Have you ever tried creating a digital marketing strategy for your business? The days of cold-calling, knocking on doors, and using traditional advertising are over and the age of digital channels, influencers, and high-quality online marketing is in! The average person spends at least 5 hours per day online. This simple fact is all the reason why you need a digital marketing strategy with optimized marketing campaigns. If that doesn’t click for you, keep reading.
Facebook ads are 3x cheaper and more targeted than television, print, and radio ads. Using the right marketing channels to reach your target audience should be the main priority of any marketing plan you implement. According to Google, there are now more than 2 trillion daily searches this year 2019 and that translates to 63,000 queries per second. Traffic from Google is more likely to convert than any other form of advertising.
In today’s world, email is the #1 communication channel. 91% of consumers check their email on a daily basis. For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. 41.9% of users open their email accounts using their mobile phones, 39.9% uses webmail and 18.2% use their desktop.
It is important to keep in mind that content is king. Companies that publish blogs on a regular basis see 4x more traffic than websites that do not produce content. In fact, the average cost-per-sale drops 80% after consistent digital marketing activities. If you want to grow faster and grow smarter, you need an effective digital marketing plan. A digital marketing strategy includes an integrative plan of how your business will use social media, search engines, emails, and content to increase your brand awareness.
Sounds easy, right?
Unfortunately, it is not. Most small businesses fail to implement their digital marketing strategy. The businesses fail for one or two reasons:
1. They do not have sufficient knowledge
2. They do not have enough time
3. The owners do not have enough experience
Now, here’s the good news…
In this guide, we are going to provide you with everything that you need to implement your digital marketing strategy. We are going to teach you short-cuts to getting results fast, and surefire long-term strategies that will boost your lead generation, reach new customers, and achieve your business goals. This is our secret sauce. This is a consolidation of what our agency has seen work after studying the big players’ digital marketing strategies, like HubSpot and Digital Marketer. What you are about to learn is worth over $5,000.00 in consulting.
Are you ready?
Developing Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Let’s get straight to the point. The Internet is very simple. You can talk to your friends and family on social media. You can search for your favorite content on Google or YouTube. There’s even the option to read and learn from the blogs you find. Plus, you can check your email. Most importantly, you can spend your money!
If you’re reading this, then you probably get the most excited about people spending money. You want people to spend their money with you!
Here is the digital marketing strategy that will help you get more sales:
1. Build Your Buyer Persona
2. Grow Brand Awareness & Visibility
3. Drive Website Traffic
4. Convert Traffic
5. Increase Conversion Rate
6. Increase Sales
If you want to increase sales, you must successfully increase awareness, traffic, and conversions. You are going to learn exactly how to do this.
How to Develop Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Part 1: Build Your Buyer Personas
The ability to truly understand your customers is often underrated. Nothing will work if your digital marketing strategy is not tailored to your audience, well that unless you do the work. You need to research and develop a customer avatar. A customer avatar is a breakdown of your target customer’s goals, interests, pain points, and other demographic characteristics. All valuable information that will help you better develop your digital marketing campaigns in the future.
Your customer avatar will help you develop ads that work. Your ads will be so relevant to your audience that you will get a ton of impressions, clicks, and conversions. In conclusion, understanding your customers is the key to success.
How do you research your customers?
There are plenty of ways to research your customers to develop an avatar. Below are some of our recommendations.
1) Analyze your current customers
Take a look at your current customers. Who are they? What do they like? How old are they? Where are they located? Dig deep and see if you can identify any trends. You will likely find that there are many traits that your customers have in common.
2) Analyze your competitors
Now that you’ve looked inside, let’s take a look outside. What are your competitors doing? What are consumer preferences in your industry?
When analyzing your competitors, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is their unique selling proposition? How are they positioning themselves in your industry?
- How is their website designed? If you believe they are successful, does it make sense for you to incorporate some items into your website?
- What do their social media accounts look like? How many followers do they have? Are they getting engagement? What is their message to their audience?
- How strong is their search engine presence? Are they paying for Google ads? Do they have #1 rankings? Use a tool like SEM Rush to figure this out. Are they doing any email marketing or blogging? Look through their blog and email opt-in forms on their website.
