Free Digital Marketing Plan Template

May06

digital marketing plan templateSome smart guy (or gal) came up with the idea of The One Page Business Plan.

The idea is simple. It’s got the core information. It fits on one page. You print it out and keep it pinned up near your desk, and you refer to it often.

It’s short, easy, simple and it works.

So, with that, we’ve created The One Page Digital Marketing Strategy Template.

The One Page Digital Marketing Strategy Template

It’s quick to fill in, easy to follow, and it works.

One Page Digital Marketing Strategy Template

SEO versus AdWords or Both?

Oct16

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

seoAt the moment, looking through the website, no real effort or thought has gone into how to make this website and business find-able online. Google, and other search engines, essentially read through a website to determine what it’s about (using smart, automatic web crawlers). In order for search engines to even consider you for a search result, it has to find that you are relevant for that.

For example, let’s say someone is looking for a restaurant in Pemberton. For Google to even begin associating your website as a result to phrases like “Pemberton restaurant” or “restaurant in Pemberton”, your website needs to mention those phrases. If it does, Google will give you a ‘rank’ and position you accordingly. Initially this might be really low in the search results… you might have to go to page 2,3,4,5+ to find yourself – depending on the level of competition for that term.

This is where optimisation comes in.

    • First of all we need to conduct research to find a range of key phrases that someone might search in order to find you.
    • After choosing a range of key phrases, we examine the website to see if it has those already. If not, we add them in.
    • This may mean that new content or pages need to be created at this stage
    • Next time when the search engine bots come by, they will see those key phrases and start associating you as a result for those search terms
    • We will conduct further assessments on the pages to find as many aspects that we can improve on as possible (see attached example page grading document)
    • We implement as many of those items on an ongoing basis as possible – on the website page itself
    • We also build back links to the website – listing you on relevant websites with a link back to your website
    • Part of back linking is to also consult with your marketing team to provide suggestions on how to link back to your website if you are able to post articles to other people’s websites
    • Monthly tracking and reporting on the results of the above activities
    • Take a continuous improvement approach (depending on how aggressive competition is)
    Before any of the above items can be done, we need to do the following
    • Add in Google Analytics tracking into the website
    • Add in Google Webmaster Tools tracking into the website
    • Add in our Ranking Software tracking into the website

This will enable us to collect ongoing data about the website and track its movements in the search engines on a monthly basis.

AdWords

adwordsSearch engine optimisation can take time to build up, sometimes 3 to 6 months or longer – depending on the competitiveness of other businesses in the space (location and service).
AdWords is about placing you at the top of Google Rankings in the “Ads” sections. See illustration:

For these spots, competitors are paying a cost per click to be up there. So whenever someone clicks on that ad and goes to their website, they are paying for that click. The actual cost per click varies as it’s structured as an ever-changing bidding system. The business prepared to pay the most per click is most likely to be positioned higher. There are other factors involved, but this is largely it.

So with AdWords you need to pay for the set-up of the campaign (or DIY) and for the clicks themselves (direct to Google).

AdWords isn’t cheap, but it can get the phone ringing and enquiries coming in quickly. If a campaign is set up correctly, by the next day you should be a paid ad result.

SEO versus AdWords or both?

SEO is a more long-term activity. It takes longer to build up and costs more upfront (ongoing for several months) but once you are showing up in search results it quickly becomes cheaper than AdWords. For example, with AdWords you might be paying for the setup and ongoing maintenance plus the cost per click. So you might have a cost per click cost of $10. If you are getting 200 visitors to your website per month, it would be costing $2000 for that month. With SEO on the other hand, your costs remain the same ($1,000/month) but the longer and more effectively the campaign works, you might be getting 200 or 400 visitors to your website per month. $1000/month divided by 200 visitors is a cost per click of $5. Or $1000/month divided by 400 visitors is a cost per click of $2.5. Therefore the cost of SEO could be coming in at half or a quarter as compared to AdWords.

This is why business tend to favour SEO. Because you could get hundreds of clicks in a month. Not paying per click, like AdWords, makes the campaign a whole lot smarter.

For people who need to bring in business quickly, we suggest AdWords. However it can become a sizable monthly cost and if you stop the campaign, you are immediately off search results.

For people who want to build their natural SEO rankings, and not pay for each and every click, we suggest SEO.

For people who want to bring in business quickly and build up their SEO rankings for long term results and value, we suggest both SEO and AdWords. Once the SEO campaign is bringing in enough traffic and visitors, you can turn off AdWords.

Digital Marketing Strategy: Understand and Calculate Lifetime Customer Value

Apr13

When starting down the path of a digital marketing strategy, it’s extremely important to understand the concept of your Lifetime Customer Value, and how to calculate it. Knowing your lifetime customer value will help you make well justified decisions when it comes to what activities you do as part of your digital marketing strategy and how much time and effort you invest in the execution of the strategy.

How does the Lifetime Customer Value impact my digital marketing strategy decisions?

