If you operate in or on a business in 2020 and beyond and you don’t focus time and energy on digital marketing, you’re making a critical error that will cost you in the long run.
On the flip side, many people understand the importance of digital marketing but don’t quite know how to implement it for their specific situation.
Whatever side of the spectrum you’re on, this guide is here to give you a jumpstart on your marketing campaign.
Let’s get into it.
Define What Your Ideal Client Looks Like
The first order of business is to decide on who your ideal client is.
Who do you want to sell your products/services to?
It’s a very simple question, but the truth is many businesses fail because they operate too broadly where they should be specific.
Identify who your target audience is and align it with your brand image and you suddenly have an impenetrable foundation to your marketing strategy.
Let’s say you have a clothing brand. You want to launch a killer marketing campaign that’ll ramp up your sales like crazy. Instead of shouting from the mountaintops how great your clothes are (like everyone else), you would decide on a target audience first, and then create a brand image to appeal to that audience.
Everything else stems from this.
This is the most important step to growing your business using digital marketing because without a clear target audience to market to, you just end up shouting as loud as you can and crossing your fingers someone hears you.
It might work here and there, but it’s not as effective or more importantly, as predictable, as it could be.
Decide Your Brand Image
A brand image is a fancy way of saying your reputation, what you stand for, what you want people to think ofwhen they see you.
Every single advertisement, social media post, email, etc. will reflect the brand image you decide for yourself in the beginning.
Here are some questions to help you figure out your brand image:
- Who is your typical customer/client, and why?
- What do people feel when they buy from you?
- What do you want people to feel when they buy from you?
- When someone thinks of your company, what do you want them to think?
You get the idea.
An example of a great brand image for a big company is Apple, as they decided to take a minimalistic, modern feel to their content and advertising. An example for a smaller company could be a construction estimating consultant helping their clients feel like they’re ahead of the game, they have direction, and they’re motivated.
Once you decide your brand image, and you know who your target audience is, you’re well on your way to hitting them in the bullseye with a specific message that truly speaks to their desires.
Now, we need to know where to target them on.
How to Know What Platforms You Should Focus On
After laying down the foundation to your digital marketing strategy, it’s time to focus on which platform(s) to use to get in front of your target audience.
There’s 3 things to consider, whether you’re B2C or B2B, the demographics of your target audience, and the nature of your product/service.
Depending on the manpower of your operation, and how much content/advertising you can realistically publish, it’s recommended to triple down on 1-2 platforms at a time. This can change over time but for someone that’s completely new to the digital marketing game, focusing on 1 platform at a time is a great start.
Here’s a list of the top platforms and a short description of what they can offer:
This is the platform to post both 10 min videos, and graphic images. There’s a lot of variety and room for both B2C and B2B marketing. The demographic is very varied and diverse. Overall, this is a versatile platform with a lot of opportunity.
Facebook is slowly turning into a video platform. It’s here you’ll mainly post long-form content (will explain this later in the article).
If you’re in the B2B area, then LinkedIn is non-negotiable to be included as a platform to focus on. It is a very professional environment with everyone behaving as they would in an office. Everyone is on the platform to further their careers or their business.
Snapchat is mainly for a younger audience and is very entertainment-leaning. It involves a daily pushing of content to promote your brand image. If you’re B2B, Snapchat may not be as helpful, but if you’re B2C, I recommend considering it as a platform to reinforce brand excitement and create lifetime value.
Twitter is mostly for B2C, with a diverse demographic, and requires a witty writer to succeed on. To succeed on Twitter, you need to be very social and produce witty, entertaining, or intriguing content people would be willing to share.
TikTok is a rising star when it comes to the social media game, as the chance for going viral are very achievable. It’s just a matter of pumping out good content consistently and there’s a good chance you’ll get a lot of attention to your brand. TikTok is to B2C what LinkedIn is to B2B… it’s non-negotiable.
Now that you understand what the top platforms are about, it’s time to dive deep into the business you’re operating in or you manage and ask which one would best suit your needs.
If you’re a clothing brand, focus on TikTok and Instagram. If you’re a real estate agent, focus on TikTok and LinkedIn. If you’re in the SaaS area, focus on LinkedIn and Instagram. It’s really up to you.
IMPORTANT: This is if you’re just starting out and have no prior experience in digital marketing. If you have a solid team or can afford one, then attack every single platform.
