How to Create a Digital Marketing Plan for Online Success

Need a step-by-step guide to creating a successful digital marketing plan? Here we cover all the digital channels and tactics you need to consider for your business.

The right digital marketing plan should not only help you to identify the right digital channels and tactics for your business but how you can implement them and get them to work in alignment to set up a really effective digital marketing system in your business.

Ideally, what you want is a clear path and some clarity about what you should be doing today, tomorrow and everyday.

Structure of your digital marketing plan

Step 1: The Foundations

Setting the right foundations in the early stages will give your marketing efforts the best chance of success. These include:

  1. Your Audience - Who are you selling to? Who is most likely to buy your products or services as not everyone will?
  2. Your Message - Once you know who your ideal audience is, you can dive deep and understand their pains and frustrations, goals and desires. When you do, your messaging should speak directly to these people and resonate only with them.
  3. Your Offer - is what you are offering online something that is actually wanted by your ideal audience? Don't spend money on advertising until you know it is.

Unfortunately, a lot of people run expensive campaigns and set up complicated sales funnels only for them to fail because the offer wasn't right or the targeting was off.

Step 2: Set Your Digital marketing Goals

Once you know who your are selling to, feel good about your messaging and confident that there is a want for your offer, establish your goals to have a clear idea of the actions you need to take. Keep these goals SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely).

Example: " I want to attract 500 leads every month within the next four months. I will do X, Y and Z to achieve this."

Step 3: Your Overall Marketing Strategy

You have defined your objectives so how are you going to achieve them?

You need to understand your Customer Value Journey. Every prospect must go through a journey to become a new customer. The key to marketing is to move prospects seamlessly through each phase of the customer value journey.

Mapping out your Customer Journey will give you the insight you need to transform prospects into leads and customers. From how you will first make them aware of your business, to engaging prospects, encouraging them to subscribe and convincing them to purchase from you, this will help you to identify the right digital channels and tactics to use at each stage.

What is unique about your products or services? Once you are clear about the value you bring, set about delivering it at every stage of the Customer Journey.

Then, go ahead and set up campaigns to move people intentionally from one stage to the other.

Step 4: Digital Strategies & Tactics

Now onto the channels and tactics to move prospects seamlessly from Awareness to Conversion.

  1. Content - this is the #1 tactic for moving people through your journey or funnel and for driving sales. It's simply about determining the user intent and delivering the right content at the right part of the Customer Journey. When creating your Content Strategy, it's important to consider the three main stages of the Customer Journey ( i.e. Awareness, Engagement and Conversion) and the types of content you should be delivering at each stage (e.g. blog posts and social media posts to generate awareness, lead magnets, checklists and guides to engage prospects and free trials, demos and case studies to get people to convert).  sales funnel
  2. Paid Advertising - now its time to get some eyes on your content. Paid ads can deliver highly targeted, quality leads. Ideally you want to create campaigns that align with the temperature and interests of your target audience. From your foundations research, you should be able to create ads that speak directly to your target audience.
  3. Social Media is terrific for generating awareness for your business. You now know where your audience is hanging out online so make sure to post valuable content on these platforms. When creating your Social Media Strategy, factor in Social Listening to keep up-to-date with what is popular and trending, and to manage your online reputation. Also, Social Networking for building good working relationships and joint ventures.
  4. Search Marketing or SEO is about getting your website to rank better and to appear right when the user is searching online. Bear in mind that this is a long term and ongoing strategy, and it can take several months before you start to see results.
  5. Finally Email - excellent for moving people along the Customer Journey, or your funnel. People rarely buy on a first visit to your website and fall away from your funnel. They have shown an interest in your content or business so don't miss the opportunity to re-engage them. Email is perfect for re-engaging people, as are re-targeting ads. You can also segment and automate your emails to send highly targeted and relevant emails.

Step 5: Monitoring & Analytics

Monitoring Analytics is crucial for successfully optimising digital marketing performance and spending. Analytics is a powerful tool for helping you to identify what's working, what isn't and what to do next.

