Integrated Digital Strategy
The success of an online strategy relies on the right mix of channels, whether it be organic rankings in Google, an advertising campaign or social networking presence.
To build the right combination requires an understanding of your goals, target audience and the competitiveness of the industry you are in.
The XEN process
Step 1: Understand your goals
The first step is to discuss your goals. We meet and work through what outcomes you are after. Here’s a sampling of common goals:
- Sales of services or products (eg eCommerce)
- Leads into a sales pipeline (eg Enterprise)
- Awareness of a cause (eg Charity)
- Bookings for a meeting, consultation (eg Dentist)
- Referrals to another site (eg Hotel)
- Engagement (eg Advertising based site)
Each of these has their own characteristics, requirements and appropriate channels. For example, if your site business model is to sell advertising, then you likely wouldn’t use paid search traffic as a channel. However, for an eCommerce site, you would definitely consider paid advertising as a traffic source.
Step 2: Understand your audience
Knowing who you are targeting is crucial – otherwise time and energy can be wasted on non-profitable market segments. This step involves detailed research including:
- keyword research and analytics analysis to highlight what your desired audience are after
- competitor analysis to understand how others are already approaching this
Step 3: Understand your budget
Once you know your goals and target market, it’s time to consider the appropriate budget you’ll for each of the main digital channels. Trying to rank in Google for the term ‘credit cards’ is going to be hard if you don’t have a large budget. Why? Because your competitors will be spending a lot of money to improve their rankings, through site optimisation and link building campaigns.
So, if you don’t have a large budget for SEO, then the money is better allocated to another channel – perhaps a social campaign will bring a better return. These are the questions we tackle at this stage. We’ll advise you on industry benchmarks and set costing expectations for each. We then work with you to determine how your budget is best allocated.
Step 4: Preparing the strategy
Once the goals, market and budget are in place, it’s time to prepare the strategy. The deliverable from this step is a thorough strategy document outlining the approach, activities to be put in place, and expected outcomes.
The strategy outlines how the mix of activities will be implemented for:
- organic rankings (SEO)
- paid advertising (SEM)
- social media awareness
- email marketing
In this step we work with you to advise and prepare the appropriate strategy that meets your goals, audience and budget. In our experience, one of the key factors in implementing the strategy is to ensure the channels are integrated and working together.
The Benefits of an Integrated Strategy
For example, if driving an awareness campaign effectiveness improve when the web site, advertising and social messaging are in harmony. If a potential customer sees your update on Facebook, clicks through to the site and is informed via appropriate content and then followed up via targeted remarketing on ad platforms, then their ‘user experience’ of your site and brand is high. They are more inclined to proceed further down the sales path with you.
As obvious as this may sound, it often isn’t the case… too often we see digital initiatives silo-ed into disparate, uncoordinated activities. eg A paid advertising campaigns that points to a site that doesn’t have relevant content, or a social campaign that runs a competition to ‘build engagement’ that has no appropriate message to the user. By discussing all of the digital channels in an integrated, collaborative way, companies and departments maximise their effectiveness.
Step 5: Implementation
And then we get started. The XEN team either work with you in a consultative manner, or alternatively as a completely outsourced resource, implementing the strategy across organic, paid and social channels.
Step 6: Test and Measure
Reporting is the ongoing process of reviewing what is working, what isn’t and adapting accordingly. We prepare regular reports (usually monthly, but can be weekly on new initiatives) and co-ordinate regular review meetings to analyse and explain the results.
Digital marketing is usually an ongoing process (exceptions are specific event based campaigns), with incremental improvements over a medium to long term timeline.