February 17, 2020
How To Create a Digital Marketing Strategy in 5 Steps

How To Create a Digital Marketing Strategy in 5 Steps

– If you need to design a
digital marketing strategy for your business, then
check this video out. By the end, you’ll know your top digital marketing priorities, you’ll even have clear next steps and you’ll even have assigned
bits to different people. Let’s go. (upbeat music) Before we get started,
there’s just a couple of assumptions I’m gonna
make throughout this video. Assumption number one is that
you have finite resources to deploy, i.e., you have to
work from a prioritised list. You don’t have a million
people on the team that you can deploy to go and
do everything all at once. The second assumption I’m making is that you have a clear goal
for your digital marketing, i.e., you typically wanna
generate leads or sales through your website. If you just wanna be famous, and there are other
metrics that you can use, things like impressions, likes and shares, that’s totally cool. But even so, we try to work
back to a website metric where you’re driving people
to download something, become a member of your
site, something like that with a clear, trackable
goal on your website. It just makes everything
much easier to track and allows you to make very
clear, rational decisions based on the data about where to go with your digital marketing, why? Well, across all of
the marketing campaigns that we’re sent to review,
or that we run for clients in the region of, say, 2,000 a year, we find the most successful
digital marketing campaigns have some kind of clear goal,
whether it is a sign up, booking an appointment,
a free consultation that you’re driving people
to, download something, a request for more information,
sign up for a membership, buy a product, request a free sample. Because they have this
thing, this one metric that they’re trying to increase, they can focus their entire
digital marketing around it. And it just means they’re really rational, nothing is based on guesswork. And oh yeah, that’d be cool
’cause that feels right. You like, okay, let’s test it. Let’s see what happens to that one metric. Oh, it’s going up, that’s
cool, let’s do more of it. Oh, it’s going down. All right, let’s stop doing
so much for that then. Okay, so that being said,
let’s get into the process of planning your digital
marketing strategy. (upbeat music) So now it’s time to plan and prioritise your digital marketing campaign. Let’s start with step one. Step zero before we do any step one, is to make sure that you’re
tracking your results on your website accurately. Okay, so this is about making sure that Google Analytics is set up properly, so that when five people go on your site, and they fill in a
form, that’s registering as five conversions in Google Analytics, you absolutely need to make sure what’s happening on your website
is showing up in Analytics. And that that data is right. So that is step zero
before you do anything to make sure the tracking
is set up correctly. So step one of your digital marketing plan is to benchmark where you’re at now. When we start working with a
new client at Exposure Ninja, there’s really three main things that we’re looking to
understand immediately. Now going through this process, not only gives you a benchmark, so you know where you’re working from, but actually just doing
this can help you prioritise and identify which area you
most need to focus on right now. So the three areas that
we’re mainly looking at, firstly, how many leads or sales is the website generating per month. The second thing that we’re looking at is how much traffic the site is getting in order to generate those leads or sales. And then the third thing
that allows us to calculate is the conversion rate. So this is the percentage of visitors that turn into sales, okay? And calculating this conversion rate gives us an indication of how
well the website is working. Now, it’s this piece that allows you to prioritise the next stage of your digital marketing campaign. Let’s say, for example, I’m just going to use really basic numbers so that my brain can
do it live on a video, but let’s say, for example, that we’re getting 1,000
visitors to the site, and we’re getting 10 leads from that. So 10 divided by 1000 is 0.01, which means that’s a 1% conversion rate. That’s a 1% conversion rate. Now 1% is pretty average, is not amazing, but it’s not disastrous either. So what we can do is we can use your website’s conversion rate to benchmark how well
the site is performing. So here’s some really rough guidelines. So if your website’s conversion
rate is less than 1%, then you have a conversion rate issue. And that’s the thing that
you need to focus on first. Because if you’ve got an
underperforming website that’s not converting
traffic as well as it can do, then what’s going to be happening is that the more traffic
you drive on that site, it’s like pouring loads
of water into a bucket that’s like 99% hole, right? Everything that you do,
and traffic is hard work. So you’re gonna be doing
all this hard work, spending all this money to get traffic and you’re driving it at