Use it to answer the following questions:

  1. What type of content your audience likes to consume.
  2. Which are your best converting pages on your website.
  3. What type of customers are not converting.

Take your time with each of the above steps when creating your digital marketing plan and before you know it, you will have a strong marketing machine set up and implemented in your business.

If you would like help and would like me to show you step-by-step how to implement any of this, contact me or schedule a free 30 mins Strategy Consultation.

How To Be More Productive – Six Simple Steps

In this age of information overload the need to know how to be more productive is growing as we struggle with focus and productivity. According to a recent study by Harvard Business Review, 73% of leaders feel distracted from their current task either “some” or “most of the time” . The findings also pointed out that 67% of leaders describe their mind as cluttered with the result being that they usually fail to complete their tasks. Not surprisingly, 96% of those leaders surveyed said that “enhanced focus” would be extremely valuable.

Staying productive is certainly a challenge given all of the distractions we are faced with these days. In this guide we will look at six simple steps for improved performance and effectiveness.

Plan Your Day and Make a To-Do List

Consider the main tasks or projects that you need to complete for the day ahead. Then break each one down to the individual tasks and activities you will need to do to complete each one.

Apply a rough estimate of time to each task to allow you to create a more realistic to-do list. You might like to try using a productivity technique. Personally I use the Kanban approach where your to-do list is split into things you need to do, things you are working on and things you have finished. Trello is a great free tool to help you manage this.

Or you might like the Pomodoro Technique where you are encouraged to break your project down into small segments and set a timer for 25 minutes taking a 5 minute break once the timer goes off. During the 25 minutes you must ignore Facebook, email etc.

Determine Your Own Success Habits

We often come across articles and posts about the habits of highly successful business people, only to feel deflated to read that they start their day at 4am, eat a raw vegan diet, avoid alcohol and meditate for two hours a day, or something like that. Well guess what, no two people are the same so what works for one may not work for another.

Try monitoring your focus throughout the day for a few days and you should begin to see a pattern. You can then use this information to plan your day, planning your most important activities for when you are most alert and focused, and more practical tasks for when it is weaker.

Block Out The Time Wasters

Last year, the average time spent on mobile devices per person was 3 hours 35 minutes per day in the US and just over 3 hours in the UK. So yes, we really do need to learn how to become more productive!

If you are serious about improving your productivity then you must consider blocking any time wasting websites and apps during working hours.

Apps to use for mobile:

  • Offtime – (for iOS & Android) will block apps like Facebook and games and also includes information on how much time you spend on your smartphone.
  • Moment – (for iOS) allows you to set daily limits and notifies you if you exceed them.
  • Flipd – (for iOS & Android) for those of you who need a slightly more aggressive approach. This app will lock your phone for a set amount of time.
  • Stay On Task – simply checks with you if you are still on track at different times throughout the day. Great for refocusing when you get distracted.

To block on Chrome desktop:

Search for “Block Site” Chrome extension >> select “add to Chrome” in top right corner >> click “add extension” (you should see a new icon at the top of your Chrome browser, an orange shield with a circle and diagonal line through it) >> visit the website you would like to block >> click on the orange shield >> click “Block Site”.

To unblock, click “Edit your List” in top right corner >> click the minus button for the site you wish to unblock.

Control Your Notifications

We are constantly distracted with emails and notifications and often find ourselves jumping from one task to another thereby losing momentum and our train of thought.

Turn off email notifications and commit to dealing with your inbox only at certain times during the day e.g. once in the morning and once in the evening. Consider turning off your mobile if working to a tight deadline or use one of the above apps.

Take Care Of Yourself

Never underestimate the power of a good nights sleep and the impact it will have on your productivity. Lack of sleep not only destroys your focus and concentration but it lowers your mood making it much harder to stay motivated.

Of course, it’s not just lack of sleep that can make your focus and judgement suffer. Exercise and what we eat play a big part too. Feed your body well and do a little exercise. Not only will your body thank you for it but just watch how much more alert and focused you become.

