If you want your social media marketing agency to succeed, you need to know how to do a digital marketing audit. When you understand the why and the how of a digital marketing audit, you can dive deep into the brands and accounts you work with to create an effective digital marketing strategy. By reverse engineering what has already been done and determining what needs to be worked on, you can quickly create and prioritize your to-do list.
A digital marketing audit is a review of the strategies you use to build an online presence, and how they’ve been working. You’ll perform these most often to review your performance and see where you can iterate on your strategy. However, it’s also important to be able to perform these for a client.
When you know how to do a digital marketing audit, you can easily determine the strengths and weaknesses of a strategy, and what growth opportunities you have. This is a great way to show a client your expertise, as well as determine where you start. Digital marketing strategy is essentially a digital marketing audit in continual flux.
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The Why and the How of a Digital Marketing Audit
The why and the how of a digital marketing audit is actually pretty simple. The why is to learn what you can do to generate sales and conversions, and meet your marketing goals. The how is to crawl through all of your marketing processes and weigh them against the why.
Your goals with a digital marketing audit need to be clear: without clear goals, there’s no way to truly evaluate the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategies. To make sure that your goals fit your digital marketing audit, I suggest using SMART marketing objectives. SMART objectives are: specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound.
A good example of a SMART objective would be conversions, because you know exactly what you’re looking for, how to measure it and achieve it, and how it will affect your business. For a more abstract goal like brand recognition, you can turn the goal into a SMART objective by weighing it by a certain metric – like social share in this case. You can create SMART objectives with any metric, such as trying to increase customer values if your sales goals are already being met.
If you’re using – or a new client has been using – any sort of paid promotion, it’s very important that you weigh your goals, as well as your spend. It’s easy to funnel cash into ads that are working without considering how efficient they are or could be. Check your cost-per-click or cost-per-impression, as well as your cost-per-conversion.
Why Do an Audit
The why and the how of a digital marketing audit doesn’t stop with new clients, though. When you’ve got things going, you’ll want to continue auditing everything you do. Whenever something isn’t working, you should be auditing your processes.
You will also want to know how to do a digital marketing audit when your results are unstable. If there are continual ups and downs in your metrics, then something needs to be changed. The same is true for any goal – if things aren’t going to plan, you need to reconsider.
Even when things are going to plan, you should audit to make sure that they continue that way. Schedule routine audits to make sure that your goals are met consistently. Doing this will also make later audits much easier, as you can simply bridge the gap between a new audit and the last one.
Digital Marketing Audit Strategy
When you’re beginning to do a digital marketing audit, your primary goals are creating a functioning strategy, and developing brand consistency. The first thing you should look at is what each piece of your strategy is meant to do, and if that piece is functioning. Is your value proposition good? Is your content delivering offers?
As you move down the list of processes, ask questions until you can determine an issue. The most basic question is, “is this process working?,” and the most common follow up is, “why isn’t it working?”. But you can continue to dig deeper – why is the obstacle there, how can you get rid of it, and is there an obstacle below it?
When you begin your digital marketing audit, you should also keep your branding in mind. If you don’t have guidelines in place already, you might want to write them out now – but consider them a rough draft during the initial audit. Weigh each part of your digital marketing strategy against the branding guidelines to see where your brand is being misrepresented, and where you can fix any misrepresentation.
Content is one of the biggest reasons why and how to do a digital marketing audit, because content is one of the core foundations of your digital marketing strategy. You’ll want to answer these questions:
- Have you set up pages to accommodate the whole buyer’s journey, from helpful blog posts to content downloads and bottom-of-funnel conversion pages?
- Do you have content to assist in the sales process, like white papers and case studies?
- Is your content appropriate for your target audience? This can be measured by the number of qualified leads sharing and converting on your content.
- Do you publish frequently — at least once or twice per week — to build authority?
- Does your content reach your audience via social media, paid advertising, organic search, and referral traffic?
If you answered no to any of these questions, that’s what you need to be prioritizing with your content moving forward. You’ll also want to look at how your website is nurturing your leads, to see if the content feels right for your business and product. Similarly, check the responsiveness of your site on mobile and desktop as a slow time can hurt SEO.
SEO is how a majority of customers will find you, so it’s important to get it right. SEO audits are a huge undertaking, but you can get a general idea of how you’re doing by searching for relevant keywords to see where you’re ranking. Look at some content pieces to see how often and where keywords are being used to see if the content team is doing their due diligence.
Social Media Audits
When you know how to perform a digital marketing audit, you know that you’re trying to answer two questions with a social media audit. The first of these questions is, “what isnt’ working on each platform?” Take a look back through what you’ve been doing to see if anything is underperforming, and prioritize finding out why.
The second question is, “what is working?” You know how you sometimes have random content spike? That’s not random. When something overperforms, you need to audit it to figure out why. Lean into this, and prioritize similar content in the future.
Take a look at your competitors as well. Compare and contrast what’s working for them on social media and see if you can recreate and iterate that functioning content. Look for places where your strategy is similar as well, to see if there’s anything you can learn from them.
To make improvements with your digital marketing strategy, you need to know how to perform a digital marketing audit. Knowing the why and the how of a digital marketing is key to successful work as a marketer, because data is so important to our jobs. If you want to learn more about how to do a digital marketing audit, use my digital marketing audit template to really dig deep into your strategy.