Strategic digital marketing: some ideas for joining things up


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This presentation identifies ten practical things that can help you be more effective in your digital (and non-digital!) marketing.

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  • I’m here to talk about “strategic digital marketing” Actually, I’d like to focus on some practical things that marketing people might find useful when thinking about the digital space
  • This is probably the core of what I’m talking about – finding ways to be more joined-up… … without too much institutional treacle getting in the way
  • This is me. I’m not actually a “marketing person” – but I’ve always worked with content-rich organisations trying to help them make the most of their (digital) assets. A lot of what I do and have done – therefore – is about getting people to your stuff. Really, this is a marketing function.. (All these slides will be available online shortly)
  • - I’d suggest that one of the places to start is thinking about how these three elements of your business fit together. - I’m pretty sure we’d all agree they’re overlapping.. … I’d also suggest they are beginning to overlap even more over time…
  • - There’s obviously a fair bit of discussion about this! - The key point is that for your organisation it pays to set out some definitions early on - understand how all the bits fit together.
  • One thing I’m sure you do all find is that teams tend to be distributed around the organisation… … which makes part of the “strategic” job nothing whatsoever to do with digital, more to do with collaboration. The big challenge is that in most organisations (particularly bigger ones), there is a lot of corner-fighting going on. These “holistic” activities are made harder because of this
  • The most obvious – and probably hardest in many ways is this: strive towards a vision which is shared Work with your web team to push down the barriers which sometimes exist about “marketing” and “that technical stuff” and push towards a shared ground where everyone has a vision which drives in the same direction.
  • This isn’t easy to do – this is one of several surveys I found which indicated that strategies as well as people are often distributed
  • - This approach shown above probably helped me more than anything else when I was Head of Web at NMSI. - At the bottom is the organisational vision. Above that are the ten strategic “pillars”. These were determined and signed up to by the widest group of stakeholders – trustees, executive staff, etc - Once this was in place we then took the things we wanted to do (and thought were important) in the online team… In our case, the three things in purple boxes… - …and then mapped what WE wanted with the already-existing strategy and vision - This not only means you can follow your online / marketing vision back up the tree to the broad vision.. - …but we could always justify what we did online by visually connecting it to a wider purpose
  • - This is important both at a strategic level but also for each and every campaign or activity. - It sounds blindingly obvious, but for too long now, “visit” has been seen as the only metric.
  • - Typically, stakeholders just want to know about visits. That’s fine, but don’t let this make you complacent! - Visits are a long, long way from the whole story, especially when it comes to social media engagement… - Things like engagement, passion, building advocates – these are sometimes hard to measure, but you should still try
  • are a few success metrics. Many can be measured, others are more “fluffy”. Think about what you want to know in your environment: what would make you report something as being “a success”?
  • - Keeping an eye on both internal and external trends is an important part of understanding this success. - Tools like G/A (more later!) give you alerting techniques.. (more on this later) ..but actually you’ll probably get your most valuable insights by working closely with your peers
  • - Google Analytics might be the single most important tool you’ve ever used in the digital space. - BUT: it needs to be properly used to make it worthwhile - If you’re a “traditional” marketeer, you should know about it too
  • problem? Google Analytics is STUFFED full of functionality, and it can be pretty baffling - so work out success and how to measure it before you start thinking about the tools to do this...
  • - Once you’ve done this, filter like mad…
  • - Google Analytics “advanced segmentation” is one powerful way of doing this
  • Examples: > searches that brought people to your site organically > searches that brought people to your site based on known keywords (for example the name of your visitor centre) > referrals > local repeat visitors The best thing about this is that you can SHARE advanced segments
  • - With your analytics, context is absolutely vital (which is partly why a naïve “visits” metric isn’t terribly helpful). - In some scenarios, “engaged” isn’t what users are looking for. Bounce rate = percentage of visitors who “bounce” away to a different site. - For example, high bounce rate is considered to be A Bad Thing. But for sites like Google (where minimal time is spent on-site), it’s a good thing… - Most of these stats are about context!