Websites For Small Businesses – How To Make Your Website More Visible

Whether you create your own website or hire a web developer to build one for your business, launching your site online is just the start of the journey. Sure, you might have the most visually stunning website that cost a fortune to build, but if people can’t easily find it online then what was the point?

In order to help your website get noticed, you need to be actively driving traffic to it and making people aware of its existence. You’ve put all the hard work into getting it to look just right so why wouldn’t you spend a little more time improving its ranking and making it more visible online?

Here are some tips for making your website more visible online:

#1 – Content

Updating your website with fresh, relevant information that fully satisfies a searchers intent is a great way of improving your ranking and reach. Google only serves the most relevant content to ensure the best user experience and that they continue to meet searchers expectations.

Ask yourself what questions would people typically ask about your product or service and write to satisfy that query.

#2 – Set Up An Effective Linking Structure

Adding relevant links both internally and externally can help to boost your ranking in search engines. By adding links to pages and posts within your site, search engines can more easily read how pages are related to each other and in what ways. Search engines also analyse the popularity of sites based on the number of pages linking to them and determine metrics like trust, authority and spam based on these links.

Create an informative company blog, request links from business partners and other relevant businesses, partner up with a local influencer, list your business on local business directories. These are just some ways to kick-start your link building campaign.

#3 – On-Page SEO

Ensure all of the main pages of your website are fully optimised for SEO. Keywords should be placed in page titles, page URLs, H1 & H2 titles, image alt attributes and throughout the actual content.

Don’t go overboard with trying to stuff your keywords everywhere and anywhere. Apply synonyms where appropriate and make sure it reads well. Remember, it’s not just the search engine’s attention you are trying to capture here but that of real people.

#4 – Speed & Responsiveness

What is more annoying than a site that takes ages to load or one that just doesn’t look right on mobile? You have 3 seconds before someone will typically click away from your still loading site. Maybe your speed is just fine but if your website is not mobile responsive and content is not displaying right, you risk losing a lot of potential customers.

You can try a free tool like Pingdom Tools to test the speed of your website. To check the responsiveness of your site and how it looks on different platforms, try Responsive Design Checker.

#5 – Online Reviews

Most people these days seek out reviews and testimonials before making a purchase online. Reviews build trust and reassurance and Google takes this into consideration when ranking your website. If you haven’t already, set up your Google My Business page and request a review from any previous and satisfied customers by referring them to this page. Not only will this improve your ranking but your business will also be displayed in Google maps, increasing your visibility in search engines.

Set up your Google My Business page here then copy the URL of your reviews page and send it as a link to customers to complete a review.

#6 – Rich Snippets

Snippets are the lines of text shown when you search for something on Google. Although this doesn’t directly impact your ranking position, rich snippets are known to have encouraged customers to click through to sites above higher ranking ones. Choose this text carefully, calling out to your ideal customer and selling the benefits of your products or services.

If you have a WordPress website, you can use the free plugin Yoast SEO to edit your snippet information. Simply go to your dashboard in WordPress – Plugins – Add New – Select Yoast SEO – Activate.


By adopting the above strategies and taking onboard my suggestions, you should start to enjoy better search rankings and more traffic to your website. If you would like some help with any of the above, just get in touch. I’ll be happy to do the work for you or talk you through it.


What Exactly Is A Sales Funnel And How Can It Benefit My Small Business?

What Is A Sales Funnel?

In short, a sales funnel is used to describe the process of attracting new customers, introducing them to your business and ultimately converting them into a paying customer of your business.

Setting up the right sales funnel is one of the fastest ways to grow your business and watch it thrive. How? It can create and open up the opportunity for the right customers or clients to work with you. Your sales funnel should walk your prospects, who may be complete strangers, through the journey of becoming your customer.

Like any funnel, a sales funnel opens with a wide mouthed top that narrows down into a sharp point. Prospects start out at the top of your funnel. At this stage they will range from ideal customers or clients to those who are just not right for your products or services. Your sales funnel will help you to identify those that are a right fit and to weed out those who are not as they travel through the different stages of your funnel.

