Why do SEO experts love the farmer’s market? … Lots of organic traffic!
Joke aside, with only 35% of companies doing digital marketing with a clear strategy (according to this report), we feel there is a communication gap between clients and service providers.
What are the correct expectations for digital marketing services and how can your company create them? We hope this article provides answers.
Expectations versus Reality
Here is what usually happens: customer finds your digital marketing services offer. Negotiations take place. The deal is sealed. What next?
Recommended: check out our article on Guestimation, Estimation and Quotation to understand what happens before signing an actual contract with your client.
As an active business ourselves, we understand that patience is a virtue: the excitement; getting the brand ready for lift off; the waiting; measuring actual results. These are all part of the process. Digital marketing is a cycle itself with costs in terms of strategy, time, resources and finances.
The return on all these investments is achieved through long-term commitment.
Our four major steps in creating the correct expectations for digital marketing services are:
- communication and evaluation;
- research and clear strategy;
- the actual implementation;
- results, measurements and analytics.
Step #1. Communication and Evaluation
Transparency and collaboration are key elements in the pre-strategy. A clear strategy cannot partake without assessing the appropriate tools, technologies and solutions.
Use a series of project management tools (i.e. Trello, Asana, Jira, Pivotal Tracker) to enhance communication between clients and our digital marketing team.
Carefully analyze the data behind a web property to determine which elements are performing and which require attention. Deeper understanding of the issue implies costs which the client is encouraged to be prepared for.
Go for either proprietary tools (i.e. we use our partner GeoRanker’s local seo tool) or digital marketing tools such as SEMRush, Majestic, Moz, Google Analytics to correctly evaluate the current situation.
The evaluation report of our client’s platform showed that by November 2014, their organic traffic represented 30% of the total traffic, with 1.000 to 1.500 sessions per month. 75% of the traffic came from the US (30%), India (20%), UK (15%) and Luxembourg (10%).
Step #2. Research and Clear Strategy
A thorough market research involves looking into competition, getting search traffic estimations for specific keywords, identifying influencers and opportunities for the brand to expand.
Find the appropriate audience, tap into user behavior, and create the foundation for community. Determine the mission, vision and message of the brand, key setup elements, design and objectives. Don’t be one of those 47% who do digital marketing, but have no defined strategy.
Our client was a marketing place that matched event organizers with event sponsors, and positioned themselves as a 360° solution for sponsorships.
We included 4 objectives in our strategy:
A.Growth of organic traffic through search engine optimization;
B.An increase in number of events registered and deals done through the platform;
C.Help in the development process for more platform features;
D. Help the startup become a leader in the industry of event sponsorship.
Step #3. The Actual Implementation
Less talk, more action. Costs of implementation process include:
Time. Investment comes not only from the client side, but also from the implementation team. Results don’t appear overnight;
Tools. Depending on the types of tools required, this can increase of decrease the amount of time and financial investments required from the service provider;
Human resources. Based on strategy complexity, more members can be mobilized to aid in the process;
Knowledge and skill acquisition. Digital marketing is a dynamic environment, so fresh information and skills are often required to achieve better results;
Financial aspects. Not just from the client’s side, but also from the implementation team.
SponsorMyEvent.com required 11months of commitment from both our and the client’s side. We created and implemented our SEO and digital marketing strategies, and worked closely with the co-founders in the same office and at distance. 7 of our specialists worked as a team, consisting of full-time developers, designers, SEO specialists, marketing, social media and UX & CRO professionals.
We offered business consultancy and solutions on all type of tasks, and used our detail intuition and tactical analysis from the very beginning.
Step #4. Results, Measurements, Analytics
There is a simple cycle here: “Assess. Measure. Repeat.”.
To create the proper expectation for digital marketing services, the provider has to keep in mind long term results.
With search algorithms constantly shifting, is nearly impossible to maintain a result 100% accurate.
Ideally, good numbers in user traffic, social media signals, active community, increase in leads, and brand mentions are a sign that the strategy was effective.
Analytics and data can showcase if the strategy provides long-term benefits.
Our strategy implementation for SponsorMyEvent.com lasted for 11months. We grew the organic traffic by 630%, from 1,500 to 9,500 sessions per month. The platform’s organic traffic represented 52% of the total traffic and 70% of new session.
The organic traffic that came from the US increased from 30% to 45%.
As of today, +60 new events are registered daily on the platform.
There is a discrepancy between expectations and reality and it is our mission as online professionals to create the correct expectations for digital marketing services.
Clear strategies will never fail to deliver results.
A correct implementation includes social media signals, along with brand mentions on other web properties in the industry. Engagement and reactions, a sustainable organic growth, all adhere to and should enhance the brand’s mission, vision and message.
Results should always be measurable and repeated if proven successful.