Digital Communications Plan Example


The plan outlines the OPS Dragon Boat Club digital communications for 2012 which is part of the club’s larger integrated marketing and communication planning (IMC plan).

Digital Channelsopsdragonboatclub-Twitter-295x300

The following are suggest channels the club should create for a diversified social media presence

  • Yelp! – create for where the club has an address or will have majority of its practices
  • LinkedIn – create a new company page with the re-branding of the club
  • Foursquare – create general page and locations for where the club has an address or will have majority of its practices
  • Google Places – create for where the club has an address or will have majority of its practices (e.g. Balmy Beach Canoe Club)opsdragonboatclub-geo-location
  • Pinterest – create page for club and boards like paddling technique, practices, regattas, people (paddlers, coaches, etc.)
  • Instagram – Create an account for your biz and upload pictures relating to your store, service, etc – try posting at least once a week and make sure your information on your profile is completely filled out.
  • Google+ Page with general information similar to the website
  • YouTube – create channel to host introduction video of club (contains races, interviews, and dragon boat showcase from OPS Spirit initiative), feeds on videos posted by paddlers, races from regattas

Thanks to Liz Oke for suggesting channels for local businesses to attract customers online.

Website Content

  1. General club information about teams, people, payment, history, practice sites, regattas, training camps, and contact forms.
  2. Early season awareness articles: President’s message, about coaches, about the season and its regattas, training that happened in winter.
  3. Executive minutes, decisions, or info targeted to paddlers (email communications)
  4. Multimedia: video, photos, podcasts
  5. Newsletters
  6. Annual report / Annual general meeting materials
  7. Program promotions (discounts, new teams)
  8. Late articles season: AGM, Winter training
  9. Off season articles: Holiday message, club updates (e.g. we’re working hard on next year’s plan, any feedback is welcome, what does next year look like?)

Use an editorial calendar to plan the timing of these messages.

Digital Assets

Photos and videos from 2002 onwards

Media is stored on a variety of platforms and shared document folders listed below.

  • Official club video showcasing paddlers, interviews with athletes, and club initiatives and competitions.
  • Photos from fundraising, showcase, lunch and learn, AGM, and regatta events.

Domains

  • opsdragonboat.ca = current club domain, managed in combination with Google Apps
  • opsdbc.ca = old domain circa 2002 to 2011

Shared Documents

Includes past meeting minutes, photos, and club administration documents.

  • Google Apps account for both domains listed above
  • Shared Dropbox Folder

Bibliography

Oke, L. (2012, November 4). Local Bricks and Mortar Business Listings – some tips on attracting customers online. Retrieved November 30, 2012, from Liz Oke Inc.: http://www.lizoke.com/your-business-listed-online/

About this Plan

The plan was written by the OPS Dragon Boat Club communications coordinator Justin Tung in 2012. The plan aims to make future communications for the organization easier by planning common goals/messages, ways to communicate, budgets, schedules, and recording how the club has operated in the past.

It incorporates lessons learned by the club from event planning, writing press releases, website development and operations, social media community management, and good practices in PR, marketing, and communications.

4 Steps to Optimize a Website with Keywords

4 Steps to Optimize a Website with Keywords


Want to make it easier for people to find your website? Use these 4 steps.

People find things online using search. One of the ways you can ensure you show up in their search results is with keywords which are similar or exactly the same as what people are searching for. Keywords should be relevant to your organization and what you do, so you get the right people visiting your website.

Case Study for Examples shown in Italics
Anita is a clothing shop owner and wants to enhance her website with keywords so potential customers will find her online. Anita owns a retail children’s clothing business in the city of Oakville called Anita’s Cloth for Kids.

Step 1: Set a Goal

Before researching keywords, you should determine your goals and its relationships to the website. Ask yourself what is your organization’s goal and how does it relate to the website?

For a retail business, a website will sell goods. For a charity, a website aids in awareness building and donation collection. For government, a website informs the public and provides services.

Anita’s Cloth for Kids has the goal to market and sell clothing products, hence the website goal will be to increase revenue growth due to leads or sales from the online clothing store website.

