Topic (00:11): How to complete a digital marketing assessment for your business.
What is a Digital Marketing Assessment? (00:56)
A digital marketing assessment is something you need to do at least once or twice a year before planning out your team’s strategy. For example, if we’re in the fall of 2021, we should start going through this process of assessing our digital marketing presence before 2022.
The assessment can include multiple areas your company is touching or communicating with your audience, clients, or customers; and it could range from assessing what’s going on with various social media to other forms of communication channels. These channels might be your email marketing campaigns, company’s website, search engine optimization (SEO), or even any kind of paid advertising campaigns that you might be running.
The goal is a 360-degree assessment. When you run a company, you typically review your employees periodically, and many companies will call those 360-degree reviews. Think of this the same way: you’ve got to take a look at what’s going on with your digital marketing and the state of your digital marketing on an annual or biannual basis to figure out where you can make improvements. What can make things better? What are some loopholes or gaps that you might find that can contribute to the strategy for the following year, to continue building your presence and making it much better across the digital channels that you’re communicating on? So, in short, that is what we’d call a digital marketing assessment.
Assessing Your Message and Brand Identity (3:21)
Most companies have a presence both online and offline. You might have your offline presence; particularly, if you are part of a brick-and-mortar business with a physical office, storefront, or retail space. The question is, does your online presence align with your offline, “real world” presence? Make sure that there is alignment and synchronicity. If there is communication or visual material where you are putting yourself or your brand in front of customers in the real world, that should align digitally. That’s particularly important if you’re launching any type of remarketing plan.
Traditional marketing is one physical area where the look and feel of face-to-face marketing should be similar to your digital channels. People would physically see billboards, TV, radio, direct mail, print advertising—what they see there should be congruent with what they see on your website, social media, emails, and online advertising. So, if you’re in a company where there’s a team that is handling traditional marketing, but you handle the digital side, make sure you’re having conversations and ensuring that some of the objectives align and what you’re trying to communicate on one campaign versus the other and one channel versus the other.
Assessing Your Website (6:18)
If digital marketing were a tree, this is your roots and the trunk of the tree: your website. It’s your foundation. So, looking at your website is an important part of your digital marketing assessment. What should you be looking for specifically? This is where we like to dig into Google Analytics—or whatever your other forum or tool is that’s giving you insights on traffic coming to your website. Assess what landing pages on your website are getting the most traffic and if those are the pages that you intend for people to land on. Are people converting on your website?
And if you don’t know how to measure conversions, then let’s put that on the checklist in your assessment as an area of opportunity. You need to figure out how to measure conversions on your website, and conversions could be people filling out contact forms, completing purchases, requesting demos, really anything where someone takes an action that generates a lead or prospect for you. Once you understand how your analytics work, then you can start looking at them to understand and ask further questions: What can you learn about your audience when you look at your website analytics? What landing pages are people entering your website on? Which traffic channels are people coming from when they’re visiting your website? Is Facebook delivering more traffic? Is it email campaigns? Is it people landing through organic searches? Is it people coming to your website directly?
Another reason we want to pay attention to conversions is because it might also help you identify if there is a user experience issue. So, when you’re assessing your website, also assess how user-friendly and accessible it is. Is it easy for someone to get to your homepage and navigate their way around the site? Is it easy for them to get to that contact form or to make a purchase, whatever it is that you’re asking them to do? Are you asking people to do anything on the website? Those are key areas you need to think about.
Assessing Your SEO (8:52)
As you’re looking at your website in Google Analytics, there is another area that you need to address in your assessment, which is your SEO. For most companies, Google plays a major role in this because Google still owns nearly 80% of the market share when it comes to search engines. So, you need to be paying attention to keywords that people are typing in that triggers your site to appear. Now, here’s a little tip about that: Google Analytics does not reveal all of that information to you. What we highly recommend, as an area of opportunity if you haven’t done this already, is to make sure that your company has an account set up on Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools.
You can use Google Search Console to uncover hidden keywords that Google Analytics will not show you. This will help you better understand what the keywords are that people are clicking on when they did a search on google.com that triggered your site to appear. Now, likewise, if you find that a lot of visitors come to your site through other search engines, like Yahoo or Bing, Bing has its own version of Webmaster Tools, you can sign up and do the same thing.