If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. If there is an industry leader in your market, try to learn as much as you can. You do not have to “copy them” but you can use what you learn and crush them!
In terms of consumer preferences, there are a few things that you can do to assess this:
- Industry reports: there are plenty of industry-specific reports that breakdown consumer preferences for you. The SBA recommends using the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
- Conduct surveys: if you cannot find data points on what you are looking for, use Google Surveys. It is the easiest way to get fast and reliable insights from consumers across the Internet. You can create a survey and target it at industry-specific users across the web to complete it.
3) Use Facebook Audience Insights
This is our favorite marketing tactic. Facebook Audience Insights is powerful. It allows you to plug-in demographics and it will automatically display trends associated with those demographics. It will show you the top interests of your audience, their age, lifestyle behaviors, and much more. You can use Facebook Audience Insights even if you do not have any customers. Take your best guess at who you think your potential customers are, and allow the insights you gather to help you develop your customer avatar. Once you start implementing your digital marketing strategy, you can target various segments of your customer avatar. Based on the response, you can continue to tweak your customer avatar.
Part 2: Grow Awareness and Visibility
At this point, you have done your share of research and have built your customer avatar. You are ready to build a strong digital marketing strategy that converts more customers for your business. It is time to get #1 rankings, millions of followers, and a huge email list. Buckle up your seat belt! As you’re buckling up, let’s tackle something very important. Let’s agree on one thing. You can’t build a long-term future on short-term thinking. Nothing worth having comes easy.
You are about to learn how to build a surefire digital marketing strategy that is going to triple your business. It will be hard and of course some things will work better than others. You are going to waste some money on trying different things, and some things that you try will make you a ton of money. It takes maturity, patience, and faith to be successful with digital marketing. You have to trust the process. Now that you’re buckled up and ready to ride, let’s build your digital marketing strategy.
Long-Term Strategy to Grow Awareness & Visibility
Assets. You need to invest into marketing automation assets today that will produce returns tomorrow. The assets are top SEO rankings, social media followers, and email subscribers. If you have this, you can drive thousands of “free” and “organic” results. These results consist of thousands of impressions and clicks to your website. If you sell something great, this free traffic will turn into sales. Though, it is important that you think long-term. At a minimum, you plan for 6-12 months to develop your digital marketing assets. In fact, we helped one small business generate $96,664.98 in sales in just 5 months through SEO. The process should really continue for the life of your business.
Building your brand is an ongoing process, and as you continue to build, the more momentum you will have in the future. Also, if you’re more of a short-term type of guy, don’t worry. In the next section, you will learn some short-cuts. For now, let’s talk about how you can develop your digital marketing assets.
Long-Term Social Media Marketing Strategy to Increase Sales
People are 3x more likely to purchase from brands they follow on social media. Social media marketing is about developing trust and building a long-lasting relationship with your audience. Though, in order to get to this point, you have to first build an audience of followers. Most importantly, an audience of followers that engage with your brand. To build your audience on social media, you have two options:
1) Use Paid Advertising
Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) will always be the quickest and most efficient way to penetrate your target market. This is especially the case for Facebook, as it has become a pay-to-play type of platform. You will need to create “follower” ads on social media platforms. Make sure that you specify it to target demographics in your customer avatar. Your desired audience will see your ads on social media and be prompted to follow your page.
Think of your ad as a way of making a “friend request” on Facebook or “connection” on LinkedIn. Present yourself well. Make it clear why people should be friends with your business. Incentivize them by letting them know what they will gain from following your business. If you keep this in mind, you will see optimal results. To learn more, read our 10 Essentials to Running Successful Facebook Ads post.
2) Maximize Organic Opportunities
If you want to grow through organic methods, get ready to work–work on your content marketing strategy that is.
If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and do the hard work, here are proven to work organic methods to grow your page.
- Groups: Join industry-specific groups and add value to the members. You can indirectly promote your brand and capture more followers. However, be certain to make sure you add value before you promote your page.
- Following: Find pages that your customers are following. You will already know this because you’ve built your customer avatar and know what they like. Start following people who match your customer avatar, and you will find that many people will follow you back
- Hashtags: Use hashtags in every post you publish. Millions of people search hashtags daily for content. If your business uses hashtags that align with your content, you will increase your brand visibility and likely see a bump in followers.