Step 2: Who is your Target Audience?

Children's clothing on display in store

photo credit: slapjack

Determine what kind of people you want to visit your website to achieve your goal. In the case of a retail business, it would be consumers and in the case of a charity, it would be people that donate and for government it would be citizens looking for information on a topic area.

Anita has identified young mothers as the people most likely to contact her or buy clothing via the website. Other potential people are:

  • Family, mothers, and fathers of young children.
  • Residents of the geographical area where the store is physically located.
  • People looking for gifts for young children

Step 3: Research Keywords

Step in the shoes of people in step 2 think about what they want and what they would search on.

Having trouble thinking of keywords? Try these methods:

  • Visit websites related to your organization (blogs, competitor websites) to get keyword ideas.
  • Use the Google keyword tool to pick up keywords on your websites and related sites. One technique is point the tool to Wikipedia page related to your organization and what it does.
  • Most website data collectors and analytics will tell you popular keywords of your visitors.

Expand your initial list to include words that people might use including synonyms, stems, and related keywords. The expanded list will help you vary your web content and avoid repetition.

To come up with keywords, Anita did the following:

  • She knew past customers used search phrases like “buy sweater 9 year old Oakville”
  • She visited clothing magazine websites and online children’s stores and noted down reoccurring themes and keywords.
  • She used the Google keyword tool on topics and websites ranging from children, pre-teen, to clothing.
  • Using a thesaurus and results the keyword tool, Anita expanded her keywords list to include similar words.

Step 4: Put the Keywords on Your Website

Using the keywords you found in step 3, you can enhance your website by placing those keywords in your website. Placing those keywords in your website is one of the techniques of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO means making your website better for search engines to read and the result is the people looking for you and what you do using search engines can find your website easier.

You can approach keyword SEO in two ways:

Improving your website as a whole

Use Meta Information

In libraries, we find books using information about a book in an index or online search. This information about the book is called meta information and describes the book like its title, author, category, etc. Web pages also have meta information where you can include your keywords and things about your organization to help others find the page.

You can read more about the meta elements of web pages and the technical details to add this information to your page, especially if you know HTML. Some web publishing platforms will manage this meta information for you based on your input.

Organize Your Website

  • Choose meaningful titles for your pages.
  • Use keywords in a logical order that they might be searched on.
  • Look at the navigation and key links on your pages. These links should contain keywords and action verbs (e.g. buy, learn, contact).

Improving individual pages

When looking at single pages, place keywords in the following areas:

  • Headings
  • Links
  • Bolded text
  • Media descriptions/names (images, video, transcripts, audio)

These keywords make it easier for a visitor to scan the page and for a search engine read it and find what it is about. Make sure the keywords

Anita made the following changes on her store’s website:

  • New navigation links were added for Pre-teen clothing, Gift Ideas, Clothing On Sale.
  • Text for links to product pages contain the full product name.
  • Descriptions were added to pictures of each clothing product
  • Product pages contain the following information:
    • Name of the product
    • Age category
    • Name and location of the store
    • Example: Sweaters – 6-9 year olds – Anita’s Cloth for Kids Oakville

Standard meta information was added to every web page. See the code below.

<meta name="dc.title" content="<page name here> - Anita’s Cloth for Kids Oakville" />
<meta name="dc.format" content="text/html" />
<meta name="dc.description" content="Website of the Anita’s clothing store for children in Oakeville, Ontario" />
<meta name="Description" content=" Website of the Anita’s clothing store for children in Oakeville, Ontario." />
<meta name="dc.creator" content="Anita’s Cloth" />

All Done, Now What?

After applying the SEO keyword techniques in the 4 steps, monitor your website to:

  • Find new keywords and popular ones
  • Find out who is visiting your website
  • See what people are searching for when they land on your website

A popular tool to monitor your website traffic is Google Analytics. Some publishing platforms like WordPress will provide you with similar information.

After the improvements, search for your website using the keywords and phrases you have to see your ranking. You can see who is higher than you and check out their website for ideas to improve.

