Digital Marketing – What Are The Options?
What exactly is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is an all-encompassing term for the advertising of your products/services via digital channels, such as websites, email, social media etc.
With such a variety of options, knowing where to focus your attentions can become confusing and overwhelming really quickly. In this post, I am going to focus on what I consider to be the key methods, particularly when starting out.
Bear in mind that this is just an overview.
Ever hear the words ‘content is king’? It’s an overused saying that even I find irritating, but it is absolutely true. In order to build an audience you need to be providing them with valuable content that is going to help them in some way, shape or form. Trust me, I will not be the first or last person to tell you this.
The great thing is you don’t have to panic about writing lengthy blog posts anymore. Content comes in a variety of packages – YIPPEE for all of you who hate writing. Start to think outside of the box to videos, infographics, podcasts, tweets – if you can use it to deliver a message then you can make it a part of your content marketing strategy!
And there’s even more great news, crafting great content comes along with a whole host of other benefits. Take a look…
- If you are consistent in your endeavours you will soon be perceived as an expert in your area. This helps build your following and also provides you with consumers (as in people who will be jumping through hoops to buy your product/service when you are ready to sell).
- A site that is regularly updated with content performs better in the search rankings (we will talk more about SEO later), driving more organic traffic to your site.
- You can share your fantastic content on social media to drive even more leads and engagement.
- Your content can be repurposed. So that book you have been putting off writing for years may not be such a lofty undertaking anymore.
HUGE TIP ALERT: For blogging success I recommend you get into a good routine of regularly creating or curating (yes it’s cool to share other people’s stuff) content. Make sure you optimise with catchy titles, clear headings and relevant keywords and then share, share, share.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. I guarantee you have knowledge that someone else is craving.
Quite simply, lead generation is integral to your business’ success.
Without interest in your product or services, you will have no one to capture, nurture and eventually convert into paying customers.
But how do you generate leads? You need to pique their interest and you can do this by:
- Sharing the great content you will be producing on social media for organic reach
- Paying for advertising i.e. well structured Facebook Ads with a clear call to action
- Partner up with other entrepreneurs/businesses but choose wisely. As you are trying to generate leads you need to have something of value to offer their audience.
HUGE TIP ALERT:
Once you have reached the leads you:
- Have to give them a reason to supply you with their valuable information. It isn’t enough to say ‘hey sign up to my weekly newsletter’. Everyone is sick of fruitless newsletters flooding their inboxes. You need to offer what is known as an ethical bribe instead. This may be a checklist, eBook, workbook, infographic, exclusive content etc. But whatever you opt for it has to be something that is relevant and valuable for your audience. You need to make it worthwhile for them to part with their information.
- You have to make it easy for them to provide the relevant information with a clear call to action.
Most people need to interact with your brand at least 7 times before they will buy.
Now, I’m sure you will agree that there is nothing worse than parting with your email address only to find an email in your inbox 30 seconds later trying to sell you something. This is a major error that you really must avoid.
The key to getting customers to convert is to nurture them. You need to prove you are credible and not some backstreet business that will take their money and shut up shop, only to reopen a few weeks later in a different garage with a new name.
How do you nurture?
Content, content and more content. If you offer your new fans what they are interested in, solve their problems and write for them instead of about them you can't go wrong. Keep serving and you will build a tribe of loyal fans who will literally be throwing money at you when you start to sell to them.
One of the more typical ways to nurture is through email. As you need to be dishing up content over a period of time to multiple people, utilising an email marketing system (such as Mailchimp) will be the way to go. You can setup auto-responders to deliver your ethical bribe and a series of emails with key content over a period of time. In your last or latter email(s) of the series you can introduce your product or service and highlight any special offers.
This is the happy time, where all your hard work has paid off and you start making sales.
There’s not much to say at this point, other than make it easy for people to actually make the purchase. Ensure your payment systems are configured correctly. Remember you are going to have to wash and repeat for continued success.
Social Media Marketing
For an overview of the key social media platforms and how to choose the right ones for your business check out this post.
Social Media Marketing (SMM) offers a great opportunity for your business. With so many potential consumers using social media platforms on a daily basis, it is the perfect place to be sharing your content and publicising your brand.
But before you get super excited and run off to sign up to every social media platform you can think of, you need to stop, think and plan! (This almost sounds like a crossing the road advert).
A couple of things to bear in mind:
- If you spread yourself too thin your efforts will be wasted.
- You’re not likely to find your audience on every platform. So, you need to know where they are hanging so you can be there too.
There are some real tangible benefits to social media marketing – here are a few that I have taken from WordStream:
- Increasing website traffic
- Building conversions
- Raising brand awareness
- Creating a brand identity and positive brand association
- Improving communication and interaction with key audiences
But the rules remain unchanged. You have to show up consistently with valuable content (roll your eyes, yes I said it again) and you have to engage with your audience. I’m sorry to say it, but I find social media users to be particularly fickle. They may follow you one day and unfollow you the next. Whilst you don’t want to get caught up in the vanity of numbers, you do need to spend time rewarding your audience/followers/tribe with your presence on a regular basis.
Clearly mapping out what you want to achieve will help you tremendously with your social media marketing efforts. As part of your strategy you need to consider things like:
- What you want to share – i.e. your content, someone else’s content (ideally a mixture of the two)
- When you want to share it – you can use analytics to track your audience in order to discover optimal times and you should create a posting schedule
- How you want to share it – i.e. pre-recorded video, live, images, blog posts etc.
- Whether you want to use paid ads – analytics will help you determine your reach and impressions
- If you want to drive people to your site and how you can do that – i.e. clear call to action
- If you want to establish private communities/groups – i.e. Facebook groups
As you can see there is a lot to consider. But remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.
HUGE TIP ALERT: Do not buy followers! There may be a strong temptation to inflate your numbers quickly, however it really isn’t worth it. The majority of these ‘followers' will either be fake accounts or will have zero interest in what you do. They are never going to buy from you and it’s disingenuous to deceive your true followers. This process really isn’t about numbers!
So, these digital marketing options will give you a good foundation when building your online presence. Just remember your audience should be at the forefront of everything you do. You are here to serve them, solve their problems and make their lives easier!