- Content: Post great content that your audience will share. Blogs, webinars, podcasts, and giveaways are just a few ideas of content you can try. Most importantly, use your customer avatar and post content that is interesting to your audience. If your audience shares your content, you will also reach more people and see an increase in followers.
What should you do once you have developed your audience?
Tell stories that do two things. One, make sure it is relevant to your audience and their customer journey. Two, make sure that it somehow ties back to your product. Remember, the goal is to build a relationship with your audience. Talk to them in a relatable way that makes sense for your business. You get the point. Let’s move on the SEO.
Long-Term SEO Marketing Strategy to Increase Sales
91% of Internet journeys start with a search engine. This section is all about making sure that your business shows up in the search engines when it matters most. Here’s the quick guide to ranking on Google. You need to do two things. Just two things. That’s it. First, you need to optimize your website. This means that you need to help search engines understand your website. They automatically scan your website. Your job is to make sure that they identify your website for the keywords that your customers are searching for. Second, you need to influence your website’s rankings.
This means that you need to prove to search engines that your website is relevant. You need to be everywhere.
The best way to do this is to:
- Increase backlinks
- Increase social signals
- Improve and increase content
In simpler terms, you need to:
- Be featured on other websites (be popular)
- Increase your post shares on social media (have followers that actually like you)
- Publish posts that are relevant (gossip)
To implement your SEO strategy effectively, you may need to partner with a marketing team that has the experience. If you insist to know the full SEO process, please read our Complete Guide to Improve SEO Rankings.
Long-Term Strategy to Email Marketing
Email may not be the coolest form of marketing, but it is far from dead. People check their email daily. Did you know that 68.9% of users open marketing emails using their mobile phones 2-3 days per week? That is every reason why your business needs to use email.
If you want thousands of email contacts, this is exactly what you need to do in seven words.
Create a lead magnet and promote it.
A lead magnet is an offer and you’ve probably seen one before. Here’s a list of lead magnets:
- Free eBook
- Free Checklist
- Cheat Sheets for Free
- Free Templates
- Now Offering Free Consultations
- Free Quizzes
- Free Demo
- Free Shipping
You get the point. Now here’s the thing – you don’t need to develop a bunch of lead magnets. You just need one good one. Use your customer avatar and identify one thing that you can offer to your audience in exchange for their email address.
There are two ways you can promote your lead magnets. You can promote it on your website or you can promote it through advertising.
To promote lead magnets on your website, use one of the following:
- Floating bar
To promote your lead magnets through advertising, do the following:
- Create an ad
- Target it at your customer avatar
- Convert clicks into email leads with CTAs (call-to-actions)
Advertising is the most effective way to promote your lead magnets and increase your list. This will be more important in the next section, which is explains short-cut strategies that your business can use to see more results.
Part 3: [SHORT-CUT] Short Term Strategies to Drive Immediate Traffic
Everything you’ve learned to this point is long-term digital marketing strategies to drive long-term results. If you want to one-day drive “free” and “organic” traffic to your website, you need to invest in digital market assets. These assets are social media followers, email subscribers, and SEO rankings, however you can’t build a long-term future with short-term thinking. What you can build is short-term results with short-term thinking.
This section is about short-term digital marketing strategies to drive fast results. For some small businesses, specifically, startups, if they do not drive traffic fast, their business will starve. They go out of business. For others, you may want to invest in long-term strategies, and your marketing goals are to also drive short-term results. While your digital marketing assets are being “developed”, you can leverage short-term strategies to drive results in the meantime.
If either sounds like you, keep reading.
[SHORT-CUT] Use Online Advertising to Drive Immediate Traffic
Online advertising can drive immediate traffic to your website. Today, online advertising primarily consists of search engine and social media advertising. Remember, social media ads are cheap, targeted, and it works. Search engine ads are great because it is where your customers search, and where you can be found. Both are fast and effective. You can launch ads and drive traffic to your website in a short period of time. This will allow you to capture traffic and expedite the sales process. Your goal will be to create effective ads that drive clicks at low costs.
