It is not enough to just have a website or social profile. You need to effectively engage your audience as well. If you don’t engage them, you have a lower chance of converting them into loyal customers. It is the constant interaction with your prospects that builds a foundation for your relationship with them. This builds their trust in you so that they will be far more likely to buy from you again and again.
Effectively engaging your audience requires a strategy. You just can’t launch your business and just talk to them without an aim. You’ll find soon enough that this exhausts not only your energy but also your resources.
For this, you may want to work wisely instead. This is what a digital marketing strategy is for. It is for aligning your actions with your vision. Guided by your vision, you will list some specific actions that will help you move towards your goal.
Today, I will show you several steps on how you can achieve this.
STEP 1: Start with Your Audience
It all starts with your audience. While you can list some steps that will help you achieve your goals, you cannot achieve it if your audience doesn’t resonate with your message. This is the reason why creating your personas is so important. It will help you define who your target market is and what their characteristics are.
Creating a persona for your audience is easy. Just think about what your ideal customer is. Think about his characteristics. What’s his age? Where does he work? What are his problems and biggest frustrations? By asking these questions, you’ll be able to uncover the different problems which your business can address.
STEP 2: Assess The Real Needs of Your Audience
Creating a persona is the first step in knowing your ideal customer. But you have to take it a step further - You also need to analyze your real life audience to uncover their real existing problems. When you do this, you move away from your own perceptions and capture the real needs of your audience.
For this, I love using a Javelin board. This is an experimental tool that you can use to test the needs of certain audiences. You use it by first defining different audiences and defining their problems. Then, you choose one and explore. You do this by asking the audience if the problem really exist. From there, you can then propose a solution. Since it is an interview, you can go ahead and ask them if the solution is something that they are interested in. By doing this, you’ll already have some qualified buyers even before you launch your business.
STEP 3: Have a Content Marketing Plan
If you plan to go digital, you simply need to have a content marketing plan. This is because the digital world runs on content. You need content to catch your prospect’s attention and you need it to keep them interested. Content convinces them that you really know what you are talking about.
While content is important, creating it requires discipline and consistency. This means that as a business owner you have to forego temporary sources of fun for creating content. In these situations, a content marketing plan comes in handy. This is a list of content that you are going to create for your site or social channel. You list the titles and even list how you are going to do it. Then, you will need to plot it into a calendar. Why do you need to do this? Well, it allows you to see what you are going to create and helps you see that all the content in your site or social channel is aligned with your vision or mission. Plus, it gives you a clear picture on what types of content will go out in specific dates.
STEP 4: Think Outside of the Box
These days, you just cannot do what other people are doing. While there may be some ‘gurus’ that claim that you can just copy successful people and succeed, they’re wrong. And it is not just about the hard work or a stroke of luck. It is about creativity and thinking outside of the box. Think about it. If everyone who does the same thing will succeed, wouldn’t that be boring? Those who succeed always go against the grain. They try to look for something different in what is existing and go with that. They look for solutions that are not yet thought of before. So if you want to succeed even in your digital marketing strategy, think outside of the box. Try to learn from mentors and experts but always aim to go the extra mile.
STEP 5: Forecast What Will Happen
Technology forecasting is the process of predicting how the technological or business landscape will change in the next 3 to 5 years. This process entails breaking down problems into variables and testing the variables that will have the most impact on the changes in the upcoming years. Through it, you’ll be able to prepare for what’s to come for you are already expecting it.
I think that you should apply the same concept to digital marketing. What will work now may not necessarily work in the future. This is the reason why old school SEO doesn’t work anymore. The landscape has changed and some businesses are just not prepared for it. Don’t be that business. Don’t get stuck in where you are. Move towards the direction of the future by preparing yourself for what’s going to happen.
STEP 6: Delegate Your Tasks
Millennials are interesting because of their can-do attitude. While this makes them formidable employees and business owners, it can also be a hindrance to the growth of their business. Here’s the thing. If you do everything by yourself, you’ll end up doing less than others who have enlisted help. It’s logical. If one person can do 1 article. Two person can do two. So if you are your own one-man team, you better think of delegating.
