1. Set the goals of your web marketing strategy
Take into account the strategic dimension
As the name implies, a web marketing strategy must be … strategic! If we want it to be effective, it does not define itself haphazardly, but provides:
1. To achieve a given goal
2. Through specific objectives
3. Using specific tactics
Ouch, it’s getting complicated! Let’s take an example. Let’s say you are a chess player and want to set a strategy to win the game. So you have:
a goal: to check and dull
goals to achieve this goal (one of them could be: “eat” the lady of the opponent)
tactics in the service of your objectives (to diversion with your turn, to bring the lady in B16 by threatening it with your madman, to place your riders in order to limit his displacements, etc).
If we go back to webmarketing, the goal refers to the purpose of your strategy. This may be to increase your online sales, or reduce the number of customer dissatisfactions on the web, etc. To achieve your goal, it is usually necessary to work on several levers, which requires the implementation of several objectives. A good practice is to set SMART goals, that is:
- temporally limited
For example, setting a goal to increase your site traffic is a good thing, but it’s not enough because how will you know that your goal is achieved? It is better to set yourself as a goal:
- increase your site’s traffic by targeting potential prospects (the goal is specific)
- … 20% more visitors per month (it is now also measurable)
- … which is a good average according to the latest study you read on the subject (so you know that your goal is achievable)
- … thanks to your two web editors who post regularly on your blog (making sure that you have the means to contribute to its realization, you make your goal realistic)
- … in the next 6 months (the definition of a time limit lets you know when the goal will need to be evaluated and how much time you have to reach it).
Now that the goal is well framed, you can think about the tactics that will serve him. To increase the traffic of a site thanks to the blogging, one can for example consider multiple tactics:
- play on the frequency of publication
- change the editorial charter (write shorter, longer content, on other themes, diversified formats …)
- promote content (on social networks, through emailing …)
Do not engage in web marketing without strategic vision
A frequent problem for companies doing web marketing is that they start by setting up actions without having defined a strategy or objectives. It is more or less to lay the bricks of his house without having established a plan upstream! In the best case, you will have your house, but it may be a little wobbly or at least less functional than if you had called an architect … In the worst case, your house will not hold the house. all standing !!
For webmarketing, it’s exactly the same. We start by creating a Facebook page, then write some blog posts, oh and why not a newsletter …
This is a problem that we often see in large companies. Each stakeholder influences to push his own idea. And over time, we create a Facebook page. We publish some blog articles. And why not a newsletter (it’s the new boss who is a fan of that).
All of these ideas are surely very relevant (whatever …), but what goals do they serve? Are they the best way to reach your goal? Is there consistency in the actions taken, in the tone of the company employed? Have you thought about your targets (your “buyer persona”)? How do your different communication media send the ball? So many questions to ask yourself, at the risk of ending up with a fragmented and inefficient web marketing strategy (ROI not always at the rendezvous, less user experience …).
So I really invite you to start by thinking about your goals and your strategy, before embarking on web marketing actions in the dark … Involve the various stakeholders. Validate an annual plan together. It will save you from wasting your money and energy!
2. Define the web marketing strategy to set up
Strategy precisely, let’s talk about it! Once you have clear goals, it remains to know how to reach them. For that, it is necessary to take into account the means which you have, study the strategy of your competitors, and especially, to know well the various levers of the webmarketing and their utility.
The means you have
By “means”, I mean of course financial means but not only. Other types of resources (temporal, human …) also play on the contours of the strategy to be defined.
Here is a review of the main questions to ask you to define the ways you have.
For the financial aspects, unsurprisingly, the essential question is “how much” or rather “how much do you have? “. I do not teach you anything: we do not do the same thing with a budget of € 5,000, € 50,000 or € 500,000! Your budget will directly impact the choice of web strategy to deploy.
For internal resources, update it on:
- what skills do you have internally (what?)
- who owns them (who and how many?)
- the time they have (when and how?)
It will allow you to identify how much of your web marketing actions will need to be outsourced, and what you can directly manage.
