We are the biggest stumbling blocks to our own businesses. We tend to nurture the devil in our head. When it comes to Digital marketing implementation, your grade is a big F, so we are back to school.
Most of us are so stymied and frozen by the lack of “flipping on the switch” inside our heads that our entire businesses are just one more “indecisive moment” away from crumbling into nothingness.
Most startup founders, ambitious CEOs, and almost everyone one else worth their salt keeps chanting “Just ship it”. The rest of us think that this applies only to startups.
The big fall out of all this? Your digital marketing implementation sucks (so does mine).
“Just Ship it”actually applies to everything. It also applies to digital marketing implementation, digital marketing basics, and digital marketing plans.
How, you ask? This is how:
Just keep blogging
HubSpot reveals that businesses that have a “regular blogging schedule” and publish blogs consistently while prioritizing blogging tend to get 13 times more leads than businesses that don’t do any blogging.
Blogging regularly gets people to read, understand, and warm up to your business. By reading what you publish, visitors are taught, inspired, motivated, or maybe just educated.
In many cases, it’s equivalent to what you’d accomplished if you rolled out full page editorial style newspaper ads for an entire year (and still not do justice to it the way blogs can do).
However, most businesses, entrepreneurs, and even marketers don’t give blogging the importance it deserves. There’s no such thing as a Blogging strategy. Then, there are others who do take the first few steps but are so obsessed by the “fancy” talk of “Skyscrapers”, “Backlinking”, or writing “7000+ word blog posts” that they don’t do anything at all.
Much like every one wants 10 million USD (but won’t ever take the first step towards investing, see what I mean?).
Given that this is 2021 and by now you’d have read millions of posts like these.
Yet, I can bet that you don’t have a blogging schedule, a publishing velocity, and a stable frequency of publishing whatsoever.
Blogging is the only SEO strategy you need.
Don’t get caught up with anything fancy (that SEO folks love to keep harping about).
Blogging = SEO = Blogging = SEO
Even if you did try publishing, it’s random and unpredictable.
Did you know that there are individual bloggers like Ryan Biddulph, Lisa Sicard of InspiretoThrive, Donna Merrill, Anthony Gaenzle, who do a better job at publishing frequently, building a loyal following (and they are loyal themselves) while build communities, and doing a great job with digital marketing overall?
Here’s a complete list of bloggers who can put your own content strategy to shame.
They may not talk about this at all (they just do what they do) but they are doing better than several funded startups valued at several millions of dollars, many regular businesses, and even those businesses that claim to be completely digital.
Just keep publishing. Period.
Aim for Social media consistency
Have an event that’s coming up soon? Are you going to launch a webinar next week or next month? You’ll send out a flurry of messages on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram — including Instagram reels and Instagram stories).
That’s about it. A few messages here and there. A few social media updates now and then.
What do you hope to accomplish? You aren’t Seth Godin. You certainly aren’t Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, or even a Guy Kawasaki.
For the rest of us, we need a calculated, measured, “brute-force” social media presence. In English, it means that we have to show up everyday, for the rest of our lives, just trying to stay consistent with our social presence.
Talking about social media presence, there’s “social” in social media. So, here’s how you should be using social media for:
- Share your content. Distribute your blog posts, content assets (such as eBooks, reports, and research), let the world know about your accomplishments (whatever that might be).
- Talk to others. Congratulate others, throw in an opinion about a blog post others shared, comment on others’ content, and try to get to know people (for real) while on social media.
- Amplify your voice and thrust a flag in there with your experience and knowledge. Share something you know that makes an impact, inspires others, educates people, and more.
Email Marketing: Open those windows
The research is clear: Email marketing is unbeatable. Your visitors come and go, and only a few people ever comeback. For all of the effort you take trying to publish blog posts regularly and spend time on social media, you’d need tangible results that work for your business.
Since people won’t buy immediately, what’s the next best thing you could do?
Get their email address, that’s what.
I don’t know why businesses second guess email marketing. In 17 years of working with clients, I haven’t seen many small businesses, bloggers, and even full-fledged agencies that have an effective email marketing strategy in place.
How hard is it to put up a pop-up or a welcome mat to collect email addresses of visitors on your site?
