5 Things You Need To Do Before You Start Digital Marketing
When I tell people that I’m a digital marketer, I often get flooded with questions or anecdotes about their own digital marketing experiences. The most common questions I get are “what should I be on?”, “how much should I spend?” and “how do I know if it’s working?”. I’m not surprised when I hear these questions, after all, the world of digital marketing is confusing. Most business owners don’t know how to start digital marketing and I don’t blame them! There are a lot of opinions, stories, experts, amateurs and trends that you need to keep up with, and it’s hard to know who to listen to or what will work for your business.
Start digital marketing by first taking stock of your goals
At the end of the day, your digital marketing is serving a greater business purpose. Digital marketing is flexible enough to serve your business goals and you shouldn’t be so worried that you’re not conforming to what X said, or Y recommends. Obviously there are always best practices and it can be quite technical and complex, but as a business owner, you should always see the big picture.
I’ve created these top 5 tips from questions I will usually ask someone when we have an initial consultation. They’re designed to give you big picture goals and enough information to equip an expert to give you great recommendations of how to go about your digital marketing. It will also help to see a clear plan and keep yourself and the people you hire accountable to those goals.
1. Decide what a “conversion” is to you, and how much it is worth.
This might sound pretty straight forward, but it’s something that business owners gloss over without fully exploring. I’ll tell you right now, not all conversions are created equal. There are obvious conversions like a lead or a sale, but there are also some secondary conversions as well. Newsletter sign-ups, likes, follows, shares, referrals and links to your site are also valuable to your business and to your online presence. Leads can also come in many forms such as phone calls or web enquiries. For some businesses, you may know that a lead that comes through via a phone call is more likely to become a customer than a lead that comes through as a web enquiry.
Having a clear picture of what a lead is worth to you gives you a great foundation to decide on your digital marketing budget, measure your Return On Ad Spend (ROAS), plan out your marketing strategy and stay accountable to your digital marketing goals.
If you’re just starting out, or you’re not sure what each conversion type is worth to you just yet, then I’d suggest having a clear picture of what a lead or sale is worth to you. The biggest tip I can give you is to put a dollar value on it.
2. Work out how well you convert people now
This isn’t just something you consider for your online presence, it’s also something you should know about your offline efforts as well.
If you’re going to start digital marketing for lead generation, then consider this scenario. Let’s say you got 10 leads through, that is, 10 people rang and made an enquiry about your business. How many of those 10 people would turn into customers/clients? If your answer is 1 out of 10, then don’t worry! Be honest about how many leads you convert.
Some enquiries are better than others and some customers are better than others, so you might only want 1 out of 10 enquiries to turn into customers. You might also want to consider this in terms of how customers make enquiries. You might convert 8 out of every 10 phone enquiries, but only 3 out of every 10 web enquiries.
If you’re selling products online, then consider your website visitors as leads. You could also consider things like product page views or an “add to cart” as a lead as well. The same principle applies to a brick and mortar store. If 10 people walked into your store, how many people would buy something? If you know how many website visits you get now, and you know how many sales you’ve made so far, you’ve got a pretty good idea of how well you convert your traffic. If you’re unsure about this data, then you need to do something about it! This brings me to the next must-do…
3. Make sure you can track everything
Make sure that you’ve installed Google Analytics on your website and that you know how to get basic information like how many visits you’ve had, where they’ve come from and whether they converted. If you’re really unsure, there are a lot of professionals that set up conversion tracking or Google Analytics for you and even take you through the basics as well.
If you’re doing it yourself, allocate a bit of time to go through your Google Analytics data and familiarise yourself with it. Teach yourself how to see how many visits you’ve had in a certain time period, how to see if someone completed a goal, and how to see where your traffic is coming from. If you get stuck, write down what you’d like to know and get in contact with a professional who can help you out.
4. Know your online competitors
Once upon a time, your competitors might be someone in the same industry and in the same location. Now in the age of digital, your competitors aren’t tied to your location and sometimes they’re not even tied to your industry.
For example, let’s say you’re a plumber. You might know of the other plumbing companies in your service area, but online, you’re not just competing against them for ad spaces or rankings, you’re also competing against other businesses as well. It’s not uncommon for trade listing websites to buy ad space or appear at the top of the rankings. Not to mention “how to” blogs, reviews or social media accounts. These are all competing for customers attention and all of a sudden your competitors are not just other plumbers.
Consult the search engines! Type in what a customer might type in to find you. Make a list of competitor sites that you see consistently.
I’d recommend taking things one step further and asking yourself why people would come to you and not to your direct competitors. What’s your point of difference? Take a note of what features or highlights your competitors emphasise on their websites, and think about what you can offer on yours.
5. Know what you want your business to look like in 12 months
What’s your ideal number of customers? How much revenue do you need to bring in? How quickly do you want to grow? What are you doing offline for your marketing and how many customers will this bring you? These questions will help you decide how your digital marketing efforts fit into the grand scheme of things. You might want only a few customers at the beginning while you’re just starting out, then increase that number after 6 months in operation.
Where to from here?
Now that you’ve considered these points, you’ve got enough information to contact an expert to help you out. If you’re starting digital marketing yourself, you should have enough information to evaluate the things you read or the tips you get against your own business goals.
Want to know more? Contact us today.
Written by Gemma Renton