5. The Beginner's Guide to Digital Marketing
How Do You Make a Digital Strategy?
Create Buyer Personas
One of the first things you need to define as you plan your digital marketing strategy are your buyer personas. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers that are based on data and research. Your business may have several buyer personas. If you want to learn more about creating these, please click here or view our infographic below.
What do you want your marketing to accomplish? More website traffic? Increased brand awareness? Build your email list? There are so many things to consider! Write down all your goals and then rank them in order of importance. Then set dates for each goal.
Some people like to set SMART goals. This stands for:
Not good example:
- Increase website traffic
- Increase email list subscribers by 50% by Dec. 31. We will do this by creating more blog posts with a clear CTA of “subscribe now.”
- Increase Instagram followers to 5000 in the next 6 weeks by doing X, Y, and Z.
- Sales increase of 70% by end of year. This will be attained by employing tactics A and B.
Understand the Process
Every buyer has a journey and now that you’ve defined who your buyers are and what your goals are, you need to understand the process your buyers go through. The usual steps go something like this:
- Discovery – The buyers hear about your brand/company for the first time. They may have been trying to solve a problem that they have or just see something a friend had that they liked. Either way, you are on their radar.
- Research – The buyers want to know about you, your competitors, reviews, all of that. They will see where you are sold, compare prices, read all the reviews, and just generally kick around the idea of making a purchase.
- Purchase – The buyers are ready to seal the deal. After doing their research, they’re buying your product or service and deciding if it was worth it.
- Loyalty – The buyers become loyal to your brand and becomes an advocate for you. Due to your excellent product/service and customer service, they are lifelong fans. Congrats!
What are Your Buyers
Wanting from You?
You should be planning on providing useful content to your customer base by now. You give them information, they give you attention. Content is the basis of all customer engagement.
Now that you have their attention, make them feel like they are in a community. Give them a way to express opinions and ask questions directly to you and also to other customers. Create a special Facebook group or create a customer forum on your website.
Entertain your customers with your content. People want to be entertained! Play a game, have a contest, post something funny! Do something fun and different.
Customers should also be inspired by your content. Tell them what you’re about. Let them know your goals. Be socially aware and make decisions that benefit more than just your company.
As you can see, the above process is very important to your business. People want to hear about things they are interested in, not about your business proposition. Customer focused brand messaging is a must. It should be your #1 priority. We use the StoryBrand method to help our clients.
Condensed, this basically comes down to identifying the main problem of your client and showing them how you can guide them to a solution. Your customer is the hero, you are the sidekick.
As far as guiding your client through the buyer journey, make sure you have content that is catered to each phase of the process. For the discovery phase, generate content that exposes a problem that a potential customer may have. In the research phase, provide customer testimonials and write articles that gives more information about your product, service, and industry. Try to educate! Once the buyer feels confident in your company, make the purchase process simple and easy to use. Finally, help them to be successful users of your product/services. Provide FAQs and excellent customer service.
Where are They
Where are You?
You know who your customer is and how to help them. Now, where are they?
Are your customers on social media? Which platforms? When you send out a newsletter, what is the click through rate? Are people visiting your site? How are they getting there?
Is your business on social media? What platforms are you on? Are you consistently posting? Are you sending out a newsletter? Do you have an email list? Has it grown lately? Is your site updated?
And these are just a few of the questions you need to be asking.
Do a social media audit of your accounts.
- Is everything updated and on brand?
- Is all the contact information correct?
- Are you posting? If so, how many likes, comments, and shares are these posts getting?
- What gets the most engagements? Photos, videos, blog posts?
- What gets the most engagement per channel? For example, a story on Instagram may get more engagement than that same story on Facebook. But…if you use that story as a post on Facebook, it may get more engagement. Got it? Good.
- Where are people paying attention to you? Twitter may be a dud to your business, but Pinterest may generate a ton of sales. Look at the analytics and keep track of engagements.
Create Ways for Customers to Engage
By now you should be planning on creating informative, educational content that is a benefit to your customer. That’s rule number one of digital marketing. If you don’t start with that, you’re already way behind. You provide them with great content, they provide you with their attention.
And now that you have their attention, don’t lose them. Make them feel like they are a part of a community. Start a Facebook group or a forum on your website where clients can express opinions and ask questions. Make them feel seen and heard. Actually, don’t just make them feel that way. See them. Hear them.
Amuse and entertain them, as well. People love to be entertained. Have contests, create games, make a funny post. See what your customers like to engage with and do more of that.
Try to inspire your customer base. Tell them about yourself. What is the mission of your company? How are you making decisions that not only benefit you, but benefit others? Let your clients know. Supporting people that support people is something most are ready, willing, and able to do.
There’s still so much more to learn about digital marketing!
There’s still so much more to learn about digital marketing!