We hope you enjoy reading the MEANit blog with all the guides and tips. If you want our team to help with your web presence click here

The articles here will give you everything you need to plan, design, develop, market and maintain your website, if you have the time required – Enjoy.

Digital Marketing Plan and Strategy

Marketing IS everything – it comes before any sale. Marketing should mainly help to build and or maintain a brand, but should also work closely with sales so that their joint efforts are working towards the same goals. Likewise, all Marketing inputs should work to help production refine the products, based on customer feedback, taste tests, focus groups, etc. These efforts are all just part of your general business plan. We recommend that clients try to have a Three Year Master Digital Marketing Plan and review it regularly, annually, and monthly to keep you on track.

Digital Marketing just refers to the part of the marketing effort which utilises mainly web-based platforms, website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc as well as TV, podcasting, and webinars. When it comes to the internet what do you want to achieve through the medium of the web? Digital Marketing PlanSell, Tell, Share or Serve?

You may want to focus on lead generation or actual online selling, but likewise, you just want to save time by answering questions or allowing people to book or pay for appointments online. Whatever the reasons, you will still benefit from starting with a digital marketing plan and tweak it as you go, based on results.

Digital Marketing Plan Questions

Some 20+ basic questions to consider within your digital marketing plan include:
1. Who is the target audience?
2. Is that backed up by proof that this target wants your product or service?
3. How will you connect with that target market?
4. What do you need to do to achieve it?
5. Strategies and Tactics?
6. What kind of web presence or website platform?
7. Where are you at right now?
8. Where do you want to be?
9. When do you want to get there?
10. Who will manage any plan?
11. Who is the Digital Marketer or has that responsibility?
12. How will you use Social Media?
13. How will you use pay-per-click or PPC?
14. Which tools do you need? CRM, Video, Audio, Software?
15. What is the budget and what is the required investment?
16. Cash Flow – Can you afford the costs in your projected cash flow?
17. Have you agreed on any Terms and Rates?
18. ROI – What will be a good Return On Investment? KPIs?
19. What metrics will you use?
20. Have you set some targets?

What is stopping you?

Talk to a good Web Partner and draw up an internet marketing plan, then make it happen. Share content, engage and entertain, be creative, interesting, and sincere. You do not have to entertain the world, just your own identified target audience. You want to engage with that audience and highlight how you can help solve problems. Make sure that you are producing something that solves a problem and where there is a defined market for it. Ideally, it should not just be an exchange of your time for an hourly rate and it should be scalable, whereby the business runs when you are absent. Use your own voice or style rather than imitate others.

Digital Marketing Plan Advice

If you are serious about creating your online presence – here are some steps, tips, advice, and reminders;

1. Create a Blog and start by populating it with 20 small articles circa 300+ words and 10 large circa 3000+ words to show competency. Remember to avoid the technical stuff about your product and just feature the benefits or the product of the product. See our Guide to Blogging here.

2. Create a Facebook page and get some friends by adding useful or entertaining content and sharing – by all means ‘boost’ a good post, to your target audience. Paid Ads do work, but fine-tune the audience. Lookalike is a bit broad but worth looking at. Facebook “Remarketing” may be a bit creepy but can work very well, especially if you target people who have actually visited your website, thereby indicating an interest. See our Guide to using Facebook here.

3. Create a Twitter account and get some followers, engage, share, entertain or ask questions – never ever buy followers – it is not a numbers game.

4. Create a Pinterest account and add a few boards about your topic, especially if good photography compliments your business.

5. Create a Youtube account and create some videos, especially ‘How To’ or entertaining content. Use the videos on your website too.

6. Instagram – best way to connect with a younger audience or Snapchat for the teen market.

7. Same with Vimeo, create and add some video content – no need for expensive quality.

8. Comment on other Blogs or industry sites/forums – if you have something useful to say, such as providing answers to questions.

9. Get a good domain name, ideally one that runs with your other “handles”.

10. Create a website plan, content, SEO, and navigation, then build it and the brand. Remember that any marketing activity that will bring visitors to your website, needs to be supported by having a website with good flow or user interface UX navigation, content. Add forms of support/connection whether that is FAQs, chat, email etc.
Remember: Content is king – get it right, make it relevant, easy to read and worthwhile.

