Ok, so you want to know the steps in digital marketing for your biz, but you’re sick of seeing pages and pages of gobbledygook.
You need something easy to understand to give you clarity on how it all fits together, that won’t leave you feeling like you’re being swept up in a techno-tsunami in a sea of I.T. dudes in horn-rimmed glasses, right?
Nothing against glasses, but there is a simpler way to get your head around the essential steps in digital marketing for your business when you don’t have time or brain space to stare at squiggly Matrix lines all day.
It took me YEARS to fully understand how all the moving pieces of digital marketing fit together. There is just way too much information out there, pitched at too many various levels. Now, I can easily describe what the basic framework looks like, and am able to teach it to business owners.
So, let me humbly explain to you–in English–what the 5 basic steps in digital marketing are so that you can tackle the internet with confidence.
The 5 Steps in Digital Marketing to Take So That You Look Like You Know What You’re Doing Online
Step 1 – Make Your Business Visible by Creating Static Brochures
From a digital marketer’s perspective, when you set up your website, blog, and social media platforms, you’ve basically just printed your business brochures.
“WHAT? All that work and you’re saying all I’ve done is print a brochure?!”
Yes, sorry to tell you, that is all you’ve done–it’s just the start!
Even if you are getting traffic and a smattering of people emailing you or buying your widget, there is lot more juice to be squeezed online.
It’s like your online brand presence hasn’t really been born yet. There is so much more potential for that baby!
Though you may post images, articles, videos, and updates, these are just static things online. There’s no movement; no active ingredients.
Maybe you have even paid someone to help the Google bots find your site (aka SEO, or Search Engine Optimization).
That is fabulous (congrats to you, you go-getter!), but it’s all just step one. Sorry.
You’ve simply become visible to whatever eyeballs come your way.
You’re in what is known as the Awareness stage, and your ability to make a sale is not as strong as it could be without the other 4 steps. But don’t worry, this first step is vital to growing an audience and none of the other steps will even matter without it.
The more time you spend setting it all up well and refining it, the better.
Just don’t get stuck on this step like most businesses online do.
Endless blogging, social media updates, Facebook LIVE videos, and website tweaks and re-tweaks will get you some results, but if you want to really target your sales potential online, read on.
Step 2 – Make Offers and Collect Addresses
All the discount sale promos and all the beautiful images of cool products you post may momentarily grab people’s attention, yes.
You might get quite a lot of people visiting your optimized website, too, yezzz…
But you may have heard that it takes 7 touch points of repeat recognition to make a sale, which is why that one-time momentary attention grab or visitor is not going to cut it.
On social media it won’t cut it because you’ll be lucky to get seen 7 times in a row without paid ads. Social media platforms quickly close a curtain around posts and profiles that don’t interest the viewers.
Then, even with paid social media ads, it’s going to look like junk mail.
Now, I know that you just want to drop your brochures in every mailbox on the street, but people don’t care about your business and they HATE junk mail.
They have NO JUNK MAIL signs on their letterboxes. Your “BUY MY WIDGET” posts are going to immediately go in the memory bin.
What to do, WHAT TO DO?!
This is why it is essential to create a longer-lasting visibility and process of familiarization between your business and the customer.
You MUST create real interest in your business by presenting people with things that they will care about.
And what people care about is themselves.
Your blog posts and social media posts needs to be about your customer instead of you. They need to solve the specific sets of problems your ideal customer is struggling with, for a start.
It’s a bit of a mind-twist, isn’t it? That to promote your business, you need to promote…the customer? Yet, this is the nature of ‘inbound marketing’, or marketing that has people coming to you rather than you chasing after them.
This is what is known as the Interest step in digital marketing, but it is not complete without the active ingredient:
Email marketing is NON-NEGOTIABLE if you are serious about digital marketing. I will explain why further down.
So, you need to make offers of things that will get your viewers to want to give you their email address.
And this is what we call a ‘lead magnet’ or ‘opt-in’or ‘freebie’ in digital marketing.
It consists of a free (always FREE) downloadable pdf like a checklist or guide. Or it can be a video training series, or access to locked-away blog posts. Or it could be as simple as a discount code or coupon.
The key point is, you must activate the interest you generate with your posts or your offer by getting your potential customer’s email address so that you can have more than that one precious touch point.
