How to do a digital marketing audit for 2015
It’s nearly time for one year to end and another to begin. You’re bound to be bursting with new ideas and strategies for your brand’s digital marketing in 2016, but there’s one vital step you have to do before you get there.
It’s audit time
There’s no point rigorously planning and managing digital marketing campaigns or collecting stats on the results if you don’t analyse them – learning from 2015’s successes and mistakes is essential for informing next year’s strategy. Here are a few areas to focus on, to help you start your audit:
- The big picture. Before you get into the nitty-gritty, you need a broad overview of things. Getting a ‘zoomed out view’ of your marketing strategy is one of Digital Current’s top tips, and it involves asking questions like “what is the current state of the business?”, “what would success look like?” and “how would marketing contribute to that success?”
- Develop a system to sort out what works and what doesn’t. To quickly and easily mark out which strategies you should continue with and which you may want to stop, you need a traffic light system. Some coloured stickers will do the trick, helping you sort out which ideas are really working so you can implement them in next year’s strategy.
- Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is a SWOT analysis, a structured planning method allowing you to evaluate your digital marketing strategy. It’s similar to the traffic light system mentioned above, but in a little more detail. Strengths and weakness represent things that are under your control, while opportunities and threats are usually external factors.
- Don’t forget an SEO analysis. This is something which you may need to outsource to a professional SEO or digital marketing specialist, but it is crucial. A huge number of your customers will find you through Google, Yahoo! or Bing, so you need to make sure you’re getting the essential elements right. An SEO audit report will tell you everything from content, keyword and link building to on-page optimisation and pesky technical issues.
- Sort the essential stats from the useless metrics. A digital marketing audit is bound to generate an enormous amount of data, but not all of it will be helpful to you. In fact, too much data can cause a kind of snow-blindness, stopping you from getting a clear picture of what’s going on. So, before you start sifting through it, make a note of what you actually want to find out, and which metrics will help you do that.
The big challenge with any digital marketing audit is making sense of the data, so if you can come up with a way to extract the essentials and ditch what isn’t working – you’re halfway there.
Have you carried out a digital marketing audit before? If so, what did you learn and was it useful for informing the next year’s strategy? Please feel free to share your thoughts.