We are regularly contacted by customers who want to implement a web marketing strategy but don’t know exactly how to go about doing it. It is true that it can sometimes be difficult to see clearly through all the jargon used by web professionals. Given that we have based our slogan on “A Clear Vision of Web Marketing”, it may be worth recalling and defining the basic principles when establishing a web marketing plan.
1/ Define the objective of your web marketing strategy
Wanting to launch a web marketing campaign in order to increase website traffic is not enough to define a strategy. Generating traffic to a site is not an end in itself. You can send as many visitors as you want to your site, but you probably will not get a good return on investment if you have not previously defined the actions you want them to perform once they reach your site.
Defining exactly what you expect from your visitors (and therefore your web marketing campaign) will help define the media you use to generate the necessary traffic. For example, you can run a Display ad campaign on Google and Yahoo-Bing networks if your goal is to build awareness of your brand. You can also use PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns if your goal is to generate quality traffic.
2/ Figure out what has already been done and what still needs to be done
Before we throw ourselves at our keyboards, we take the time to take inventory of our clients to understand the actions that have already been put in place and the results obtained. This phase is very important both for the customer and for us because we will be able to analyze in detail the way in which Internet communication was constructed. Our clients will be able to take a step back from the results and identify with us the key factors of success as well as elements that could have been improved upon.
Often we realize that the company already has solid elements that can help it in its web marketing strategy but that it simply does not know how to use them. Our role is to answer any questions and explain how we will use what has been done previously to put in place the next step of the communication strategy.
3/ Implement strategic planning
This step is truly one of the key success factors for any web marketing strategy. Apart from the fact that it allows you to not scatter yourself in multiple directions, it will provide us with an overview of the actions to be put in place and the time required to achieve your objectives. Although the implementation of a web marketing campaign takes time, strategic planning will save us valuable resources by ensuring that everything has been anticipated and that the actions are undertaken in a logical order.
Indeed, we cannot define a list of actions to be implemented and simply decide to launch them according to their cost or “priorities” (this practice is often harmful in the medium/long term). Nobody launches a grand opening for their new store before making sure that everything is ready before receiving visitors. It’s exactly the same for a website.
It is therefore useless to try to generate the maximum traffic to your site if your pages are not optimized or if you do not know how you will then manage your visitors.
4/ Define the budget of your web marketing campaign
As with all businesses, the budget is often a sensitive point that we must nevertheless address in order to define what strategies we are able to put in place. It is very common to see that companies have no idea of the budget needed to achieve the objectives they set themselves. Marketers want to see results quickly and often have to report back to their management for every dollar they spend.
It is therefore important to clearly explain the cost of each action and the results we can achieve. For example, an SEO audit will likely represent an unexpected cost initially but will identify all the factors that can block the indexing of pages in Google results. Once the crucial points have been corrected, the repercussions will be beneficial for the company as long as good practices are respected.
You should not simply break down your web marketing budget according to the different media of communication (Social Media, SEO, PPC etc.). It is also necessary to break down the budget according to the cost of each actor: the agency that manages the campaign, the budget invested on Google, the budget invested on Facebook, the employees who work with the agency, etc. For example, if you want to invest $1,000 in advertising on Google, you will also need to take into account the management fees that the agency will charge you to create and optimize your campaigns, or the salary you will have to pay your employee who analyzes and improves your results.
It is usually at this point that you define the maximum cost per acquisition (in the case of a strategy aimed at acquiring new customers) or cost per lead (in the case of a strategy for generating opportunities) that you are willing to pay. From there it will depend on how you will define the performance of your campaign.
5/ Analysis of results
Although this is the last step, the analysis of the results is very important. At My Little Big Web, we regularly send performance reports to our customers so that they can follow the evolution of their web marketing campaigns. It is in fact based on analytical data that we can identify the actions that achieve our goals and those that still must be optimized. Be aware that it is possible to analyze almost everything on a website (number of visitors, web marketing actions through which they arrived on your site, the average time they spent there, the pages they visited, etc.).
It is therefore very important to allocate a budget dedicated to analytics in order to better understand the behavior of your visitors and adapt the message you want to display to them. Companies are slowly beginning to understand the value of web analytics, but those who already dedicate a part of their resources to it benefit from a strong competitive advantage.
So far in this article we’ve seen that the implementation of a web marketing strategy requires a lot of organization and that certain questions must be asked in order to be able to define the goals, budget and time required for success. If you think the budget set by your agency or marketing manager is too high, ask them to explain in detail the value of each action and the cost involved. This will surely allow you to assess the importance of each step and calculate your return on investment more thoroughly.
Note: Beware of agencies that guarantee you exceptional results at a lower cost. You must have confidence in your agency because they must be able to advise you throughout your communication process. Changing an agency because you opt for a “low cost” version may be more expensive than choosing a trusted partner from the start, since the latter will have to clean up what has been done before you can start on a solid footing.
If you liked this article, you might like this one: Understanding the terms used in online advertising
My Little Big Web brings together experts in web marketing who will be able to advise you and accompany you in the implementation of your online marketing/communication strategy. Do not hesitate to contact us by clicking HERE.