New syllabus: Writing, Analytics and Optimization

Digital Marketing for Everyone” was designed to answer the question “What should I be doing for my business?”, digital marketing-wise.  I got feedback from students that after taking that class, they now want to know “Is it working?”  This new class will answer that question, improve your writing for the web and help you navigate different social media channels.

Here’s the worksheet for the class, called “Digital Marketing for Everyone: Writing, Analytics and Optimization”.  You can also join the Digital Marketing for Everyone Facebook group here, where I respond to student questions.

Syllabus for Digital Marketing for Everyone: Writing, Analytics and Optimization

Step one: You need to know your GOAL, what you want to accomplish.  This is your yardstick – everything you do is with the purpose of advancing towards the goal.  More than one goal is fine, but all goals must be clearly and explicitly defined.

My goals for class

1)  I want you to leave class feeling comfortable sending email campaigns, writing blog posts, communicating in social media channels and understanding if and how these marketing efforts are working.

2) I will introduce you to the principles of analyzing and optimizing email campaigns and web traffic.  I do not cover specific web apps in the class.  Once you understand the principles, you can use any tool you prefer.

Classroom Pedagogy

I teach the class by having the students follow a worksheet.  The class is split into groups of three.  Each group works  together on the different exercises.

  1. Email Campaigns
    1. Lists
      1. Contains all your people/customers.
      2. Add enough info about people to be useful (ie: are they customers, website visitors, first point of contact, last point of contact, purchases)
    2. How your email should look – templates
    3. Creating “campaigns”
    4. Call to action in every email
    5. Tracking open rates and click-throughs
    6. Choosing an email provider (I use MailChimp)
    7. Split testing subject lines, email content
  2. Optimization
    1. Use data on performance to improve
    2. What can be optimized? Everything!  But normally: Website and Emails
    3. You can’t just optimize.  You need to optimize to a goal. Common goals:
      1. Website – A certain action on page (buy a ticket, signup for a newsletter)
      2. Emails – Opens and Clickthroughs
    4. How to optimize?  Split test!  Create new content.  Rearrange the UI (graphics, design) 
  3. Writing for the Web
    1. Rule #1: Make your readers care
    2. Add value and educate your readers
    3. Keep your writing short, simple and substantive
    4. Avoid big words or jargon
    5. Meet your audience where they are.  Beginner for novices, advanced for advanced
    6. Follow your customers journey, write for all steps of customer journey
    7. Build editorial calendar, if you want, with themes
    8. Where writing happens:
      1.  Social media sites
      2. Emails
      3. Web pages, product pages, Apps
      4. Blog
      5. Search results
      6. Intro videos
      7. Tag lines
    9. Where writing gets read
      1. Computer
      2. Tablet
      3. Smart phones
    10. Frequency – Doesn’t matter!  Be relevant and interesting
    11. Length – Like a Miniskirt – Long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to keep it interesting
  4. Writing checklist – Oldies but goodies
    1. One idea per paragraph
    2. Break up blocks with headings and subheadings
    3. Meaningful headings (not clever or cute)
    4. Use bullets sparingly (to highlight key details)
    5. Be direct, use the active voice
    6. Use short, declarative sentences (makes a statement)
    7. Use short, real, everyday words
    8. Write for humans not machines (how you would actually talk)
    9. Be brief for headlines, and allow space for re-sharing message
    10. Make links count with descriptive keywords
    11. Have a point of view, a personality, CARE about what you’re writing about
    12. If you can cut it without changing the meaning of the sentence – cut it.
  5. Analyzing website traffic (so you can build a better website)
    1. What does better mean to you?  What is your goal?
      1. Know if you are meeting your goals
      2. Make it more effective
      3. Better at generating customers
    2. Better at converting visitors to customers
    3. Where do my visitors come from?
    4. What do they do on my site?
    5. When do they leave?
  6.  What are the different social channels and what are they good for?
    1. Facebook – Granddaddy.  Unlimited users.  Create pages for a business or groups.  Share all sorts of content, but mostly videos and pictures.
    2. Twitter – short messaging service.  Have public “private” conversations.  Very good as a responsive tool.
    3. LinkedIn – platform for your professional self.  Useful forums, frequently connected with groups.  Highlight your skills for other people to find.
    4. Pinterest – Very artistic/creative.  People can put Pins on Boards.  Use to curate what you find interesting, not just to promote your own stuff.  People will find and pin good content (all pictures) so take some good pictures.
    5. Instagram – a photo newsfeed.  Similar to Pinterest but less browsing, more of a newsfeed.  Great for sharing photos of your work to your followers, content gets stale a lot faster.

If there is time:

  1. Ecommerce
    1. Use a pre-built engine like Shopify
    2. Store design and layout
    3. Goal: Simplify click-through-to-end of shopping
  2. Marketing in apps
  3. Discount sites like GroupOn
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Posted in Digital Marketing for Everyone, Marketing, Social Media

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