BEST DIGITAL MARKETING CHECKLIST FOR MARKETERS AND BUSINESS OWNERS 2019
With so many digital marketing and social media options available, not sure where to start your digital marketing? Below is our best digital marketing checklist for entrepreneurs, new business owners, new online stores or anyone new to digital marketing.
BEST DIGITAL MARKETING CHECKLIST FOR MARKETERS AND BUSINESS OWNERS 2019
1. HAVE YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY READY!
It is important you define your marketing strategy at least for the next six months or one year. Learn how to create a digital marketing strategy plan or talk to your marketing agency about it. You know you have a digital marketing strategy ready when you know:
- What you offer is unique. You have carefully crafted your unique selling proposition (USP). your USP is the big idea that best positions your brand according to what your customers care about and what your competitors aren’t. This is one of the shortest lines that will surely define your marketing.
- Who to target: would you be targeting prospective buyers or current customer or both? Define your “most profitable customer” segment. With limited time, resources and budget you will not be able to reach everyone. It is important to filter your target by demographics and psychographics. An example below:
Our most profitable customer segment to target is:
Our brand XYZ is the preferred option for Women (gender) between 35-55 years old (age) who live in mainly in high affluent suburbs near CBD who like visiting the shopping mall at least once a week and enjoy unique pieces of furniture in their homes. They like to socialise at the newest cafes and restaurants, visit their hair salon regularly, watch tv programs and series such as AAA and BBB. They go to this websites to find inspiration: www.aaa.com, www.bbb.com and some of their preferred holiday destinations include:Hawaii, St Tropez, New York and Sydney. They like to be serviced with the best quality regardless of price. They value customer service and ongoing news and information on how to creatively use our products.
- Customer Purchase Journey. When deciding how to define and schedule your campaigns you want to ensure you are clear how your customer purchase journey is and if there is specific seasonality for it. A customer purchase journey refers to the phases all customers experience when building a relationship with your business. These phases can include: awareness, comparison, preference, trail, purchase, evaluation, loyalty (repeat purchases), referral, advocacy, education, recommendation ( as an influencer or advocate). Not sure how people find product or services in your category? You can find out by running a survey. Tools such as Google Surveys can help you run a survey in multiple languages for users in different countries.
- Content Strategy. If you have assisted to my “Avoiding Content Tsunami with a Strategy” Master Class, you know the importance of deciding your content pillar to prove your mettle. Specially in “commoditised” market, you need to build and focus your content around two or max three content topics your audience would love, engage and promote on behalf of you. A great content strategy should help you build resonance with the potential and current customers you are targeting. That’s why you see for example companies like Optus focused on Soccer matches and nature/wildlife documentary only. They want to own that space and be one of the best delivering that content to their audience.
- Promotional Plan. Promotional tactics are part of a great digital marketing plan. Promotions allow business owners and marketers bring new clients at a rapid pace by offering them special benefits for a limited time period. Some options are discussed below.
- Free Product Sampling. In some industries, it is not enough for people to know about your product. They might just ignore it if they do not really need it. Free samples get your product in the hands of potential customers. Giving people the opportunity to try before they buy shows people that you know they will like it. Multiple choice free sample giveaway gives your potential customers the chance to choose from one of different sample packs in exchange for a name and email address. The option to choose from multiple samples allows potential customers to “customise” their sample, giving them the chance to try something they are truly interested in. Plus, it can give marketers a bit more information about what their customers are interested in, and it allows them to customise further email marketing efforts based on the choice the subscriber made. We at eDigital can certainly help you create and promte your Free Sample campaign from landing page and form set up to social media promotion.
- Limited collections. As commonly called “drop model”. Popular for “tastemaker status” brands in fashion or streetwear, brands will release a limited collection of items with little to no notice, and people will wait in line for hours—sometimes overnight—to buy them. The brand will launch “exclusive capsule” collections to “super fans” or innovator buyers who are likely their most valuable customers.
