In the first of a series of guests posts Liam Saunders of VIP IT – Digital Marketing Specialists explains the Do’s and Don’ts of Digital marketing.
Digital marketing is such a diverse and varied area, there is an abundance of best practice and prominent pitfalls that you can encounter throughout your marketing journey. While the best practices will help you increase your ROI and maximise results, the pitfalls can undermine your online presence and be detrimental to your brand.
In this article I’m going to outline a series of Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Marketing. Rather than focusing on a specific area such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Pay Per Click (PPC) I have made a number of universal points that apply to many areas of digital marketing.
- Start With Objectives And A Strategy
I’m always surprised by the number of marketers that fail to do this, without a series of clear objectives and a strategy it is impossible to make any progress. Your objectives should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Based) and specific to your business. Simply replicating generic objectives will not do – write your own! Once you have defined a minimum of five objectives craft a strategy that details your plan for achieving them, this should be practical and express your plans in substantial detail.
- Use Experts
Digital marketing is a specialist subject with many nuances and specialisms, the best people to help you and your business navigate these are the professionals that live and breathe it. A DIY approach may well be cheaper in the short-term, but the professionals are far better for long-term success. Whether you choose a digital agency or a freelancer depends on your individual preference, but make sure that you check their qualifications so you can judge whether they can really do what they claim to.
- Cater To Your Customers
All your marketing efforts should aim to reach your customers on the right medium, at the right time with the right message. Make sure that you are catering to your customers by finding out which forms of media they use and the content that they like. The most successful companies in the digital marketing realm consistently excel here, if you can get this right success will follow.
- Measure Your Progress
Measuring your digital marketing efforts should be a priority, those that measure their progress can judge whether they are succeeding and glean critical insights from the measurement data that they collect. Whether you are undertaking SEO or PPC you should have a series of measurement metrics that you measure your success from. I would particularly recommend Google Analytics, it is a fantastic free measurement tools that provides a number of website design, SEO and PPC insights. Simply install it onto your website and start learning from the online behaviour of your customers. The insights that you gain here should inform changes to your digital marketing efforts – whether you change the layout of your website or tailor a PPC campaign message you will be working towards improving the
all important ROI of your marketing activity.
- Believe That A Big Budget Is Always Best
While big budgets are often partially responsible for great results; they are not effective on their own. You should calculate a budget that works for your individual business, think about your overall budget and the percentage that you are comfortable spending on digital marketing. Remember that you can often achieve an optimum level of ROI with a proactive optimisation strategy and flexibility towards change.
- Try to Do Everything
Trying to do everything is almost always a recipe for a digital marketing disaster. You cannot be everywhere and you cannot do everything. Being selective about where you maintain a presence and what a presence means to you is key. In digital marketing, maintaining a strong focus on a few channels is far more effective than maintaining multiple. If you have a strong focus you will showcase your best work and avoid becoming overwhelmed. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, objectively evaluate your channels and your activities, then ditch those that are not delivering the results that you want.
- Forget Mobile
The digital marketing World is incredibly mobile orientated, every aspect of your marketing activities should account for the mobile environment. Everything from your website and SEO to your PPC and social media needs to consider the mobile consumer. Businesses that forget mobile in their digital marketing activities do so at their peril.
- Allow Your Content To Stagnate
Content has to be current; otherwise it quickly looses its value. Your prospects want to see new content throughout your digital presence – it shows that you take your digital marketing seriously. Make sure that you proactively share your content – that is the final step to success. If you notice that your blog has not been updated for several weeks or that your social media account is stagnating with no new posts for more than a few days you should be concerned, your competitors will be more proactive and you will become the laggard that is loosing business to them. Take action and commit to a content marketing update schedule – it will encourage you to update your digital marketing channels periodically.