Digital strategy

The three distinct phases of marketing a business online

I was recently talking to a potential new client regarding their online marketing strategy.
And like everyone, they had an idea of what they wanted to have done, which revolved around social content and Facebook ads.
Which is great! These are both absolutely important elements of building visibility and promoting your business online. But when I looked more closely at the project, I could see things weren’t so simple.
What I see time and time again is that there are 3 distinct phases that people need to think about. And whilst you might want to just think about one of them, there is no point unless all 3 boxes are ticked. You see, these phases are inextricably linked and dependent on each other for overall success. 
The three clear phases are
Phase 1: Launch/relaunch 
This phase of work involves website design/landing pages and branding/positioning/and launching or relaunching on social content. It doesn’t matter if you already have a website. You still might need to go through this phase. If your website is, ahem, cr*p and you’re asking me to run Facebook ads to your website, I’m going to say NO! Why? I’ve talked about this a lot before. Facebook ads only work when everything is in place to make them work. It’s not JUST about the ad! 
Phase 2: Build phase
This phase of work involves website content/social content/newsletter content including photography, video and written content forms, publicity. This is about attraction and free reach and getting incoming interest and increasing website traffic, improve SEO and building social followers. Obviously everyone wants visitors to their website, and that is even more important now than ever if you are considering moving on from phase 2 to phase 3, because your website traffic will form the basis of your custom audiences who you will be showing your paid ads to, once you start running them. Don’t rush into paying for traffic at the expense of a few months in Phase 2!
Phase 3: Paying for leads/traffic
If you want to up your game and get more leads into your business, then you’re going to want to run ads (whether Facebook or Google) and be considering attraction magnets like webinars or free downloads. Great! But there is no point in doing that unless DEFINITELY Phase 1 and ideally Phase 2 are all underhand (unless you’ve got tons of money and are happy to spend it testing and retesting). 
So there are you! All 3 phases, inextricably linked and interdependent on each other! Do not do one without the other!