- Discounts. A discount on your product or service is just the ticket to get potential customers hooked. Marketers can do a brilliant job with a campaign that offers a discount for multiple sessions of your services (for example). If you know it takes your potential customers a bit of time to get into a your services routine (lets say a fitness program) so by providing a discount on multiple service sessions, your potential customers get into a habit and they start seeing results. The results will keep those new clients coming back after the discount period expires.
- Consumer Competitions. Do you want to grow your list of leads quicker? A consumer competition or giveaway is a perfect place to start because it’s simple to set up and enter. By offering your service as a prize, you can build a list of people who are interested in your specific services, in other words, qualified leads for your business. You can send an autoresponder after form submission with information about your business, such as a list of your services, your opening times, and directions to your location. If you do not know how to run this campaign, just contact us and we can do all the set up for you.
- What channels to reach them: will you be doing SEO, Adwords, online affiliates, email marketing, social media advertising, display advertising, re-marketing? with so many options it might not be easy to know how to decide or where to start. New business owners and entrepreneurs might have limited budget, resources and time to spend promoting their marketing campaigns on all digital marketing channels available, therefore you need to think strategically on which channels you might to test first. Below is some general advice as every industry is different.
- Google Adwords. If you want to reach people actively searching in google for the type of services you offer, then the quickest way will be to reach them via Google Adwords Advertising. You will have to have relevant landing pages ready otherwise your cost per click will be really high. Adwords is a great channel to reach people actively looking for your services as opposed to other channels where people are not really actively looking for your product or services. A popular option is for advertisers to use Google Shopping to place product ads directly to people who are searching for specific products. We can help you set up and manage your Google Shopping Ads or you can get one of our partners to review your current Google Shopping implementation.
- In some industries, people do not search in Google for your services, so you need to reach them via other channels such as: email marketing, social media, affiliate programs, content marketing or other ways.
- Experiential marketing (aka event marketing) also help your brand get into the consideration phase of potential buyers of your products/services. People love to get invitations from brands to test or experience in real life your service or products. Some brands take a step further and invite its top users to co-create or co-design their next service or product range. These real life experiences with your brand are key for social media amplification as people will love to share their experience on their social media channels. important. It is very important that you have some sort of experiential marketing attached to your digital marketing strategy.
- Testing is key. you might want to test different channels to see which one really brings sales. You might want to complete few months of Google Ads, then you shift to Facebook Ads using facebook ad automation tools such as Connectio. Then you can compare results from these two highly popular digital advertising channels,
- Display advertising. Display advertising campaigns refer to all those banner ads you see on the internet promoting a product or service. These display campaigns are great for new businesses when no-one really knows about your brand and you want to ensure people are aware of your brand next time they consider buying into your category.
- Re-marketing. Display advertising campaigns work effectively when you can extend them to re-marketing campaigns. Remarketing are campaigns that target people across the internet – via display ads – who visit your website and perform a specific action or did not complete a specific action.
- SEO. There is no doubt organic free traffic from search engines is one of the most popular ways websites get visitation and sales (depending how great the website user experience is); however Search Engine Optimisation techniques might take some months to kick in and require a lot of content to be written or Google to have many opportunities to index and rank your website for. It is important you have an SEO strategy that it is consistent with your current overall digital marketing strategy, budget and resources so you do not get burnt out mid way. A great tool to track your SEO rankings and progress is Rank Watch or Rank Tracker.
- Influencer marketing. When you are a new business, you do not have fans or followers. Using an influencer platform to get popular influencers to rave about your brand is key. Choose from some of the best and most popular influencer platforms or visit directly some top ones such as: Ninja Outreach, Scrunch, ShoutCart
- Public Relations. For new businesses or existing businesses who are launching new products or services is important to map out who you can use your media releases to increase brand awareness and sales for your new products. Specially if you are creating a digital marketing campaign to launch a new product collection or a innovative service in your industry, you will need a way to reach as many key journalists with your media release. A great tool to use is eReleases.
- Sequence and automation: When and how often to reach them on each channel. Depending on your campaigns’ objectives you will need to map out when and what sequence your digital marketing channels play across your digital marketing calendar. You might decide that SEO is important on specific months because that’s when people are really looking for your services.
