At the 29014 Digital Marketing for Business conference I presented on how to create a digital marketing command center.

When starting a digital marketing program or position, it’s often important to quickly set up essential social listening, curating and sharing platforms. You will need a command center where you can quickly scan relevant and timely content as well as distribute original and curated content to your networks.

  • Develop a monitoring station using search query results (Google, Bing, Twitter), blogs, and RSS feeds
  • Organize a content monitoring station into channels that can be shared with organization, team members, stakeholders
  • Create triggers to track outbound email, social and other digital communications into a Google calendar
  • Integrate a tracking calendar with an editorial content calendar

Speaker Notes

Digital marketing has created explosion of content. Alongside with all the content is the need to manage the monitoring, tracking and other tasks associated with digital marketing. In managing digital marketing for various companies I’ve found myself repeating the same process to streamline and organize digital content.

I recently had the opportunity to present about this topic at the Digital Marketing for Business event in Raleigh. The session, Creating a Digital Media Command Center outlined the steps described in this post and the presentation below.

Digital landscape has created a whole new level of media. Time to market with content can be immediate, real time.

So we can only keep track of so much stuff. Two monitors are great and I’m sure 4 are awesome but you can only look at one and do one thing at a time.

Mapping Your Digital Property

So this is your digital property. You don’t own all of it but you own most of it. Between your owned and earned media there is a gap. We want to drive everyone to our landing pages and convert them but how do we attract them if we’re managing this?

Data Types

Different types of data that you can put into Digital Command Center. Infrastructure/performance is specific to your site speed up time, etc.

Content is both the content you push out as well as what you have available like photo libraries. KPIs are Key Performance Indicators. These are what everyone has in their goals and you should have a way to measure it. Typically conversions are the top KPI in digital marketing. Conversions can mean different things to different companies.

Create a Monitoring Station

Google search offers definitive search agent to gather relevant content on the web. Determine top 10 terms to track. Also determine if you can narrow down search using parameters such as location, negative search, by domain. So best advice is to create your top 10 searches to track. You don’t want too many as the results can become overwhelming.

Now that you’ve cast your net you need to pull the feeds together into a single user experience. There are many tools that can do this but I’ve been using one tool the past several years that works very well and has a great free platform.

In preparing this presentation and grabbing screen captures I discovered Netvibes promo video and thought it did a great job of demonstrating the concepts that I’m going to present. Now I must state that I’m not a customer or affiliated with Netvibes in anyway, I’m a simple freeloader of their software! They do have an analytics platform but I have not used it yet but it is a paid option.

So here’s a sample of a monitoring station I built in Netvibes. This is based on a profile of me and all my digital presence. I can build this for my competitors as well to monitor what they are doing. I can put each competitor and or subject stream in a tab to organize the content.

With all this content coming out we are bombarded with too much content. 5 tips to do this and that but what do you need to get your job done today?

One thing I really like about Netvibes is the ability to scan by groups and then review the subset later.

Use Triggers to Automate and Track Content

Curation is key part of digital marketing. But in reviewing this content we find stuff we want to share with our employees, customers and prospects. A really nice feature to have is a sharing option in any Digital Command Center. Once I’ve reviewed my articles I can share them straight from here.

I use Hootsuite as a social media management platform and find that its publisher feature is a great way to manage my planned outbound social messaging. After curating I tend to go to the schedule and review content again and when it’s timed to hit each platform. This will be important in a few slides and I’ll show you why.

Hootsuite does have a RSS syndicator but to be honest with you I don’t like it. It’s not as easy to use as Netvibes and hard to group and share with the team.

Robots and triggers are simple automation programs that perform an action in reaction to an event. That event can be an email, tweet, post, campaign, or an event like reaching a milestone like lowering your bounce rate or hitting a sales goal.

The tool I use is called If This Then That It’s free and you can base your triggers or “recipes” on your social accounts and other actions like email. you can also base it on activity within a community using a hashtag or other keyword.

Now here is the result of these triggers in my editorial calendar. I use Google Calendar to plan and track my content and events. The solid bars represent the planned activities while the timestamped text entries show actual activities. This way I can match my activity against my plan and share with the team.

Share Your Results with Dashboards

So you’ve created your monitoring station, activated your triggers, now it’s time to share the results. The best way to do this is to create a simple link you can share with the team and have them review on their leisure. Also email weekly updates of the top KPIs to remind everyone of the fantastic dashboards you have created!

What are you going to be measured on for performance? Those KPIs need to be front and center. But at the same time you can create other reports on infrastructure status, content performance, SEO analysis, PR, you name it.

Once you get questions from the team, create new dashboards to answer the questions.

Right now I’m testing a basic dashboard tool called Cyfe. I like it because it allows me to create simple dashboards from the majority of my data sources. Each dashboard is comprised of widgets. You can create multiple dashboards with several widgets. The widgets are the individual blocks you see on this dashboard. Each one represents a KPI, metric, RSS content feed or custom data.

Custom data can be as easy as an excel table with some basis syntax formatting.

TV mode is a great feature for dashboards and Cyfe and several others offer this. Have a blank HD monitor in your office? Stream and rotate your awesome Digital Command Center Dashboard and update the entire company!

Brian McDonald

Brian McDonald started Square Jaw Media to document strategies and techniques he had used over his experience working in marketing and communications since 1990. During this time Brian wrote about many of the exciting Raleigh social media events where great knowledge was being shared and tries to share some of the tips and tricks. . Read Brian's full bio.