Legend has it that digital marketing can drive enormous revenue for your business.
Legend also has it, and this is not as well known, that this is easily achievable:
When you do it right.
When you’re patient.
When you understand that results don’t come overnight.
When you realise that it’s a long term investment and commitment.
When you endlessly test and improve your tactics to achieve the best results.
So, how do you turn this ‘legend’ into your business’ future?
First things first: you need to set a solid foundation.
You can build a tremendous house, but without proper foundations, it will collapse as soon as you walk in.
The same goes with digital marketing.
So let’s walk through 5 crucial pillars to setting a solid foundation for your digital marketing success.
Defining Your Buyer Persona
Not everyone is your buyer -- no matter what you do.
As you need to make sure you’re heard, you also need to make sure you’re heard by the right people.
You want students to enrol into your course, but that grandma over there probably won’t care about it.
That’s why you must determine your audience.
The contemporary approach, called inbound marketing, proposes building a buyer persona profile.
A Buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data you gathered from your previous customers.
You’ll define their demographics, characteristics, common behavior, pain points, fears, obstacles, goals, and wishes.
Then you’ll go a step further and analyse where are they to be found online, how they tend to solve their problems, and how they go through their buyer’s journey.
Once you get all that settled, you’ll be able to create a strategy appealing and relevant to your buyers.
2. Set Your Goals
This is where most businesses fail.
They set unrealistic marketing goals, and end up desperate and confused.
You need to understand that processes take time, especially when done right. Everything is built gradually.
However, you need to know in which direction to move.
The ideal step is to set your SMART goals.
SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
For example, if you’re just starting with your digital marketing, and need to commit to a website redesign, your first goal should be:
Define our buyer persona, draft a strategy, and launch the website within the next three months.
If you make it your goal to make 50 sales instead, you won’t reach it right away and your efforts will be wasted.
If you’re just starting, your next goal after launching could be:
Generate 5,000 website visits by the end of the quarter.
Remember: you need to go gradually.
Your goals need to be realistic and achievable.
It’s just after you’ve set the foundation that you set your sales goal. Once you see people coming to your website, reading your content, then you go a step further.
You can’t expect to start selling right away and sell well.
3. Create A Strategy
Everything relies on strategy.
And strategy relies on your buyer persona and SMART goals. So, you ask yourself:
What do I need to do to reach my SMART goals, and make my marketing visible and appealing to my persona?
Just as in any other industry, the efforts bring the results when thought-through and conducted strategically.
Everything you create needs to be relevant to your buyer persona. The way people buy has changed, therefore -- the way we market to them has changed accordingly.
You should help your persona go through their buyer’s journey. They’re looking for answers and possible solutions to their problems, so that’s exactly what you need to provide.
Align your content and social strategies with your overall marketing strategy and your SMART goals. Do the same with advertising campaigns.
That is how you create a coherent whole.
4. Website Design
When you design your website, it doesn’t really matter if you like it. It’s about your persona liking it.
Lose all that official language ‘we help, we do, we achieved, we succeeded, we, we, we…’
Like it or not: Your website is NOT about you.
It’s about how you can help your buyers. It MUST speak to your buyers.
For example: If you provide alternative education pathways for young people, your website shouldn’t say WE’RE THE BEST COLLEGE WITH A 100 YEAR TRADITION.
It should say something like:
Get Your Nationally Recognised Qualification & Open a World of Possibilities
Make sure your website is intuitive enough. Users need to be able to navigate through flawlessly as they go through their buyer's journey.
They need to be able to remember where they found something if they want to get back to it again.
Visual appeal must work in two directions:
- Support the important copy that you want people to read (instead of dragging attention from text to visual)
- Keep your identity memorable and recognisable when seen again
Make sure your visitors can find everything they might need on your website -- that way they’ll stick to it longer, and reach out when they’re ready to buy.
5. Content Creation
We’ve said the way people buy has changed. Okay, so -- what’s different?
They look for all answers online.
Meaning: if you don’t write them, they won’t find you.
Contemporary marketing mechanism has changed as well -- you don’t chase after your buyer's. You attract them to come to you.
So, when you’re writing about issues that bother them, and proposing solutions to their problems, they are more likely to find you, stick with you, and make you their choice once they’re ready to buy.
What kind of content should you create?
Set up a blog within your website and blog at least twice a week.
Ideally, you’d do it at three+ times, but twice is solid as well when starting out.
Create a content strategy beforehand, and decide which topics and keywords you want to cover.
NOTE: Blog is not your company’s diary. It’s basically a digital textbook of knowledge for your industry and your buyer's.
Free offers: eBooks, guides, case studies, templates…
These are great to jump-start your lead generation efforts. You can create these pieces by relying on your previously created content -- blog posts that can be turned into offers or used as chapters therein.
Share your content across your social channels, include it in lead nurturing workflows, send out weekly newsletter to your subscribers…
With good content in hands, possibilities are endless.
There you have it. Set these pillars right, track results, continuously test and compare your data, and your digital marketing efforts are guaranteed to give results.