Having recently completed the Digital Marketing Institute’s (DMI), Digital Marketing Diploma, I thought I would summarise and share the contents of the course, and at the same time provide a holistic overview of the DMI’s view on Digital Marketing.
The program consists of a 5 Day intensive bootcamp covering all the various disciplines of Digital Marketing.
First off, it’s imperative to understand, that there are many channels that make up an entire Digital Marketing Plan, and by selecting only a few of them, you could be leaving out many other crucial aspects.
Secondly, by utilising all channels, you are in effect harnessing the full power of a complete strategy, but need to do so in a fully integrated way.
The different components that make up a Digital Marketing Strategy are:
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Search Marketing – The DMI covers Pay per click (paid advertising) under this section
- Email marketing
- Digital Display advertising
- Social Media Marketing
- Mobile marketing
- Analytics (being able to report on results)
The entire marketing framework, then needs to be underpinned by strategy, and thorough planning.
Aside from just understanding the various channels, the DMI continually refers to the 3i Principals, being initiate, iterate, and integrate. The basic concept is that each strategy must start off with the customer as the focus of the campaign, alter over time, as one gathers more accurate info about this customer, and finally integrate all other marketing messages in a coherent manner.
First off, and more importantly than the channel you are ultimately going to use, is the over arching objective(s). Why you are doing it
You need to set yourself, and your organisation, very clear, specific and measurable goals that you are looking to achieve from your online marketing strategy.
By starting with the customer in mind, you could begin to ask such things as; ‘who is my customer?’ ‘Where do they work?’ ‘How do they browse the web?’ and ‘what leads them to make a buying decision?’
Why do we need to ask ourselves these questions? Well, in order for success, your message needs to be highly targeted. The better you know your audience, the more they we feel as though you are talking directly to them.
Tell your customer, what you want them to do, by making your ‘Call to Action’ clear.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you need to invest a considerable amount of time doing focused and quality in depth research.
- Interrogate the keywords that people use when looking for your product or service
- Check trending data of search volume at different times of the year for your product or service
- Explore which channels potentially stand to provide you with the best success and Return on Investment (ROI)
- Be aware of what your competitors are already doing in this space, and how you can differentiate
Once you have worked out the purpose for your campaign, and have done your research, you now need to develop a detailed action plan.
Decide how long in advance you wish to plan (3, 6 or 12 months), and then set up a calendar, with dates to take various action steps.
Make sure that all your dates coincide correctly, and don’t overlook anything. An example of this would be to make sure you have designed and populated your emailer, before the date it’s due to be sent.
The greatest marketing plan in the world is absolutely meaningless, if not acted upon. So in order to get results, take action.
If your planning stage was done correctly, there is no need to second guess yourself, so trust your plan and work it accordingly. Stick to the plan and don’t deviate at the outset. You need to allow for a certain amount of action, and results before you decide to change anything.
If you can’t measure it, how can you improve on it?
In order to run any marketing campaign effectively, you will need to decide upfront what will determine its overall success.
This is important, so that you can ultimately tweak the campaign in the direction that will further increase your ROI.
Decide in advance what you plan to measure in your Digital Marketing Plan, as well as how you plan to measure it. This can easily be done with a number of free or paid for reporting tools which can be found online, and taken advantage of.
Before deciding on the tools to use, first decide on the type of information you wish to measure, and what you would like to do with it, once you have it.
So, while there are many opportunities and channels for Digital Marketing online, and whilst it is important to pick the rights ones for your business, its even more important to do in depth research, strategise your campaign, have an executable action plan, and then, through real-time and effective monitoring, deviate your strategy and actions, to make the most of everything that online has to offer you.