Online Marketing Plan – Cook Book

cook-bookPresentation Transcript: The Complete Cook Book Build Your Online Marketing Plan

Why Are We Sharing Our Marketing Plan?
SimilarWeb prides itself for being a Digital Insight Platform for the online marketing community. As such, we strive to give not only traffic statistics for any website, but also the required tools for navigating through the confusing world of online marketing. We find ourselves in an interesting place where we’re both the providers and our own clients. That’s one of the reasons we understand our users and their needs.

One such need is a “cookbook” for baking your online marketing strategy. As with most recipes, everybody likes something slightly different so you should use the base and change the toppings to suit your needs. We’ve used real examples of what we went through to try and put everything in context.

STAGE 1 – The Cook Book Principles

• Measurement

• Discovering the unique uses of your product

• Finding the main target audiences

• Finding main target markets

• Building the conversion funnel

• Setting up the billing system

The Basics

Analytics is the heart of any online business. Without it you’re blind to any marketing action you take. Most people use Google Analytics and there are more advanced tools like Adobe and Coremetrics (by IBM).

There has also been a new movement towards BI (Business Intelligence) as it enables you to track the individual journeys of users onsite as opposed to Analytics which only provides aggregations. In SimilarWeb we’ve tested several options, but ultimately recommend these two:

• Piwik – open source site’s analytics

• Google Analytics

* For event tracking – MixPanel is a platform that specializes in such solutions.

Main Tip: Use more than one system, so you always have a backup in case one fails!

Discovering The Unique Uses of Your Product

To find out who uses SimilarWeb PRO, we got in touch with our clients and interviewed them about it. We also sent out an email asking our clients to rank the latest updates we’ve added to our platform.

The results helped us prioritize the following updates we’ve made.

Some of the main uses we came up with after asking our clients were:

• Affiliate managers looking for new affiliates

• Media buyers trying to determine where to spend their display ads budget

• SEO and PPC campaign managers looking for new keywords

• Product managers who are in the stages of industry research and competitive analysis

Main Tip: Don’t hesitate to ask your users what they like best about your product!

 

Finding The Main Target Audiences

• Talk with your existing clients and get to know them

• Guide your sales team to be attentive to characterizations and needs of clients and potential clients

• Get your Product team to shadow you sales and client services team to gain a better understanding of what goes on At SimilarWeb we’ve identified several types of audiences who use, or can use, our platform. However, we’ve chosen one audience to concentrate our initial efforts on – online marketing professionals Main Tip: Focus, Focus, Focus! The way to take over the world is with one target audience at a time!

Finding Main Target Markets

• Research your competitors – find their strong and weak points. You might decide to go with markets you know are working well for them, but will probably prove very competitive. Or you may take a chance with untouched markets, which you don’t know for sure will work, but might hold less competition.

At SimilarWeb we used our own platform – SimilarWeb PRO, for researching our competitors and finding markets we want to focus on. This helped us to single out the markets with the biggest potential and least competition.

Main Tip: Starting with few markets gives you better allocation of resources and minimizes error costs!

Building The Conversion Funnel

When building a conversion funnel you need to consider which stages must be included: On one hand, you want to give the user enough information about the product in order for them to feel comfortable purchasing it.

On the other hand, you don’t want to overcomplicate the purchase funnel and cause a high desertion rate.

Main Tip: Using A/B testing here will help you come up with the most optimized funnel!

Building The Conversion Funnel

Conversion rate expert – a consultancy company for building conversion funnels. If you’re not sure about the direction to take here, contact experts to either consult you or give tailored solutions.

At SimilarWeb we’re constantly testing different conversion funnels, gathering statistics and collecting users’ feedback. One example of a great result from these tests was moving from a 24 hours trial (which required a credit card), to a free demo on SimilarWeb PRO.

We got amazing feedback from our users and a significant improvement in our conversion rate.

Main Tip: Register to the conversion rate expert newsletter. It provides a wealth of case studies for free!

Setting Up The Billing System

Choosing a billing management platform – it’s crucial to know which target markets you’re aiming at. Each of the platforms out there specializes in specific countries and has issues with others. At SimilarWeb we started with one company that didn’t work well for our target markets and caused us to lose some key transactions.

We eventually moved to Recurly. The move was painful and costly, but in the long run it was worth it.