At its simplest, a sales funnel has three key stages:

3 Stage Sales Funnel Process

Stage 1: Attract new Customers/Leads

In order to attract new customers you first need to get your business in front of prospects to show them that you have something they need. You can attract customers in many ways such as in-person or online through your website or social media platforms.

Consider driving traffic to your website to help generate awareness. You can use paid advertising such as Google Adwords or Facebook ads for a more immediate effect. Or you can try un-paid methods like improving your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or actively engaging prospects on social media.

Ideally you should offer a lead magnet to capture your audience's attention, i.e. something of value that a prospect would be willing to provide their email address to obtain.

Lead magnets can include:

  • reports or guides
  • checklists
  • discount/special offer
  • video/demos

Stage 2: Introduce them to your Business

Once you have captured your audience's attention (and email address), you now want to build trust and establish a relationship. This is not the time to try to sell to your prospects! Start by offering prospects more value and an insight into how you do business.

By sharing useful content that can help solve possible problems your audience might be experiencing, you will start to build relationships and trust and establish yourself as the go-to person for all things related to your business. Content can be in the form of:

  • blog posts
  • newsletter updates
  • social media posts
  • videos
  • eBooks
  • whitepapers
  • PDFs
  • info-graphics.

This is where your email list will serve you well as you can deliver your value content directly to your prospects. You can continue to build upon that relationship using an effective and carefully thought out email sequence.

Stage 3: Convert Prospects into Paying Customers

This may be the part you despair about. A lot of people struggle with sales and the best methods to use. Think about whether you want to get your prospect on the phone with you to close a sale or whether you want everything to be conducted online with the help of a sales page. Other methods you can use to convert prospects into customers include:

  • email campaign
  • videos and social media
  • hold an event
  • webinars

Funnels don't need to be overly complicated or fully automated to be successful, but with the right one in place you can convert your business into the lead and sales generating machine that you know it should be.

Once you understand the concept of sales funnels and how they help you to visualise the customer journey from awareness to sale, they can be used as a very effective framework for analysing your business and identifying areas for improvement.

Need help with setting up your sales funnel? Send me an email or schedule a sales funnel strategy session and lets get started.


A Quick Guide to Starting Up Your Online Business

So you’re ready to start your online business and ditch the 9 to 5 for good but where to start? Traditional methods would have you concerned with writing your Business Plan, obtaining Funding, setting up your Company Structure and spending a fortune on Promotional Material.

While all certainly important, your first step should be in identifying your offering and then establishing whether or not you will have an audience for that offering.

Starting an online business does not have to be difficult. If you have knowledge/ a certain skills set/ products to sell and if people are willing to pay you for it or them, then you have  a business.

Starting up also doesn’t have to cost much, particularly if you can work from home e.g. if you would like to work as a Freelancer – a laptop, internet connection and a small budget for marketing will see you on your way.

Step #1 – Know your Vertical

Your vertical is the industry you choose to do business in so before you dive right in get out there to see who is competing in your space and what is or isn’t working for them. Carry out a SWOT analysis on these competitors documenting their strengths and weaknesses whilst identifying areas of opportunity and particular threats for your business.

Look at what people are searching for most when they are looking for a professional in your industry. SEMRush is a good tool to help you out here. Note these keywords and utilise them in your social media profile titles and job descriptions.

Step #2 – Identify your Target Market

When taking your business online you need to know exactly who you will be selling to so that you can create or adapt your advertising campaigns/ content/ services to meet their needs. Firstly, consider what problem your proposition solves. Then look for a group of people with that problem.

Your case will become all the more compelling by showing these people the value of your proposition i.e. by demonstrating to them that the cost of not dealing with the problem is much greater than not dealing with the problem.