something that just isn’t turning that stuff into customers. So if your website’s less than 1%, you’ve got a conversion rate issue, which you need to get sorted. Now, if your conversion
rate is say 2 to 3%, that’s about where we’d say, okay, right, that site is performing reasonably well. So at that point, we’d say, okay, it’s not that you don’t wanna work on your conversion rate anymore, you always wanna be working on
your conversion rate, right? We’ve got clients whose websites are converting more than 10%, they’re still working on
their conversion rate, because anything you
can do to drive that up is gonna increase the performance of all of your digital marketing. But if you’ve got a conversion
rate of around 2 to 3%, that’s a good base to work from. So, if your conversion
rate is less than 1%, then that is your big issue
and that is your main focus. If your conversion rate is 2 to 3%, then you can start looking
at driving more traffic. Obviously the ideal scenario is to do both of these at the same time. So continue improving your conversion rate as you’re driving more traffic, cool. So step two in the
plan, we’ve benchmarked, we’ve got all our data,
we know our numbers, we know if our conversion
rate needs improving. So step two is gonna be
prioritising anything that will increase your conversion rate. So the first thing that you’re gonna do is you’re gonna open your website, you’re gonna look on
every page of your site that’s taking cold traffic, okay? So this will be your homepage,
any page on your site that’s ranking and
bringing in cold traffic, i.e. people who don’t know you. So it’s gonna be your homepage, it’s going to be your main service pages. It might be a blog page
and your blog posts. And you’re going to ask
for questions on that page. So imagine that you’re a
completely cold visitor, your visitors are gonna be asking, what does this business do? Who do they do it for? Why are they better or different? Or why should I buy from them? And what’s next? Right, what’s the thing
that I need to do next? So every single page on your site that’s accepting cold traffic needs to answer all four of these. If it’s not answering any of these, then it’s likely to be underperforming. So this is some real low hanging fruit that can go right at the top
of your digital marketing plan. If the messaging on your site
isn’t as clear as it could be fixing that can improve
the performance of the site without doing anything else. So looking at this, what’s next, this call to action piece
in a bit more detail. This is really important. For example, let’s say that your website is offering a free consultation,
or book an appointment, or make an inquiry, or you’re
selling something direct like you’re e-commerce,
or is request more info, get a download, request
a free marketing review like on Exposure Ninja website. That’s your call to action,
that’s the main goal, that can be the kind of thing that we’re driving all
of your marketing into that we’re just putting
everyone in this big hole, which is your free
consultation or whatever. That looks terrible. But this CTA is really important. And that CTA needs to be
appealing to the target customer. So what we’d like to do is
imagine that our target customer, here they are. And they’re sad because
their current situation, they have a problem, they have something that they need to get fixed. And ultimately, your
solution as a business makes them happy. So everything that you’re doing is kind of moving them along that line. Your next step might be
get a free case assessment, understand how much you could
claim from your legal case or find out if we can help, right? That gets me closer to my goal of getting resolution and
getting closure on the issue. But it doesn’t take me all the way there. So if your call to action is compelling, if that next step is attractive, right? And people actually want to do it, then you’re gonna get a
much higher conversion rate than if it’s unattractive. So that’s something to
look at with your CTA. And again, if that’s not in place, if your call to action isn’t
as attractive as it could be, that’s definitely something to improve and put right at the top of
your digital marketing strategy. Before we move on from conversion rate, we also need to talk about
social proof and objections. So, your visitor will have some objections to requesting your thing, right? They won’t necessarily
know about your business, they might not know if the
services that you’re offering or the products that you’re
offering are relevant for them. They might not understand delivery terms, if you’re an e-commerce,
they’ve got all these questions. In fact let me just draw something. Whoa, they’ve got all these questions, they don’t know what’s going on. Can you tell I spend most
of my time typing on keys? They’ve got all these questions going on. And you need to resolve
them on your pages. Every single page on your site needs to answer these objections. So they’re gonna have
questions about your business. They’re gonna have
