My 8 Step Hierarchy
To Prioritise Your Digital Marketing
Claire Icel Digital Marketing
First of all, let me introduce myself. I’m Claire, a digital marketing freelancer, mama of one demanding toddler and traveloholic trying to accept that it just isn’t as easy with a baby in tow!
I studied marketing at uni many (many) moons ago and have worked in digital marketing since then. I became a freelancer as I love helping small businesses boost their results through their digital marketing. Hopefully I’ll be able to do just that via the wonderful Mama Tribe blog.
We all know that time is the most precious of things, which is why many small businesses find the multi channel nature of digital marketing overwhelming. In my experience it is best to take things one step at a time and build channels gradually.
I thought it would be helpful to create a hierarchy of where to start and which order digital marketing channels should be prioritised in. You may find that you need to review from the top, or that you’re already a fair way down the list.
1// Get your website right.
There is no point driving traffic to your website if it isn’t up to scratch. Make sure your customers can navigate intuitively through your pages and that they don’t face any barriers to a conversion, whether that is an enquiry or a sale. Keep it simple, but informative.
You also need to make sure that your website is responsive to the device someone is using or, at the very least, is mobile friendly. Mobile traffic is consistently growing, as are the number of screen sizes available, so this is really important.
2// Focus on Search Engine Optimisation.
Now your site is dreamy, make sure it is working hard for you. On page SEO will maximise your chances of being found through organic search. First research the keywords and variations on those that are the most important to your business.
Add these to your title tags, headings, meta descriptions (which appear on the search engine), URL structures and image ALT tags. Make sure you have plenty of content on site, but keep it relevant, interesting and natural.
3// Introduce basic email automation.
First get yourself a simple email template that will make all communications on brand.
If you collect email sign ups, make sure you have a well thought out welcome email/s that introduces your brand and sets people’s expectations on what they can expect from your emails.
Then set up a purchase email programme, i.e. confirmation, perhaps a follow up asking for a review, etc. You can also look at basket or site abandonment programmes to maximise your site conversion.
4// Establish yourself on social media.
It’s time to put yourself out there! Obviously we all have our beloved Instagram accounts, but what about the other networks? Running multiple social accounts with unique content across them, whilst also engaging with your audience is a full time job, I recommend focusing in on the network best for your audience. Set up profiles on the other networks, but point people at your focused account or website from these; don’t half-heartedly use them.
Make sure your profile content is relevant to your business. If someone comes across you they should be able to immediately establish what your business does. That’s my polite way of saying that no one needs to see your avocado on toast (unless you are food related of course!). Stories and snapchat are different as people are looking for more personable content.
5// Dabble with social media advertising.
In 2018, paying for extra social media reach has become inevitable and you’re probably already sick of being chivvied on to splash some cash. However, it can provide excellent results so it is a good idea to give yourself some testing budget.
As a starting point, add the pixel for whichever network your are most prominent on to your website, and then you can create campaigns to your current audience and to a new audiences that are similar to your current one (lookalikes). Tailor your best performing organic content to start with and start to get a feel for what content and audiences work.
6// Up your email ante.
Email is time consuming, but boy does it pay off; subscribers to your brand are more engaged and more likely to convert. It is worth investing in a newsletter template to make sending your emails out simpler. Think about how to drive people to your website, what content is appealing and also how easy it will be for you edit and send. Then decide how frequently you will send your emails and create a content calendar to make sure you stick to this.
7// Get serious with your digital advertising.
By now you’ll know what works well for your audience, and have a clear picture on exactly who your audience is. Time to spend some money on advertising. Social advertising is a good first step as you’ll have learnt a lot about this from your dabbling. You can add in new audiences based on demographics and preferences, as well as branch out your custom audiences.
Now is also the time to think about starting pay per click campaigns and other and other advertising products within the major platforms (Google, Yahoo, etc). For example those cheeky little email ads you see in your inbox, or that are placed halfway down a content page.
8// And the rest.
Finally, once you have all the above in hand then you can think about adding more social networks, and other channels such as content, influencer and affiliate marketing. The latter are all smaller niches, but they tend to perform really well when done correctly.
You should also build out tests for your current channels, especially in email where you can get pretty geeky testing subject lines, content and audience segmentation.
Whilst moving through this digital marketing hierarchy you’ll need to go back, analyse performance and tweak things on a semi-regular basis. Plus anything automated will need a freshen up every now and again.
I hope this doesn’t seem too daunting and, instead, gives you a framework to focus your digital marketing efforts on. Always remember that big companies can only access all of these marketing channels because they have teams of people to focus on them. As you grow you’ll be able to do more!
Any questions on this you can find me over on the beloved Instagram as @digitalmarketingmama.
Find out more about my work here:
Claire Icel Digital Marketing