To find your target market, try some of the following:

  • Blogs & Articles – search for any content related to your business and see who and what people are talking about.
  • Forums – by joining online forums you can get immediate access to what problems and frustrations people are experiencing. Offer suggestions and add value while you are there and you may pick up a follower or two.
  • Competitors – take a look at what your potential competitors are doing online and who is engaging with them.
  • Social Media – you can reach out to your target audience through social media. Follow some key influencers and again check to see what seems to be working for your competitors.

Step # 3 – Create your Online Presence

Your website is your visual storefront so make it as visually pleasing and user friendly as you can. Through carefully selected keywords, content that is interesting and some eye-catching images, you should not only be able to capture your audience’s attention but also connect with them and encourage them to engage with your business.

To start you will need a domain name and somewhere to host your website. Try GoDaddy or BlueHost for both at a relatively low cost. To create your website you can use Squarespace or Wix as your Content Management System (CMS) but I would advise you to go with WordPress because of the huge variety of plugins that offer you so much more functionality. If you don’t have the time, skill or desire to do this yourself, just pay someone to do it for you.

Also, consider which social media platforms you will use to promote your business. Select the ones you feel are the best fit and are utilised by your targeted demographic.

Remember, you need to manage your online reputation carefully as leaving any of your profiles static can be damaging to your business when people cannot find what they are looking for and will not return for a second look.

Step # 4 – Start to Build your Following

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Content is King”. Well its certainly key to attracting your audiences’ attention. Good quality content on your website and social profiles is what will attract and retain a loyal following. It will not only create a great first impression of your business but by continuously updating your online channels with quality content, you will continue to attract new customers.

In turn, you will find your business start to rank better in search engines which leads to increased sales and exposure. Use your content to inspire conversions, drive engagement, inform your audience and generate a return on investment. Ensure each piece of content is created with a goal in mind and targeted to your audience.

Step # 5 – Harness the Power of Online Advertising

As the most relied upon search engine in the world with over 4,6 billion searches on a daily basis, and the biggest social platform with 90 billion users worldwide, Google and Facebook have the power to really scale your business. Both offer fantastic targeting opportunities to attract the right audience and ensure your business is getting the exposure it needs to be successful in today’s highly competitive marketplace.

With some carefully selected keywords and images for your ads, a budget for your ad spend (which could be as little as £5 per day) and a good strategy, you can fast-track the process and get those customers coming your way.

Remember, the key to getting your business off the ground is ACTION. Take steps every day, no matter how small. Don’t put things off until you have saved enough money or written your business plan. Start today, write your plan as you go and you come to understand your business needs better and reinvest your earnings into your business.

To your business success.

P.S. If you would like help with starting up your business online or any of the above, schedule a call with me here and lets get planning your next steps.


How to Create and Run a Digital Marketing Campaign

Choosing to run a digital marketing campaign can certainly deliver significant results for your business, particularly in generating awareness and leads, but its not just about running a few ads on Facebook or Google and hoping for the best.

A lot of businesses are throwing money away by not planning and measuring their campaigns properly and are quick to dismiss these campaigns as unsuccessful. It goes without saying that a lot of careful planning and research should go into your pre-campaign activities, but equally as important is the need to measure performance from the get go and the learning you take away from the experience.

Below is a 6 step framework to take into account when setting up your next digital marketing campaign.

Step 1 – Define Your Why!

Before engaging in any digital marketing activity, it is crucial to understand why you are doing it and what you want to achieve from it. Define the objective of your campaign and create a strategy to make it happen. Do you wish to attract new customers? Increase your sales? Or maybe you want to focus on customer retention?

Once you have your overall campaign objective, you should then establish individual goals or KPIs to determine the direction of your campaign. These goals should be in alignment with your business objectives. Keep them simple, measurable and time bound to enable you to gauge the success of your campaign. You may want to set targets like the % you want to increase your customer base by or the total budget spend for the month/year.

Step 2 – Understand Your Market

It pays to do your research to gauge the potential market size and demographics of your target market. Invest a little bit of time in the early stages and you will save yourself a lot of time in the long run. Grow to learn who exactly your target market is and understand their buyer decision process. Find out where they hang out online, how they shop, the type of content they find interesting, who they follow online. Most importantly, you want to understand their fears, frustrations and desires so you can tailor your products or services to overcome them to deliver their desired outcome. Online forums are great for finding out this information. 