questions about the thing that you’re asking them to do. So what’s gonna happen if I
put my details in this form? Is someone gonna try and
close me, sell me really hard? Or am I just gonna get
something really useful? So you need to make sure that you’ve got all these
objections answered. Another way to remove
this fear and uncertainty from people is show social proof. So, can you get star ratings on your page? Can you get testimonials from visitors, case studies like
amazing before and afters to show a transformation. If you can do that, again,
you remove this uncertainty, and that’s gonna see your
conversion rate go up. So all of that stuff is at the start of your digital marketing strategy if the website conversion
rate is under, say, 2%. So step number three is to start planning and prioritising your traffic sources. Now there’s two main types of traffic that you can have, organic and paid. So organic traffic will
be things like traffic from social media, where
you’re not paying to advertise or traffic from the
search results on Google, again, that you’re not
paying to advertise. Whereas paid traffic might
be things like Google ads, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, whatever. So it’s paid traffic, right? Now there’s good parts and
bad parts of each of these. And our most successful clients tend to have a combination
of both, and here’s why. If you rely purely on organic traffic, that’s good because that
organic traffic is free. So you’re not paying anything
directly for that traffic. But the downside is, if you’re
using just organic traffic, you’re at the mercy of
somebody’s algorithm, either Google’s algorithm
or Facebook’s algorithm, or Instagram’s algorithm, whatever. And we’ve seen with social media recently, and we’ve seen with
Google at various points that algorithms can change,
and when algorithms change, you potentially lose traffic. So it’s great to have organic traffic, and all of our most successful
clients get the majority of their traffic from organic. But it’s a really good idea
to have some paid traffic in there as a backup, or
something that you can use to top up your organic visibility. Now, paid traffic sources, people tend to be a little bit scared off because you’re paying per click, so it can get very expensive, what we aim for is at least
one paid traffic source, which is at breakeven or profitability. Because then what you can do is as your organic traffic
starts to increase, there’s gonna be a period where you’re not getting much visibility. In fact, let me just draw it out. So what’s gonna happen
with organic traffic is when you start to
optimise your website, or you start to build
visibility on social, your organic traffic is
gonna increase over time. So what a lot of people do and what we like to do with clients is have a paid traffic source,
which you can turn on, right? So as soon as you turn it on,
you’re getting visibility. And then what you can do is
either just keep that flat, or you might wanna steadily increase this as you increase the profitability of the paid traffic source. But over time, almost without exception, organic traffic is gonna be the thing that drives the majority of your business that is the most profitable
way to drive a business because the volumes that
you can get through organic are so much higher, and
the quality of the traffic also tends to be higher as well. So it’s a good idea to
have a combination of both. Now there’s a few different
organic traffic sources that you might have. So you might be looking at,
for example, SEO traffic, or you might be looking at social, really, those are the main kind of two, you might look at, say,
content marketing as well. But really, those are the
main two organic sources. Now how you choose between them, and how you prioritise them
in your digital marketing plan really depends what you’re selling. If you’re selling something
that people are looking for, they’re going on Google
and they’re typing in whatever it is that you offer, then SEO is typically going
to be your priority there. If you’re selling something
that people aren’t looking for, but if they see it, they’re
like, oh yeah, that looks cool, I might check that out, then social might be more
of a priority for you. Now, the downside is with social, as we’ve seen recently with Facebook, and we’re starting to see with
Instagram, algorithms, right? Organic visibility on these platforms for businesses is tanking, particularly on Facebook very difficult to get any sorts of
significant organic visibility for brands unless you are
like a personal brand, that people like to follow or you’re one of these pages
that’s designed just purely to get likes and shares. For most businesses, organic
visibility on social is so low that it’s almost like you wouldn’t even wanna prioritise that. So that’s why SEO tends to be one of the top organic
priorities for most businesses, because the quality of
the traffic is high. It has high commercial intent, because people just
search for what you do. And that’s why you’re showing up. Now obviously, it’s beyond
