Here are seven steps to developing a digital marketing blueprint. Many people skip the first four, but these first few steps are the crucial difference between success and failure. I have also uploaded slide presentations to help you along.
Assess Your Situation - This first step is perhaps the most important. Before you can commit to doing more digital marketing, you need to know what's working and what's not. Take a snapshot of where you stand. Think of the following questions: how well is my website working for my goals? Do I have email addresses of my customers? How many fans or followers do I have on Facebook or Twitter?
When you are assessing your website, look over the traffic numbers. How many people come to your site, which pages do they visit, how do they find you, and how long to they stay? These answers should give you an idea about the effectiveness of your site. If nobody is staying on your website for more than a few seconds, then something needs to be changed.
Know Your Customers - Understanding your target audience will help you devise the best digital marketing strategy for you. Digital marketing is customized and personalized so it is essential for you to know your customers so you can serve them best. Learn about their age group, their gender, their industries. It's also important to know the tech savviness of your customers.
Designate a Storyteller - For any digital marketing strategy to be effective you need a designated storyteller, marketer, brand evangelist. If you skip this step, your digital marketing strategy will not be sustainable.
Set Goals and Timelines - Without setting realistic goals and timelines you will not know when you are achieving success and when you are missing the mark. Some realistic goals are: improve your website; build a mailing list; start a fan page on Facebook or get more fans on Facebook; start making videos and getting them distributed; start writing a blog, or syndicate your blog; look into twitter or grow your followers.
Another element of assessing your situation requires an honest assessment of your resources. How much time, knowledge, technology or money do you have to devote to digital marketing? If you don't have a lot of time you might need to hire somebody. If you don't have a lot of money you might have to set aside some extra time to do this work on your on.
Implementing Digital Marketing - Once you've taken the first 4 steps you digital marketing strategy will become much more obvious to you. Then you can start implementation a plan. I find a lot of people jumping from new thing to new thing without really setting goals or having assessed their situations. In my opinion, the six essential elements of digital marketing are: website, enewsletter, blog, Facebook, video and Twitter. For more details on these elements you can read my blog on 6 Elements for Digital Marketing.
Monitor Your Progress - Although a lot has changed in marketing in the last few years, the most exciting change is the availability of free monitoring tools. You can set up email alerts for your name on either Google or Bing, and use Google Analytics for analyzing your website traffic. If you set up a fan page on Facebook, you can use Insights to gain valuable information. My favorite tool for monitoring Twitter is still TweetReach.
Be Flexible - Digital marketing is new to everybody and we're all trying things out. It's important that you just keep an open mind and experiment. Experiment with your time, and experiment with your money. If you succeed learn from it and try it again. If you fail, just smile. Take a deep breath, and try something else.
Digital marketing is a very innovative field right now and everybody is trying different things in different combinations. You just have to find the right combination for you and your customers.
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a publicity and social media firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors on the web. For web publicity and social media news, follow Fauzia on a new Twitter feed: @FauziaBurke