Finally, if you have already implemented actions webmarketing, make a small inventory is not luxury! To know where we want to go, where we are is already a good start … In this perspective, list the various actions you have conducted, and the main results obtained today. Depending on your objectives, the actions already taken by your company can serve as a springboard for new or be set aside for a while.
The strategy of your competitors
The second step is to look at what are the strategies implemented by your main competitors.
A competitive audit will allow you to:
- identify web marketing opportunities (webmarketing axis not very much worked by the competition, for example)
- to measure the efforts to be made (if the competitors are very active on the web, the actions to be taken will have to be very aggressive and vice versa)
- ultimately, to maximize the ROI of deployed web marketing actions.
- To be successful, your audit will have to be thorough and study what your competitors are doing on all existing webmarketing axes.
The items you can try to find are:
- do competitors have a content strategy? How often do they publish? What themes do they address? What are the formats of their contents? Do they have white papers?
- are competitors on social networks? Which ? What is the size of their communities? How do they animate their pages? Have you ever seen an ad from them on social networks?
- Do competitors propose to subscribe to a newsletter or an emailing? Do they specify how often they are sent? Its content ?
- do competitors advertise on search engines? (to study by typing the name of the brand or its main keywords in Google)
- are the competitors well referenced? (you can either look on Google if they are better positioned you when you type strategic keywords related to your offer, or if you know a little about the use of specific tools such as Toolbar for Moz. It will will give valuable information on the subject: domain authority, number of backlinks …)
- To make sure you do not forget anything, do a checklist indicating for each question mentioned above the answer observed among your competitors.
Know the different levers
Finally, it is essential to know the various levers of webmarketing to know which ones to include in your strategy. For amateurs, the expertise of an agency is essential at this stage! However, I give you a very quick overview of these famous levers and their usefulness, to help you get an idea.
- Content marketing: It consists in offering the targets of a company useful contents. It is a very good tool for traffic acquisition and lead generation.
- Natural referencing (SEO): it is the art of having its site well referenced in the search engines. A first place on Google = more sales!
- Community management: it consists in managing the visibility of brands and their relationship with their targets on social networks. Perfect for generating traffic and engaging brand engagement.
- Mailing: these are simply mailings to the targets of a company. It is usually mailing of the type “newsletter” (relay of the contents of the blog of the company) or “commercial” (promotional mailing). They help to build customer loyalty and encourage purchases.
- Search engine advertising (SEA): when you advertise on search engines, it appears very prominently (in the first three results, the right sidebar …). The SEA thus makes it possible to be well positioned in the search engines despite a weak natural referencing. It can also display your ads in Google’s network of partner sites, and drive impulse purchases.
- Advertising on social networks: this is to publish ads on social networks that allow it. Its advantage lies in targeting options, usually very advanced. Its weak point: prices, which can be high …
- Marketing automation: it is a practice to automate marketing actions. Very useful for companies that manage large amounts of customers and for those who need to set up an onboarding process.
- Press relations (PR): it is to propose content to a panel of journalists so that they decide to publish it. It boosts awareness, traffic, and SEO.
- Conversion Optimization (CRO): It is based on experiments to find out which elements of a site “convert” visitors to customers best. It takes minimal traffic to use it. The results can be spectacular (increase in the conversion rate, and therefore sales!)
Choosing the right levers is the basis. But that will not allow you to stand out. You must create synergies between the different levers. Be smart and creative.
For example, you make RP and you are present on social networks. You can then very well imagine promoting PR benefits on social networks. Even partnering with certain media to benefit from their audience while providing them with high value-added content (and you then make the link with your content strategy!).
Do not hesitate to get advice for that. That’s what all your actions will be based on, so do it well.