11. Search Engines – set up an account in Google and Bing, register the business and its address. Share some content via Google My Business – see our Guide here.

12. Portals – Register will all relevant portals to increase visibility through things like Yelp and Google My Business

13. Email Marketing – send useful content to inform and educate your target audience, only with permission.

14. Publish – offer useful content to online or offline newspapers or contribute to trade mags etc.

15. Mobile – Everybody is doing it, so make sure your content is mobile-friendly first and your plan starts with mobile in mind.

Now you are started, what next? Write it all down, tweak the internet marketing plan or talk to your Web Partner / Digital Marketer. By creating a SWOT analysis, you can see the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. In most cases, the big opportunity lies in simply creating better content.

Digital Marketing Plan – Takeaways:

1. Do not invest any money until you have a digital marketing plan.
2. Consult a Pro – just like you would engage an architect before building a house.
3. It is not a free activity, so it needs a budget, targets, KPIs and metrics, time, and constant assessment. Budget is needed for content creation and for getting it found.
4. Mobile is the small digital doorway to a bigger picture – start with it and focus on mobile always.
5. Digital Marketing is not an action, it is an ongoing business commitment, as important as production, finance, or sales – embrace it.

Window shopping

Well-created websites will have analytics and ways to measure traffic and conversion. Imagine if you could attract the right traffic and drag visitors into your shop, through the window and encourage purchases. The web allows for this sort of focus and analysis. Find out which advertising works for you and which does not. Save on wasteful advertising costs. Attract the clientele that you most desire to sell what you want to sell at the price at which you want to sell it. Work on getting a conversion and a commitment rather than having people window shop before bouncing or going elsewhere to buy.

Buyers have changed the way they buy, so sellers need to change the way they sell

What is our own Digital Marketing Plan or Roadmap?

This is no secret to how we do things, we write about it all the time, we make recommendations based on our learning as we go. We advise clients on the bits that they could use in their business, so our activities are as follows:

1. Be an active member of your local business network or any area where you want to grow your business
2. Be an active member at your local Chamber of Commerce
3. Join online groups of similar or related businesses, to give advice or get some, to keep upskilling, to see the trends
4. Create useful content and give it all away, written and video, optimise it, share it, publish it, post it, advertise it, thereby creating authority. Try blogging, podcasting, Youtube Live etc,
5. Optimise your website continually, ensure the user flow or experience is smooth, that the navigation is easy and that every page leads to another one, to a point where a visitor makes a decision to go to another page or contact you or eventually buy something. Search Engine Optimisation is critical to get right.
6. Network at every opportunity and make it work, rather than just turning up which is not good enough. Be helpful, add value.
7. Use Facebook, Google Ads, Linkedin etc to advertise, test it, find out what works, rinse and repeat what works well
8. Brand your office with signage, your clothing, vehicles, supporting printed marketing material
9. Get a Coach and/or Mentor, keep learning from people who have gone before you.
10. Get referrals from happy clients, after you have delivered true value, to their satisfaction and more.

And avoid spending time with people who are negative, who want the sun, moon & stars for a €1000 or who cannot work with your process.

Avoid doing anything for anybody unless you feel that you can bring true value for their enterprise. And that you are getting paid for your time – when you visit a doctor, you pay the fee, whether the news is good or bad.

Continually strive to teach what you want to learn, to become better at it yourself. Be respectful to everyone and treat them as you would like to be treated. Walk in their shoes, see with their eyes and feel with their heart.
Give it some time and it will all come together for you, if you are really genuine about what you are doing.

If you have any further questions on your or our internet marketing plan feel free to contact us at 0862510117 or use our quick enquiry form here.

Do you want more traffic?

Hi, at MEANit we help 40 ‘Professional Services Businesses‘ to be effective online annually. Will your business be one of the 40 in 2022?

MEANit-Web-Design-Agency-Michael-MacGinty

Written by Michael MacGinty

Michael is a well known speaker, author and coach on how to use the web to grow a business. He is also WP Elevation certified as a Digital Business Consultant.
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A Web Presence Checklist, for the senior partner

12 things to oversee the web presence for your legal practice

LinkedIn including company profile page and personal profile for you and all employees. Post some articles about your services, giving some useful advice, sharing insights or sharing industry news. Connect with logical potentially good connections. No sales pitch, just hello with a short line to make the connection, like swopping a business card at a networking event. Read our Linkedin Guide.