- What budget: You will define what your total budget is and how much will you be investing on each channel. You will also need to budget for tools, training, content production (images, video, copywriting, website updates, etc), reports, etc.
- Estimated Return of Investment ROI: What return on investment you expect and what tasks and tools you have in place to correctly track ROI. If you do not really know what ROI is and how to measure, then you need a marketing consultant asap. we can help you with this too.
- Tracking and measurement: what tools will you use to track and measure ROI.
- Campaigns and offers: what type of campaigns and offers you will be using the get people to buy from you, buy more often, buy more premium, buy more quantity and help them bring you new customers? How your campaigns relate to key company, industry, community, national or international events that are highly relevant to your customer purchase journey? Is your demand sensitive to pricing? if so, how does your pricing plays on each of your campaigns to bring buyers?
- Distribution. Alidropship is a great alternative if you want to sell products you do not manufacture and that you do not want to stock and get in the painful process of packaging them and post them to your customers. Alidropship will receive your orders and will ship them directly to your customers.
- Tools. What tools are you going to be using to make your digital marketing more efficient. You might need to look at some of the best digital marketing tools or some of the best social media tools, etc. Below are some of our favourite ones….
- Social Media Management tools: AgoraPulse, CoSchedule, GAIN App, IconoSquare, PromoRepublic, Sendible, Social Aider SocialOomp, StatusBrew
- Image editing tools: Fotor, PhotoLemur
- Instagram followers growth tools: Combin, Kicksta, Social Runner
- Instagram post scheduling tools: Later
- Social Media Monitoring Tools: Awario
- Referral Marketing (online affiliate) tools: Ambassador, Omnistar
- Content Discovery Tools: DrumUp – So you always have something very interested to share with your social media followers.
- User Interactions Pop Up tools for your website: Fomo
- Live chat software for your website: ProntoChat
- PDF editor (Advance tool): PDF Element
- SEO tools: LinkAssistant, SEMRush
- Webinar software: JVZoo, WebinarJam
- Cheap image banks: Twenty20 or you can brief a photographer using our template.
- Video editor and video automation for your product pages: Treepodia
- Training needs. You will need to budget for some digital marketing training for you or your team. Some of the best options are:
When you analyse any successful business you realise they all have a carefully crafted branding. Branding is one of the most important steps to get right before you activate any digital marketing or social media marketing activities. The biggest mistake for new business owners and entrepreneurs is to think a brand is just a logo. A logo is an important part of your branding but not the only one. A well crafted Branding Guidelines encompasses not only your logo but also your brand personality, tone, voice, colour palette and how it is going to be delivered to prospective customers and current customers at key touch points. Touch points might include macro elements such as TV ads to micro elements such as letter heads, email signatures, postcards, thank you emails, etc.
Your overall marketing strategy should offer your Branding Designer insights into how your branding should be crafted.
You want to make sure you create a brand that is:
- Provides value. What exact issue is your brand solving?
- It is remarkable. Your brand solves it in a way that people make remarks about it (people say really nice things about your brand)
- It is memorable. Your brand brings experiences worth remembering.
- Easy to recall. When asking potential customers what brands offer your type of products or services, people can easily name your brand as an option.
- Easy to recognise. When showing potential customers your brand logo people can easily recognise it.
Market Research companies such as Nielsen offer brand recall and brand recognition studies. These services are not cheap and mostly used by big companies with brands that reach millions of customers.
Related read >> 8 Dazzling colour trends for your branding
3. HIRE A MARKETING STUDENT / INTERN
Would you believe me if I tell you can hire a marketing student / intern for only $147 for 3 months? You will be very surprised!
4. DECIDE WHETHER YOU NEED A LANDING PAGE OR A WEBSITE
If you are a new entrepreneur who want to prove your concept you might want to run some ads on social media or Adwords to a landing page and see if people convert (buy from you). To do this you actually do not need a website. You can easily pass this proof of concept by using a landing page builder tool that also host that landing page. There also a new super easy one-page builder tool called: Carrd. Worth exploring it as it offers a free version and their paid version is super cheap at $9/year, yes that’s right $9/year to create a one page landing page with pretty good options.