Here’s how this works
You create an ad. People click it. Once they click it, they land on your website. They have two choices – to buy your products or to leave your website. 95-99% of people will not buy on their first visit. This is the group that you need to focus more on. They clicked your ad for a reason. They were interested in it. Therefore, it makes sense to continue to market to them. You can do this through remarketing, email marketing, and content marketing. This will allow you to increase touchpoints and move them closer to buying your products. We’ll cover this in the next section. Though, in general, this short-cut is all about using advertising to direct people to consider people buying your products.
Now, let’s dig deep.
Here’s What You Need to Know in Order to Be Successful
In order to be successful, you need to understand a few things.
1. The difference between “cold, warm, and hot” traffic
2. How to improve your ads
3. How to track results that matter – conversions
If you understand this, you will understand how to be effective with your ads.
Cold, Warm, and Hot Traffic
Believe or not, your website traffic has a temperature. There are website visitors who are more likely to buy than others. Those who are more likely to buy are considered “hot”, and those less likely to buy are “cold.” Obviously, everyone wants hot traffic. These are the people who are familiar with your brand, products, or services. They are more likely to buy because they already know what your business is about. Therefore, they will be more receptive to your ads. If you are new to advertising, most of your traffic will be cold. They are unaware of your products and services and do not know what your business is about. Furthermore, they do not trust you which makes this audience least likely to buy. Now, here’s the key takeaway.
You must set realistic expectations.
If you are driving new, cold traffic to your website, plan for a lower conversion rate. You will need to advertise to your audience continuously to warm them up. Remember, the hotter your traffic is, the more likely you are to convert them. Plan to advertise for at least 3 months before measuring success.
How to Improve Your Ads
A “set it and forget it” attitude towards your ads won’t work in digital marketing. In fact, 70% of Google and Facebook ads fail. And, this is probably why. Make sure you use Adwords and launch a series of ads because you do not know which will perform the best. Once you launch your ads, monitor them on an ongoing basis. Some ads will outperform others, this is just the way it goes. Remember, it is important you spend your money on what is working best for your business. There are many ways to analyze your ads, but here are the most common optimization points:
1) Analyze Relevance Score
This is the quickest way to identify your top-performing ads. Your relevance score is a score provided by advertising platforms that ranks the relevance of your ads. It is measured by how people are responding to your ads. The more engagement your ads receive, the more relevant your ads are in general.
2) Analyze Audiences
Target your ads at various audiences. Then, identify which audience is responding the best to your ads. You can look at the ads’ relevance score, conversion rates, and other metrics to determine this.
3) Analyze Performance Data
To really optimize your ad campaign, analyze the performance data. Track KPIs. Identify the best time of the day and day of the week, to run your ads. Determine if you are getting more conversions from mobile devices, or desktop computers. Find out what gender or keyword is converting the most. There are many ways to sift through your performance data to optimize your campaign.
How to measure ROI and track conversions
The beauty of online advertising is that you can measure the exact return on investment. This will allow you to analyze, measure, and scale your advertising campaigns to grow your business. Most major advertising platforms will have an option to install conversion tracking on your ads. This will help you identify how many people converted from your ads. If you are in e-commerce, you can find out the exact dollar amount in revenue you made from your ads. If you are collecting leads, you can assign a dollar value to your leads to pinpoint your return.
Here is the fool-proof guide to installing conversion tracking to your ads:
1. Log-in your ad account
2. Find the “conversions” tab
3. Generate a pixel code to track conversions
4. Paste the pixel code on your website
5. Activate conversion tracking to your ads
Most advertising platforms have step-by-step guides on how to install conversion tracking. However, the 5 steps above is essentially all it takes to start tracking conversions to scale your campaign.
Now that you’re tracking conversions, let’s talk about increasing your conversion rate.
Part 4: How to Use Lead Nurturing to Increase Conversion Rate
Touchpoints. You need to increase your touchpoints with potential buyers. The more times people interact with your business across the web, the more likely they will do business with you.
At this point, you’ve done one or more of the following:
- Invested in long-term strategies to grow visibility & awareness
- Invested in a short-term strategy to drive immediate traffic to your website
Whether you’ve taken short-cuts or the long journey, your efforts will eventually lead to people the “consideration” stage of actually doing business with you. This section is about how you can move people from consideration to actually buying your products.