This is especially true for digital marketing. In these days of automation, you are up against companies with big budgets and an army of marketers. You will not be able to keep up if you do everything yourself. While I know that there is something beautiful in the creation of something from the ground, nothing will help you get ahead than delegating some tasks to other people. Trust me. It will make you a better and saner person in the end.
STEP 7: Have a Referral Campaign
In line with enlisting the help of other people, you can also enlist the help of your customers. In fact, you can ask them to promote your business for you. You can do it by having a referral marketing program.
A referral marketing program is a system where you give a referral incentive to your customers in return for talking about your business to their family and friends. The incentive can be as simple as a discount code to your products. This is effective because you leverage the existing relationship between your customer and their family and friends. Since they are closed, their referrals are far more likely to sign up and buy.
STEP 8: Use the Power of Influencers
Digital marketing is simply the practice of getting the word out. As you may have noticed, launching a business without anyone knowing about it is a recipe for disaster. You need to let as many people know that you exist.
The easiest way to get your name out there is to use the power of influencers. This is more commonly known as influencer marketing and it is where you look for people with a huge follower base in your niche who can refer your products and services to their target market. In theory, it may seem easy. But it is quite difficult to get an influencer to promote you unless you give them a bribe. For some influencers, this may mean a free product or service. For others, it may mean sponsorship fees. The key to succeed is to veer away from huge influencers and go with micro influencers instead. These influencers are much more open to promotions.
STEP 9: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Feedback
Another way to get your customers to promote you is to encourage feedback. This is where you reward testimonials or social media posts. This helps your business by giving you raw referrals. This is because social media posts can often encourage the people in their circle to visit your page and buy. Some businesses even go to the extent of asking customers to review their products on certain social media channels. Then, they reward them for doing it.
Why do businesses need these? Well, user generated content is very important for social proof. It shows how the item looks in real time and it shows what a customer thinks about your business. This can then drive more traffic and sales to your business.
STEP 10: Use Paid Marketing
Another way to fast track your digital marketing success is to resort to paid marketing methods. Paid marketing may seem scary at first. But once you find the sweet spot where you are able to break even, you’ll be just fine.
Paid marketing is quite common in ecommerce marketing. This is because the promotions usually translate into sales afterwards. Some of the most popular forms of paid marketing is Facebook marketing and Adwords. Each has its pros and cons.
In Facebook marketing, you get to reach out to all the people on Facebook. This works because you get to go where the market is. And if you manage to get them at the right moment, you’ll be able to convert them. This is good if you have a solid content marketing strategy. You can then add your blogposts into your social media posts.
Adwords, on the other hand, are for search engine searchers. It is also called PPC or pay per click marketing because you only pay once someone visits your site by clicking on the paid link in the search engine results. I find that this is the best digital marketing method for it can drive a huge amount of high converting traffic to your site.
STEP 11: Track Your Campaigns
Once you try paid marketing, you’ll find that you will not be successful right from the onset. And it is not that you have done something wrong. It is because you just have not found that sweet spot yet. Paid marketing requires endless hours of testing. It is with this reason that you should ensure that you are tracking your campaigns. This will help you know which of your ads are doing well and which ones you should pause.
STEP 12: Automate Your Processes
If you can’t delegate, automate. We are lucky to live in a time where we are surrounded with so many automated tools. You should always look for some tools that will make your processes better. You may be surprised. But there are now some tools that you can use to automatically gather influencer contact information and send emails. There are also tools that will help you follow up with your customers. At the end of the day, it is how well you have used these tools that will help you be on top of the digital marketing game.
Digital marketing is no longer about link submissions or creating a website. It is so much more. It is about having a strategy on how you can stand out from the crowd and reach your target market. It is about tweaking every part of your system from your content to your marketing methods to be able to stay ahead of the game. Ultimately, it is also about anticipating changes in the future and adjusting to those changes with your creativity and diligence.
So how are you doing your digital marketing? Are you doing it aimlessly or have you sat down to carefully think about it? I hope this article has helped you change your perspective about this so that you can look forward to creating a more effective digital marketing system for your business.