Now focus your attention on the competition. Observe what is working for them, are they using paid or organic content? Which methods are attracting the highest levels of engagement?

Step 3 – Select Your Digital Marketing Tools

You have done your research, now you can make an informed decision about which marketing tools to use. There are a number of different tools you can choose form, each with different areas of strength that can deliver significant results for your business. If you are on a tight budget, you may wish to go with organic methods only or a combination of both paid advertising and organic content. Some of the more popular digital marketing tools include:

  • Email Marketing – today this remains the most important and effective  form of online marketing for Return on Investment.
  • Content Marketing – writing a blog is a great way to show your knowledge on a certain topic. Video is also a powerful tool with the potential of going viral.
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – optimise your website and landing pages by using clear “calls to action” and good, quality content to rank better on search engines.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) – platforms include Google Adwords, Facebook and Bing. In a nutshell, Google Adwords can open you up to a huge amount of traffic, it is user friendly and when targeting correctly, you can reach top ad positions quickly. It can be expensive, however, if you don’t manage and set limits and can be tricky to set up. Facebook has excellent targeting potential thanks to the vast amount of information held on all users (that’s 2.2 billion active users each month). Although you may experience a lower click through rate than Google Adwords, it is the cheaper option but remember to keep your content fresh. Bing also offer lower cost and good customer support for smaller businesses but a lower amount of traffic volume.

Step 4 – Consider your Customer Experience

Now that you are attracting the interest of your audience, you should take the time to understand their personal experience as they interact with your business. How would you rate this experience? You can attempt to make it as satisfying as possible by:

  • ensuring the copy in your ad/blog/post is compelling, clear and correct (as in spelling and grammar).
  • making sure your landing pages (where your customers are directed to once they click on your ad) have a clear purpose and are legible.
  • Making the end goal attainable for the customer within 2 to 3 clicks of landing on your page?

Furthermore, appeal to the emotions of your target audience by delivering unique and relevant content to them that you believe will encourage them to interact with your business.

Step 5 – Assessing Your Campaign

A good indication of success will come from a tightly managed and controlled set of metrics. Know which metrics you need to pay attention to.

  • Check your Keywords, Click Through Rate (CTR) and Cost Per Click (CPC). If a keyword is just costing you money and not achieving results, remove it. Monitor the CTR and check from one ad to another as this will affect your budget.
  • Analytics – checks your visitor statistics in Analytics to check whether your audience is growing and to find out where they are coming from.
  • Rate of Conversion – your end goal is typically making that conversion or sale. Conversions should be defined by you and based on your business so it may be that you capture an email address, get a new subscriber or sell a product/service. Although conversion rates may not be high, know that anything below 2% is not worth your effort and consider abandoning the campaign.

There are a number of tools that can help you measure your results:

  • Google Analytics – you can find a wealth of information here including the keywords that are working for you, where your traffic is coming from and the most visited areas of your site.
  • Facebook Insights – like Adwords, you can find all the information you need in relation to the performance of your paid or organic posts.
  • Spyfu – this is a great tool which will provide you with both PPC and Organic performance, top keywords and competitor shared keywords.

Step 6 – Learning from your Data

Your first digital marketing campaign may or may not be the success you anticipated it to be but you are now equipped with some invaluable data to help drive future campaign success. Use this material to understand the demographics of those who engaged with your website and social media profiles and re-market to this “warm” audience. Determine what type of content your audience reacted to best – blogs, Facebook posts or paid advertising, and focus your attention on these.

As you continue to market your business online, remember to learn from your results. Your success will be based on trial and errors over several campaigns and the learning you take from these to influence your future actions. By focusing and identifying and meeting the needs of your customers, your marketing efforts are much more likely to succeed.

If you would like help creating and implementing your own digital marketing campaign, just get in touch and schedule a call to chat over your ideas or drop me an email at