Once you confirm people are actually buying your product/service, then you have a good case to move into buying a domain name and building your own website.
Another option is to use popular market places such as eBay, Amazon, Etsy or Catch of the Day to sell your products.
Some examples of successful business using online marketplaces are:
- New Aim that is listed on eBay as OzPlaza and on Catch of the Day as DailyPlaza. They have mainly used these two channels to sell millions of dollar worth of products.
- Bellroy leather products online retailer uses their website, amazon marketplace, The Iconic, Universal Store and bricks-and-mortar department stores such as David Jones and BarneYs (in USA).
5. IF YOU NEED A WEBSITE, BUY THE RIGHT DOMAIN
Is there any other direct competitor with a similar domain name? You want to ensure there is none.
6. GET DOMAIN, HOSTING AND SSL CERTIFICATE WITH THE SAME PROVIDER
Not only to get buyer power (more likely you can get discounts) it will also save you time when implementing all these three together. I will totally recommend you to get SSL certificate from the very beginning of your website so you never have to migrate as this is a bit painful process and likely you will lose a bit of organic traffic (seo traffic) in the migration process. One of the cheapest domain, hosting and SSL certificate providers in Australia is Crazydomains. This is a great option for entrepreneurs or business owners building their website on WordPress. If you choose an all-in-platform such as Shopify, you will not need it as Shopify will offer it all as part of your package.
WANT A CHALLENGE? >> COMPLETE THE ULTIMATE DIGITAL MARKETING CROSSWORD / PUZZLE
7. FIND THE BEST SCALABLE E-COMMERCE PLATFORM THAT IS EASY TO CUSTOMISE
8. START GETTING SUBSCRIBERS AND WARM LEADS
There is no doubt one of the most effective ways to build fast and easy a data base of potential customers is by running and online quiz or poll. I know some brands have had great success with Interact Quiz Maker generating more than 10.000 subscribers with only one quiz.
9. SECURE ALL YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ASSETS
CLAIMING SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES
Even if you are not planning to use them (yet) and specially on external sites that you do not control, you want to ensure you claim your pages.
Claiming your name and creating page specially applies for:
- Facebook: still popular but not as much with the Gen Z
- Instagram: recommended to be used to show your visuals, behind the scenes and provide inspiration to customers on creative ways to use your products or services.
- LinkedIn if you sell to a group of executive decision makers at companies (B2B) then you need to have a LinkedIn marketing plan ready (aka B2B social selling) that includes tactical LinkedIn Ads. LinkedIn Lead Form ads are mentioned to be extremely effective. Contact us if you need support.
- Pinterest: This is a very important channel if you sell a product or service that customers plan in advance: weddings, holidays, home renovation, graduations. Also used for fashion inspiration and looks.
- Twitter. Important channels if you are a news outlet, a celebrity or an industry leader. otherwise just claim the name and keep it inactive.
- Google Plus. In 2019 Google gave up with Google Plus and it will be depreciated soon.
- Google My business ( your business is listed on google maps) You can also post images, videos and link to your website content from your Google My Business profile. You can Sendible to schedule Google My Business posts.
- Apple Maps Connect. Apple Maps is the default maps application on IOS devices. It is connected to Yelp listings so if you are in Yelp, your office or store is also likely to appear on Apple Maps.
- Snapchat: Great channel to reach Gen Z that not even Gen X know how to use it. We can create geo-filters for your physical store or next event so people can use them when taking their selfy near your location. Contact us to find out more.
- Tumblr: all things rebellious, creative fashion, erotica/porn, creative art, goes well on Tumblr. Pretty much all the creative stuff that gets banned in fb or Instagram arrives on Tumblr. One of the unique things about tumblr is how easy is to re-blog content so if your visual pieces are amazing, they might easily get viral and land on thousands of other tumblr blogs.
- Quora. Need to raise your profile as a industry leader, consultant or specialist. You might want to start answering questions in your field here.
