Establishing the current state of your marketing can seem like a huge, overwhelming task, especially if your company doesn’t have anyone dedicated to a marketing role. So what do you do when you know you have to do something? Fear not, because with this easy marketing audit you’ll be able to assess what your marketing impact looks like now and how you can create a plan for a successful future.
1. Establish Your Goals
One of the most important parts of creating an effective marketing plan is to establish your goals and what you want to accomplish through your actions. How can you find a path to success if you don’t know what success even looks like? Alex Chris, author and Digital Marketing Consultant with reliablesoft.net said, “If you don’t write down your web marketing strategy that includes what you want to achieve online and how to actually do it, then it’s like driving with your eyes closed.” You can have the fanciest website, spend the most on promoted social media posts and send a million emails, but it will mean nothing if you don’t have a plan.
2. Gauge Current Platforms
This not only includes your website, email and social media sites, but also any additional places your company might show up on or offline that bears your name. It’s important to be thorough during this first step. You could find anything from your company name as a location to perhaps an ill-fated Snapchat account your intern from two years ago set up. Firmly establishing each and every way you’re creating contact points with your customers outside of your sales team needs to be included in your media audit. You cannot plan your steps for the future if you do not even know where you’re really starting from. Step one should be fairly easy, but if it’s not, all the more reason to do an audit.
3. Collect Your Data
The next step consists of collecting as much data and as many metrics as possible on your marketing platforms so that you can accurately assess what your reach currently looks like. This, of course, is going to look different for every platform. If you’re running an email campaign, it’s important to take a close look at your delivery, open and click-through rates. These numbers take a look at who is viewing your message and if they’re absorbing that information. Delivery rates mean they’re getting your emails, but if they’re not opened your customers are not even bothering to open it or your message is just getting sent straight to spam. Click-through rates indicate that your customers are interested in what you have to say and that they’re taking the next step to learn more about what you’re offering or what your company has going on.
When taking a look at your website, it’s imperative that you ask a few key questions. How many visitors are coming to your page? How much time are they spending there? How many times are they clicking through to different pages? These numbers tell you just how many people are getting your message, how much time they’re spending absorbing your information and how many of them are taking the next step to learn more.
For social media, it’s important to use your critical thinking to dive into the metrics. Likes, followers and views are all important, but they’re not THE most important numbers. When looking at statistical points it’s imperative that you’re looking at the percentages of your engagement. If you have 1,000,000 followers, 100 likes on a post isn’t that impressive. But if you have 1,000 followers, 100 looks a lot better. Luckily for you, most of your sites are going to have that data built-in. They’ll tell you when, where, who and how many people are looking at your platforms and what their preferences are when consuming your content.
4. Assess Infrastructure
Now that you’ve established your existing platforms and the statistics behind your current performance, the next piece to assess is your infrastructure. First and foremost, you must have a website, but more than that, it has to be easy to navigate and it needs to work quickly. By quickly, we mean that 47% of people expect a website to load in two seconds or less. Additionally, 38% of people say they’ll stop engaging with a site if the layout is unattractive. It must be easy to use, or your customers will move along to a site that’s more intuitive.
The same goes for social media: the infrastructure must be in place. The fundamental structure needs to be that of an actual business page, not just a run-of-the-mill personal profile. Additionally, your company presentation online cannot just be the owner’s LinkedIn Profile. One person is not the entire company, and your brand needs to be represented as a whole. Having your employees link their profiles to your company page can be tremendously helpful in terms of getting the word out about your company, but your company must be represented as a proper business.
Part of assessing that infrastructure is making sure your social media profiles are complete. Does your page have a profile picture and a header? Is there a link back to your website? Are office hours and company information easily available? We all know that searching for something on Facebook isn’t quite the same as Google, but if your customers are looking for you in that space it’s important that your company has all of the information available. Plus, the more complete a profile is, the more likely it is to show up in a search.
This is a really good opportunity to start creating a picture of infrastructure needs for your future. If you’ve assessed that your website is good to go and you’ve got a solid social media presence but you’re lacking in the email marketing department, take some time to think about what your team needs and wants out of a system. Something simple anyone on your team can use? Something more in-depth you can build up over time? With your end goals in mind, you can really start to flesh out what kind of future infrastructure could be a good fit for your company.
5. Analyze Integrations and Conversions
Once your marketing platforms have been established, you have a good idea of what’s going on with your consumers on those sites, and the infrastructure has been assessed, it’s time to take a look at your integrations and conversions. It’s imperative that all of your marketing platforms are fully integrated with each other in a marketing sense. By making sure that these sites are intertwined you help to move your customers to the platform where you’re most likely to get ahold of them and make that sale. If people are finding you on social media, is there a way for them to get back to your website? Are people able to click through your emails to find out more on your landing pages? If your marketing platforms are connected but they’re just looping together in a 2D circle instead of leading your potential customers down a 3D funnel, it doesn’t do you any good. Your marketing points must all work together to help you convert potential customers into current customers, otherwise, there’s no point. Linking things together creates one digital ecosystem and a path forward for the customer.
6. Plan for the Future
Because you’ve already set out the scope of your project, budgets, timelines, etc, you can take all of the information you gathered and start to make a plan for the future. It’s imperative here that you stay firmly within realistic bounds for your team. If you’re struggling to post on social media even once a month, every day is probably going to be a hard adjustment. Try thinking about how you can post once or twice a week until you really get into the swing of things. If you don’t have the time or budget for an entire overhaul of your website, update some of the graphics or make your buttons easier to navigate. These marketing changes don’t need to be an entire revamp upfront for your company but a continually evolving process.
It’s important to emphasize that quality is your best friend. Yes, video is king right now, but no one wants to watch a shaky iPhone video. Really take the time to think deeply about what you want your future marketing to look like and how you can make it both representative of your company and keep it looking professional. Content creation and curation is a really significant part of this step because, as we talked about earlier with the web design, your customer’s first impression can encourage them navigate deeper down your sales funnel or hop out completely. If the creation of all of this content is overwhelming for your team or you simply don’t have the resources at hand, consider outsourcing the marketing work.
7. Study, Rinse, Repeat
The final step in this audit is to make your changes, study the results, rinse and repeat. Because you’ve had a plan from the beginning, you’ll be able to accurately assess how your actions so far measure up to where you want to be. The tools your platforms provide will help you to measure information about how people are consuming what you’re putting out there. After one month, three months, or even six months, start at the beginning of this audit again and see how it compares with the first one. What’s working better than expected? What’s underperforming? How can you find a solution to help improve your marketing even more?