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The Digital Marketing arena seems vast and very daunting. Here are five things that you can start to think about doing over the next year to begin to build digital marketing into your business, your strategic digital marketing planning and your budgeting processes.

1: Do a Digital Marketing Audit 

Do you know how well you are performing now with your digital marketing? Are you clear on what your priorities should be for 2017? What digital marketing activities are likely to give you most impact in line with your business objectives and most “bang for your buck?” Think strategically about your crucial buyer personas and how you would best attract their attention out there in the digital world. Some key things to check out in your audit include:

  • Are you using Google Analytics to monitor and report on your website’s performance and the effect of your digital marketing strategy & actions?
  • Are you thinking “Mobile First”? Is your website mobile optimised and have you ensured that the user experience on a smartphone is smooth and easy? This is not about just transferring your website onto a mobile platform, it’s about designing specifically for mobile use with your user base in mind.
  • Have you performed a basic SEO check on your website? Here are a few free and paid tools that you can use to get started.
  • Do have a “plugin” like Yoast installed (Plugin for WordPress sites) to help you begin to improve your SEO performance?
  • Have you done any keyword research? Do you know what keywords you think will perform best? Do you have relevant keywords in your content?
  • How is your social media performing regarding engagement and driving people to your website – not just number of followers?
  • How much attention are you giving to content strategy? Do you know what it is?
  • Are you regularly checking the performance of all your digital marketing and then tweaking it accordingly?

Always remember – it doesn’t matter how fabulous your website looks if no one finds it or once one your site, they don’t stay engaged and finally take action.

Contact us for a free initial Digital Marketing Audit on becky@travelkinship.com

2. Get up to speed with & keep up to date with Digital Marketing Trends.

2016’s major trends were that it is increasingly a Mobile First and Video First world. If your online presence is not already TRULY mobile optimised and your marketing thinking about how you look and work on a smartphone, then this is something to look at ASAP. It is also increasingly important to be using video whenever and where ever possible. Creating video doesn’t have to be a scary prospect, with an iPhone and some creativity it doesn’t need to cost the earth and can produce impactful results.

So what are the trends for 2017 going to be and will you be ready? If it is not already, I would guess that 2017 will be a “Content First” year. Content strategy as the keystone of your digital marketing strategy. If you are not putting time and money into creating killer content, with video as a critical component, and then distributing it and publicising it well, you will be missing out.

A good way to keep up to date with trends is to access the blogs and sign up for the free newsletters produced by experts in each digital field. I love:

Contact us for a full list on becky@travelkinship.com

3. Create a Digital Marketing Strategy

What are the objectives of your online marketing activities? Do you know if you are moving closer or further away from your goals? Are you sure that your marketing activities are in line with your business objectives?

Creating a digital strategy will help you be clear about where you are now, where you want to be and how you are going to get there. You can then easily measure your progress against this strategy and continually improve it year on year. It doesn’t have to be perfect, complicated or expensive the first time around. I recommend just getting started and build from there. Digital marketing is not going away so the sooner you start investigating, learning and trialling what works best for YOUR company… the better.

Travel Kinship and other consultancies and agencies can offer a great Digital Marketing Strategy program to help you create and implement a strategy that is realistic, impactful and grows with your company. See our blog series on and toolkit on creating a Digital Marketing Strategy and contact us for more support.

4. Start getting into some good “Digital Habits”

Here are some quick tips for top habits to try.

  • Set up a “digital performance review” process. Ensure you have basic analytics data from Google Analytics and your social media platforms set up. Set a baseline of where you started from and then regularly report on and analyze your digital marketing performance so you can know if your digital marketing strategy and tactics are working.
  • Update your social media and website blog regularly (each one will require a different frequency) & ensure that the content is fun, engaging and useful for your clients.
  • Create and use infographics – an excellent way to put a fresh spin on content. What facts do people not know about your industry? How can you demonstrate your USP? What is likely to get people talking? A great free tool for infographics is www.canva.com
  • Start playing with video and Facebook live. Just buy the basics and create ways to build creating videos into your team’s normal day-to-day. Get started, get practising and get better and better!

5: Hire a professional creative and digital agency to fill the gaps

I co-founded and ran a DMC/Tour Operator in Guatemala, Central America www.viaventure.com, and for years we struggled with trying to do our branding, website, and graphic design. We trailed some local companies that didn’t understand what was required to market us to luxury travel professionals in countries like the UK, USA, and Australia.

One day we started working with Round Creative for all our branding, brochures, magazines, websites, apps and travel technology. It was such a relief to hand over work to people who understood us and created professional, innovative marketing materials that made a real impact. A company that we could trust to carry our brand across everything we do and who make helpful suggestions. Experts in a diverse range of services who always keep us up to date with the latest trends and technology.

It may cost money but to outsource the bits of your digital and traditional marketing that you don’t currently have the expert resource for, can ultimately be more cost effective for your business. There are also now cost-effective “offshore” options which sometimes take time and effort to find one that works but once you do – and you create a healthy working relationship – it can significantly help your marketing and brand reputation.

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I hope you found this article useful. Please add your comments, questions and feedback. If you would like to discuss how to get started with Digital Marketing for your business please contact me on becky@travelkinship.com

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