Digital Skin Episode 1: How to Succeed in Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing like so many things thrives on preparation. So here’s the first question. What are you selling and to who? Let me qualify that question. We’re all selling something, whether it’s for peer approval, financial gain, friendship or anything else. Marketing is just a way of articulating the what, the why and the who to. Understanding this viewpoint is the key to working out how to succeed in digital marketing.
What is Digital Marketing?
As an introduction to digital marketing, if you’re clear about the what and the who then everything else falls into place. It’s amazing that so many people can answer the What question but struggle with the Who! If you can articulate this simple proposition it opens the door to almost every other aspect of digital marketing. It also makes it easier to answer the most basic questions about your marketing strategy.
Do I need a Web Site?
A web site is an expensive investment and there are people that believe they don’t need one. Let’s explore this for a minute and while we do we can blow some of the prevalent myths about digital marketing out of the water.
It sounds counter intuitive but it is none the less a fact that young people tend to have bigger “connected” networks than older people. The reason is simple, at school we have dozens of friends and life moves fast – Secondary school, Uni, Job. By the time most of us are in our twenties we have good personal relationships with a couple of hundred people. We go to parties, share interests, pick up new interests, our lives are fluid, exciting and mercurial, we have a tribe.
In the distant mists of time I promoted live music and club nights in London. My network was huge and so it was easy to draw a crowd. Better still it was a crowd that by and large were on my side. They wanted me to succeed. Marketing was easy. Word of Mouth, a few leaflets and an ad in Time Out and City Limits.
Move on a decade or so and you’re looking at a radically changed picture. your friends have sobered up, well, some have, some have moved away, changed careers, your tribe is fracturing and where there was once enthusiasm there is now the sulphurous whiff of indifference. Your actionable network got smaller. You actually know more people but your tribe is smaller.
So why am I talking about my lost youth?
It’s simple. If you already have a good reputation (a brand) and are well known, then you already have a connected and engaged audience. If that audience is active on Facebook, why would you need a web site? I’ll tell you why. Two reasons.
- Your content on Facebook is owned by Facebook
- Facebook is not a forever home.
This is true for all social media. Or to put it another way, why are you growing somebody else’s business? All roads should lead to your web site.
This is the number one reason you need a web site. It’s yours and you own it and everything on it. Which is not to say you should ignore social media. Far from it. What is key though is that you can demonstrate copyright on the material you own. That is why you need a web site. And if Facebook goes the way of Friends Reunited, Google + and MySpace then you’re going to go with it.
Build It and They will Come
May have been true for Forest Gump and for the reasons I’ve outlined above many of our younger brethren, but it’s not true for you. I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve spoken to who have spent thousands of pounds, euros and dollars on web sites that sit there in cyberspace, glistening with the latest sparkly design widgets, and the sites are ghost towns, tumbleweed blowing gently through deserted pages.
This is why we bundle a 12 month SEO engagement with all of the web sites we design. If you’re going to embrace digital in the form of a web site, then you need to know how to succeed in digital marketing too.
Back in the last century every town had a solicitor, a dentist, a doctor and a photographer. Marketing was as simple as hanging out a board. These days every town has at least half a dozen of each of these professions and worse, the internet has enabled your geographic client pool to reach out to other geographies.
A web site can be designed anywhere in the world. We have clients in the UK and Spain at the moment. That would have been unlikely even ten years ago.
My point is that competition to gain an audience is ferocious. You should earmark a budget for promotion, at least as much as your website costs to build. If not more.
Are All Website Visitors the Same?
Most emphatically not. There are various views of this and they all boil down to the same thing.
Browsers, Searchers and Buyers. Which ones are the easiest to convert?
You have lots of browsers and most of them are window-shopping, some are competitors, all of them are useless. These people are nice to have, but of no practical use whatsoever. You’ll have some that are searching, researching a topic and although they are not bought into your message in particular, they are valuable customers because they may be persuaded. There is common ground.
Buyers are those who have done their research and are now looking for the best deal. They are highly likely to take action, even if it’s simply to ask a question. These people are the most valuable visitors because they are starting to have a relationship with your brand. It may be just nodding terms, but who knows where it will lead? This is the Sales Funnel view of the world.
Earned, Paid and Owned Traffic. Which ones are the most valuable?
Earned traffic is largely made up browsers. They may be drawn by a search engine, they may be drawn by the excellence of your content but they are nowhere near as valuable as Paid Traffic.
Paid Traffic is made up of people who you have invested time and or money to attract. This is SEO, PPC, Advertising of any description. They have come to your website because something you have put out there has resonated.
Owned Traffic is the most valuable traffic of all. This traffic is made up of your mailing list and people for whom you are the doctor in the one doctor town. Check out our review of MailerLite if you’re looking for a great, affordable Mailing List tool.
How to Succeed in Digital Marketing?
Seriously, your web site should answer the question that brought the viewer to it. If you asked the question of yourself to begin with then that task just became a whole lot easier. When creating content, work backwards from the person typing a search term into Google. Where that search term overlaps with your product, content can be created that will rank in Google Search and draw viewers to the site.
This is the basis for Content Marketing and enables you to provide content that is considered useful by your visitors and by the Search Engines.
Digital Marketing Make you Young!
Sadly it doesn’t, but what it does do is increase the size of your connected audience. Like the young people I mentioned earlier who understand instinctively how to succeed in digital marketing. if you get digital right you will have people beating a path to your door. Digital Marketing is not easy and it’s not cheap, anyone who tells you otherwise is a charlatan but if you do get it right, the rewards are there.
If you’ve found this episode useful you should easily be able to answer the question – What are you selling and to who? In a nutshell, if you can’t answer the second part of the question, then you’re going to struggle to put together a coherent marketing strategy. A successful strategy depends on being able to answer that key question.
In the next episode we’re going to discuss Search Engine Optimisation, why we think it’s so important to a successful web site and why it’s bundled with every web site we build. We’ll also be looking at your options for creating a website. do you go Custom code or a builder like WordPress, Wix or Squarespace? Are there alternatives? which one his best?
Thanks for listening / reading. If you’ve got this far, How to Succeed in Digital Marketing has been the first full length episode of Digital Skin. You can find us at Digital Skin Online we’ll be online every second Tuesday for 24 episodes discussing the many elements that make up Digital Marketing.
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Actionable tips to put your website and your photography front and centre..