the scope of this video to put together an entire SEO strategy, but that’s exactly what you’re gonna need. Now, we’re gonna come
on to how to prioritise and how to delegate pieces
of the SEO strategy later on. You’re going to want to
get some other people from your team to help you with SEO, or you’re gonna have to hire someone from outside either
freelancers or an agency. But I hear there are some
excellent SEO books available. But step number one, get
some organic on the go, start increasing your organic visibility and get to grips with SEO. One thing to be aware of is that, like I say, organic SEO takes time, if you’re expecting to
get immediate results it’s really not gonna happen. Remember this graph, so
you’re gonna be putting in a lot of time and energy
at this point here with this purple line,
the SEO stuff, right? You’re gonna be putting in all
this time and all this work. And you’re gonna be getting very little out of the back of that. So you’re gonna be really frustrated, you’re gonna want to quit,
you’re gonna want to say, right, this is just isn’t worth it. Let’s just give all of our
money to Google instead and let’s just do this PPC. But if you stick with it, if
you stick with organic search, it will pay for your kids to go to college and it will give you a nice life. So you’ve got to stick with it. The money is there but it’s
like building a flywheel. You’re putting all this energy into building the
momentum of the flywheel. And then it will carry you forwards. So, one thing to bear in
mind, organic is never quick, fellow Arsenal fans, you know what I mean. Of course, you can check out the Exposure Ninja
Digital Marketing Podcast available from all good podcast providers like iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, wherever you find your podcast, which, incidentally, is
why it’s always a good idea to have at least a component
of paid traffic as well. Now the most common paid
traffic sources typically, Google ads, Facebook ads, Google Shopping, so product listing ads, you
might have LinkedIn ads, you might have, I was
gonna say Twitter ads, I don’t think anyone ever
has made ROI on Twitter ads, you might have Instagram ads. Now again, which of these you prioritise depends on where your audience is at. If they’re searching for what you do, then Google ads is typically
gonna be your priority. If you’re targeting people
because of who they are not because of what they’ve searched for, and you know your target
audience really clearly then Facebook ads can be the one to go for or, for example, Instagram or LinkedIn. If you’re e-commerce, then
PLA’s Google Shopping ads are probably gonna be your priority. You’re gonna see a
higher ROI for e-commerce with product listing ads than you are with Google ads for
Google regular text ads. People who just casually
poke at Google ads tend to find it’s a bit
like owning a classic car. Unless you really know what you’re doing, it’s really just months and
months of pain and regret, surrounded by a few very
fleeting moments of pleasure and the whole experience just
drains your bank account. The other thing to keep
in mind under paid traffic is some remarketing. So remarketing is where
somebody comes to your site, they have a look around
and then they leave, right? They don’t buy anything. So what you do then with remarketing is when they’re on YouTube
or when they’re on Gmail, you’ve got your ad that
shows up on those channels or they’re on Facebook or whatever, right? And they see your ad
there with you smiling ’cause you’re just about to convert them. That’s remarketing and
it would be great idea to have some component of remarketing. Two main types of remarketing, Google remarketing or
Facebook remarketing, doesn’t really matter which
one you go for, to be honest, we tend to do, if we’re running
Google ads for a client, then we’ll do Google remarketing. If we’re running Facebook ads for client then we’ll do Facebook ads remarketing. But whichever you use, people say, yeah, but my audience isn’t on Facebook, your audience’s on Facebook. So get a get a remarketing
component in there as well. Okay, so you’ve got your
conversion rate optimization things that you’re going to be working on. You’ve got your organic traffic sources, you’ve got your paid traffic sources, what’s your priority gonna look like? Your priorities are gonna look like this. Anything to do with your website
will come first, number one because if your website
isn’t converting properly if your website’s not
converting as well as it should, that’s gonna limit the performance
of everything else, okay? The second priority will be
some form of organic traffic, getting it started. Right, you’re not gonna wait until the organic traffic is cooking and you’re absolutely smashing it, though, you’re immediately gonna get having a look at some paid traffic as well. So that’s gonna be your priority list. Get your website sorted, get some organic traffic on the way, and then get your paid traffic there, too. Okay, step number four, is you’re gonna start
assigning pieces of your plan. Now, up until now, you’ve
been thinking, yeah, but I’m gonna take all of this myself, I just wanna give you a
