the 8 step guide to running
a digital marketing
After getting sick of the perpetual sunshine and mild temperatures of Southern California, Eve Meyer took a couple detours around the world and settled in Adelaide, South Australia. She's earned two degrees so far: a Bachelor of the Arts in Political Science and a Master of Management Studies, both from Duke University. Her real education, though, came from the hours spent in Cameron Indoor Stadium (Go Devils!). After graduation, she spent two years working for the world's most admired brand – Apple, Inc – in their retail Apple Store Leader Program.
When she met Adam Steinhardt by chance, she took her education in business and her love of working with customers to the other side of the world and joined HubSpot's fastest-growing Partner Agency, The Kingdom.
About the author
At The Kingdom, we talk to a lot of different people – from our fellow inbound marketing experts to business owners who want to learn more about HubSpot.
This guide is geared towards business owners who want to get a better grasp on what's happening with their business on the Internet. You may already have a website that you love, but you're looking for more visitor-to-lead conversions. Maybe you just want to check in on what your brand looks like. It's possible you might not even have a website at all.
If you're part of a company that has the resources and wherewithal to hire an organisation to audit your marketing efforts, this is not the guide for you. Likewise, my fellow marketers can find some amazing and in-depth resources over at Growth-Driven Design.
who should read this?
61% of global Internet users research products online.
It's a fact that the number one salesperson every business has is its website. It's also a fact that most business owners don't understand what's happening with their online brand, much less the ins and outs of managing their digital assets.
Building a viable digital presence is an expensive proposition. To build a website with between 10 and 20 pages, you're looking between $6,000 and $20,000 dollars. Add in maintenance costs, social media posting, blog writing and posting, and all the other digital services that inbound marketing agencies advocate for. You can see how your costs increase with labor, web design, and marketing.
Don't panic, now. Before you start thinking about how this will fit into your budget, we recommend you run a self-assessment of your business and its needs. You'll have a better idea of what your marketing needs are, and what you need to address to get your digital presence working for you.
Before you start thinking about what you need to get your marketing working, take a moment to define your business goals for the short, medium, and long term. Are you working on keeping your existing customers and upgrading their investment in you, or are you generally just trying to increase revenue?
You've probably heard of SMART goals before. They're:
Modern marketing isn't Mad Men, ad agency stuff – it's a science. So make sure you know what you'll be measuring before you start running the experiment.
Once you have these goals defined, you or a marketing specialist will be able to craft a plan that addresses them.
We included some common goals on the next page to get you started.
define Your Business Goals
Entering a New Market
It's a given that every business wants to achieve all of these goals – but you'd need a huge budget and a dedicated team to work on them all. We recommend picking one or two to focus on at first.
Once you've achieved them, you can pick another two and target them.
what are you already doing?
Now you know where you want to be, but do you know where you are already? Pretend you're a prospective customer who wants to learn more about your business and Google yourself. Does your contact information come up? If you have a website, read through it with fresh eyes. Your customers have asked you questions about your business and industry before – does your website answer those questions?
Have you started using social media already? What do your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ pages say about you? Are your profiles up to date? Do they have high-quality images and descriptions that accurately describe your business? When is the last time your business interacted with its fans and followers?
Take the time to answer these questions on mobile, too. How easy is it to navigate your site on your phone? Does your search function pull up the right results? Simple things, like the font being a readable size, make or break a website on mobile. Chances are, if your website is more than a few years old, it's not able to responsively size itself on different screen dimensions.
Are you making the most of your business' social media? Here is a quick five question test you can take to appreciate your advertising footprint
How do you score on these five digital marketing checkpoints?
1. Is your Google + Profile up to date?
2. Do you have a Pinterest page with at least 5 boards?
3. Are you sending email marketing every 4 weeks?
4. Is your blogging section on your website active?
5. Are you spending an hour a week on your website?
Did you score 5/5? Most businesses we speak to (mis)spend thousands of dollars every year on advertising that does not work without paying attention to the simple digital marketing tools.
More often, businesses will spend more money and time on their weekly office cleaning than their website.
Your customers are on social media
When we first start talking to new clients, they often tell us that their customers aren't on social media. We listen to them, ask for a thousand of their email addresses, and prove them wrong by finding their customers on social media.
Before you make that same mistake, compare your database against Facebook's. You might be surprised at the result.
ask your customers
There are a ton of companies that create amazingly detailed and beautifully designed marketing research campaigns. For larger businesses, this is a great idea. Having professionals do the work will give you very accurate information to base your next steps on.
Your business, though, might not have the resources or time to run such exhaustive research. The next best thing, then, is to ask your customers.
We're not saying to send out a twenty-five question survey to every contact in your database. That's a sure way to waste a lot of time and alienate your customer base.
Instead, call up a couple customers that you have a good relationship with and ask for some feedback. Do they recall how they first heard about you? Have they ever browsed around your site?