The reason email marketing is still the backbone of digital marketing is because you OWN email addresses. You do not own the followers you have on social media. Social media platforms can change or even disappear overnight. They control how much of what you post gets seen, whereas YOU control how much email you send out, which is more likely to be seen–if it is done well.
If it’s not done well then it’s just more junk mail, but that is what brings me to the 3rd step….
Step 3- Write to Convert. Don’t Write Junk Mail.
This is definitely the step that separates the wheat from the chaff online.
One of my favorite things to do on Instagram is just read the ads and study the copy (the writing). (While most people skip them, I know, I am a total marketing geek!).
It is very obvious who has hired a copywriter or studied how to write advertising copy.
It’s simple: good copy is about me. Bad copy is about them.
Good copy tells me what result I am going to get from buying their product or service. Bad copy waffles on about this or that feature of the widget, but doesn’t tell me what problems it is going to solve in my life.
Copywriting is the pillar of digital marketing. It is your ability to interest readers enough to want to act.
The act may be to sign-up to your email, follow you, comment, or to go ahead and buy from you. All of these are known as ‘conversions’. Copywriting, then is about conversions. Not just sales conversions. Everything you do online should be tied to either a micro conversion (like a click to find out more on an ad) or a macro conversion (they throw down the cold hard cash).
So, it’s essential to either hire a writer or to study copywriting a bit yourself.
Begin writing emails that are about your customer, solve problems, and that present your product or service as the solution. Run Facebook advertising campaigns to direct people to your email lead magnets. Review your website and all your marketing materials.
Entice people to want to buy with conversion copywriting.
Copywriting is what made me fall in me love with digital marketing, because it makes selling a form of giving people exactly what they want.
Step 4- Buoy Your Reputation
Maybe your mother, like mine, told you not to care what others think or say about you.
Well, that isn’t good advice for business online. You have to care a lot what gets said about your business on Google or Facebook.
As a social media manager, a big part of my job is monitoring the reputation of brands. I have to quickly respond to any reputation crisis with an action plan if someone goes mental on a page.
Feedback, testimonials, and public reviews are a critical step to the purchasing decision.
Readers on the precipice of purchasing will seek it out, so it needs to be good and plentiful.
Create a system to get feedback from every customer you make, then create testimonials from that feedback. Strategically sprinkle them on your website, posts, and in your emails. Make a fence-sitter want to jump into your shopping cart!
Run regular Google searches for your brand to find any crabbiness left in dark crevices of the internet. Then, get in there and create a bright and shiny, professional response so that everyone will know that you care.
Don’t worry about trying to remove grumpy, unreasonable reviews. Just drown it with good reviews.
And if you do get bad, but reasonable feedback, own it. Be tactful and professional. Tell them you’ll look into it and that you’re trying to improve; thank them even.
Customer nurturing is what step 4 is all about, aka Retention.
In 8 years of selling handmade accessories online, I rarely had bad feedback. I always went to great length to show that I cared about my customers. Only they have the power to change or remove bad feedback on sites like Ebay, Facebook, or Google, so it’s never too late to respond.
Step 5- Harvest the Fruits of Online Referrals
Lastly, the sweetest spot you can be online is one in which referrals start coming your way.
Your website is ranking in Google search results. You’re creating blog posts about your readers and their issues. There are multiple lead magnets available for all kinds of helpful things. Every email is also super helpful, and has a little conversion attached to it to help you grow.
Word of mouth spreads. People start to share your posts and talk about your product or service with their friends.
Congratulations! You’ve pretty much covered all the major bases in digital marketing.
Refining all these steps is pretty much an endless process that you can get uber, cyber-geeky over.
But if you hate it, you can begin to outsource the work. Or, just focus on what works that you do best and that you enjoy the most.
Ready to start on each of these steps?
Like I said before, most business owners get step 1 and 2 covered OK, but get a bit stuck in steps 3. Creating lead magnets, writing sales pages, and running Facebook ad campaigns can get a bit techy.
If you need help with any of these aspects, come and get all the help and support you need in my Facebook community, Marketing For Creative & Unconventional Women.
I’m in there every day spreading digital marketing juju to help creative women transform from being restricted, dependant daydreamers to self-employed, freedom-focused marketicians.
Come and join us!