With the start of a new business year upon us, my member presentation to club members on Thursday 2nd January focused on the importance of digital planning for small businesses and how it all starts with a digital audit. Here are the key points from my presentation.
Taking the Club’s own website and online presence as a worked example I set out to explain how, as a Digital Consultant I work with clients. First, I assess where a company resides online and then by asking lots of questions and conducting research, help plan what my client wants to achieve.
To start we discussed how a company’s website should be the hub of all online marketing activities. But you don’t need to re-invent the wheel: start by having a digital plan in place and map out your digital journey.
I also advised against running a business from Facebook without a website. All businesses no matter what size should take ownership of their digital presence by having a website built. But having a website built isn’t enough – it’s just the start. And this is where my Digital Audit helps by highlighting other areas that businesses need to consider.
By taking the time to complete a digital audit you’ll find out where your company resides online. Then you can determine where best to focus your digital marketing efforts.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my business visible online?
- What do potential clients see when searching for my products or services?
What will your company’s overall digital score be? Are you a Digital Novice, a Digital Experimenter, Digitally Savvy or a Digital Ace? We scored the club’s website 14/30 making us Digital Experimenters. One area identified for improvement was setting up a Google My Business listing which will help improve visibility in local searches.
I must emphasise here though that this is not just a box-ticking exercise. For clients of Imagine Digital Marketing audit scores are re-assessed quarterly. To become a Digital Ace you’ll need to keep your website up-to-date and relevant. Similarly, if you aren’t engaging on social media your digital score will decrease.
Digital Strategy Planning
When building a house you need to start with firm foundations to create a solid structure and the same applies to your digital strategy. Get the foundations of your strategy right before thinking about more cosmetic aspects such as visuals or the latest digital trends. Once you’ve set out what it is you want to achieve online the next step is to put a plan in place to achieve them.
Taking Southwell Business Networking Club as our worked example, our objective is to grow our member base in 2020 by raising awareness of the club online. The SBNC Blog will be our content hub (with articles like this one about member presentations, club news articles and guest speakers). This content will be distributed via social media and also included in our quarterly newsletter.
“What gets measured gets done”
We’ve set ourselves some goals and assigned digital tasks and our digital plan will be reviewed on a quarterly basis.
Social Media Checklist
Finally, I gave everyone a social media checklist and asked for help engaging on social media and nurturing online connections, with the aim of raising awareness of the club online.
We’re going to use blog snippets to construct our social media posts and save time by using social media tools to schedule content. We’ll also be collecting stats to evaluate, identifying previous successes so they can be integrated into our social media strategy.
My job as a Digital Marketing Consultant is to help businesses join the digital dots.
Now that we have a digital plan in place for the club and understand more about how to get our message across on social media I believe that we’re in a strong position to raise awareness of the club in 2020.
For help planning your digital marketing activities for 2020 talk to Mandy Hopkins at Imagine by calling 01636 922 747. Let’s get your website working for you NOT your competitors.
Further resources: Digital audit template