There are so many digital tactics available to drive marketing results it can be overwhelming to choose the right tactics to drive leads and grow sales. Digital marketing initiatives sound great in early team meetings and brainstorming but can often become a nightmare during the implementation of tactics.
If you are faced with this dilemma, you must come back and review your marketing strategy. The selection of the best digital marketing tactics is a strategic decision and a result of excellent strategic marketing work.
Let’s take a look at how this process works.
Keep the Focus on Strategy
Never lose sight of strategy when you get deep into the weeds of digital marketing implementation. The business strategy drives the marketing strategy, which in turn drives the digital strategy.
Preparation and an understanding of desired outcomes are key to strategic success in digital marketing. Keep your expectations in check by setting clear goals and objectives before digital marketing tactics get underway.
Digital Content is an Expression of Marketing Strategy
It is common for the digital team to be so focused on the details of implementation, they lose focus on the strategy behind the digital tactics. This is frequently seen in content marketing work, where the content focus is often not aligned with the company’s marketing strategy.
Let’s say your marketing strategy is focused on lead generation based on your unique position in the marketplace as a premium service provider. However, the digital content in blogs and on the website is focused on random news updates in your industry. Industry news does not drive leads. Stay close to the content marketing process to avoid these tactical mistakes.
Clearly define the strategy and the marketing problem statement with all members of the digital team, including content writers.
Digital Marketing Content: The Key Steps
Digital marketing content is the oxygen of the Internet. It can also be the most challenging work for the team and one of the largest problems in translating your client’s marketing strategy.
Collaborate early in the process with your agency on content. Content can never come early enough, and many websites are delayed for months because of missing content. Other websites go live with poor content and struggle to drive lead conversions.
Two critical digital marketing steps can solve almost all content issues.
The first is to prepare a site map listing all the web pages. Once completed, these web pages should be written before the website design work starts.
The second is a content marketing schedule for email blasts, blogs and social media postings.
Plan in advance the content needed to launch a new website and for content marketing efforts.
Remember, most people hate to write content. Assign content to a professional writer. Someone who is passionate about writing and wants to write for a living. Your agency should have a pool of writers available. If not, research resources like WritersAccess.com.
Understand Digital Marketing is Marketing
Digital marketing is too important to not integrate with the overall marketing strategy.
Many key marketing tactics driving successful branding and lead generation efforts are now accomplished through digital marketing. This makes the stakes very high, if your company does not get digital marketing right. Falling behind in effective digital marketing means losing market share to competitors who are implementing effective digital marketing tactics.
Your team must realize their website is always under construction and if they are not focused on digital market share through Google search, social and more, their competitors will be getting their prospects.
In fact, a key part of the greatest value you can bring to your marketing results is keeping digital tactics aligned with your defined marketing strategy. This happens because digital marketing is marketing.
Weekly Digital Marketing Meetings
There is an argument to be made that ineffective meetings or no meetings at all are the single most important factor in digital marketing failures and cause the best strategy to fail.
If you want your marketing strategy to be effective, then you must have effective digital marketing meetings.
Here are a few guidelines to effective digital marketing meetings:
- Keep meetings consistent at the same time each week.
- Use a scorecard to measure strategic results and include in a shared doc.
- Big ideas are great, but can lead the team down a rabbit hole, focusing on tangible work.
- Know the difference between big ideas and tactical feedback.
- Assign weekly action items, due dates and hold team members accountable.
- Review the Traction process for effective meetings.
- Drive the business and marketing strategy in your meetings. Don’t assume the team will remember the strategy.
The Right Questions to Ask
Asking the wrong digital marketing questions can kill strategy. An example of a bad question is, “when can we expect the new website to go live?” A better question to ask is, “where are we in our defined website design process?”
Another poor question to ask is, “Why aren’t we getting more leads from our website?” A better question to ask is, “what are the key tactics we are measuring to drive leads?”
Here are a few more great questions to ask your digital marketing team:
- How are the tactics in alignment with our strategic direction?
- What are best practices among our competitors?
- How do we know are digital tactics are connecting with our target market?
- Does our key messaging and content plan focus on strategy?
- Do all the team members know our strategy?
- Can we develop data points that measure our success?
- Are digital marketing meetings moving us closer to our goals?
- Are any team members in the wrong seat?
- What is missing and keeping us from reaching our digital marketing goals?
In this article we reviewed the steps needed to make sure the marketing strategy you are leading is properly translated through the digital marketing tactics implemented by the digital marketing team. There is no “normal” website design project or digital marketing process. Everything is unique to your company. Keeping the focus on your established strategy will drive the best ROI and marketing results.
Avoid the mistakes mentioned here to make sure your digital tactics don’t kill your strategy.
- Review the business and marketing strategy in a meeting with the digital team members.
- Educate the digital team on strategic objectives.
- Determine the specific roles of each team member on internal and external teams.
- Nail down budgets, scope of work and how to handle projects changes prior to launch.
- Work website design project through a process and launch the website sooner rather than later.
- Set weekly digital marketing check-in meetings.
- Include a scorecard in weekly meetings with key action items assigned to the team.
- Build the team assigning a project lead, project manager, design, development and traffic generation team.
- Learn more by reading Tom’s book “Winning the Website War” and visiting IntuitiveWebsites.com.