Digital Marketing with Fish.Net and Winning Pitch
I had the good fortune to attend a workshop on Digital Marketing in Penrith, Cumbria this morning. I have seen digital marketing handled in good ways and bad ways. It can be a complicated subject full of jargon and mind blowing detail but I was really impressed with the delivery and content presented by Fish.Net and wanted to share some of the tips with you.
The most important thing with any form of marketing is understanding the basics, although the audience was of mixed level (we had the dubious honour of being labelled ‘experts’) they covered the topic comprehensively and in an engaging way.
Digital Marketing Strategy
The single most important ingredient is a web marketing strategy or an e-marketing plan (Business Link’s guide to e-marketing), where you define your goals, set measures and focus resources.
To have an effective digital marketing strategy you need to understand your audience; focus on your customers and define what’s in it for them in terms of solutions rather than features. A point raised was that the core of a website should be about products and services not about you.
Online the need to ‘speak your customer’s language’ holds more weight, the words used for search underpin whether or not you appear on the first page of a search engine. This can be easily accomplished through use of Google’s Keyword Tool (although there is some debate around the accuracy of the data, it does show relative popularity of terms).
A point made in the presentation but one that I hadn’t considered before was to use the tool to not only research your own site but look at what competitors and peers are using (although fair warning there is no guarantee that they have got it right).
The point was drilled in again: in digital marketing ensure to think of your audience in terms of content and relevance as the content helps to define the navigation. The point that I can be a little guilty of when writing is don’t write an essay but use good English (keywords very important here). In order to ensure that your content doesn’t appear to be outdated either keep it up to date or make sure the page is ‘timeless’, without reference to date or season.
The best advice is to do as much as possible to allow the visitor to scan the page, picking up exactly what they want from a particular page. Advice given to me once and never to be forgotten is to ensure that the page starts with a permission statement to ensure that the visitor knows that what they are looking for is present and they are in the right place.
The final point comes down to ensuring that there is a ‘call to action’, you need to make sure that you tell the visitor what they need to do after looking over the content. This links to the goals you worked out at the beginning and these can be measure with Google Analytics. An interesting and funny acronym was introduced here to warn against simply measuring views ‘HITS’ (How Idiots Measure Success) which really underlines the point that your website works for you and needs to pay off something to make all the effort to develop it worthwhile.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
This is where the digital marketing research into keywords comes into its own. By ensuring that your page title and headings incorporate your keywords you can help ‘optimise’ it to appear in search engine results. By making sure that the first 50 – 100 words (the permission statement I mentioned earlier) also incorporates those keywords you can ensure that the page will work fo both the reader and the search engine.
Some points for SEO:
- Make sure the content is substantive, unique and fresh.
- The site structure is solid and easy to navigate.
- Site loading time and ‘up time’.
- Ensure links lead off your site and link to your site from other websites.
That is as much as I can say on SEO as this is a specialist area… and I don’t want this to turn into a marathon blog.
I have to say that this has been the best workshop I have been on for the High Growth Programme (run by Winning Pitch), not just for digital marketing but overall and think that Fish.Net did a fantastic job of turning a subject that could have been really dry into something engaging… and something I wanted to blog about 🙂