Yesterday we lead a training event in Hermitage, PA on creating a 12 month web marketing strategy for a business. The SBDCs of Clarion University and Gannon University sponsored the event and we are grateful for their assistance! There was a lot shared in a short amount of time, but from the feedback of the attendees, they walked away with a lot of valuable information...which is the goal! However, we don't want this to be something that the businesses get excited about and then a week later forget the excitement and their long term plan of creating an effective web marketing strategy. We do these events for free and all we ask for in return is that the businesses work to succeed and implement some of what we teach them about. Before I go too far, I should also mention there was coffee, donuts, and a wonderful lemon pound cake.
Here's a Breif Recap of The Event:
The Vital Pieces of a Web Marketing Strategy
We discussed the areas of focus for any successful web marketing strategy and based the rest of the seminar around these focus areas.
This was geared towards the businesses websites and the technology powering them. This is the most vital piece of any web marketing strategy because your website must be the work horse. It's what captures the leads and makes the sales. A website must perform well enough to complete these tasks successfully.
What makes web marketing so great is the measurability. You can forget the old school, "50% of my marketing works, I just don't know what 50%". In an web marketing strategy, at least a successful one, you have the data to know whats working and whats failing.
This is your messaging in whatever form it might be in. Without a great message, how will your marketing succeed? IT WON'T! We compared this to a television set without any programming, it's useless.
These are the mediums in which your message is sent out and you get the website visitors in. These are paid, such as AdWords or Facebook Sponsored ads, Earned, such as organic search or social media, and Owned, such as special offers and blog posts. Every web marketing strategy must have at least one of these!
Understanding What You Already Have
We made it clear that we don't want these businesses to tread water in their strategy, instead move forward. Instead of starting from scratch the business should take an inventory of everything they've got going for them already, that way they know what actually needs improvement to successfully implement the strategy.
In this portion we discussed the importance of establishing goals. Without goals a strategy is useless. It's important to set achievable and measurable goals. One attendee said, "I want to close 5 new BIG customers." We didn't get into details about revenue and profit in that case, but it's something we could build on. We'd want to determine what defines a big customer in relationship to revenue and ensure that the goal was set so that a return on investment was still achieved. Example, if each customer is worth a million dollars but it costs more to get them, you're still at a loss.
Understanding How to Achieve the Goals
We had to talk about math here a little bit, but hopefully it didn't get to boring. Obviously to reach some of the goals specific things have to happen. By determining what specifically needs to happen, you can start establishing tasks to help achieve those goals. For example, if you need 1k more visitors per month to achieve an appropriate amount of leads, you must do something to increase that traffic.
Developing Tactics Via Channels
After gaining an understanding of what must be done to start reaching our goals, it's important to start looking at tactics that will be used to get there. These are via the paid, earned, and owned channels. We went through some various options and when it is appropriate to implement them throughout the strategy.
Putting it All Together
The final thing we discussed was how to take all of this information gathered and implementing it into a full strategy. Because every business has different pieces to the puzzle, this will be very unique. Without this step, you just have a list of a bunch of things...not a strategy.
It Takes Time and Sometimes Help
We covered a lot in a short amount of time, but developing a great strategy is not something that can be done quickly. To be done right it takes time and effort...and sometimes even help. Face it, there are things that you are probably not a pro at...these are the times when you must reach out for some assistance. There's also help available to put all of this together. Let us know if you need a coach and consultant to help prepare your strategy, be there for accountability and hold your feet to the fire when things need to get done!
If a someone would like this presentation to be held at their place of business or via webinar, let us know and we'll be happy to accommodate!
We look forward to seeing everyone at our next education event in July on Building a Web Marketing RFP.