4 Elements of a Digital Marketing Roadmap

Content & Strategy | October 13, 2012

Digital MARKETING Roadmap Equals a Plan of Action

A digital marketing plan needs a roadmap. At Find and Convert, we create roadmaps for each client engagement to serve as a Plan of Action (POA). Each POA contains four primary elements, which get further defined in the roadmap according to each client’s unique digital marketing plan.

Web Assets

A digital marketing strategy is made up of digital assets. Think in terms of real estate assets. However, in this context we’re working with digital destinations. The company website is nearly always the mother web asset or target digital destination. The company website is where you describe who you are as a business (your products/services), what problems you solve (your value proposition), for whom you solve them (your target customer segments) and how you solve them (your distribution channels).

In the web assets element of the POA we audit the website’s architecture so that technical issues which may exist get identified and corrected. We execute keyword and persona research to develop the SEO strategy. We also develop a pay-per-click (PPC) search engine marketing plan, and the accompanying landing pages. The analytics key-performance-indicators (KPIs) get established, along with the measurement criteria and frequency of metrics reporting.

There are two aspects of planning web assets in a digital marketing plan. There is the up front planning, even for existing web assets such as the current website. And, there is the ongoing maintenance and updates of web assets. Web assets need to be updated regularly for technology reasons and for content reasons. And, speaking of content….

Content Strategy

The content marketing strategy is a parallel effort in the POA.  Of course, content marketing is also a long term plan. Content which is determined to be relevant to the SEO strategy and is available on the website undergoes a review and optimization process. This can take months (usually between 1 and 6 months). Additionally, a dynamic content strategy usually anchored in a blog is also developed to bolster the SEO value of the web assets. New content also serves the important purpose of delivering a relevant user experience.

The content strategy serves two masters: 1) Google (and Bing) is one master because being found in a search query for relevant keywords is very desirable. 2) It’s also very important to create relevant content that will be consumed and shared by your target audience. The content strategy is the fuel that makes the engine (web assets) valuable.

Social Channel Strategy

Social media is a channel of engagement and distribution for content. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram each social destination serves the purpose of human engagement with relevant people who have interest in your content. The social marketing strategy is defined according to the customer segmentation strategy (customer personas) and the content strategy. This approach to a social strategy is the dog wagging the tail. A lack of persona definition and content plan results in a tail wagging the dog approach. It simply doesn’t work. Unfortunately, many businesses do it this way.

Tools/Technology Strategy

A digital marketing roadmap can not be executed without tools to execute and measure progress and outcomes. Each situation is unique. At a minimum free tools such as Google Analtyics, Google Webmaster Tools, Facebook Insights and Crowdbooster offer insights into key metrics. Beyond the free tools, most businesses require a robust set of marketing management software tools that allow for ongoing communication, engagement, nurturing and measurement. Examples of such tools include an email service provider (ESP) such as What Counts and Bronto, advanced analytics tools such as Omniture and Coremetrics, marketing automation tools such as HubSpot and Eloqua and social media management tools such as Argyle Social and HootSuite.

These four elements make up a digital marketing roadmap. A roadmap, allows all the members of the marketing team to have an understanding of each of the components and the general timeframe that is estimated for each component. An added benefit to a roadmap is that it serves as a communication piece for stakeholders such as executives who have approved the digital marketing plan budget, but are not involved in the details. The roadmap literally paints a picture of the scope, effort and timeframe of a digital marketing plan.

Below is a sample digital marketing roadmap (POA).

become-a-social-business

About the Author
Bernie is founder and CEO of Find and Convert and leads the agency’s strategy. Bernie is a consummate content producer on digital marketing insights and best practices and hosts the Social Business Engine digital TV show and podcast.

9 Comments to 4 Elements of a Digital Marketing Roadmap

  1. by Steve Johsen

    On November 13, 2012 at 11:54 am

    This is a really interesting blog, I definitely believe with this type of road map in digital marketing, you are on the right path.

    It is sad to see though that with social channel strategies, a lot of companies are not on their game as they should be in being proactive and I do believe any company which has a constant eye on the social media and forums would even increase their digital marketing strategies immensely.

  2. by seo business plan

    On January 18, 2013 at 3:01 am

    This is certainly among the more appealing blogs I’ve seen. It is so easy to get jaded, but there is really still some fantastic things online, and I feel your website is seriously one of them!

  3. by James Klevano

    On March 19, 2013 at 1:59 am

    It's more like the roadmap needs a proper plan of action. A marketing technique that's basically going on a wild goose chase is nothing more than a big waste of time and money.

  4. by Shirley J. Sandoval

    On March 22, 2013 at 5:02 am

    Of the four, I find content strategy and social channels will determine the potency of our digital marketing strategy as content itself and how we disperse them through media such as social platforms will dictate the core of our content marketing. Web assets and Technology can be refined once we setup those aforementioned.

  5. by FindandConvert

    On March 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Shirley, I generally agree with your sentiments. The content strategy is the most important element of a digital marketing plan. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

  6. by Juana M. Burton

    On April 22, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Web assets could be pertaining to our site itself, on which our content and interaction elements could be a valuable platform to begin. For my part, I believe that web assets are similar to the touch points principle like social media, PPC and web write-ups. All link back to our site in some way, and are at the front of our outbound marketing. For example, we created blogs based on our social personalities and they are proving to be assets when it comes to social influence.

  7. by Thomas Cavendish

    On April 25, 2013 at 1:53 am

    It goes without saying that you should always have a game plan. Blindly beating around the bush is just too inefficient no matter how you cut it.

  8. by Carmine

    On June 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and
    found that it’s really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I’ll
    appreciate if you continue this in future. Numerous
    people will be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

  9. by K. Weathers

    On September 16, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    An effective content strategy shouldn’t serve the search engines primarily, it should serve the users. It should provide usable, relevant content for users, first and the search engines second. Understanding your users’ problems/motivations and providing a content strategy solution is a win-win-win for the users, the search engines and the company. NEVER FORGET THE USERS THEY ARE THE TRUE MASTERS.

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