- Align your marketing and communications spend with your target audiences’ information consumption. If you’re investing more in analog media and channels than you are in digital, you may be out of balance.
Starting point: Survey your audiences to understand where they prefer to consume content. If you’re not game for doing a survey, search for industry reports on audience preferences. Use these insights to calibrate your communications mix. For example, if your audience is on social media and you’re running print ads, you’re likely missing an opportunity.
- Measure key metrics to track and understand communications performance.
Starting point: Identify key behaviors you desire from your audiences. For example, what actions do you want them to take when receiving your communications? Are you driving them to your website? What steps would you like them to take while on your website? Begin measuring these actions.
- Keep your web presence current. Effective marketers understand that websites have a finite lifespan. If it’s been longer than four years since you’ve redesigned your website, you should begin planning your next redesign.
Starting point: Review your website analytics to determine how content and important features are performing, run a survey on your website to learn what challenges your users are experiencing. Conduct a competitive analysis. Interview customers and prospects. These are all effective ways of identifying whether it’s time for a redesign and which areas should be improved.
- Keep your brand and products or services visible on search engines. If you don’t appear on the first page of Google search results for important search terms, you’re not visible enough to potential customers.
Starting point: Establish a focused set of keywords that work for your business and that you can compete for. Conduct an analysis of your website to determine how well you’re incorporating those terms. Develop a plan to improve your content to focus on your high priority keywords.
- Actively engage your target audiences on social media. If you have no presence across social media channels, or if you don’t have a strategic plan to become active, the time to start planning is now.
Starting point: First, determine if your audience is on social media. (see #1 above). Perform a competitive analysis to understand what others in your peer set are doing on social channels. Set goals for how you’ll use social media. Start small and build over time as you gain successes and experience.
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- Fine tune your mobile website experience. If your website is not mobile optimized or built using Responsive Web Design (RWD), you’re turning off site visitors and missing opportunities.
Starting point: If a full website re-do isn’t possible, build a mobile optimized version as a short-term solution until you’re ready to re-do your site. If you’re ready to redesign your website, make sure it’s built with RWD to allow the site to adjust to the user’s device.
- Surround yourself with savvy digital marketers and communicators. If your marketing and communications team sorely lacks digital skills and savvy, begin determining how you’ll recalibrate.
Starting point: Determine what skills you need to raise your digital communications game. Conduct a skills inventory to determine gaps and begin prioritizing where you’ll fill these gaps. The key is acknowledging this issue and mapping out a plan to begin addressing it.