Anita integrated Google Analytics on her website so she could observe popular keywords and information about the people visiting her store website. She discovered popular items people browsed and searched for. Using this data, she enhanced the product pages for the popular items and made offers on other products to attract more visitors.

Using These Steps for Good

Only use keywords that are relevant to your organization and what you do. Here are two reasons why:

  1. Including keywords relevant to your organization ensures the right people you want to come to your site instead of just anyone. Doing that increases your position in search results since you are relevant and reduces the load on your website, ensuring visitors get the best possible experience.
  2. It is unethical to place irrelevant or misleading keywords in your website. If search engines like Google and Bing find out you are doing it, they will decide to ban you from search results like Google did to BMW in 2006 and then no one will be able to find you.

Google AdWords Campaign Strategy and Results Example


Below is a Google AdWords campaign strategy and post-campaign report for a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

The AdWords marketing campaign was planned and done by a team I was in for the Google Online Marketing Challenge and also as part of a web marketing class at the University of Toronto taught by Michelle Pellettier.

Canadian Women’s Hockey League

Google AdWords Pre-Campaign Strategy

Client profile

  • The Canadian Womenʼs Hockey League (CWHL) was established in May 2007 and considers itself to be a premier professional female oriented hockey league as many of the athletes also play at the Olympic level.
  • Five North American teams from Boston, Brampton, Burlington, Montreal and Toronto participate in the league and strive to win its annual Clarkson Cup Championship event that will be the focus of this challenge.
  • Event that will be promoted in the Google Ad Campaign is the 2011 Clarkson Cup Championship runs from March 24-27, 2011 at the Barrie Molson Centre in Barrie, Ontario.

Market analysis

  • The CWHL resides in the broader market of hockey leagues for top players and specifically, leagues for women in North America.
  • The CWHL’s main product is entertainment through hockey games and revenue is in the form of ticket sales for hockey fans of all ages.
  • CWHL marketing is mostly online initiatives with teams employing community outreach. CWHL.ca is the main marketing vehicle that encompasses game reviews, news, schedules, scores, up-to-date statistics and team pages which together provide fans direct access to the league.

Proposed AdWords Strategy

Number of Ad Groups and the focus for each Ad Group

  • Four Ad Groups will be used to start, focusing on ticket sales, event timing, players, and location.
  • More Ad Groups will be incorporated once key word popularity and quality score data is available to analyze.

Keywords, Negative Keywords, Target Audience Settings and Geotargeting

  • Since “Clarkson Cup” is practically a non-active key word, generic hockey related keywords will be used so that the ad is posted to users looking for hockey related information.
  • Searches by geography are relevant since potential ticket buyers would likely be associating their search with certain cities due to their travel plans or place of residence.
  • Searches by date may be relevant to users so the month “March” should also be included as a keyword.
  • Additionally, the names of certain current star athletes in the League will be included as key words.

Campaign settings

  • The daily spending plan for the campaign is to spend more or less evenly throughout the week unless initial analysis
  • Only display the ads for Search, not Network.
  • Optimizing for clicks (default) will be used with automatic bidding

Goals for impressions, clicks, CPC and CTR

  • Will be talked about in Campaign Overview

Google Ads Campaign for Clarkson Cup Championship Event

Executive Summary

1. Campaign Overview (Major Goals)

  • The Adwords campaign was designed to increase ticket sales for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) flagship event
  • The Clarkson Cup Championship took place March 24-27 at the Barrie Molson Centre.
  • Strategic goals were set:
  1. target a CTR of between 1-2% with a CPC of 5-10 cents;
  2. Have the CWHL box office monitor ticket sales influenced by web leads and estimate a conversion rate since tickets could not be purchased directly online but rather by telephone or in-person at the box office;
  3. Use 100% of the budget but not all of it before the Clarkson Cup i.e. put a higher budget allowance on the days immediately preceeding the Clarkson Cup but allow for allocation of the budget for days after the Clarkson Cup since there could be web site interest generated as a result of off-line publicity that would benefit the league.

The strategies used to obtain these goals are as outlined below:

A) Targeted adword groups were established.
B) Keywords in each ad group were adjusted regularly based on performance.
C) Key word bidding was initially done manually then switched to automatic bidding.
D) Ad copy was revised frequently in order to experiment with the success of certain wording in generating hype and interest.

