As a follow-up to our first blog on Where to Start with Digital Marketing, this article continues the series to explore the next step after performing an in-depth assessment: creating a marketing plan. I was originally inspired to write this series because of a discussion we had in an online digital marketing class I’m taking at Berkeley. The group project I’m working on now is a great example of a marketing plan coming together for a brand new (imaginary) nonprofit organization.
The organization we created provides education to help women affected by domestic violence get out of abusive relationships and learn in-demand job skills to become financially independent. We chose this mission because not only do 1 in 4 women experience abuse from a partner, 85% are likely to return after they have left. Because our organization runs on donations from sponsor companies, our first goals are raising awareness among key groups and incentivizing donations. We’ll get into the specifics as we dig deeper into a marketing strategy.
Keep reading to learn about the most critical pieces of your digital marketing strategy and what they look like in action!
Website and SEO
Your website is the main hub of your digital marketing strategy, so the goal is to help every potential client find it. Every aspect should clearly reflect what you’re trying to achieve, and quality is key! For the nonprofit project, we looked at 10-15 other websites before choosing a couple of top competitors for deeper analysis. It showed us what kinds of information and design elements are standard with similar nonprofits and how we might stand out.
While much of SEO strategy is aimed at the algorithms and web crawlers that search engines use to rank web pages for specific keywords, it’s also about optimizing the user experience for human visitors. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are important tools for this step. We optimize for both on-page and off-page SEO:
- Minimize load speed
- Maintain high image quality by compressing large image files
- Repair broken links
- Keep a stream of fresh content with priority keywords
- Anything outside your website, like your Google My Business page
- Create and optimize directory listings in places like Yahoo, Bing, and Yellow Pages
- Verify that information is correct and up to date
One of the most important features of your website is the Call to Action, which should be prominent on your homepage and ask visitors to take the next step. It might be something like “book a free consultation” or “buy now.” Make sure your CTA is in alignment with your current goals, for example, growing your email list or getting people to a landing page to sell a particular product.
Email and Lead Funnel
Your lead funnel is much like the customer journey that turns new audiences into clients. The stages of awareness, interest, consideration and conversion align with different pieces of content and the business processes that result in a sale. For most organizations, collecting email addresses somewhere on their website is the critical piece that connects these marketing efforts to create a loyal audience. Email is the most consistent way to get in front of people who know, like and trust you.
Once you’ve built this funnel, you have to create content to appear relevant and provide value. Your email service is also another place to collect data, such as the number of opt-ins, opens, clicks and the “bounce rate” of people who close the email immediately after opening it. For my project, part of our funnel-building strategy was connecting with tech companies local to the San Francisco Bay area (where Berkeley is located) and finding out their level of familiarity with domestic violence issues. This gave us our starting point to educate potential donors through content.
Finally, once the website and bottom of the lead funnel are set up, social media brings new people in at the “top of the funnel.” Rather than trying to take on all of the biggest platforms, it’s much better to find out where your audience hangs out and choose one or two platforms to engage with consistently. It’s one of the fastest-changing parts of the strategy, and it’s important to make sure your content is optimized for specific platforms while directing people to your website.
Rinse and Repeat
A marketing strategy like this one should work for about six months to a year, and by that time, something usually changes. Either the company has grown, the industry has shifted or we’ve learned some important things about our market that we can use to improve our plan. At Light Vision Group, we review data with our clients on a monthly basis to see what’s working and what’s not. When we’re ready to change our approach, we take a couple of weeks to review everything and either tweak our original strategy or make bigger changes.
These monthly meetings are where we do a lot of educating on the customized processes we’ve developed and how we are accomplishing specific goals. With our support, our clients can confidently decide what to do next.
Feeling inspired to revamp your marketing strategy? Schedule a free consultation with us and let’s talk about it.