quick word of warning. So an Exposure Ninja SEO campaign, just the SEO piece of this, it will start from 40 hours per month. So that’s three people
spending 40 hours per month on an SEO campaign. Why three people? Not because no one person
can spend 40 hours, it’s because even just within SEO, just within that one discipline, there’s really three
different skill sets required. So across all of the
stuff that you’re doing, there are a few different skill sets that you’re gonna have to keep in mind and that you’re gonna need on your team. Firstly, any changes to your website usually will involve someone who’s got a bit of dev experience, right? They don’t need to be some beast, if you’re using something like WordPress, you you can use plugins and stuff to get your calls to action,
get your website layout, right? but you’re gonna need someone
with a bit of dev experience. The second person in your ninja crew is gonna be able to write content or create content if you’re making videos or pictures or whatever, so
they’re gonna have to be, usually they’re gonna be creative. Now, before we do anything else, these two people could
not be more different. They are not just different people, these people are different species, okay? So before we even go any further, those people are completely
different species. The third person that you’re gonna need is gonna be someone with a
technical or data perspective. Right, and you might be thinking, oh, the dev can do the data piece. No, again, they’re very different. So this person’s job is gonna
be things like Facebook ads, Google AdWords, if you’re running pretty
much any paid ads, right? And they might be able to
look at analytics as well. So they’re looking at ads,
they’re looking at analytics, they’re looking at data stuff, the person who you want
running your Google ads, they need to be really
keen on conversion rate and looking at particular
segments of traffic and how they’re doing, same with Facebook. So that’s the data person. And again, these two people,
completely different species. And then the final person or
the final characteristic type that you’re gonna need is someone with a bit of organisation about them to oversee the entire strategy. You could actually have a
separate strategy person but Exposure Ninja we
tend to combine strategy with a project manager kind of brain. So that’s why I’ve put project manager. So you’ve got these different skill sets, which are gonna be the kind of components of your team, if you like. Some of these, you’ll be able to get, if you’re the marketing manager and you’re working on
this stuff on your own, then some of it, you’re gonna
have to find other people in the business to help with. For example, the content
can be handled by sales team or other people on the team. Because often sales people they spend all their time
talking to customers, they know what the customer questions are, they’ve already got answers, so they can help with that piece. The dev is gonna be someone
from outside the company, if you’re in a small or
medium-sized business, you might have someone in house, but usually that’s gonna
be outside the company. This data analyst piece, this, I don’t wanna say data analyst, but this person who’s getting
stuck in with all the ads, usually that will be
one of the first things that people would outsource because having the expertise
makes the difference between an unprofitable campaign and a profitable campaign,
a lot of the time. If you’re competing in Google ads, and you’ve learned it all yourself, and you’re going up against
professional agencies for high volume, high CPC keywords, they’re gonna destroy you. And it doesn’t really
matter how good you are, they’re always gonna be much better because their entire life is Google ads. So, that’s the first thing
that people will outsource. And then the project manager piece. This can often make sense that this person is the marketing manager. When we have a client,
we have different people on each of these different roles. And the project manager
will work very closely with the client like
the marketing manager, because they help them kind
of understand the big picture and get an overview of the strategy. So just a word of warning, if you think you’re gonna
do this all yourself, it’s a heck of a lot to take on. I’m not saying you can’t do it. You probably could if your mentor but also the other thing to keep in mind, is that just the SEO
piece can be a 40 hours. If you’ve got more than 40
hours spare in your month, then cool but you probably don’t. So if you’re gonna take on any of this, make sure you’ve got the white space on your calendar to do
it before you take it on. The number one frustration
our project managers have when working with clients
is the client has assumed that they can take on all the content. They’re like, yeah,
cool, we can do it all. And what ends up happening is
as soon as they start work, they’re like, oh no, wait,
I already have a job, right? I’m never gonna be able
to get this content over to you on time. So it ends up dragging
the whole thing back because they haven’t been