There are three things you can do:
2. Email Automation
3. Content Marketing
How Remarketing Fits into Your Digital Marketing Strategy
If you have ever seen continuous ads after visiting a website, you have been remarketed to before. Remarketing is a type of advertising that targets people who have recently interacted with your brand. Whether you think it is annoying or not, it works. We have managed millions of dollars in online advertising spend for small businesses. What we have found to be consistent for most of our clients, is that remarketing ads have higher conversion rates. Remember, “hot” traffic is more likely to buy than “cold traffic”. People who have visited your products and services pages are considered hot traffic. Remarketing is the best way to advertise to people who are considering doing business with you.
How to get started with Remarketing
You can launch remarketing ads on most advertising platforms, such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter.
The setup is similar to conversion tracking. All you have to do is:
1. Create a remarketing audience
2. Install tracking pixel on your website
3. Wait until your audience has a certain amount of people
Once your remarketing audience meets the minimum audience size (different for each platform), you can begin running your ads. However, before you run your ads, make sure you segment your audience correctly.
How to segment your remarketing audience
While there are many best practices for remarketing, we recommend that you show ads to people based on what they were interested in on your website. Specifically, you may want to segment your remarketing list by:
- People who have visited specific product or service pages
- Those who have spent a certain amount of time on your website
- People who have visited your website a certain amount of times
- People who have subscribed to your email list
- Those who have purchased from you in the past
By segmenting your remarketing list, you will be able to tailor your ads to your audience and personalize it based on their preferences.
How Email Automation Fits into Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Email automation is an organic way to nurture your leads and increase touchpoints. Email automated sequences, or “drip campaigns,” are sequences of premade emails that are sent to specific people on your email list. Effective email sequences warm up your leads and move them closer to purchasing your products.
Imagine that you sell health supplements. You may create an email sequence with the following pieces of content.
1. A blog about the importance of health
2. A case study about how your health supplements helped a customer become healthy
3. A discount on your health supplements to help your leaders become healthy
Notice that the first email isn’t a sales offer. As you can see in the example, it starts off by adding value with a blog. Once the value of the blog is consumed and the lead is excited, you can send another email with a case study. This time the case study is about your products. Now the lead understands the value of being healthy, and how someone became healthy through your products. The last email is where you ask for their business, incentivizing them with a limited-time offer.
How to Build Your Email Automation Campaign
Step 1) Select an email automation software. We recommend using Active Campaign. It is inexpensive and simple to use their automation features.
Step 2) Configure your email sequence. How many emails should you send? How long should the delay be between your emails?
The answers will depend based on your sales cycle. If you have a short sales cycle, you should not need as many emails to convert new sales. If you have a long sales cycle, you will need more emails, and perhaps more delay in between emails. For example, one of our B2B clients has a 1-year sales cycle. He has over 100 emails in his sequence that he sends over a 12-month timespan. What will work best for your business?
Step 3) Determine what your emails will be about. In general, your goal should be to add value to your subscribers. If your emails do not expedite your subscriber’s stage in your sales cycle, do not send it. In order to do this, you need to understand your customer avatar and produce emails that relate to both, customer goals and how your product helps accomplish them.
You can use the next section to dig deeper into content for your email campaigns, and other areas of your digital marketing strategy.
How Content Marketing Fits into Your Digital Marketing Strategy
You need content to nurture leads. It is the bridge that takes people from your email campaigns to your website. Content transforms social media followers into website visitors and it can also be used in your advertising campaigns to warm-up cold traffic. It is the ultimate form of engagement and it is the premise to warm up your leads through any channel.
There are various types of content – social media posts, videos, infographics, and so on. However, the most important piece of content is the website content. Specifically, blogs.
Companies that blog see 3x more ROI than businesses that do not. And with your digital marketing assets and advertising campaigns, you will already have the necessary tools to promote your blog content.
How to Get Started with Content Marketing
To get started with content marketing, take the following steps:
Step 1) Install a blog on your website. We recommend using WordPress. If your website is not on WordPress, we recommend installing WordPress on “subfolder” or “subdomain” connecting it to your website’s URL.
