Believe it or not, we’re now over halfway through the year. Independence Day has been and gone in a whirl of fun and star-spangled banners, summer trips have been planned, and we’re all going around saying, “Where has the year gone?”
But amidst all this summer bustle, there’s one vital thing us online business owners mustn’t forget to do: that all-important mid-year digital marketing audit. You know we recommend that you continually review your marketing strategies and campaigns to ensure they’re fresh and competent, but every now and again, it’s vital to do a more thorough audit.
What better time to do this than the start of Q3? Now is the breathing space before the excitement of the holiday seasons and all the opportunities that bring for business. You want to go into that busy time confident that your digital marketing is performing at its optimal point.
So, what do you need to do for an effective mid-year digital marketing audit?
1 | Check Your Socials
You all know we love social media marketing. It brings a sense of fun and spontaneity to your digital marketing, and it’s also where most people will first encounter your online presence. That’s why you want social media channels that are 110% engaging.
Skim through your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and whatever other channels you’re utilizing. Are followers engaging? Are your posts consistent and high-quality? Are any platforms performing better than others? If a platform isn’t getting that engagement, do you still want to use it? Are your posts becoming a bit redundant? While asking yourself these questions can be tough, it’s ultimately rewarding and leads to the best for your biz.
If you find something that doesn’t seem to be working, you might have to think creatively to fix it (but we’re used to that, as entrepreneurs!). Sometimes it only takes a few tweaks but others you might have to take a whole new angle.
Start by looking at individual social media channels; then look at how it works as a whole. Give your social media template a summer boost to streamline the content creation process, ensuring all marketing channels are flowing and productive. This helps you schedule your posts, and the audit information you get from reviews will inform future decisions.
2 | Spruce Up Your Website
Your website is at the heart of your digital marketing. Sure, it’s not necessarily where people interact, but it brings together all the information customers, and potential clients need. It’s also your most constant online presence, unlike ever-changing social media channels, and most importantly, it belongs to you.
Because it’s your platform, curate it to represent your business in its truest form. A clear message that reflects you and your company’s values should stand out, and your services or products should be highlighted. Use colors, images, fonts, and design that help it stand out.
During your digital marketing audit, try looking at it with fresh eyes, as though you were a potential client – or be brave and get a trusted friend to do it! – And give yourself honest feedback. Is it appealing? Informative? Easy-to-use? Think back to Marie Kondo and ask yourself: does this website bring me joy? Don’t throw it out if the answer’s no; give it a shake-up.
3 | How About Your Emails?
If you’re not already using email marketing, we sincerely recommend you get on board. It might seem old-school to us millennials, but email newsletters and promotions are a direct line to your customers that, used well, can guarantee engagement and leads. And the best part? You own it!
Use your audit to check that your email list is still working at peak. By this we mean, make sure you don’t have any unengaged subscribers or duplicates floating around in your inventory and throwing off your analytics. While reducing your email list might seem counter-intuitive, remember it’s about quality over quantity – our most frequent marketing refrain!
Cast a critical eye over your email content. Check that it’s compelling, well laid-out and that the call to action takes the form of a button prompting subscribers to buy, sign up or read. Use of images and branding is essential here, as you want it to be in line with your website and your social media marketing. You’ve got more space to play within an email than you do on social media, but don’t overdo it with lengthy text or over-the-top design.
Also take this auditing time to polish up the infrastructure on the technical side, from IP reputation to deliverability. This small but vital reminder brings us to our fourth point.
4 | Don’t Forget The ‘Boring’ Parts!
OK, this isn’t the most exciting part, but it’s vital. No digital marketing audit is complete without reviewing your internal links, the functionality of your pages, and removing outdated content. Any details of expired campaigns should be removed, and check you’re none of your terms or contact details have changed.
Follow your customers’ journey through your digital marketing, checking the links, calls to action, and any other areas where usability will have an impact on your sales.
5 | Check It All Fits Together
Details are essential, but so is the big picture. The final part of your digital marketing audit is to check that every aspect of your online marketing fits together into a cohesive whole. Here we’re talking about the technical functioning of each part (do the links encourage cross-channel engagement, for example) and also the message and branding.
A unified and interconnected digital marketing strategy subliminally makes customers feel confident in your business – and, of course, it helps if it all works smoothly!
So, make a checklist, do that mid-year digital marketing audit and then head out and enjoy your summer safe in the knowledge that your digital marketing is working best for your business!