4 Elements of a Digital Marketing Roadmap
Posted by Bernie Borges on Oct 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.
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….
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.
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).