Let’s put it this way. Let’s say, hypothetically that you’ve calculated that your lifetime customer value is $8,000. That is, on average, over the lifetime of a customer they will spend $8,000 with your organisation – this may be over the course of 6 months, 2 years or 5 years. A digital marketing strategy is a long term customer acquisition investment which, if done correctly, will bring in customers for years to come. (How to calculate your Lifetime Customer Value.)

Digital Marketing Strategy Lifetime Value Customer

How to Calculate Customer Lifetime Value

Let’s say that as part of your digital marketing strategy you’ve calculated that you’re spending around $10,000 a month on your digital marketing – over the course of a year that works out to be around $120,000. By understanding and knowing your lifetime customer value, you can figure out how many new customers you need to acquire to break even, and how profitable the digital marketing strategy has been.

Let’s use some very realistic figures.

Digital Marketing Strategy Year 1.

In this case, hypothetically, let’s say that during the course of the 12 months, this specific campaign has brought in a total of 20 new customers. 20 new customers, multiplied by the lifetime customer value of $8,000 equals $160,000.

Digital Marketing Strategy Year 2.

Provided that part of the digital marketing strategy included organic search engine rankings, your website should continue bringing in new customers the following year. Now let’s assuming that you keep the digital marketing strategy budget at the same monthly amount and continue on with the same (but revised) activities. So, next year, instead of acquiring 20 customers, you acquire 50 new customers. 50 new customers multiplied by the lifetime customer value equals $400,000.

Digital Marketing Strategy Year 3.

Now, in the third year, your digital marketing campaign is so refined, so smooth and optimised that you acquire 80 new customers. Let’s do the math again. 80 new customers multiplied by your lifetime customer value of $8,000 equals $640,000 of new business.

Summary of your 3 year digital marketing strategy investment.

So in three years you’ve invested $360,000 in your digital marketing strategy, and acquired a customer base with the value of $1,200,000 for your business.

And these are really conservative figures!

Imagine if instead of 20 customers in the first year you gained 30. And instead of 50 customers in your second year you gained 70. And instead of 80 customers in your third year you gained 100. Now you’re looking at $1,600,000.

Or let’s think of it this way. When you started the campaign you calculated that your lifetime customer value was $8,000. But during the course of the three years, because your digital marketing strategy also put a strong focus on existing customers, they began purchasing more from you! Or were prepared to pay a more premium dollar for your services! And then the lifetime customer value increased to $9,000 or $10,000 each!

Not forgetting…

That during those three years, what you’ve also done is built up a valuable business asset – your website is now a strong, powerful, lead generating machine, your email marketing campaigns are practically automated, and your customers are becoming more loyal and perhaps engaging and buying from you even more.

Imagine what that would mean for the value of your business!

One Page Digital Marketing Strategy Template

Digital Marketing Strategy: A Useless Paperweight

Apr12

digital marketing strategyMore often than not, just like a business plan, a digital marketing strategy is nothing more than a paperweight. A big, fat, heavy paperweight. It looks great to look at. It’s very rewarding to know it’s done. However it usually just sits there… on top of, or underneath, a whole lot of other papers.

Having one of those digital marketing strategy paperweights is almost like having no strategy at all. Except for the nice feeling you have “knowing” that you do have one made.

So many businesses start off with great ideas. Amazing ideas, even. The enthusiastic founder may spend weeks upon weeks writing an elaborate business plan. Full of graphs and pie charts, statistics and figures – it’s nothing short of an inspirational read. However, as we all know, when the business gets going the pressures of the “urgent” day-to-day tasks take over, they dig that business plan deeper and deeper into filing cabinet darkness.

So, some smart guy (or gal) came up with the idea of The One Page Business Plan. The idea is simple. It’s got the core information. It fits on one page. You print it out and keep it pinned up near your desk, and you refer to it often.

It’s short, easy, simple and it works.

So, with that, we’ve created The One Page Digital Marketing Strategy Template.

The One Page Digital Marketing Strategy Template

It’s quick to fill in, easy to follow, and it works.

One Page Digital Marketing Strategy Template

Digital Marketing Strategy Love Triangle

Mar24

There are three main aspects to a successful digital marketing strategy. If you do two of them but neglect one of them, your campaigns are likely to be ‘stunted’. Here at Emmix, we call it The Digital Marketing Strategy Love Triangle.

The Digital Marketing Strategy Love Triangle

If you have good content and a strong social media presence and strategy, but a lacklustre website with no calls to action and difficult to find contact details, you’ve shot yourself in the foot.

If you have a great website with great content, but your social media strategy is all ‘me, me, me’ self-promotional, your social media success will be limited.

If you have a good website and a good social media plan, yet lack engaging, educational, interesting content, your success will be once again limited.

The Three Most Important Digital Marketing Strategy Elements

Your Website and your Digital Marketing Strategy

Does your website work properly right now? Is it putting out the ‘right message’ about you/your business/your organisation? Are there correct and visible calls to action?

