It will be no surprise to those who do marketing for a living, to hear it’s a complex business with many moving parts. There is an argument that some marketers make it too complicated, but that’s for another day.
The point is, however many moving parts there are, there has never been a better time to stand back and audit your digital marketing activity. Going through a formal process to ask yourself what you are doing and why, will be worth the effort and illuminating.
Start with you
Looking at your own website is always a good place to start. If you imagine your website as a magnet, its strength, and therefore ability to attract visitors, is essentially governed by search engine algorithms which match those seeking with those offering.
Google changes its algorithm 600 times a year and it’s long been known that staying on top of SEO is as much of an art as it is a science. Either way, it’s a full time job. But recent work by Hub suggests firms are not on top of this – with even SEO basics like page names, meta descriptions and broken links all needing work.
If search engines can’t work out what your site is about, then the chances of getting returned on a results page for anything other than your brand name are going to be pretty low.
Content, content, content
There are often issues relating to content which mean that it’s just not being seen – or at least being seen at a level which justifies the effort and expense of creating that content in the first place.
These issues can be as simple as clearly directing the user to the most relevant and up-to-date piece, but can also again be related to Google’s chances of indexing it. For example, have you transcribed your videos? Have you given them subtitles and uploaded them into YouTube?
Size up the competition
Next up, a formal process will take a subjective look at the user experience of your website versus your competition. What do they have that you don’t? How does it look/feel and what does that say about your brand? How does it all hang together as a user experience? How easy is it to actually invest? On this last point we often find links to investment platforms that no longer exist, are closed to new business or the link is plain wrong.
Come to think of it, have you formally worked out who the competition are – not just at a ‘house’ level, but in terms of individual products? Have you asked your customers who else they were sizing up when they considered your XYZ Plc investment trust or fund?
And finally, plan!
It’s only once your audit is complete (and you must consider a customer’s ‘path to purchase’ as a part of this, more on which anon) that you can actually create an action and communication plans to address the findings.
To mix metaphors, actions tend to be fixing the things that are broken, like plugging holes in a leaky bucket; communications are the things that are going to dial up the strength of your magnet to draw more people to you than you are doing right now.
This all may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many carts are before horses out there…
If you are interested in an audit of your digital marketing activity and would like to chat to us about the next steps, please get in touch here.
Author, Simon Longfellow, is an expert in investment marketing with over 25 years of experience working within the financial services industry.