For feedback on user experience (the "look and feel") and user interface (the way your website works), ask a teenager to look you up on their phone. Before you laugh, think about it: digital natives like teenagers have little patience for unattractive and unusable websites. Best of all, you know they're not worried about hurting your feelings.
No, this is not about keeping up with the Joneses. This is about figuring out what you do and don't like about digital marketing.
We recommend this for two reasons. One, you'll be a lot harder on your competition than you will be on yourself. It goes hand in hand with not having any attachment to their product. Second, other competitors might have some design elements, content, or marketing tactics that inspire you.
Besides your direct competitors, also take a look around the websites of brands that you admire. Do you love the clean and simple design of Apple.com? Do you like rounded edges or sharp squares? Knowing what you like is just as important as knowing what you don't.
Have a pad of paper next to you and jot down your thoughts. Don't forget to check out their social media, too.
what's the competition doing?
One of our favorite tricks at The Kingdom is to create a shared Google Doc and share it with every customer facing person. Then, ask everyone to write in at least ten questions they've heard from customers in the past.
If you have a website already, now's the time to read through it thoroughly.
Read every page.
What's the content like? Does your website accurately reflect what your business sells? Businesses evolve and change their focus but often their websites don't. How much information is out of date?
Check for spelling and grammar, too.
Now that you know what your website has on it, it's time to figure out the missing pieces. Make a list of questions your customers and coworkers have asked you. Check it against the content you have
up to figure out where to start.
What kinds of content should you be looking for? There are many different types of content – blogs, videos, podcasts, infographics, eBooks, to name a few – but what does that process look like?
1) Address the challenges of your consumers.
It's a valuable exercise to sit down and write up the problems that your customers are facing then create the answers. Answers to questions are what consumers are seeking on the Internet.
2) Provide thought leadership in your marketplace.
Create a blog and become a commentator on your industry. Build your social media channels and start telling the world about what you know.
3) Update your FAQ daily.
Keep a track of the questions you face every single day at the coal face and then use them to write up your FAQ section of your website. Frequently asked questions in person are also the same asked questions on the Internet
4) Create a page that specifically talks about your competitors (in a positive light).
Competitive analysis is what people are looking for when deciding opportunity costs decisions. By putting content about your competitors, you then increase the chances of being found. Particularly if your competitors are bigger and more prevalent on the Internet than you.
5) Talk about price
Price is the one thing everybody wants to know about. Ironically, it's the topic most people are too scared to broach on their website. Tell the people what they want to hear and you will benefit.
6) Make the effort
One might come to the conclusion that all this takes time and effort. Yes, it does.
But, with effort and investment comes an acceptance that times have changed. Content marketing is becoming a huge part of the way we talk with customers in the Internet age. Content creation is an investment in your future security.
what's your budget?
Now it's time to figure out how much you can spend on marketing.
Notice the use of the word "can." Remember the first line of this eBook? "It's a fact that the number one salesperson every business has is its website." Just below that line, website cost was discussed. It's a big number, and it can easily grow out of your comfort zone. It's important to figure out how much you have to spend before you consult with the experts. Other factors to keep in mind: the average website takes about three months to launch and good websites are constantly evolving. Make sure you budget for website maintenance and additional content.
If the upfront costs are beyond your reach, consider signing on with a company that works on retainer. you'll get the website you want, but the costs will be spread out more evenly and you'll have the added security of having the website maintenance already figured out.
Now that you've got a good idea of where you are and where you want to end up, it's time to figure out how you're going to get there. Most businesses are going to consider three options:
Table the Idea: If you're just starting out, it's sometimes wise to build your network the old-fashioned way. Networking and business cards are still things digital marketers invest in – what do you think HubSpot's yearly INBOUND marketing conference is all about? Wait until you have the budget to invest in a website with content.
Hire Someone: Larger businesses often like to keep their resources in-house to maintain control over their assets. It keeps the chain of command clear, and it makes it easy to interface with your marketing department because they can pop into the office at any time.
Outsource: Inbound marketing agencies like The Kingdom specialise in outsourced marketing – after all, it's all we do. Outsourcing often takes away much of the overhead associated with hiring someone. Plus, agencies are specialists, so you know you're getting experts whose job it is to stay abreast of best practices and marketing trends.
decide on your next step
want more resources?
Want to talk to a human? You can schedule a chat with The Kingdom's Managing Director, Adam Steinhardt. It's free of charge and a great way to get your questions answered by an expert.
Are you looking for reading material? Check out:
The HubSpot Marketing Blog
The Kingdom's Knowledge Blog
The Sales Lion
The Kingdom's Helpful Resources
We also have a libary of our seminars up on YouTube.
Set your business goals
Document what you're already doing
Ask your customers
Assess the competition
Audit your content
Set a budget
Make a choice
65 Walkerville Terrace
Gilberton, South Australia 5081
Phone: +61 8 8232 1125