Facebook – keep it a basic entry for the practice just to turn up in Facebook in search or get reviews. You could use it to get reviews from people who spend a lot of time on this platform. Or use Facebook to advertise your services, if it is right for your target market.

Website focusing on the services that you want to specialise in, the ones that make you the most margin and that you are happiest to deliver. Bear in mind that you can offer services that you do not personally have to deliver, but make you margin. You do not have to deliver you do not necessarily have to be involved in the process whatsoever. Who is responsible for your SEO Search Engine Optimisation? Read our Guide.

Include SSL – This is the little padlock that appears on the top left corner, to indicate the site is safe. This is not just for eCommerce websites.

Google Business Profile – Have you got one? Is your Google Business Profile profile populated, as in photos, service details, opening hours, blog items, reviews. Independent Google Reviews are fuel for your practice. Get as many as you can. Remember to reply to every single one of them. These are happy clients or people who are in need of attention. Read our Guide.

NAP – Include nap NAP everywhere that you write your address, search Google to see where you appear and ensure the NAP is exactly the same everywhere, including the Eircode.
Do any Google search of your name in an ‘Incognito window’ to see what people see on their computer when they do a search of your company. Whilst you’re there also do a search for solicitors in your town or area. Also do a search for the legal services that you want to promote in your area. Such as conveyancing in Dundalk or conveyancing solicitors in Dundalk.

Recruitment – Your website can also be used for finding new team members, rather than going through the expense of recruitment agencies. This tactic would generally be known as being a part of your overall content marketing strategy. This is where are you create content on your website that will attract people who are looking for certain things. Whether that be a specific legal service or a job in a legal practice that looks attractive to them.

Google Page Insights is a tool that is free and will give you an idea of the speed of your website. Google gives a lot of weight to a fast loading website, especially on a mobile view. Websites are being measured by Google more and more for their mobile view as a key metric.

Google analytics is also free and will give you an idea of the number of people travelling to your website visiting your website on a monthly basis. Use the overview to see how many people visit your website on a monthly basis to see if it’s going up or down. Google Analytics is a great tool but having a high numbers visit your website does not guarantee a conversion to a customer. In order to get conversions you continually need to add content and optimise content and compete with whoever your competitors are. A very simple search for a legal practice in your area will show you who is ranking number 1, 2 or 3. These are the competitors or people you’re competing with, so you need to be better than them. Read our Guide.

Google – With Google Ads you can spend a fortune easily. So if you want to use this platform, get to understand it or engage a specialist. It can be very useful in the short term or to use whilst you are working on your website and SEO. Read our Google Ads Guide.

Conversion. However, bear in mind even if you are number one and you get click through so people visit your website when they land on a page on your website. You have to work on the content in order to get them to convert from visitor to customer. This is your user experience as in UX through your User Interface referred to as the UI.

Reports – Ensure someone is producing a monthly report to measure the numbers. As Peter Drucker said “What gets measured gets managed — even when it’s pointless to measure and manage it, and even if it harms the purpose of the organisation to do so”. Ensure you get a Google Analytics report. And ideally have a report created, so that you can see the numbers at a glance.

Conclusion:
As a senior partner you do not need to do all of this work. This is not what you’re qualified to do and could be way below your paygrade. Unless you engage someone who can deliver a high return in the long term and needs to be well compensated in the short term. Get a proper Digital Marketing Plan drawn up.

However, somebody has to do the work. It would be good if you could use some of these tools to see if the person, practice manager or web agency is doing a good job with your investment.
The bottom line is the practice should be kept busy. And ideally be able to recruit enough staff to deliver services. As a senior partner if you allocate a half hour every month to review these basic reports, you will then be in a position to see what is being done on your behalf.

Read the monthly reports from your Digital marketer. And if needs be, have a conversation about what needs to be improved. The Digital marketer will need a budget to do the search engine optimisation or create graphics for the website. And possibly doing advertising on LinkedIn or Facebook or anywhere where your potential customers are hanging out. Without sounding like an ambulance chaser you can have your content found when people do a search for chiropractor or osteopath or bad back or medical negligence. Get ahead of the curve.

How much time, hassle and money would it save you to have any and all advertising done online through your own website by a competent specialist agency?
Also posted here.

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