Create and Distribute a Ton of Content
Now that you have your target audience, a brand image, and the platforms you’re going to focus on, it’s time to execute.
The goal is to pump out an almost ridiculous amount of content daily to build awareness and attentionaround your company.
5-10 posts a day minimum, and 10+ posts a day to be effective.
Now if you’ve never tried growing your business using digital marketing, or you dipped your toes in it in the past but aren’t really sure how it works, that volume of posts probably baffles you a bit.
“How can someone possibly pump out that much content?”
It’s very simple. Instead of thinking up 10 pieces of content to post every morning when you wake up, you post 1 long-form piece of content and let everything trickle down from there.
That’s how the pros do it.
In case you’re not familiar with it, long-form content is just very lengthy videos or articles. Like 20-minute-long videos or 4,000-word articles.
So now there’s 2 routes you can take, the writing route, and the speaking route.
If you prefer writing and you’re good at it, then why not publish 1 lengthy (3000+ words) blog post once every 2 weeks, then splinter off content from that huge article?
For example, let’s say you write a 3000-word article on how to grow a construction company. Within that article there’s a part where you recommend to outsource estimating services. You take the excerpt of the article where it’s mentioned, make a graphic design with the text, and post it on Instagram. You can take a quote from the article and post it on Twitter. You can record a short video talking about it and post it on Facebookand LinkedIn.
Do you see where it’s going?
Make 1 long-form piece of content and splinter it off into as much content as you can to post along all the social channels your company decided to focus on.
Set Up Integrated Marketing Around Content
Once you have a lot of content on the platforms you’re focusing on reflecting your brand image, it’s now time to set up a system to convert your audience into paying customers/clients.
After posting a lot of content consistently, you quickly start to see what generates the most traffic and engagement.
Take your best-performing posts and make ads of them on social media to increase brand awareness, then you’re going to set up a funnel following the brand awareness ad that uses multiple channels to bring in sales.
The systems for B2B and B2C are a bit similar, but fundamentally different, let’s get into some examples.
Here’s an example of an integrated marketing approach for a B2B marketer:
- Take well-performing LinkedIn post, and make into a general ad not to sell anything, but to build brand awareness and give value to build trust.
- People that engage with brand awareness advertising enter the sales funnel.
- Offer lead magnet on Facebook that serves to collect an email address.
- Follow up with emails giving value without selling anything (or giving random lead magnets)
- Once trust is built, follow up with Facebook ad to ask for sale
Here’s an example of an integrated marketing approach for a B2C marketer:
- Invest into creating a “Super Bowl Commercial” type advertisement and promote on Instagram and Facebook.
- For everyone who engages with the ad, follow up with sales funnel on Instagram and Facebook.
Increase Lifetime Value of Customer
Once you make the sale, you don’t just stop communicating with the customer.
That’s like spending years on a relationship and finally getting married, only to stop trying in the relationship.
Ridiculous right? Have you ever been hammered with advertising so much you finally give in and make a purchase, and then right after you give them your money they stop promoting to you?
You feel used and like a statistic. Most businesses don’t get this right with their digital marketing, don’t be like most businesses.
Instead, consistently promote content to customers, email them once a week; the goal is to stay in touch with them and ensure they will consistently buy from you because you consistently give to them. Whether you give entertainment, inspiration, or value.
Remember this, the sale doesn’t stop after they give you their money.
Build Brand Excitement and Referrals
For the people who go through your sales conversion and become a customer/client, we want to take care of that relationship and ensure they become fans of your company, even promoting you to their friends and family.
You do this by posting content regularly.
Posting valuable content every day.
Engaging with your audience and caring about them also helps as well.
Post entertaining content throughout all the platforms that helps your audience become fans. It can be bloopers in the office, explaining how the company came to be, documenting a typical day.
Make your audience feel included and they will genuinely like your brand. That’s how you allow referrals to come pouring in.
That is the right way to grow a business using digital marketing. It involves a lot of planning and a lot of effort into creating content.
This is a very content-centric approach to online marketing, and that is the truth of the game. People buy things from people/companies they know, like, and trust. Content penetrates the wall and skepticism everyone has and allows potential clients/customers to know, like, and trust you.
Hopefully you got some value from this piece, all that’s left now is to go execute!