Step 2) Develop a blog calendar. Use your customer avatar to plan blog topics to engage your readers.
Step 3) Write and publish your blog content. Upon publishing your content, promote it. You can promote your content through your SEO, social media, advertising, and email marketing efforts.
You’ve just learned the “why” and “how” of lead nurturing. Remember, it is all about touchpoints. And you can utilize remarketing, email marketing, and content marketing through various outlets to nurture your leads.
Now let’s move on to the most important part of your digital marketing strategy.
Part 5: The Hub of Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Your website is the hub of your digital marketing strategy.
It is your “store.” Your visitors will make purchasing decisions based on your presentation. It is critical that your website makes the best first impression. You can have #1 rankings on Google, millions of followers and subscribers, and a killer advertising campaign. However, you will not see any conversions if your website or landing page is ineffective. In fact, people decide whether or they trust your website within the first 5 seconds of arriving. You need to make sure that your website design is attractive, user-friendly, and responsive.
Step 1) Choose a website theme your users will love. Use your customer avatar and competitive analysis to what consumer preferences are with website design. Then, add some creativity and develop a website that is widely accepted and unique to your brand.
Step 2) When designing your website, keep it simple. Avoid fancy, complicated things, like sliders. Those things hurt your user experience. Use a menu to organize your pages. Use pictures to illustrate your message. Add call-to-action buttons to help people move from one page to the next. Use larger fonts and minimize columns. In the simplest words, make it easy for users to get what they need from your website.
Step 3) Make your website design responsive. More than half of Internet users access the web through a mobile device. Be sure to prioritize your mobile web design over your desktop design. Your website should be viewable across any mobile device, tablet, or PC. A website that is not responsive is like promoting the wrong address to a party. People will not show up! Don’t make this mistake.
Your Surefire Digital Marketing Strategy to Triple Sales
This is the exact digital marketing strategy that will help you triple your sales. Here’s a quick recap:
The most cost-effective way to grow your awareness & visibility on the web is to invest in search engine optimization, social media management, and email marketing. If you develop these assets, you will not need to rely so much on digital advertising. The con to this approach is that it takes longer to implement and reap the results. You need to be willing to invest at least 6-12 months before seeing significant results.
A short-cut is to invest in digital advertising. Specifically, Google and Facebook advertising. You can create ads and start driving traffic to your website immediately. After optimizing your ads for at least 3 months, you should begin to see an upward spike in conversions.
For those who do not convert immediately, which is the most traffic initially, we recommend adding lead nurturing to your strategy. Lead nurturing consists of remarketing, email marketing, and content marketing. The goal is to increase touchpoints with interested prospects and expedite your sales cycle.
And lastly, we discussed your website. Your website is the single-most-important factor of your digital marketing strategy. It determines your conversion rate and it needs to be carefully designed.
Now that you have your digital marketing strategy, you need to implement it.
Here are your options:
1. Do it yourself
2. Hire an employee
3. Hire an agency
Anyone can implement a digital marketing strategy. However, it takes time. There will be trial and error and for new digital marketers, there will be more error than anything in the beginning. For those who are on a budget, your only option may be to do it yourself. You will need to invest in a lot of training to fully understand the components. Also, you should realistically plan for slower growth in your business because you will be spending so much time trying to learn and implement digital marketing.
Hiring an employee is more ideal. This way you can continue to work on managing your business – developing your products and services, dealing with customers, managing finances, and other items on every business owner’s to-do list. Unfortunately, experienced employees are very expensive. On top of that, you will likely have to train and manage your employees. Most small businesses do not have $50,000, plus benefits, to hire a single full-time employee.
Which leads us to number three, hire an agency. Agencies exist to provide the exact services you need at a fraction of the cost. They hire experienced employees with specialized skill sets. A turnkey agency can help you implement your digital marketing strategy fast and effectively. It is, however, very difficult to find an agency. Be sure to closely review their online reviews on Facebook, Google, and Yelp. And if you’re reading this blog, you should strongly consider our 5-star digital marketing agency to help you implement your digital marketing strategy.
To learn more about how we can help you implement your digital marketing strategy, contact us today.