This gives you access to lots of data, but you’ve got to understand what to do with it to make it applicable for your business. So, as part of your assessment, take a big picture view of that data, looking at the trends over the past 6 to 12 months to really get a better understanding. Again, what are the high traffic pages on your site, even down to blogs, articles, or other posts that might occur on your site where you have content that’s constantly being generated? What are the keywords? Where’s your traffic coming from? Those are some of the basics.
Assessing Your Social Media (11:15)
Another key piece you want to cover in this audit is your social media marketing. Now, social media has a few different parts because, typically, social media and content run hand-in-hand. So, there’s the content creation side of things that you might have to assess. What’s working for you? What type of content are you delivering that’s creating the most value? This could be on social networks as well as other channels. Then within social media, when that content is getting published, what’s performing well? How do you look at what to do with your social media and where to adjust?
First, assess each social network individually. Look at your accounts with fresh eyes. Literally, go into it as a visitor. For example, both Facebook and LinkedIn have buttons that say some variation of “view as visitor” that allows you to see your business page outside of admin mode.
Assess your About section. Is it congruent with your description across channels, your website, and traditional material? Do you have anything Pinned to the top of your page, the first thing you want people to see when they land there? Is it time to refresh your cover image?
Coming back to conversions, how have you configured the call-to-action (CTA) button you’re sending people to click to? That’s really critical because depending on what industry you’re in, this can determine how customers or clients choose to access you. We’ve found that in some industries, a chat button is much better than trying to send people to the website because it allows you to immediately get into a conversation with your prospect or lead. In turn, it gives them the opportunity to contact you and freely ask questions. So, test out the variables, but also assess which one you’re currently doing, and which might make more sense.
As you’re assessing social media, you also want to be paying attention to the trends and the direction that social media or a particular social network is headed in or projected to head in, over the next few months. For example, the focus of the past several years has been video. But beyond post type, what story is your brand telling with its content? What are you sharing? Who are you talking to? What trends can you benefit from that fit your company? Right now, the huge trend is TikTok videos and Instagram Reels. Within those, there are subsets of trends every week, day, month of the year, different challenges that people are doing. Do those fit your company? Is there an opportunity for you to do that?
Those are the questions you want to ask yourself during that assessment to make a distinction of what’s right for you. So, with social media, again, you’re looking at settings and new features, examining content and post types, looking at trends, and maybe even post style. Does the look or the feel of how we’re posting seem current? Is it up to date? Is there anything, again, in this assessment that you might recognize it’s time to change or re-address?
Assessing Your Email Campaigns (16:23)
Another piece that you need to examine is if your company is running any email campaigns. Do email campaigns align with your overall messaging? Is the identity piece there and updated? Then, again, evaluate the analytics on the email marketing side. What do your open rates look like? Are you getting clicks from the email campaign to your website? And if so, then how do you continuously improve on that, or play on what went well? And if not, where do you have areas of opportunity?
Assessing Your Public Relations (17:03)
Public Relations (PR) and visibility, specifically online, are important to assess so that you can maintain control or help shape the narrative around your company. Make sure you’re monitoring your brand’s presence and what people are saying about you online. This could be individual journalists, publications, or even your online reviews from various social networks or rating sites. Is your company being seen in the light you want it to be seen? You might have to set up some searches to keep tabs on this. Some great tools to help you find media mentions are:
Logging Your Assessment (17:56)
Now, how do you put all this together? Our recommendation, and rule of thumb here at Go Getter, is a simple spreadsheet. First, we outline all the key areas that we’re going to be assessing. Next, in one column on our spreadsheet, we identify what the missed opportunities were that we found. In another column, we outline a solution. Then, we might have a few other columns dedicated to turning that solution into something actionable. Who’s going to own this opportunity? In what time frame are they going to do it? And are there any other special notes that we need to enter in relation to turning the assessment into action items that can then roll into our strategy to make it even better?
Download our assessment spreadsheet for free!
Conducting a digital marketing assessment is one of the most critical steps you can do when you’re planning out your year and looking at how to continuously improve your digital marketing presence for your company.
Thanks for listening again, and as always, send us any questions you might have! Message us on social media or contact us here.