What is digital marketing?
Digital Marketing is tough to define. Truthfully, there is a multitude of ways to define it, and none of them are wrong.
Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and their websites to connect with current and prospective customers. (via HubSpot)
Common questions I’m asked by potential digital marketing clients:
- When will I notice a return on investment?
- Are you almost done updating my SEO?
- When will this marketing project be finished?
What do all these questions have in common? They all demonstrate a dilemma based on the potential client’s mindset.
All too frequently, people try to fit digital marketing into a neat little box with a defined beginning and end, but that’s not how this works. Digital marketing is not a project; it’s an ongoing process. At HighClick, we go through an 8-step process for each and every client, and today’s your lucky day! I’m going to share our process with you.
Digital Marketing Process
Step 1: Probe
The first step in the process is the detective work. We conduct a thorough analysis based on the area you need assistance with. This process allows us to identify your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities.
If you’re a business owner attempting to tackle Digital Marketing on your own, you may be tempted to skip the first step. Don’t do it!
No doubt you know your business better than anyone, and you probably already have a general idea of your brand’s strengths and weaknesses. But, when you dig deeper you’ll find that your original list of strengths and weaknesses was just the tip of the iceberg. Being thorough is key.
Step 2: Strategize
After the initial analysis, it’s time to come up with a plan. We create a custom set of actions to help you achieve your brand goals through carefully selected online marketing channels.
Business owners, I cannot emphasize the importance of having a strategy enough. You can create and distribute all the content your heart desires, but if the content has no rhyme or reason, it does your brand no good. Think of it like this – we all know those people that talk just to hear themselves talk. If you don’t have a strategy, that’s how consumers will view your brand.
Without strategy, content is just stuff, and the world has enough stuff.
-Arjun Basu, writer
Step 3: Build
Now that the strategy is in place, we’re ready to use our plan of action as an instruction manual to build your website, campaign, blog post, etc.
For my business owners who want to do the building themselves, go for it! You may find that the building stage is fairly easy, but there’s still so much to do.
Step 4: Optimize
If you build it, they will come… right? Wrong.
It’s not enough just to build; We’ve gotta optimize! In the optimization phase, we strive to get big results without logging an outrageous amount of unnecessary hours. The ability to do more with less is what optimization is all about! And it’s a wonderful thing.
From search engine optimization to using industry-relevant hashtags to designing a website that is web and mobile friendly, this step cannot be grazed over.
My advice to business owners: leave optimization to the experts. If implemented incorrectly, trying to take this on yourself could hurt your brand rather than help your brand.
Step 5: Publish
What are we going to do with all this compelling content now that it’s optimized? We’re gonna publish it!
Review your strategy to get an idea of which pieces of content go where.
Step 6: Promote
After we’ve published the content, website, etc., the next step is to promote!
There are endless ways to promote a digital campaign. To name a few: syndication across relevant platforms, guest blogging, PPC, audience engagement, influencer partnership, press releases, paid social media advertising.
Just make sure that you’re promoting effectively. Different outlets are viewed by different audiences, so learn where your audience is and plan accordingly.
Step 7: Track
One of the beautiful things about digital campaigns is the ability to track results and measure success. We never want to invest time, energy, and money on a campaign that isn’t generating conversions.
We use a wide variety of methods to track our clients’ campaigns. It all depends on the type of campaign, where it’s published, and what the goal is.
It’s not unusual for business owners to dabble in all things digital marketing to determine what sticks, and if you’ve got that kind of cash, I say go for it! But, if your marketing budget is limited in any way, ask for guidance and recommendations from a trusted digital agency. Doing this will put you ahead of the game, and prevent unnecessary tracking efforts.
Step 8: Refine
After we analyze your results, we make the necessary adjustments to your marketing campaign, and begin the digital marketing process all over again! Each time we cycle through the process, we learn more about your brand and your target audience, gearing us up to make the next cycle even better.
Do you need help implementing a digital marketing process for your business? Let’s talk about it!