2. Operational Details/Campaign Strategy Evolution

The ads belonged to the following 5 ad groups that targeted audiences with different interests:

  • Unbeatable Prices – cheap hockey tickets
  • Scotiabank Sponsored Hockey – sponsors, social responsibilty
  • CWHL Elite Players – professional female hockey players
  • CWHL Women’s Hockey Action – women’s hockey games
  • Barrie Molson Centre Games – hockey games in the geo-location.
  • More focused keywords were determined by adding more complex phrases, using Google suggested keywords and from keyword tool searches. The keyword type was also reviewed
  • Continuous monitoring resulted in the realization that the ad copies should be enhanced to create urgency and excitement.
  • The budget was again increased several times through the campaign and event time.
  • With an aim to further heighten excitement and urgency a new ad featuring the 2 teams that made it to the championship match to be played the next day was prepared and called “Championship Match”.
  • After the championship match the final ad aptly named “Championship Results” was created with a focus on the results and used the names of players especially of the two final teams as keywords.
  • Ultimately, these changes increased the number of total clicks and impressions and ensured that the $200 budget was spent.

3. Key Results

Figure P1 is a graph shows the number of clicks and impressions during the campaign.
AdWords timeline for clicks and impressions
  • The initial campaign had almost no impressions and money spent.
  • Optimization efforts resulted in more clicks, impressions, and more money spent per day leading up to the CWHL event on March 24-27
Key metrics of the campaign
Total Impressions Clicks CTR Avg. CPC Avg. Pos.
2,125,296 for Search and Display network 337 0.02% US$0.51 2.2
10,278 for Search only 130 1.26% US$0.65 2.7
  • The display network created many impressions, but had a poor CTR compared to search.
  • Each ad group had strengths which are bolded in blue below.

Ad Group Name / Ad

Target Audience interests

Clicks

Impressions

CTR%

Avg. CPC

Avg Pos.

Unbeatable prices
Affordable Hockey
4-day weekend women’s hockey action
Buy Clarkson Cup tickets from $10!
Ticket buying 27 399,555 0.01 US$0.62 2.2
Scotiabank Sponsored Hockey
Scotiabank Hockey
Exciting Clarkson Cup 2011
March 24th – 27th, Barrie Ontario
Social responsibility, sponsors 72 437,421 0.02 US$0.62 1.8
CWHL Elite Players
Women’s Hockey Olympians
See Elite Players in Women’s Hockey
This Weekend Only! March 26-27
Female hockey players / Olympians 78 404,324 0.02 US$0.69 2.1
CWHL – Women’s Hockey Action
Women’s Hockey Action
Get tickets now! Low prices $10-$25
Call 705 739 4220 ext 4617
Women’s Hockey League games 30 294,341 0.01 US$0.60 2.3
Championship Results
Barrie Molson Centre
MTL defeats TOR 5-0 for hockey cup.
View all championship stats here!
After event results 56 466,896 0.01 US$0.52 2.5
Championship Match
Barrie Molson Centre
Who will rule the ice? TOR vs MON
Today @ 1pm, Buy tickets only $15!
Event matches and tickets 19 118,800 0.02 US$0.47 2.2
Barrie Molson Centre Games
Barrie Molson Centre
Hockey fun for the whole family
Women’s Hockey Championship – $10
Hockey games in Geo. location 55 3,959 1.39 US$0.53 3.7
  • The tickets, women’s hockey, event results, and sponsorship ad groups generated a large number of impressions.
  • The geo-location ad group performed significantly better than other ad groups in CTR.
  • The sponsorship and female hockey player ad groups both performed well in generating impressions and driving traffic to the landing page.
Figure P2 is a graph showing campaign costs and clicks during later part of campaign (March 22 – April 2, 2011).
AdWords timeline for clicks and cost

Keywords

  • Keywords that were the most effective involved the geographical location of the event promoted by the campaign combined with women’s hockey phrases.
  • Names of some hockey players and Scotiabank sponsor produced good CTRs.
  • The ineffective keywords were similar to the top performing ones (some hockey player names), but were usually less relevant to the event or were less popular variations of the effective keywords.