  • - Use funnels and goals to build “paths” through your site which have some kind of completion. - You should do this for all campaigns that have a call to action. Put your “success” at the end of the trail - Use this not only to measure success, but to measure failure too – and then ACT if something doesn’t work…
  • - The Google Analytics dashboard is a brilliant way of getting the overwhelming nature of GA in hand - Set this up so you can immediately see latest campaigns, referrals, bounces, whatever is important to you - Also remember that you can (and should) send or schedule an email send in CSV, Excel, PDF, XML format…
  • - The G/A URl builder is your friend. - Use this for email campaigns, social media campaigns, offline campaigns, flyer campaigns - Use vanity URLs in print, for example – and track these. - Again, USE these stats and ACT on them. See what works, see what doesn’t, and respond accordingly
  • This is a really important one, especially given the huge amount of current hype around social media
  • - Here’s the Gartner Hype Curve - We’re probably somewhere right up the peak at the moment.. - Expect things to slump into the trough over the coming months and years as we run out of cash and time.. - If you really want to do social media, make sure it fits your strategy, that you can measure it and that it fits with your brand
  • - One of the interesting things about social media is that although it is easy (and mostly free!) to set up a profile / site / whatever, it isn’t easy to be genuine – it requires quite a lot of effort and forethought - The effort should not be ignored. Factor your social media in to your wider plan, and do less better
  • - I did a quick survey of all the Science Centres here today – based on some simple web searches – and found this.. - You’re actually pretty well embedded with social media – but it’d be interesting to know how you’re intending to push this forward, and how it fits - …and remember that sometimes it DOESN’T fit. And that’s ok, too
  • - This is the approach I’ve formulated but there are lots of similar ones. I’m not a Social Media Guru  - The important thing is it should be gentle, iterative, measured and fitting a wider strategy… … not just because YOU CAN…
  • To find the success we’ve talked about, you need to “think outside the institutional box”
  • Think like a user – get to know as much about your digital users as you can. Talk to them, test with them, think like them. Be your user.
  • - Notice this: at least 4/10 of the top ten sites are social media related, arguably more - Social media is becoming the primary way that many people first access the web
  • Here are some more figures – this time from OFCOM Note particularly: - In April 2007, social networking accounted for 9% of UK users’ total internet time - By April 2010 this had risen to 23%. - There is also an extremely useful couple of reports - one from OXIS and another last week published by the MLA and Arts Council
  • - Part of this “how we fit” question is about awareness of who is talking about you on the web - Use keyword tracking to help you with this
  • - Find ways of working all this intelligence into your daily working life - For me, the “dashboard” approach works really well…
  • - I use Netvibes – I have a work tab which pipes in my top line G/A stats, social media mentions, blog and image searches… - Look out for RSS – it is everywhere – and can be used to bring complicated information into one central place. RSS is used not just as content feeds, but also with things like Google Alerts
  • - If you have access to a web server and someone who knows how to install stuff, consider self-hosted tools like ThinkUpApp - This is an open source app – it requires hosting and some configuration but then you know you’ll own all that data…
  • Another way…email….if you prefer it! Nutshell Mail sends you alerts on new followers, mentions, lists, etc (Outlook 2007+ lets you bring in RSS into your inbox…or if you’re lucky enough to use Gmail, use filters and colours etc)
  • - Another tool is Google Reader – which you can use for both news and alert feeds - Here’s Google Reader – I pipe my alerts in here. - It is part of my daily routine – log in, read new articles, check on any alerts – get on with the day…
  • This is one of the fluffier things to do but possibly one of the most important. - You need to continue to let people know about your activities – how online supports offline and the wider vision, for example - …but you also should do what you can to break down the “I don’t understand that technical stuff” barriers…
  • - This is from a long time ago but it’s the monthly sheet I used to send round to the senior managers, executive and trustees at NMSI - Note that this is all visit based! Nowadays I wouldn’t do it like this, but nonetheless this document was a useful thing to send around consistently. - Set up a regular mailing, and don’t just include the quantitative stuff but also comments from SM environments – good and bad; and also some dialogue about why these stats look like they do
  • - Have KPI workshops in which you talk to staff about what they’d like to see and why. Then report on this...
  • - Visualisations are a huge help when it comes to building internal understanding. - This is CrazyEgg. There are lots of similar tools around. - Graph stuff, visualise it, draw diagrams. They really help people get an understanding of what’s going on
  • - One of the big powers of digital is that you can be iterative. - You can do stuff, try it, see what works, adjust if needed, bin if it fails and try something else - This goes for marketing activity as much as it goes for anything else!
  • - This is Google Website Optimizer - It lets you perform “multivariate” (or A/B) testing - It basically automatically and randomly switches between alternate pages as each visitor arrives. You can then see how each performs and make a decision on which to use
  • - Unbounce lets you create landing pages extremely rapidly - You then test with your campaigns, tweak as required. No IT team, all done by you - If you can avoid this, do (ie, use your existing site!), but if you’re being hobbled by bad process / “stuck in the mud” IT teams etc, it’s useful…
  • - Search is apparently responsible for 7-10% of all referrals... - In my experience the reality (particularly for visitor attractions) is probably 30-50%+ - Google is between 70-85% of this.
