If there’s one word to sum up the month of January, it’s reinvention! It’s a month in which the majority of us take the time to think about what we want from the year ahead for our personal lives, our health, our careers and, of course, our businesses. But unlike many resolutions that happen in the new year (here’s looking at you, gym membership), the changes we make to digital marketing strategies are designed with staying power in order to bring in results as the long months go buy. By spring cleaning your organisation’s digital marketing strategy, you keep it fresh, innovative and aligned with current best practices. And that’s a recipe for success.
Step One: Revisit Key Metrics
Every successful digital marketing strategy is designed with specific goals in mind and the metrics needed to track them. It’s your organisation’s digital marketing battleplan; a strategic overview of what matters to your business and how you’re going to get there.
But these metrics and goals are not set in stone and will need adjusting as your business grows and changes. For example, last year, you may have wanted to grow your Facebook audience to 150,000 people. This year, you may want to similarly grow your Instagram or Twitter following. Or set new Facebook goals. Or focus on something other than social media, like developing your own blog or video channel. This means your KPIs have to change too.
If you’re uncertain what digital marketing goals to aim for, chatting with an inbound marketing team or social media marketing team can help you discover what’s making an impact in your industry. It’s also a good idea to take a look at what your competitors are doing. It’s a great source of inspiration and clarity.
Step Two: New Goals, New Strategies
Adjusting your KPIs and goals is just the first step, but it makes it clear what you do and do not need in your overall digital marketing strategy.This means more spring cleaning and revision.
First, gather all your digital strategies for an evaluation: email marketing, social media marketing, SEO, podcasts, video channels, blogs and your website. Now, analyse how they’ve performed over the last year or so and get a clear idea of your ROI, separating different strategies according to their performance.
Take a look at all your strategies and analyse why they worked. Which elements delivered the highest ROI (and why they did) and which failed to deliver (and why this happened)? This is about understanding what worked for your brand and where improvement is needed. For example, just because your email marketing campaign didn’t deliver great results doesn’t mean that you no longer need one. It may have been too infrequent, maybe you struggled to get subscriptions, or you lacked the time resources in-house to manage the strategy. Strategies like that should be treated differently to ones that didn’t perform because they were not suited to your brand’s goals.
Once you’ve evaluated different strategies, determine which are best suited to your goals for 2020.
Step Three: Track Algorithm and Platform Changes
Algorithms and platforms are constantly changing, delivering certain advantages, disadvantages and opportunities for digital marketing. Without keeping track of these changes, your strategy can suffer and your business can miss out. While digital marketing teams track these changes as a matter of course and keep clients informed and updated as they happen, it’s not as easy to do when you are managing your digital marketing strategy in house, so we recommend evaluating this at least once a year.
Important areas to consider include:
- Platform trends: Audience numbers shift naturally as popularity changes on different channels. While keeping track of this is a good idea, it’s only important if it is affecting your specific target audience. For example, if you are advertising a wedding and conference venue, it’s not especially important if the channel you use for digital marketing are losing the tween crowd. If you’re in the business of fast fashion, however, this may be a good reason to reduce your investment in that platform and increase investment on platforms that are gaining tween appeal.
- Organic Search Opportunities: Organic search is a pillar of digital marketing and can deliver substantial long-term rewards, so it’s important to keep abreast of new opportunities like video. YouTube has become more search-friendly and Google-friendly in recent years, and with 1200% more shares generated by video than images and text combined, it’s a no-brainer for many brands. Another opportunity to consider is using Schema mark-up to boost your SEO.
- Penalties: Search algorithms and platforms are constantly updating to refine user experience, with old-school SEO practices and hacks are being penalised by Google. If you don’t have the time, resources or the search team to keep you up-to-date with the latest Google algorithm changes, your website can be penalised, which will likely affect your website and content rankings. Similarly, social media platforms are also pushing for a user-friendly focus, with algorithms prioritising content that is relevant, high-quality and encourages high engagement.
Step Four: Repeat
Digital marketing is a fast-paced and dynamic industry where staying competitive and effective means keeping up with constant change.
Keeping up with changes and innovations in the digital marketing industry is no easy task for a growing business, and while this annual spring clean will help keep your strategies up-to-date, multiple changes and opportunities happen through the year that could make all the difference to reaching your goals.
If you’d like to have our team look over your digital marketing strategy, implement strategic changes and monitor and refine it throughout the year, we’d be happy to help. Simply contact us today and we’ll help you make 2020 a great year for your business online!