More often than not, I see digital marketing basics being thrown right out of the window. Just like that. Maybe because it’s boring to get into these digital marketing basics. Perhaps there are way too many digital marketing channels for us to worry about.
Further, it could be that entrepreneurs have businesses to run, and digital marketing (all of it) is a full-time job that’s thankless, competitive, and something that never ends.
As entrepreneurs and marketers, you are here because you have your own experience that shapes who you are. The things you do, the ideas you execute, your own task list at hand, and the fact that you’d also have preconceived notions about what works and what doesn’t.
You believe in what you believe in. You got to do what you got to do (or maybe you don’t do anything at all either because you froze right where you are thanks to indecisiveness or maybe you are admittedly lazy).
Understanding digital marketing basics is one thing (like, I know there’s blogging. There’s social media. Growing a list is important.
I need to run paid campaigns on Facebook, Google, Quora, Twitter, and LinkedIn). I’ll also need landing pages and sales funnels to ensure that I generate leads.
Then, I’d need to nurture my email subscribers so that I make sales happen.
If you are still reading, there’s a good chance that you at least understand what you need to do to at least have a chance to stay in the battleground.
To execute the basics of digital marketing, however, is a full-time job. You’d need to do the following and there are no excuses (you can keep your opinions to yourself or maybe just thank me later):
Blogging on a Schedule
The topic of blogging itself is huge and we’ll need several thousand blog posts just to get this part of the equation right. Let’s keep it as brief as possible.
When you start blogging for your business, you’ll go from zero visitors to your site to a few hundred visitors each month. Relevant traffic to your website will grow from there to a few thousand and then onto a few million per month.
To make it all happen, you’d have to publish at a fixed schedule (also called as publishing velocity). You’d need a blog content strategy, and you’d need to ensure that you have calls-to-action placed inside your blog posts.
How you make use of traffic depends on the type of business you run. If you are a blogger, you’ll probably monetize your blog traffic with advertising or affiliate marketing. If you are a business, you’d want your blogging efforts to generate leads.
If you are an e-commerce business, you’ll want to look at leads and sales.
Here’s how to optimize blog posts for lead generation:
The only way to make blogging work for your business then is to publish exceptional, high-quality content regularly, without ever stopping.
Expand your efforts With Content Marketing
Although blogging is almost the starting point for content marketing, it deserved a special mention and we did (see above). But there are other aspects to content marketing which require you to put in more effort than everything you do for blogging.
You could also use Content Curation as another way of creating and sharing content without actually going through the hurdles of full-blown content creation.
You’d then create and share these other forms of content for expanding your digital footprint, score better on search (thanks to the natural backlinks you’ll create because of this content), and also establish authority along with more brand visibility.
Do Search Engine Optimization + Content
There’s no such thing as SEO without high-quality content. Several factors work together to help you rank better on search (which in turn gets you traffic to your websites). Most of what works for SEO isn’t what you think or thought it was (these factors depend on Google’s algorithms and they are constantly changing).
To be sure that your blogging and content marketing efforts actually work for your business, it makes sense to use a tool like SEMrush to make your content rank well in search engines, to start with.
Your basic SEO could involve using keywords in your titles, meta descriptions, in H1 and H2 tags, and being sure that you are using your keywords in the content you create (but doing it judiciously without spamming the heck out of the blog post).
You could also focus on building backlinks naturally (while constantly checking for toxic backlinks from scrappy websites all over the web), and to be absolutely sure that your website loads fast (to decrease bounce rates, increase dwell time, and to give a better experience to your users overall).
For business owners, there’s no time to do SEO. Plus, most aspects of SEO are overrated as well. Keep your wits about you and only do what you can. Or, you could have experts manage your SEO for you.
Whatever you do, stop expecting SEO work to be a one-time magical thing; it’s an ongoing process that rolls together with your ongoing content creation.
While we are at it, there’s also some SEO housekeeping to do:
Need help? Read this:
Make Social Media Work For Your Business
Social Media is a lot of things for a lot of people. Whatever it is, it’s not a place for you to dump your links en masse or to keep pushing people in your social networks to buy something from you.
There’s “social” in social media — it pays dividends to remember that.
However, you can certainly use social media for sharing and distributing the content you create (your blogs, other pieces of content, your thoughts, insights, tips, and more). As others in your network share their own content, you can respond to their content, thoughts, and opinions.
Depending on the network, you can also engage with others (as real people). Build networks. Share. Inspire. Exhibit some thought leadership.
Lead Generation, Landing pages, & Sales Funnels
You are wrong.
You can generate leads right off the bat with the organic traffic (from blogging, content marketing, and social media). You do that by using Lead generation elements such as Pop-ups, Slide-ins, exit intent lead capture, and several other ways.
You may use the following tools to create your lead generation elements:
Now, that’s for the organic visitors to your website.
If you were to do paid advertising on Facebook, Google, or by using Quora, you’d certainly need landing pages and sales funnels (just use Unbounce or Leadpages to create landing pages or sales funnels) to channel your visitors into a carefully calibrated and strategic way to turn your visitors into customers.
Fundamentals of Sales Funnels
So, what happens after you slowly start generating leads? You’ll build your email marketing list, that’s what…
Build Your Email Marketing List
Your blogging and content marketing efforts will only bring in people interested in reading what you publish. Chances are that they’ll dwell on your site for just as long as it takes for them to read or consume what you produce in terms of content.
Because the average shelf life of a typical social media post is not more than an hour, it’d mean that you’d have to continuously post updates and engage on social media.
For an average entrepreneur, time is premium. Also, you can’t expect that all the people who come and consume your content will end up buying from you. For that reason, you need to build your email list so that you can nurture your leads with more content, delivered by email.
Now, email marketing (by itself) is a deep subject that you can delve into. But the basics remain clear: Email marketing has an ROI of over 4300% (and you can’t make that stuff up).
To succeed with email marketing, however, just building up your subscriber base isn’t enough.
You have to keep your subscribers engaged, have ways to segment your email marketing list and use exceptional copywriting to make your email marketing work.
Most importantly, aim for the heart of the people you are writing emails to and don’t just treat them as “subscribers”.
There’s no way you’d be able to bypass these digital marketing basics (unless you have a deep pocket for doing paid advertising forever and ever, regardless of the rising costs).
How covered are you with digital marketing basics?