Examples

  • A total of 139 keywords were used over the course of the campaign but the top 10 performing took the bulk of the impressions:
  • (i) [Barrie Molson Centre Tickets]
  • (ii) Toronto Women’s hockey
  • (iii) “Clarkson Cup tickets”
  • (iv) “Barrie Molson Centre Events”
  • (v) [Barrie Molson Center]
  • (vi) [Barrie Molson Centre Events]
  • (vii) [Barrie Molson Center]
  • (viii) [Barrie Molson Centre]
  • (ix) Kim St. Pierre
  • (x) Canadian Female hockey

Learning from Results

  • The large number of impressions and respectable number of clicks for the campaign was a success for a growing market for hockey game tickets for the CWHL.
  • Optimizations described above met with expected results and immediately boosted impressions and clicks.
  • One failure was to obtain sufficient data in the first couple weeks of the campaign due to tight restrictions on the budget and CPC.

4. Conclusions

  • This was the first time a campaign such as this was carried out, therefore it is not possible to compare this year’s results with those of previous years.
  • The campaign results were within the client’s expectations and will serve as a basis for future SEO campaigns, which according to the CWHL leadership, is a worthy outcome.
  • The most effective way to leverage an online/SEO campaign would be to “sell” the product or service online; in this case, ticket sales.
  • Since numbers demonstrate a peak in impressions and CTRs during the even -> search engine marketing is influenced by other external elements of the marketing mix, such as PR (news media), advertising, social media, and the proximity of the event.
  • Keywords and ad copy should be adjusted and/or changed, in order to reflect what is happening in overall marketing and media.
  • The geographic location ad group had a significantly higher CTR than other groups, which demonstrates that the local geographical campaign should be a focus point of any future marketing plans for this league.

5. Future Recommendations

  • Tickets can be sold online directly on CWHL’s website or CWHL can partner with a ticket provider such as Ticketmaster.CWHL Montreal and Brampton game with players on ice
  • The online sale of tickets will make it easier to calculate conversion rates, create convenience for fans and ad copies can improve.
  • Creation of a competition to win free tickets to lure fans and peak the interest of undecided persons who may be contemplating on attending a game.
  • Offline advertising for the competition and the event in general via community notices and/or paid ads on local radio and TV stations and on public transportation
  • Deal on landing page -> “buy weekend package get 1 game free”. This deal can be used as a very effective call to action in a future ad.
  • The premier cup sponsor, Scotiabank, was a focus of the team’s AdWords campaign; however, ads featuring secondary sponsors such as Bauer, The City of Barrie can also increase the number of impressions and clicks
  • Installation and use of Google Analytics can also be considered. Valuable data such as keywords derived from traffic sources can be collected from this tool and used to streamline both online and offline marketing campaigns inclusive of Google AdWords.
  • Campaign performance details, on-site visitor behaviour, ad conversion rates and landing page performance all generated by Google Analytics can help in the decision making process during a Google AdWords marketing campaign.

Learning Component

1. Learning objectives and outcomes

We hoped to learn:

  • how to conduct a Google Ad Words campaign
  • learn the tools involved
  • how to gain impressions and drive traffic to our client’s website
We succeeded in those learning goals, but feel more can be learned from observing campaign progression and optimization of ad groups and campaign settings.

2. Group dynamics

To balance team responsibilities later in the campaign, we found it easier to distribute ad groups to people and have them optimize the keywords and ads in them. Also, two leads would handle new ad group creation and campaign settings like budget and ad serving.

3. Client dynamics

  • The initial part of campaign was unexpected when the daily budget and CPC was set low to generate enough impressions and clicks to give meaningful feedback on campaign performance.
  • Later part of the campaign had an expected outcome of the growth of clicks and impressions with campaign settings optimizations.

4. Future recommendations

  • The team would choose to obtain initial feedback on the campaign through clicks and impressions from the Google Ad Words metrics by setting higher daily budgets and more geographical locations and then optimize based on that data.