honest with themselves and said, okay, you know what,
I’m too busy for this. I need somebody else to do that. Okay, so step number five is
to understand the milestones and metrics that you’re going
to be tracking as you go to know that this stuff
is working for you. The metrics that we’re measuring, there’s really three of them. The first is leads, or sales, right? That is the money, that’s the only thing that really matters. That’s what we’re doing
digital marketing for. So that is the top metric
that you’re gonna be measuring that is the one to stick on the wall. How many leads and sales are
we generating each month? There’s a leading indicator,
though, and that is traffic. So how much traffic are we getting? What you’ll tend to notice is that your traffic goes up first, and then your leads and sales
starts to increase after that. The third thing that we’re gonna measure is some kind of organic measurement. Now I’m gonna use the example of SEO because SEO is the priority
that most people watching are gonna have over organic social. But, so for SEO we would measure rankings. For organic social, you
might measure impressions, you might measure engagement, you’d have some other metric for that. But rankings for SEO is
a great thing to measure ’cause what’s gonna happen, rankings are gonna start going up first, then traffic is gonna start increasing then leads and sales are gonna increase, and here is why, ranking, if you’ve got a page
ranking, say, position 95, which would fifth on page 10. That can move to position 60, you’re not gonna notice any
increase in traffic at all, because it’s moved a long way but it’s still not where
people are looking. So that’s the first
thing to start moving up, then once it starts hitting bottom pages, like maybe page two or three, you’re gonna start to
notice a traffic increase, you might get a traffic increase from getting some blog
post ranking, for example. But they might not be
turning into the volume of leads and sales that
you’re looking for. Once your commercial keywords
start hitting page one, that’s when you’re gonna notice the big improvement in leads and sales. So those are the three
things that we track and we report on every month. Now I’m not a spreadsheet person, ask anyone at Exposure Ninja but they tell me this is what you do. So you get a spreadsheet
or a chart or something and you’re gonna track things. So, the first thing you do is
you put your months down here over time and then on this one you go for the different
metrics that you’re tracking. So your top metric is going
to be your leads or sales, your next metric is gonna be your traffic. And then your next metric
is gonna be your ranking or whatever your organic measurement is. And then over time,
you’re gonna keep a record of what each one does every month. So how many leads are we
generating this month? What’s our traffic this
month, blah, blah, blah. And of course, you can see this stuff in Google Analytics, right? You can see these in Google Analytics. Now the way that you
would track your ranking, rather than going on to Google or just like typing in your thing and trying to remember where you are, which is completely ridiculous and also completely inaccurate
and very incomplete. There’s a much better way of doing it, and that’s to use SEMrush. Now you can go to thankyouninjas.com if you want a free trial of SEMrush, it’s not publicly available, but you can get a free trial
of SEMrush, see how it works. It’s fantastic. The reason why SEMrush is fantastic, is because rather than
tracking your ranking for each of every different keyword and putting that in your chart, it just gives you a really
nice percentage, right? And the percentage is your
overall organic visibility for all of the phrases that
you’re tracking in SEMrush and then it will give you this every day. So it’s a really nice single metric that you can put in to track over time. (upbeat music) If you enjoyed this video and you’d like to see more
digital marketing videos from myself and the team
here at Exposure Ninja, then don’t forget to like
and subscribe to the channel. And if audio is more your thing, then check out the Exposure
Ninja Digital Marketing Podcast where every week I interview some of the world’s smartest
digital marketing minds and they take us behind the scenes for a particular digital
marketing strategy that they’re using which
is getting great results. So you can find this on iTunes,
Stitcher, Google Play Store, Spotify, I don’t know
all the podcast places that you know and love. So check that out in the description below and don’t forget to also
follow us on socials for more awesome content. Until next time, see
you in the next video.

4 thoughts on “How To Create a Digital Marketing Strategy in 5 Steps

  1. Are you happy with your digital marketing strategy based on what you've just heard? If not what do you think you need to change?

  2. Appreciate all your hard-work, which goes behind creating meaningful & awesome content like this.
    I really like all your content.

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