more you refine your audience, the better your conversion rate becomes and the more money you invest the trend should be expected to continue. If paid ads on search engines is delivering less than desirable results divert increased funds to another marketing activity that is performing strongly. Adapt, learn and grow through continual measurement, monitoring and reporting.

The best tool for reporting and management is Google Analytics so learn how to setup Goals so you can track conversions on your website and where they originate from. Using this information you can develop a plan to create a successful digital marketing campaign. You don’t always need an agency so make sure you understand how to measure everything you do online before you engage one as this will help you weed out the good ones from the bad ones.

Related Tags: Digital Marketing Newcastle | SEO Company Newcastle