- Reddit. Reddit is known for a strong tech, entertainment and gaming communities in the USA (specially west coast) – but they are also getting some interesting chat around auto, finance, food and style. Reddit also offers “promoted” posts. People visit Reddit to subscribe to topical areas. Example, a user might subscribe to Polaroids, indie rock and parenting. Advertisers can target users at the interest level, not the individual user level.
Some specific industries have their own niche social media channels.
INDUSTRY NICHE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS TO SECURE YOUR VANITY NAME – EXAMPLES
Restaurant owners also secure their page and vanity name on:
Boutique hotel owners register their name and secure their page on:
- tripadvisor (same as Onetime.com)
If you are an online retailer, you might want your products to be sold at the top 10 most visited online retail websites in Australia 2019:
Name – All monthly visitors (not uniques)
- ebay.com.au – 194m
- amazon.com – 57m
- bunnings.com.au – 40m
- ebay.com – 36m
- amazon.com.au – 34m
- woolworths.com.au – 32m
- jbhifi.com.au – 29m
- cloes.com.au – 21m
- kmart.com.au – 21m
- kogan.com – 20m
Source: Cuponation collated using SimilarWeb and Alexa.
We can find out for you what are the top industry nice social media players you should be registering to.
10. GET ALL THE ESSENTIALS READY
Before you start spending your marketing budget you need to ensure you have implemented some key tools that will help you track and measure your success. Some of the key tools you will need are:
- Google Analytics: one of the most important tools for any online business. It will give you so many valuable insights on user behaviour, visitation stats and conversion data – if set it up correctly -. We can help you set this up.
- Google Search Console. If you talk to any SEO expert this is the first tool they would set up for you. In summary, it gives you information on how Google is indexing and ranking your website.
- Google Tag Manager. Install GTA on your website so you can store all your re-marketing pixels or other pixels in one single place. Example: if you want to reach people who have clicked on your Instagram ads, then you need to ensure your Facebook re-marketing pixel is installed on your website. The best way is to add the facebook re-marketing pixel on Google Tag Manager
- Marketing Automation Software. Ideally you want to use one single platform that allows you to do as much marketing automation you can. There are platforms such as Active Campaign, InfusionSoft, HubSpot, Ontraport, SalesForce, SendinBlue, that offer complete marketing automation including: CRM, Email Marketing, email triggers from specific user actions on your website, sales follow ups, etc. Alternatively you can use a specific software for a specific marketing automation you want. The more features you want the more expensive it will be. If you are a small business or a new start up you might need to start with marketing automation specific software (custom stack).
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM). You need this to ensure you have a scalable way to reach prospective and current customers with individually tailored offers. Best CRM for small business are: Infogamy, Zoho, Insightly, Pipedrive.
- Email Marketing Software. When integrated with your CRM is a powerful tool to use to reach people who have opted-in to receive informations and offers from you. Mailchimp is surely the leader for small business as they offer free up to 2000 contacts and you can send up to 12000 emails per month. Other options include: SmartR Mail (easy integration with Shopify, Bigcommerce, Neto or Woocommerce). GetResponse offers you also a CRM and Landing pages for only $49/month.
- Lead Generation tools. Today you can find some creative ways to get leads. Some options include: online games, quizzes, surveys, etc. The cool thing is that you do not have to build them from scratch. They are already available for you to use and get leads. Some of the top lead generation tools are: Albacross (You can test Albacross during 14 days trial for free and see the benefits it brings), Interact Quiz Maker, UpViral, If you are a B2B marketer you might want to try LinkedIn lead form ads that since May 2018 can now pass lead data to Salesforce Sales Cloud and Microsoft Dynamics 365, saving you time converting your leads from LinkedIn Ads. You can contact us if you want us to run your lead generation campaigns including LinkedIn Lead form ads.
- Automated Cart Abandonment emails. Not all people who will land on your online store will buy. It is important you reconnect with them using an automated tool that brings them back to your online store. Drip is one of these tools we can recommend.
