How Do You Do Digital Marketing?

How Do You Do Digital Marketing?

How do you do digital marketing - online marketing for beginners I keep getting this same question and it always surprises me. “How do you do digital marketing?”

It is kind of like asking people how do you raise your child?  Everyone would have a different answer because digital marketing is not a thing to do, its a way of doing things.  

Just like every child is different, every business has a unique set of assets and differentiators that require a custom strategy.  While you can use similar methods based on industry, often times budgets, ability to scale and varying comfort levels dictate the direction your digital strategy will take.  

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is really just allowing people to find and engage with your business on a computer as opposed to in your office or store-front.  This is how leading marketing company Marketo defines it – “At a high level, digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps.” 

And, I would agree with that, although I don’t know if I would classify all digital marketing efforts as advertising.  

Why is Digital Marketing Necessary? 

I have met many successful businesses owners that do not have websites or any presence online.  Word-of-mouth and great service have worked for these businesses for years and they have no desire to change that. I completely understand that, and to go a step further, if I could be successful without a computer in my life, I would go for it too! 

For the other 99% of us, we need to be able to be found, explored, communicated with and referenced online in order to compete. 

So, How Do You Do Digital Marketing?

The answer to this question is the same for anything you do in business. Research and strategy.

Step 1.   Develop the buyer persona

At the core, digital marketing requires an understanding of your customer.  Who are they, where do they live, how much money do they make, what is their profession.  Are they married, do they have children, are they educated? The answer to these questions can be discovered by developing a buyer persona.

Step 2. Discovery 

Determine where your buyer hangs out.  Are they part of networking groups or professional associations?  Do they read specific magazines or follow thought-leaders?  If it is Sunday morning after breakfast, where are they?  This discovery session will help you determine the next step – How to choose your marketing channels. 

 

Step 3. Channel Selection

Choosing where to invest your marketing dollars and time is difficult these days.  There are 1001 social channels, apps, papers..you get the drift.  You can advertise in print, on billboards, on radio and television, on specific websites or at community functions.  The list is never-ending and as a business owner you will be approached often about new opportunities for brand awareness and reach. 

If you have done the steps prior to this and worked out your target audience, this step will be easier to work through. 

The question to ask yourself is: Is my client there? If yes, it is probably a great investment.  If no, perhaps it is no the best investment for you at the time. 

Another tip is to keep your channels to a minimum. Don’t open every social account and hope they grow. Each initiative that you undertake is going to need consistent commitment.  If you create a blog, great! Now you have to keep it updated.  Same with YouTube or Twitter. It is easy to open these accounts, it is not so easy to keep content flowing across them.  

 

Step 4.  Retargeting

As your audience grows, you will be able to begin retargeting.  This simply means showing another offer or creative to someone who has already interacted with your brand.  

With some simple code updates, you can track your website visitors and reach them on Facebook or Google.  If your customer began to check out but abandoned the process, you can track that and give them one more opportunity to convert. 

 

Step 5.  Employ a marketing funnel 

Marketing funnels are designed to keep your customer engaged as they learn to trust your brand.  The more times people see or hear your company name, the more familiar they become.  Serving a sales offer to a cold audience rarely ever works.  Your customer wonders –“Who is this?” – and will likely not take an action on the first encounter. 

Creating a marketing funnel allows you to follow your customer’s movements as they engage with your online assets.  If they start out on your website and visit several pages and a contact us page – you have an interested buyer.  A funnel helps you to stay top-of-mind until they are ready to convert. 

Marketing funnels also allow you to communicate with your existing buyers and continue your relationship, improving the lifetime value of your buyer/customer. 

 

Step 6 – Test Everything 

Within each step of your sales funnel, there are millions of ways to do things.  Sometimes it is small changes in your sales copy or a tweak in your audience that can make or break your campaign.  Testing helps you find your ideal marketing conditions.  Things you can test include:

Headlines
Images
Audiences
Keywords
Chicken Tenders

Just kidding about the tenders, I wanted to see if you were still paying attention (and I may be a bit hungry). 

Testing will enable you to zero in on a strong audience and serve them the exact message they need to hear to become your client.  

As you can see, digital marketing is complex.  There are a lot of pieces that go into each marketing campaign to make it successful.  On top of the strategies, there are many complex software and technology solutions that you will need to learn to accomplish your goals.  

Investing your resources in a qualified digital marketing strategist means you do not have to spend years learning new marketing practices that may go extinct before you master them.  I have spent over 10 years working in digital marketing and I still learn new things every day.  What I do know is that I probably won’t ever have a straight answer for “How do I do digital marketing?” 

For a free 30-minute digital marketing strategy session head over here to book some time on my calendar!

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