Why do you second-guess this? What else are you doing to grow your business? What stops you from generating leads? Why is it that there’s resistance to one of the few digital marketing channels that actually generates cash? Like, $42 for every $1 spent?
Use one of these email marketing tools below. Get it done with now:
No campaigns without landing pages
If there’s a prompt or a nudge for people to take action on your website (for something that your business benefits from — like signing up as a free trial member for your SaaS product, or downloading a PDF checklist, or signing up for your free online course), you should have a landing page in place.
Landing pages help transfer the story from a “Call to action” to a full dedicated page (with some more context and a lot more real estate to communicate, convince, and convert).
Landing pages are built in a way that avoid the typical “noise” and “clutter” that you’ll normally find on websites. Heck, there are even websites home pages that are built like landing pages. There’s a reason why they are built like that.
Here are some tools to help you build high-converting and professional landing pages fast:
If you are on WordPress and if you use Elementor, Divi, and BeaverBuilder, you can build landing pages within those platforms as well. If you moved on from WordPress builders and prefer Gutenberg-ready Blocks instead, themes such as GeneratePress also let you build landing pages by using simple blocks.
As for excuses for not building landing pages? I am sorry, but you are out of luck.
Sales Funnels For Everything
Are sales funnels only for Paid ad campaigns? No
Sales funnels are a fundamental part of digital marketing campaigns — from organic campaigns to paid campaigns. They are the machinery that help you move visitors to customers (and hopefully, customers for life).
Here’s a video on the fundamentals of sales funnels
Sales funnels could lead to a landing page which then allows for people to sign up to a lead magnet.
A welcome email triggered by an autoresponder goes out to your new subscriber and then a sequence of emails helps to nurture these new subscribers (until they buy). Then, this subscriber (depending on the action they take is moved to another sequence to nurture that relationship from that point on).
Now, you could push people to your sales funnels (usually start with one or multiple landing pages, depending on how you set it up) from:
- Blog posts
- Calls to action within blog posts
- Pop-ups, exit intent pop-ups, slide-ins, welcome mats, and sticky bars (like the one you see on top of this website)
- Social media shares
- Videos on YouTube (mostly using the video descriptions, lower-thirds within videos, and graphical prompts within videos)
- Hosted videos with Calls to action (like those that Loom, Dubb, and Wistia provide)
- From author bios when you do guest posts
Sales funnels, flywheels, or whatever you want to call them, are essential for your business.
Without sales funnels, you have no business. You just have a website.
While we are at it, success with sales funnels also comes with knowing “what to avoid”.
Don’t throw away your money into the drain by picking up worthless products like Clickfunnels, alright?
Analytics for Tracking
Let’s say that you did get to implement all of the above. Regularly, like clock work.
How well are you doing? What kind of metrics are you calculating? What’s working, and what’s not? How do you know if your digital marketing efforts are paying off?
That’s where analytics and tracking come in.
First, please do use UTM tracking to ensure that you always know your sources of traffic: What platforms, traffic sources, content assets, social networks, or specific videos are driving visitors to your page. If you want to take it several notches up, use Anytrack
Here’s a video on how to use UTM tracking codes:
You’ll need a few analytics tools. The best (and free) analytics tool you could use is Google Analytics.
Here are a few more incredible analytics tools you could use.
That’s it: You need 6 things to fall into place
- Blogging (SEO is a part of this — not some manna from heaven that only a few are privileged to have)
- Social Media ( Consistent, social, personable)
- Email Marketing (Starts with generating leads and thrives on nurturing)
- Landing Pages (basic pages you need for campaigns. Everything you do is a campaign, by the way)
- Sales funnels (the machinery that needs to work to move your visitors to sales and then continue the dance)
- Analytics ( track, measure, improve, iterate, measure, improve, and on and on).
Chances are that your digital marketing implementation (starting with the plan and how you do it) is all but a pathetic excuse (I know because I call myself a marketer and there’s still a long way for me to go).
Sticking to digital marketing implementation is hard work. Marketing itself is hard work — a consistent, back-breaking job. Don’t underestimate it since there’s really nothing else that can beat it.
Your flyers, radio spots, tv commercials, and an entire team of sales people can’t do half of what a one-person business can do with proper digital marketing implementation.
I rest my case.