- Unique “Thank you” pages’ URL. The easiest and fastest way to track conversions is when your developer have create unique “thank you” pages’ urls so you can add them as “goals” in Google Analytics and then know what type of traffic sources (ie. social media, display, seo, adwords, etc) is bringing the most sales to your business.
- Attribution modelling. Attribution modelling is the holy grail of digital marketing at the moment but it is not cheap. so if you a new business, probably you might need to wait a bit until you have a couple of thousands a month you can invest only into this.
11. BUILD RELEVANT PARTNERSHIPS
- Influencer Campaigns. When you are a new business you do not have fans or followers. Using an influencer platform to get popular influencers to rave about your brand is key. Choose from some of the best and most popular influencer platforms or visit directly some top ones such as: AdInject, Ninja Outreach, Scrunch, ShoutCart
- Affiliate Campaigns. Affiliate campaign programs have existed for a very long time and the industry as a whole keeps growing because it works and works really effectively for advertisers as they pay only per sale generated. Some of the best Affiliate platforms are: iDevAffiliate, Commission Junction, LeadDyno, Omnistar, Tapfiliate
- Distributors. Are you going to partner with popular online retailers to help you sell your stock? For example, if you are a beauty brand in Australia, you might want key online beauty retailers to help you sell your stock. Names include: Mecca, Cosmetics Now Australia, Sephora, Strawberrynet, Adore Beauty, The FreshGroup, Price Rite mart, The MakeUp Stop.
- Build complementary partnerships. Marley Spoon meal box delivery service that started in Berlin in 2014, entered the Australian market and partnered with Woolworths in June 2019 who injected 30 million for a 9% equity stake. This complementary partnership will help both businesses increase sales. By July 2019 Marley Spoon has approx 172k customers globally.
12. START YOUR CAMPAIGNS
Now you will go back to your Digital Marketing plan and start activating the digital marketing campaigns you schedule for the year.
You can either:
- Employ someone full time or part-time to plan, activate, track and measure your campaigns
- Search for a champion digital marketing specialist ( like me!) who set up, track and measure the campaigns for you
- Find a remote worker on Outsourcely. or Fiverr who might do it for you. You can even track the time a remote worker spend on your task with Timedoctor – in the case they charge you by hour
- Hire a digital marketing agency (if you can afford their fees). They normally charge you a minimum monthly retainer.
13. PUBLISH CONTENT THAT BECOME POPULAR AND VIRAL
TIPS WHEN WRITING AN ARTICLE ABOUT SOMETHING NEW – FORMAT
- Start with the importance of the topic and its necessity in the current conditions
- Describe what has been the situation up until now.
- Introduce the new topic
- Describe how it is breaking new ground with specific examples or case studies, quotes from experts.
- Lead to an new paradigm or question
- Conclusion – you can also add a quote from an expert.
Example: Forbes Article about the new Micro Influencers
You are going to need a smartphone you can have all your business social media platforms and all marketing tool apps ready so you can be a champion digital marketing on-the-go with no need to be stuck in a boring office. Kogan offers amazing deals on iphones or samsung phones. Also, if you would like to enjoy a nice read, I can recommend this The Art of Digital Marketing book, written by Ian Dodson, Co-founder and Director of the Digital Marketing Institute. Based on the industry’s leading certification from the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI), this book presents an innovative methodology for successful digital marketing: start with the customer and work backwards.
I hope you found the above checklist useful and if you have any questions, you can always reach me via our contact us form.
BEST DIGITAL MARKETING CHECKLIST
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Award Winner Digital Marketer, top Linkedin Influencer, Certified Facebook / Adwords Professional, Certified SEO Consultant, StartUp Investor, Writer, Speaker. 15+ years optimising some of Australia’s top brands. MAU.trains marketers via Strategy Workshops & Training Sessions inc his popular Digital Marketing Plan & Social Media Plan templates. MAU. enjoys football, latin music & hiking while teaching Digital Marketing or completing creative photography briefs and conceptual photography assignments. Subscribe to MAU.’s e-newsletter connect on LinkedIn Instagram Facebook
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