When clients come to WTM Digital they are looking for results… more sales, increased brand awareness, etc. Enter digital marketing. Of course, with a solid digital marketing strategy you will accomplish this but often the biggest challenge that businesses face is the “diet” mentality of the game.

As a client strategist (and fitness enthusiast) I found it ironic how many parallels there are in the digital marketing world when compared to the fitness world. Here are a few points to help you start living the digital marketing lifestyle:

1. Find a good coach

When someone wants to lose weight, they hire a personal trainer. They work together to develop a strategy based around goals. They discuss the challenges, they are honest with you about the time commitment, and, most importantly, they practice what they preach. You should take the same approach when searching for an agency partner. The best agencies will act as an extension of you, and offer a clear roadmap to how you will achieve success together.

2. It’s not a one size fits all approach

Just as no two bodies are the same, neither are two businesses. What works for one, will not necessarily work for another. You will need to work with an agency who is willing to tailor a plan to your specific needs, and not try and fit you in a box. The strategy that is set must be clear enough to be implemented effectively, but also must have flexibility if changes are necessary.

3. Adapt to change

In fitness, you must adapt to your body and how it changes. What worked in your 20’s will not work in your 40’s. The same goes for Digital Marketing. Your strategy will change based on your company’s position in the market, competitors, new technology, and your internal team’s bandwidth. Digital marketing can’t be performed with a “set it and forget it” mentality. You must find an agency partner who will stay current with the changing landscape.

4. Invest in your future

A well-executed digital marketing strategy will truly pay for itself, but it takes time and a little patience. Like the “initiation fee” to the health club, or the cost to purchase that treadmill in your basement, there is an investment to a better life. According to Forrester Research it is estimated that in 2016 approximately 35% of corporate marketing spend went toward online efforts (up from 11% in 2011).

5. There will be plateaus

We know, we don’t like them either, but they happen. Seasonality in business often can be the culprit, or maybe it’s a competitor outspending you. Our team recommends keeping calm and carrying on…the turtle wins the race. On the flip side, don’t be afraid to review/reevaluate during these plateaus. Have a third party evaluate your strategy, website, etc. First impressions are everything and sometimes you need a fresh set of eyes to take an outside look at the UX.

6. Monitor your progress

We recommend establishing baseline key metrics and then monitoring accounts often. Just like a “weekly weigh in”, you will want to ensure you are staying on top of your analytics and PPC accounts. As a rule of thumb, our experts recommend checking your AdWords account daily and optimizing when necessary. Success shouldn’t be determined on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis. Just like any other part of your business, quarterly and annual goals should be set for benchmark success metrics.

7. It’s addicting

When you start living a healthy lifestyle and you start feeling good, you have that “aha” moment where you say to yourself, “why didn’t I do this sooner”? The same goes for a successful digital campaign. You start to see the ROI and it’s addicting!

Treat your digital marketing efforts as a lifestyle for your business, evaluate the best partners, invest time and money into a solid strategy, and don’t be afraid to embrace new tactics when they are needed. Understand your margins, profitability, and close rate. Have a firm cost-per-lead/acquisition set. If you stay the course, results will follow and your digital marketing diet will soon blossom into a healthy lifestyle for your business.