  • - Searches in our area are likely to be these - Institution searches in our area are mainly around visiting and visiting pages ...each has different metrics, different requirements for campaigns
  • You probably know this already! but inward, outward, blog - etc - links are EVERYTHING! search engine position is vital, and linking is vital to this position…
  • - There is SO much rubbish talked about SEO it is hard to see the wood from the trees. - but…here are the generally accepted top “good SEO” rules - do what you can from a content and technical perspective to follow these
  • - It’s the last one, but maybe the most important. - Share what you can with your peers – the people in this room, Twitter, etc - Find out what they do, how they do it and why. - Share stats, best practice, campaign feedback - everything you can. - You may consider yourselves in competition, but actually your competition is Out There…
  • That’s it! Got any questions?
  • Strategic digital marketing: some ideas for joining things up

    1. 1. strategic digital marketing (or: some practical ideas for joining things up)
    2. 2. “ don’t be dis( integrated )”
    3. 3. I’m…Mike Ellis I…work at Eduserv I…used to be at NMSI I…like technology, but prefer what people can do with it slides: twitter: @m1ke_ellis
    4. 4. social media strategy digital strategy digital marketing strategy
    5. 6. social media strategy digital strategy digital marketing strategy IT team, web team, marketing team…
    6. 7. #1 develop a shared vision
    7. 8.
    8. 9. Increase virtual and real audiences Wider digital access Inspired, engaged audiences Social capital from engaging experiences Support sustainable ways of working Help to generate income Maximise resources via re-purposing Develop staff Work together across NMSI Develop Partnerships “ A life-enhancing experience” “ Inspiring, engaging and motivating the widest audience about the development of the modern world and its relevance to the future, through the best use of our collections” Engaging social environments User-centric, user-generated content Effective, cross-channel digital content creation website audiences
    9. 10. #2 decide what “ success ” is
    10. 11. “ visits” and “followers” aren’t everything
    11. 12. more newsletter signups more followers greater engagement more ticket sales conversion from virtual to real greater time on page more returning visitors “ likes” increased time on page mentions
    12. 13. watch for trends
    13. 14. #3 use Google Analytics
    14. 15. “ choose what you want to measure (before looking at how)” * * thanks to Seb Chan, Powerhouse Museum
    15. 16. filter… set up statements , then metrics , based on your strategy: “ we are mainly interested in users who come from a 1.5hr radius”
    16. 17. … and segment:
    17. 19. understand your context this might be bad... or might not
    18. 20. funnels and goals
    19. 21. dashboard = less complexity
    20. 22. use campaign tracking … for everything
    21. 23. #4 have a social media strategy , not just a presence
    22. 25. social media: easy to set up <> easy to maintain
    23. 26. You…
    24. 27. 1. Listen and learn 2. Define your audience 3. Plan 4. Engage and refine 5. Measure {Rinse and repeat 1-5} A 5-step social media approach
    25. 28. #5 be aware of how you fit into people’s lives
    26. 29. get your hands on some users and test
    27. 30. <ul><li>Google UK </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo! </li></ul><ul><li>BBC Online </li></ul><ul><li>eBay UK </li></ul><ul><li>Windows Live </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul>Source: Top Sites in UK / Alexa
    28. 31.
    29. 32. keyword tracking
    30. 33. #6 consider a dashboard (or whatever fits with your working life)
    31. 34. or
    32. 35.
    33. 36.
    34. 38. #7 build internal knowledge
    35. 39. develop some KPI’s
    36. 40. run internal workshops
    37. 41. don’t underestimate the power of beautiful
    38. 42. #8 fail quickly: be iterative
    39. 43. do / understand multivariate testing
    40. 44. Consider a service like (particularly if your IT team gets in the way…)
    41. 45. #9 understand search
    42. 46. “ understand search intention ” * <ul><li>institution searches </li></ul><ul><li>content searches </li></ul>* Frankie Roberto, Rattle Research
    43. 47. links are the currency of the web
    44. 48. SEO 1. link! (then link again...) 2. use the <title> tag well 3. use important words in <h1> tags 4. use the description metatag 5. have “ nice ” urls 6. make your site easier to navigate 7. use robots.txt and google site maps 8. content !
    45. 49. #10 share !
    46. 50. thanks!