The Internet Marketing Workshop
This is a planning exercise that I developed for a workshop at Thinking Digital. The Internet Marketing Workshop uses free and low cost tools to identify or characterise an audience, or public, and explores different forms of digital and social media to understand behaviour and the best means of engagement.
The exercise is framed around attracting people to visit Newcastle. I chose this for no other reason than it’s an objective that is easily understood.
I’ve used a common planning model based on key areas of public relations practice. It keeps the workflow simple.
The objective of the exercise is to gain as much information as possible about your audience or public, and then to develop insights that help influence creative, content and channel or media decisions.
Free planning toolbox
I’ve used a stack of free or low-cost tools to enable other people to experiment with the process and methodology.
Free or low cost tools are never as sophisticated or robust as commercial tools and there is no guarantee of the quality of the output or continuity of service. There is no such thing as free.
The first job is to understand the market. This will provide an indication of media choices and likely level of investment.
The Office for National Statistics is an independent agency that provides access to statistics about the UK market. A quick dig about the website will uncover data on almost every aspect of human life.
Characterising a market
Facebook Ad Insights is a useful tool to interrogate a market. It enables you to access information about: location, age, gender, language, demographics, interests and behaviours.
The Google Customer Journey shows which channels influence customer decisions at different points in the purchase cycle.
Consumer Barometer helps you understand how people use the internet. It digs into more detail than the Customer Journey Tool. It covers 45 countries and 10 product categories.
Google Trends shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.
Search habits and keywords
Google AdWords Keyword Planner shows the search frequency of keywords and the actual search terms people enter into Google when conducting a search. This is a fantastic resource for content planning.
Google is the dominant search engine. Using Google incognito shows how content appears in search.
AnswerThePublic.com is a tool built by search and content agency PropellerNet. It enables you to interrogate aggregated auto-complete data from Google and understand the real questions that people are asking when they complete a search query.
Similarweb characterises a website. It profiles traffic, referral sources and related websites.
Instagram allows limited content searches around hashtags. It can be useful for discovering basic information about popular culture. You can do the same on Pinterest.
Twitter is a popular online social network for short messages is mobile and news driven. A large ecosystem of third-party tools has been created around the platform.
Followerwonk enables you to search Twitter bios by keywords and return results based on networks, followers and social authority score.
Bluenod is a paid for tool that characterises a Twitter network or community around a topic.
Echosec is a location based social media monitoring tool that extracts location meta data from social media posts and serves the results overlaid on a Google Map.
TripAdvisor is a destination website and app for travel deals and reviews. There’s a TripAdvisor for almost every market.
Creative, content and channel
If you use this basic set of tools to research your challenge you’ll collect a huge amount of information.
Your next job is to use this data to inform creative, content and channel decisions.
I’ve also included a series of free content tools in the deck that you might want to check out.