Why an integrated digital strategy could have the biggest impact on business growth

By Lucy Dodds • 27 June 2023 • 9 minutes reading time

A lot of agencies are set up where they treat their services and channels independently, usually with objectives or KPIs for specific services, but have little collaboration between them. 

This means that clients often get less value from the work they are doing. 

Client objectives vs. the usual agency set-up
Client objectives vs. the usual agency set-up

As a digital marketing agency, it’s our responsibility to closely align our work with the client’s objectives. If the client wants to achieve £X million in revenue annually, the digital strategy should be aligned to give them the best opportunity to achieve this. This is opposed to working within individual channels and services, which often means reporting on metrics that aren’t aligned with the client.

integrated performance marketing agency for clients
Evolved’s set-up as an integrated performance marketing agency for clients

An integrated digital strategy takes a non-channel-specific approach. All channels should work together, aligned with the client and their business. As a performance marketing agency, we can make an impact on all facets of their business. 

But what is an integrated digital strategy?

At Evolved, we’re all about getting results, which means having defined, revenue- or lead-driven goals. To meet those goals, we need to align three parts:

  • Channels
  • Client
  • Tactics

When we’re talking integration, aligning channels is the easiest to describe – Paid, Organic, Conversion Rate Optimisation, Social, Email, Affiliate, and all digital marketing teams must work towards the same goals.

Client integration is also essential. Digital marketing teams must be the client’s partner, in order to support each other and get the work done. For example, you wouldn’t recommend that a client produces 50 pages of content without knowing if they have any copywriting resources in-house. 50 pages of content x 0 copywriting resource = 0 results.

Finally, tactics must be aligned for a fully integrated digital strategy, so we can truly understand the impact of our work.

For example, an automotive site’s goal might be to improve electric car sales through Organic. Therefore, our Onsite Content teams could build electric car topic clusters as the Technical SEO teams improve internal linking to electric money pages. The Digital PR teams could then ideate electric-themed pieces and build links to the topic clusters. 

This way, we can be confident that aligned tactics impact our goals, as opposed to bringing in traffic for a product that doesn’t generate revenue.

How we integrate with clients with Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)

At Evolved, a structure in which we integrate with our clients is through OKRs, popularly used by Amazon and Microsoft.

We work with clients to understand what the mission statement for the business is, and also its vision, looking several years into the future. We work backward from there to learn what we need to achieve together to get to that point. This allows us to truly understand where the business wants to get to and how Evolved can support that.

Using OKRs so every channel, objective and key result contributes to the client’s mission statement
We use OKRs so every channel, objective and key result contributes to the client’s mission statement

But how does this all work in practice? Here are a few ways to show how we accelerate business growth through an integrated digital strategy.

SEO, PPC and CRO integration: using resources efficiently to increase the right traffic and convert more leads 

GRIDSERVE tasked us with improving the electric car leasing part of the business to drive more organic consumer leads. 

To meet our goal, we produced Digital PR campaigns about electric cars, including charging points and battery life, reinforcing GRIDSERVE as the authority on electric vehicles, plus improved the on-page elements on electric leasing pages.

 In six months, we increased organic traffic to electric car leasing pages by 65%.

While traffic was increasing, we noticed a large percentage of users dropping off when landing on a particular lead form on the website. To find a solution, our CRO team conducted audience research and data analysis and found many users required more education on electric charging. We then completed tests to evidence that additional charging information and a new on-page form would be successful.

The result? We achieved a conversion rate uplift of +78.83% and found a +1,713% uplift in users viewing information on getting a home charger.

This is a great example of a unified approach to SEO and CRO: we brought in the right organic traffic to allow our conversion rate to improve.

To maximise our Paid efforts, both PPC and SEO teams collaborated to establish which keywords would be worked on to minimise cannibalisation and wasted spending.

We focused our Paid budget on areas where the site hadn’t yet built authority for electric vehicles and therefore was unlikely to rank for these or bring in organic traffic. Over time, our teams will continue to work together as we build the site’s topical relevancy and authority so we can bring in more traffic through organic and spend less through PPC.

Tactical integration: bringing SEO efforts together

Our work with Vanarama mostly focused on Digital PR after we were initially tasked with diversifying their backlink profile.

From November 19 to March 22, we built over 3,000 high-quality, relevant links through creative automotive campaigns. During this period, organic traffic increased by +144%.

In April 22, we combined our SEO efforts (Digital PR, Onsite Content, and Technical SEO) and focused on one goal: to grow the car leasing element of Vanarama’s business. From April 22 to May 23, organic traffic increased a further +82%.

This means organic traffic has increased by a total of +360% in organic traffic since we began.

Vanarama organic traffic
Source: Ahrefs 

The key part of this growth comes from the SEO team working towards one goal using tactical integration. New links were built from high-quality, relevant automotive sites. Content and internal linking were optimised for car leasing pages, plus we created new car leasing guides to strengthen the site’s authority.

Client integration: using Empathy Mapping to learn unique insights and improve our output

Empathy Mapping is a way of finding important information about a client’s customers that typically an agency may not have access to. While we can dig into Analytics or conduct general market research, we can’t get those richer customer insights without speaking to different stakeholders across a business, including its Sales, Customer Service, Product, Brand, Marketing, etc. teams.

So, we host a collaborative session with a member of each of these teams, focusing on specific customer segments which we, the agency, want to target. We ask these teams to share the customers’ goals, needs, actions, pain points, and more, so we can go away and work on solutions. 

Empathy mapping

Empathy Mapping also feeds back into OKRs as it allows us to establish better objectives and key results, plus our deliverables as the agency.

For example, an Empathy Mapping session for a car leasing client might reveal that potential customers are calling the client’s Customer Service team because they are confused by the finance process. These new users don’t end up converting because they choose a more well-known finance option like a personal bank loan.

But, if we know the business has an objective to increase the number of new users, we can use the Empathy Mapping insights to improve our deliverables. Instead of saying we’ll simply ‘create X pieces of new content’, we know we need to ‘create X pieces of informational content and link to these using clear CTAs from commercial pages to help customers who are ready to convert when they understand the finance process’.

Client integration: 200+ pages of content required but no resources to get the work done

Being integrated with a client is essential for us to understand their business – not only the goals but the limitations, too.

When we recommended a high volume of category and product content for Insulation Express (part of the SIG Group), we knew the work would be slowed as our client had limited copywriting resources at the time. But the work was a priority for performance, so before we made the recommendation, we planned the copywriting project internally. This way, we could take action, and not just make a suggestion that might not get done.

We completed 200+ pages of category content in two months, resulting in a  +75% increase in clicks and +88% increase in impressions to money pages.

Want to know how we can integrate with your business and create a winning digital strategy? Get in touch.

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