Digital Marketing isn’t easy and it’s not hard either. The mechanics of online marketing remain more or less the same. There are only so many channels you’ll work with and it doesn’t get fancy anywhere.
The only variables are aspects that you’ll change depending on your business and your brand.
Also, how you want your brand to be portrayed determines how your offers are positioned, which also means that you’d then worry about the purpose for which you create content, the style of communication you choose, the blog posts, the copy on your web pages, the forms, your email marketing messages, and everything else.
But I see variations in what clients expect. I see how things begin to shape up depending on what the clients need.
You see, if you are reading this, I can bet that you need results. You want your digital marketing to work. After all that effort you take for marketing, something better happens for your business. Right?
It’d, but then, you don’t let that ever happen.
You seem to have your own skewed, twisted, preconceived, and half-educated knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work.
“I want SEO done. Will it be delivered tomorrow?”
“I want a beautiful website. It should look good”
“Looking for someone to help me with Facebook Advertising”
“Retargeting won’t work for my niche products”
“Email marketing is dead. Will you help manage my social media?”
I can put in 18-hour work days, Monday to Monday, and still never get tired. But a single statement like that and I am huffing, puffing, panting, and desperate to go do something else like weaving baskets or rolling cotton balls.
Digital marketing strategy is what it is but you screw up almost every time. Here’s why:
Because “Digital Marketing Strategy” sounds Like a Cool thing to say…
That word sounds so intellectual, geeky, and nerdy, doesn’t it? I am willing to bet more than 70% of all businesses in the world are sitting in a conference room wasting time with a morale-draining, complete unproductive meeting right now, at the time of writing this.
We are so drawn to fancy words and good-for-nothing meetings, aren’t we? You make it sound so big, this digital marketing strategy thing.
Instead of dwelling on a worthless “strategy” meeting, you could have written an entire week’s worth of blog posts.
Another strategy call could allow you to post social updates into the future using something like Hootsuite.
You spend too much time talking, and talking is cheap.
You worry so much about results that you don’t take the most important steps. Instead, you waste your time sweating the small stuff.
You spend half a week looking for Facebook advertising secrets instead of actually launching a campaign and learning from the data you gather.
You look for a developer to build landing pages when you have tools to help you build them.
You buy all fancy tools, courses, and eBooks but you don’t follow through what you learn.
Comfort is where the crowd is
If it’s popular, it must be good. Right?
For us humans, we take comfort in “common”, the normal, that which everyone does.
Everyone talks about SEO. Freelance marketplaces have vendors yelling out loud: “I will do SEO. I Will do SEO”.
Your idiot friend happened to share a drink with you and told you how he gets 124,000 visits a month just by publishing blog posts outsourced to a cheap freelancer and only publishes 4 times a month.
You think that’s the way to do it.
Some moron tells you that Social media is where it all is. You spend the next several weeks just trying to figure out how to make Twitter work for you.
Then another idiot like me would insist that you’d have to do email marketing and stop sweating over the small stuff.
You can see that you’d drift, coast along, and do nothing in the end.
Digital marketing is like a V12 Engine – all cylinders must fire. You can’t keep cranking a single cylinder (like social or SEO only) and hope that the world will come knocking on your door.
You have zero respect for the actual work
You want results. You look for vendors, freelancers, staff, and agencies.
For all the entrepreneurial hero that you already are, the Internet makes it easy for you to disrespect.
You can say anything you want. You can do anything you want. You can Tweet back at President Trump. You can leave a bad review for anyone.
This gives you a false sense of superiority. Plus, the Internet actually started making everyone believe that we live in an “Instant anything” world.
“Instant online delivery”
“Instant hotel bookings”
Unfortunately, results from digital marketing are anything but “instant”. It’s a thankless, lonely, back-breaking, and soul-sucking job.
Either you do it or have someone else do it. When they do, don’t ramp up your expectations by expecting results yes ‘day.
See how much commitment digital marketing really needs. No one got successful on day one.
When you know this, why do you expect others to wave a magic wand and expect magic on day one?
Good freelancers and agencies do the campaigns the right way – they’d research, create ads, setup landing pages, do A/B testing, and run the campaigns the right way.
You could do it too. It’s just that it takes time and a certain degree of expertise. So, you’d choose not to.
Just because you choose not to doesn’t mean that people you hire have to get results instantly since it’d take them time to show you results as it’d take you time.
Your opinions are expensive & loss-making
A lot of business owners have strong opinions. That’s actually a part of what makes up for the entrepreneurial DNA. They visualize, believe, and commit. They take risks and they invest money. They have more to do in a day that 10 other normal folks do.
That’s also where there’s an issue.
You, as an entrepreneur, are supposed to have opinions but you’d normally depend on people much smarter than you to take decisions that help your business grow.
Instead, your fat ego and stupid opinions mar your digital marketing efforts:
“I want only 350-word blog posts”
Why? Why can’t they be longer?
“Please don’t link to any other blog posts”
Why shouldn’t I link to others?
“I want this image to be exactly 600px wide and 400px tall”
Exactly how many millions did you lose because of this?
“Change the color of the button to green”
What’s the proof that green works better, given that you don’t do any sort of AB testing?
“I don’t care about A/B testing”
Because you are sitting on billion dollars in cash to spend?
You can ask for explanations. You can be a curious cat and ask questions. You can jump right into an argument. You can even question moves your staff or contractors make.
But if they are smart, you let them take the risks for you. If they are good at what they do, let them do their job.
Consultants, agencies, freelancers, and even members of your staff have spent doing digital marketing for ages (like when you were still working on that job or when you were in college).
Don’t bring your big fat entrepreneurial ego when you hire consultants and question their goodwill, expertise, or skills – especially when they didn’t even get started yet.
Digital marketing strategy and all that jazz are all fine. But you won’t get a lead (and hence make a sale) if you continue to do what you do.
Great leaders and successful entrepreneurs depend on other smart people to do the work. They don’t nose around, bully, or disrespect.
If you still choose to walk your ass around the aisles of the Internet thinking that you are somehow privileged just because you choose to hire someone for $6.25 an hour, I know exactly where you’ll go and how you’ll end up.
I don’t want to see you there, so don’t go there.