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Digital marketing can be a trip, yo!
There are a bajillion tools and a gazillion gurus spouting their wisdom on how to do it best.
There's so much information coming at you, it's hard to know where to focus.
Here's the deal, I'm not a guru and I don't believe in using a bajillion tools ...
But, I've been using digital marketing to sell my products (both physical and digital), services, and coaching for the last 4+ years ...
This post serves as the intro & table of contents for a series of posts that will show you how I think about digital marketing while teaching you the strategy and tactics so you can be successful as well!
MINDSET: "I Am A Direct Response Marketer"
Before getting into all the strategic and tactical stuff, we need to get on the same page with regard to mindset.
If you don't have the same mindset as me, you might as well stop reading ... because, you're not going to "get it".
Mindset is important because it pre-frames how you're going to use digital marketing to grow your business.
You need to have the mindset that you are a direct response marketer.
Every action you perform needs to focus on eliciting a specific, measured response from your visitor/customer/client/etc.
Everything you do needs to have a clear Call To Action (CTA).
For example, when you launch an ad, it needs to have a specific, measurable purpose, ie. to get email subscribers or to sell product X.
You do NOT launch an ad to "build awareness". WTF is "awareness"? You made people "aware" of what? Your business? What does that mean? Did they buy something? Did they become a lead? Pointless.
Another example, when you produce a piece of content, whether it's a blog post, video, podcast, etc, it needs to have a specific and measurable purpose. Who are you trying to attract? What action are you trying to get them to take? When you present your call to action (CTA), make sure you use a tracking link so you can measure your results.
Until you have money flowing out of every orifice or loads of time, every bit of marketing/advertising you do needs to have a specific and measurable goal - ie. leads & sales.
All that "awareness" and "branding" stuff will come over time as you grow your business ... but, when you're a startup or a small business, these are very vague goals and will lead to meager results. You need to make everything you do count.
Does that make sense?
I hope so, and I hope we are in agreement because, if not ... save yourself some time and stop reading now.
Lay Your Groundwork
Before moving on to marketing, you need to have your business fundamentals down first.
You need to know who your customers are, their pain points, where they congregate online, etc.
If you don't know who you're trying to reach, it's going to be mighty hard to market to them.
If you don't know who your customers are, click here.
Obviously, you need a business with products and/or services before you can market it. But there's a good chance you haven't put much thought into the "structure" of what you have to offer.
You need to think about how your offerings provide value to your customers.
What are your up-sells, down-sells, and cross-sells?
How do you "ascend" your customers to give them more value while your business generates more money?
If you just kinda "sell some stuff" and there's no real rhyme, reason, or flow between what you sell ...
I highly recommend you focus on establishing your value ladder before moving on.
Even if your offerings are structured in a way to "ascend" people, I still recommend checking out the value ladder article ... as it will serve as a good refresher.
The final piece of groundwork you need in place before moving on is a way to deliver your offerings.
Maybe you have a brick & mortar business, or an ecommerce store, or maybe you have a membership portal ... whatever the way, it doesn't matter.
The point is, you need to have a way to collect money and deliver the goods.
And, 9 times out of 10 ... the way you currently collect money and deliver your offerings is sub par, but it's OK. We're going to optimize the heck out of it when we get to the Point Of Sale Optimization segment!
The Sales Funnel Concept
Moving forward, you need to think of your digital marketing efforts like a funnel ...
There's a big world out there with over 7 billion people on it.
Some of them need what you have, but most people don't.
We call the people that need what you offer your ideal customer, marketing persona, or avatar.
You attract this individual through advertising.
There are many ways to advertise and we'll get into them in another part, but all advertising needs to have the specific and measurable goal of acquiring leads.
When you have leads, you're able to use marketing automation to develop a relationship with them and build rapport.
These relationships help you convert leads into paying customers.
And, when you have a paying customer, you want to make sure you're offering them as much value as possible for days/weeks/months/years to come.
Fortunately, much of this can also be accomplished with the help of marketing automation.
And that, my friend, is the sales funnel concept.
Of course, there are a lot of moving parts inside of it (we'll be getting to them), but that's the big picture.
If you've made it this far, it's because you have taken on the mindset of a direct response marketer, have your business fundamentals in place, and have a general understanding of the sales funnel concept.
Now, it's time to get into the nitty-gritty digital marketing strategy and tactics!
Moving on, this post will be updated with links to complementary articles that show you how to effectively grow your business with digital marketing.
Continue Your Digital Marketing Journey...
Below, you'll find the continuation articles that deep dive into the specific areas of the digital marketing strategy and tactics that will help propel your business!