I get a lot of small business owners asking about how to “do SEO”, or, more generically, how to get the people that visit their website to make the jump to their inbox. The answer is often complicated, can include jargon terms like “sales funnels” and “conversions”, and can vary depending on the particular product or service on the table. In the vast majority of cases, though, the problem with finding a good digital marketing strategy is in misunderstanding the fundamental purpose of that strategy. So let’s dissect the problem together. I think you’ll find the solution is not nearly as complicated as it seems.
Digital Marketing Strategy Starts Small, and Should Stay Small.
When you think of your audience, you need to think small, and incremental. Yes, we all want to win all the business, and we want it all yesterday, but the best digital strategy isn’t big, and it isn’t fast. It’s targeted and methodical and, sorry to say it, but it’s repetative.
For example, let’s say you’re a catering service specializing in weddings. When you think about your audience, do you want all the event planners? All the brides? You will have a hard time targeting so wide a pool. And if your goal is to get them to enjoy your lovely website, you aren’t being honest with yourself. Window shoppers get you nothing, no matter how long they loiter about oogling your pretty blog posts (like this one ha!).
You want your users to contact you directly, preferable in a state ready as close to wallet-open as possible. Your digital marketing strategy needs to work towards getting you that goal.
Step 1: Define Your Target
So let’s revise our audience, and revise our goal. Now we can say, in our catering example, we want to target women aged 25-35 in the Greater Toronto Area. We can even dial in further and target a specific part of the GTA, say Woodbridge or Oakville. And let’s go even further and say we want to target women aged 25-35 in Oakville or Woodbridge that are either recently engaged or will be getting engaged over the holiday season.
So now we have defined our target so clearly that we can start actually seeing her. We may even be able to say we know someone in this exact situation (my friend Bailey comes to mind). So now we can do something we can’t usually do with something as broad as “event planners” or “brides”: we can empathize with them.
And now that we can put ourselves in our target audience’s shoes, we can start thinking about the kinds of things they will be doing. This is where we set up shop.
Step 2: Do the Digital Marketing Dance
If we were talking brick and mortar marketing, in the next steps we would do the following:
- Put yourself in front of that person.
- Persuade them to listen to your offer.
- Make your offer
- Make it easy for them to except your offer.
Good news! This same marketing process is works online.
So, back to our example. We want a bride-to-be that’s just got engaged to look up our site and request a quote, book our service, whatever. So, how do those steps line up in a digital marketing strategy?
1. Put yourself in front of that person.
Think about where someone who is just engaged would look or browse for wedding stuff. There’s lots of these places – blogs, search engine results, facebook groups, etc. This is where you want to be, so your action item for this task is to put yourself there.
2. Persuade them to listen to your offer.
Think about how to persuade them to pay attention to you in each space. If you’re doing a facebook ad, give them a reason to click. If you’re doing a guest blog post, give them something valuable to read. New brides have lots of excitement and anxiety, so think about what will tap into that make yourself a solution.
3. Make your offer.
Make sure that offer is something a new bride will want. If that’s a discount, fine, but you can also offer emotional collateral like peace of mind, etc. Planning is hard; brides will pay to make things easier. Offer them “easy”. Do a guest blog on an established bridal blog on a topic related to your service and expertise, and help them see how your product or service will make part of their planning process easy.
4. Make it easy for them to accept your offer.
Ideally, you want to get this person to contact you quickly, so do everything you can to get them to the finish line easily. Don’t just ask them to call you, walk them through it. “Click here to book us” or “book now for early bird rates” are good entry points (aka Calls to Action, or CTA– sorry, some jargon is just what it is). A single page with a quote form and a clear thing to do to solve their problem (which, at this point, the need to book your service) is what they want, so that’s what you should build. Build that. Don’t ask questions, just get them in your inbox.
That’s it. 4 steps. Now do that again … and again … and again.
Now come up with another target and do all this again. Lather rinse and repeat.
That’s your action items. That’s your tasks. That’s digital marketing strategy.There’s no magic buttons, no instant wins. Users care about what they want, so it’s up to you to figure out what that is and give it to them. This is how you do that.
Your website is your business card. It just sits there and makes you (hopefully) look good. You can adjust that, show off with videos and albums, but no sales goal is achieved by getting people to look at your business card. Get in front on them, make your offer, and make it easy.
Want more help developing or refining any of these steps for your business? I’ve just launched a new tool that will put you right in my calendar, no “are you available” hullaballoo required. Book a chat and we can get the ball rolling quick and easy.