Main Tip: Make sure your chosen billing system offers support to your target markets before starting to work with them!

STAGE 2 – The Cook Book Principles

• Identifying goals

• Choosing the main message

• Choosing the right KPIs

• Choosing marketing channels

• Timetable and resources allocation

Identify Goals

  • Create Awareness
  • Increase Traffic
  • Improve Conversion Flow
  • Increase Subscriptions
  • Increase Stickiness

Identifying goals can vary between different businesses. However, there are some goals which you’ll find in most.

Here are the basic goals for a business in its first stages:

Choosing The Main Message

Our main marketing message is what we want people to think of first when considering our service or product. This message will guide us throughout our marketing strategy, especially in the first awareness stage.

The message doesn’t have to be set in stone – you can start with one and switch to another at a later stage.

At SimilarWeb we started with ‘Love Your Competitors!’ and later switched to:

Digital Insights for the Online Marketing Community

Main Tip: As you move forward with building your brand, your main message might change!

Choosing The Right KPIs KPIs

Key performance indicators are your tool for checking your success or failure in reaching your set goals. For example, KPIs for SEO might be – organic and direct traffic, ranks in SERP, number of 404 errors. PPC KPIs might be CPC rate, CTR percentage, conversion rate.

At SimilarWeb we constantly check our KPIs to measure progress. We sometimes update them according to our gathered BI.

Main Tip: Beware of vanity KPIs. If a KPI doesn’t directly help you make a decision, you shouldn’t be using it.

Choosing Marketing Channels

When you’re trying to decide the best way to allocate your quarterly marketing budget, your decisions must be based on educated guesses. These guesses are based upon your own BI or Competitive intelligence. We’ve already talked about personal BI, so we’ll focus here on competitive BI. There are many tools for online competitive intelligence. We’ve included a map here of the main ones, plus their core functions and uses.

Potential Resources for Research

Similarweb.com:

• Competitors Website Traffic Analytics

• Referring Domains

• Referring Keywords

• Industry Analysis

• Top Websites

• Similar Sites

 

MajesticSEO:

• Research Incoming Links

• Check Majestic Trust And Citation flows

 

Google Tool:

• Google Keyword Planner

• Google Trends

• Google Analytics

• Google Webmaster Tools SERP

• Search Engine Results Page – Organic And Paid Results

 

Choosing Marketing Channels

After researching your own analytics and your competitors’ traffic statistics, you need to make your decision.

There are so many online marketing channels, with new ones appearing every few months, it’s hard to keep track of all the options out there.

We’ve included a comprehensive map with the main online marketing channels and their formats:

Content Marketing:

• Blog Posts

• Guest Blog Posts

• E-books

• Email Newsletters

• Slideshows

• Podcasts

• Standard Videos

• Micro-videos (i.e., Vine)

• Social Media Posts

• Webinars

• White Papers

• Press Releases

• Content Sharing Hubs

 

PPC/CPM Accounts:

• Google AdWords

• Bing Ads

• Social Media – FB, Twitter, Reddit, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn, etc.

• Display Ads

 

Viral Marketing:

• Approaching Opinion Leaders

• Forums – Paid And Free Listings

• Organic Social Marketing (FB, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, etc.)

 

Affiliates:

Hand Picking Through:

• Search Engine Results Page – Organic And Paid Results

• SimilarWeb PRO – Referral Traffic Section

• Affiliate Management Programs

 

Email Marketing:

• Blog Newsletter

• Product Updates

• Special Offers

• Engagement Follow Up Emails
Timetable and Resources Allocation While choosing between different optional online marketing channels; you need to take into account the followings.

• Time cost/potential value – value should be defined according to collected BI stats

• Expenses/potential revenue – should be defined according to Competitors’ BI or personal previous experience

• Tech resources

• Goals priority

• Current status of brand/product visibility

*It’s important to frame each marketing channel within a specific time frame with goals and KPIs per channels

Main Tip: If none of your goals and KPIs fit a marketing channel, it’s the not right one for you!

 

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SimilarWeb is part of SimilarGroup,a global leader in finding and interpreting digital information.

Digital Insights for the Online Marketing Community

About the Author -

Natalie Halimi is the Head of Marketing Communications & Education at SimilarWeb. With over 10 years of experience in marketing, Natalie has promoted services and products in the B2C and B2B arenas, in various industries.

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