3. Estimate the ROI
Before deploying your web marketing strategy, you will surely want to know if it will prove profitable. It is therefore necessary to estimate the return on investment (this famous ROI of which one reverts the ears to you!). To do this, several steps:
Base on general stats
Hubspot had the good idea to benchmark over 7,000 companies and study the results observed for each of them based on the web marketing strategies deployed. This report will give you interesting information on the impacts of a content and social media strategy, in B2B and B2C, and in SMEs as well as in large groups!
One important piece of information missing in this report is the average conversion rate that a company can achieve on its site. It usually runs between 2 and 3%. A study conducted by Monetate with 175 customers gives us more specific information, as you can see in the table below
As you can see, the Q4 2013 and 2014 conversion rates are higher than the other quarters, probably because this period is conducive to online shopping, in B2B (closure of budgets) as in B2C (Christmas shopping) . Anyway, you can base yourself on these orders of magnitude to make estimates.
Make projections from the existing
You already have an online website, and some data to exploit? Perfect ! You will be able to output percentage ROI estimates and have more specific information about what your web marketing strategy can bring you.
The data to collect to achieve this are:
- the turnover realized thanks to your site (for the e-merchants, the data is easy to obtain via Google Analytics For companies that do not propose online sales, ask your prospects how they knew you and keep up to date a file with the generated CA for each of them)
- the traffic of your site over a given period (count a minimum history of 6 months to have reliable data)
- the average basket price (on average, a customer generated via the web reports how much?)
From there, you can calculate:
- the number of customers generated thanks to your site (turnover / average basket price)
- your conversion rate in% (number of customers * 100 / generated traffic). Be careful, do your math by taking the number of clients and the generated traffic obtained over a similar period!
Next, review the list of web marketing actions you have already conducted and the total budget spent for all of them. You will be able to compare expenses and revenues, find out what your current ROI is … and make projections.
Let’s take a very simple example. Say you publish 4 articles per month on your blog B2B, which cost you 4,800 € over 6 months. In 6 months, you had on your site 12,000 visitors, and achieved a turnover of 1.5 million. The price of your average basket is € 5,000, so you have 300 customers, and a conversion rate of 2.5%.
Now, your strategy is to publish 8 articles per month on your blog. It will cost you about twice as much, or € 9,600 over the next 6 months. According to Hubspot’s estimates, you will be able to triple your traffic, that is to say to have 36,000 visitors in 6 months. At the same conversion rate, your turnover also triples and goes from 1.5 million to 4.5 million. If you lead in addition to conversion actions, and manage to reach the average (2.8%), the numbers take off even more.
Now it’s up to you to make the necessary calculations based on your data and the statistics I have given you.
Of course, your web agency will also be able to provide you with some information on the ROI that you can expect, based on its experience and the results it has been able to obtain on the other projects it has carried out. So do not hesitate to question him! For example, it will have more perspective on the effectiveness of a web marketing strategy in France (the statistics given by Hubspot and Monetate are based on the analysis of US sites) and according to your industry sector.
4. Measure the real ROI
You may have defined your strategy webmarketing, the job is not finished! You have set goals and have made assumptions of ROI, it will now be necessary to verify that things happen as planned to adapt the strategy to the water if necessary. Yes, a web marketing strategy should in no case remain fixed over time! It must be able to evolve according to:
returns from the market. If a webmarketing axis works very well, it may be useful to strengthen it. Conversely, if another brings few results, maybe it’s not worth persevering in this voice …
competitive strategies. They are also not fixed in time, so it’s a good idea to go regularly to see what your competitors are doing so you do not get caught short …
To evaluate the performance of your strategy and adapt it if necessary, you need to set up indicators and monitor them regularly.
Depending on your strategy and goals, you will focus on specific indicators. Here are some of which you can inspire:
As these indicators accumulate quickly if you conduct a 360 ° web marketing strategy (highly recommended because there is a synergy between the actions), I recommend you to select a small number for a faster and above all easier. In fact, 5 indicators are enough to have a good overview. These are the AARRR metrics, the famous pirate metrics that make driving the ROI a child’s game and that I present to you here.
If they prove insufficient, you can always complete the information as needed by adding some indicators to follow less regularly.