As the end of the year draws near, many businesses are asking themselves, “how did we do?” One area that shouldn’t be ignored in this year-end evaluation is your marketing plan. Marketing is the blueprint for your sales strategy, and understanding how to judge whether your plan is delivering results can help ensure the success of your business. Today we are going to help give your business a digital marketing audit so you can determine what’s working and what needs to be kicked to the curb.
Welcome to Marketing and a Mic. We’re here to give you a variety of digital marketing tips, trends, and useful guides to help your business get results. There is so much valuable insight you can give your business when you put it under a magnifying glass. Every part of it should be evaluated, and more than just once a year. But for today’s purpose, we’re going to talk about how to properly evaluate your marketing so you can get an accurate assessment of what’s working and what needs tweaking.
#1 EXAMINE YOUR GOALS
The first step in any good marketing strategy evaluation is a thorough examination of the goals you set for your business at the beginning of the year. Now is the time to look at them again and determine whether you are hitting your targets or not. Think of this as the review-reflect-adjust.
6 great questions to ask yourself during your process are:
- Was the goal(s) specific? This could be anything from adding online ads to your marketing to getting more online reviews.
- Was the goal realistic? Was the marketing goal practical and attainable based on your current infrastructure?
- Did I devote the proper resources? Whatever your goal was, did you bring in the right resources to make it happen?
- Did I have accountability? Meaning, did you have a hand in things happening or not happening? Was there something you did or didn’t do that hindered the goal?
- What worked effectively? What are some things that were executed well that you should continue doing?
- How will I adjust next time? The previous five questions will give you the insight to help answer this question. Your answer to this should be actionable plans and processes.
#2 RE-EVALUATE YOUR TARGET CUSTOMERS
Your current customers are one of the best resources for data collection and can give you a wealth of information. The best way to evaluate and re-evaluate your target customers is by creating buyer personas. Buyer personas are representations of what your prime customer base looks like. It consists of their demographics, interests, web activities, pain points, and purchase habits. Here’s an example of what your buyer persona should look like.
“Cautious Carrie” was created through a mix of research, surveys, interviews, and pulled online analytics. By having all this information available, business owners can start to identify their customers’ goals, pain points, what motivates them to make a purchase, and ways they can help solve their problems. If you don’t have this information on hand, ask your customers directly. The more you can narrow in on what your best customer looks like, the more perfect our marketing strategy can be. This will make it easier to tailor content, messaging, product, or service development that will meet the needs and desires of your customer. If you haven’t created a buyer persona in the past, we strongly recommend you put this on your radar. This should be re-evaluated throughout the year since behaviors and technologies change. When you know what makes your customers tick will help you attract more high-quality leads to your business.
#3 EVALUATE YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING PRESENCE
Businesses across the board are investing more in digital marketing to gain a competitive edge over their competitors. Do you know where your company stands? If you want to generate more sales, your prospects need to be able to find you online. The first step in evaluating your digital marketing presence is knowing how well you rank with search engines. Your search rankings provide a good indication of how important Google and other search engines think your website is. It’s a reflection of the volume of hits your page gets from search engines – which basically means how popular our website is. If you’re unsure about how well your website performs, you can use our free SEO audit tool: https://fusiononemarketing.com/dba/. Another area to evaluate is your social media presence.
To assess your social media, ask yourself these questions:
- Which social channels are you using?
- How frequently do you post on those channels?
- What’s the interaction level with our posts? (Comments, shares, followers, etc.)
Social media is by no means the end-all-be-all of your digital plan, but it’s a highly consumed digital space, so you need to make sure you have a presence there. In addition, the functionality of these platforms is growing, making it easier for customers to shop, book appointments, and make general inquiries straight from a business page. Many people will check out your presence on social media to verify your credibility. If your last post was from 2021, that sends a signal to users that your business is in the dark. Another vital area to success is how well your SEO compares to competitors. Search engines use ever-changing algorithms to determine what sites end up on their results pages. The more of these algorithms your website demonstrates, the more your ranking improves. When your prospective clients can easily find your website on the first page of a local search, this gives you a better chance of increasing calls and website visits.
To understand how your website SEO is doing compared to your competitors, try these three steps:
- Search your business name on Google and see where it shows up.
- Search for the product or search your business provides and check if the search results return your company name and on which page.
- Use some keyword search terms that include your industry and see if your company name shows up.
If you’re unhappy with the results you’re seeing from this exercise, it means your current SEO strategy needs some tweaking. Another area to evaluate is your website metrics. Website metrics provide you with information on the activity happening on your site. These statistics pull page views, average time on the page, average session duration, bounce rate, traffic sources, new visitors, conversation rates, and so on. As a business owner, you want to know not only how many visitors you get but where they’re coming from. Ultimately the goal of your site is to turn visitors into leads and leads into customers. That journey can be difficult to understand without hard data. This will help you understand if a page is formatted poorly, that your content isn’t matching user intent, or if your CTA buttons are underperforming. Analytic tools like Google Analytics can provide you with many of these key metrics to see where your site is capturing attention and what areas need tweaking.
#4 EVALUATE YOUR BRAND MESSAGING
With any digital marketing campaign, there comes brand messaging. You must create specific messages related to your brand and make sure they resonate with your audience. This is especially important if you are creating online ads. Whether it’s a graphic, text, or video ad, if you aren’t receiving high engagement, it’s a good indication your messaging is off. Now’s the time to circle back to your buyer personas and make sure your messaging falls in line with their struggles and pain points and that your CTAs are matching ways to solve those pain points. And finally, evaluate your Marketing ROI.
It’s essential for any business to ensure the amount you are investing into your digital marketing is giving you a return on investment. If aren’t tracking this, you have no way of knowing what’s working and what’s not. We utilize our own custom dashboard, DASH, with our SEO clients so they can get a complete overview of the performance of all their marketing efforts with us. That’s a wrap for us today. We hope that gave you some valuable tools for evaluating your digital marketing plan so you can hit the ground running in 2023.
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