Very importantly, is your website code set up correctly to ensure maximum search engine benefit?

If it is, are you correctly publishing content, taking into consideration keywords in your titles, in your sub-headings, alt tags for your images, and useful meta descriptions?

Content and your Digital Marketing Strategy

Content is key to a successful digital marketing strategy. The internet is all about users who are looking for something, because they have a question or a need, and ultimately what they find is based on search giant, Google, and what Google decides is most relevant.

Now, Google has smart algorithms which are used to determine relevancy. People try to ‘convince’ Google that their website is more relevant through the use of questionable search engine optimisation strategies, however at the end of the day it all comes down to the question: Do you have good content?

You need to have good content written regularly and distributed throughout the digital mediums – on your website, on your blog, on your social media channels, and on other external sites (eg: guest blogging).

Because, naturally, good content is consumed – read, shared and appreciated.

Social Media and your Digital Marketing Strategy

Before you start posting away on social media, you’ve got to really think about who your target market is and a) what they like, b) what they’re interested in, c) what they want to see and d) what they DON’T want to see.

In social media, mostly you never get shared or liked when you’re doing a lot of self promoting, but rather when you just appeal to their interests you get more shares and likes – and thus your exposure grows. Give it a try for a week and see how you go.

Take a look at what competitors in your industry are doing within social media – consider it with a ‘judging’ eye, not as ‘gold’ – because they may not be doing it right either. What you’re looking for is to see which posts are shared most, commented on most and ‘Liked’ the most. These, you should consider the question of ‘why?’ and learn from.

One Page Digital Marketing Strategy Template

What You Love Doing vs Running a Company. Oranges and Apples, my friend.

Feb21

Ok, so you’ve been doing what you do for years now… 5 years, 10 years, 15 years. You’re good at it. No, in fact, you’re great at it. If someone woke you up at 3am in the morning and drilled you with any combination of who, what, where, when, why or how questions about your job, you’d have the answer delivered on a silver platter.

So you’ve started a business doing what you love doing; doing what you’re so great at doing. Because you’re great at it, you’ve naturally attracted and pulled in some new clients. You’ve gotten some new notches on your belt. You’ve received some glowing testimonials. And you’ve made some money. But…

(Yes, there’s always a but…isn’t there?)

But over the last several months or years, you feel like the business has hit a plateau. You’ve made a great deal of money, but whatever you do, it seems like making more is just not going to happen.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. And you know it. You feel it. You’re frustrated because you know the business could go better, but you’re just not sure what to do to make it so.

Read more

Q&A: What is dedicated hosting?

Feb18

Dedicated hosting service, is a kind of internet web hosting wherein one single client leases the entire web server (this can be managed or self-managed. Click here to read the implications of self-managed, dedicated hosting.). This type of hosting gives client full access and control over the server; whether what operating system or hardware should be installed or any other elements that has to be incorporated into the server.

A dedicated hosting service provides security, optimum performance, email stability, and control. As opposed to shared web hosting, dedicated hosting is pricier than shared hosting and is mostly used by websites with larger volumes of traffic.

Q&A: What is shared web hosting?

Feb18

Shared web hosting is a web hosting service wherein several websites exist within one web server that is connected to the internet. In order to keep each website isolated from each other, it is placed on its own partition. This type of web hosting is considered as the most cost-effective since server maintenance cost is shared by several people.

System administration is required in shared web hosting since the server is shared by several people. This kind of hosting is not applicable for people who require extensive software development aside from what the server provides.

Normally, shared web hosting utilises a web-based control panel system like: cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin, H-Sphere, InterWorx, or some other control panel systems. At Emmix, we use cPanel for our shared hosting accounts.

Q&A: Does having an Australian web host help with my search engine optimisation and rankings?

Feb17

Yes, it is understood that if you’re an Australian based business, targeting Australian search engine rankings and results, having your website served from a web host company with servers in Australia will help with your search engine optimisation campaign and rankings.

Due to the nature of Google’s secret algorithms, it’s difficult to say ‘how much’ of an effect having an Australian based host would help your rankings.

We believe that this is mostly due to the fact that if your website server is closer in proximity to your users, your site will load faster… and it has been confirmed that load speed is a factor in Google’s search engine result positions.

This is why you should make the move to a web host with servers in Australia, and take a look at your website load speeds.

Q&A: What mass email marketing program or service do you recommend?

Feb17

As with most things these days, there are a dime a dozen email marketing programs available.

We’ve used a few, from Aweber to Zoho to MailChimp.

Our favourite – MailChimp.

In our opinion, it’s the simplest and easiest mass email marketing program available. And it’s very affordable too. For many, free, in fact. Currently, MailChimp have a free account which allows you to store up to 2,000 people in the database, and send up to 12,000 emails per month. This would suffice most people entering email marketing for the first time. However, you would be missing out on one of the most valuable features that email marketing has to offer – Automated Responses. However, MailChimp’s paid, full featured, accounts start from just US$10/month.

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