As digital marketing consultants we work with a variety of businesses of all sizes. Many don’t understand that digital marketing is often a process or journey as opposed to a destination. They believe web projects reach a finish line and can be forgotten about as soon as they are “finished”. This is simply not true.
The core of digital marketing revolves around a web site. Many businesses view the development of a web site as massive project with an end date. They hire someone to design, develop, write and build a web site. Once finished, like God in Genesis, they declare it is good and forget about it!
Businesses never add new content or do SEO (search engine optimization). They don’t test their copy or test their pages. Many simply walk away from the project. Too many view their web site as an item on a checklist. Once they build it and write the check to the web designer they can check it off the to-do list. Small and even some medium-sized businesses are the primary offenders here. Unfortunately, those are the companies that should be pouring effort into their online marketing efforts.
Digital Marketing The Great Equalizer
Businesses don’t seem to understand that digital marketing is one of the great equalizers in business. It is a space where businesses of all sizes can compete and do well. Back in yester-year before the commercial web existed, businesses with the most money and size usually won. Small businesses had trouble competing. No more. With a solid digital marketing strategy, a business of any size can compete for customers worldwide. If they have access to tools, strategies, and exposure that only mega-corporations had in the past.
With software companies building incredible SaaS (Software as a Service) business have access to incredibly powerful tools at an affordable price. Businesses of every size can now tap into analytics, management, and marketing tools that only large corporations had access to 20 years ago. Large corporations may have more money, but that cash doesn’t buy them better tools any longer.
Combine these tools with strategy, creativity, and quality digital marketing and you can not only compete, but outmaneuver the big guys easily. Remember the large guys have money and personnel, but they also have the speed and maneuverability of a glacier.
This all assumes of course that you view your digital marketing strategy as a journey. A journey that is never finished and is always a work in progress. You need to stay nimble and move quickly. Shift ineffective campaigns and strategies while doubling down on what works. That requires a constant effort and vigilance, but the payoff is in more leads, sales and profits. At minimum here are the items you should be working on constantly.
The bottom line is that the modern web rewards the businesses that invest time, money and energy into creating quality content. Content can come in many forms from blog articles, eBooks, white papers, guides, newsletters, videos, podcasts, info graphics and many other formats. Some of this content can be turned into a powerful lead magnet that is used in lead generation. This is information that is generally NOT about your products or services. Rather this content focuses on problems your audience needs solved and you provide the content to help them do that. Creating content is a never-ending process and must be done on a regular schedule.
If you are like too many business owners that builds a web site and puts up the equivalent of a brochure. Then you never update your site again unless your business hours or phone number change. You have wasted your investment.
Your web site should be a hub of all that you do online. It needs to be a vibrant living eco-system of marketing information, traffic, and resources for your audience. You should be supplying regular quality content and drawing your audience back repeatedly as well as referring this information to others, which pulls in new people and grows your business.
Let me see if I can guess what is going through your mind right now…
“I don’t have time to do all of that social media and content stuff! I have a business to run and don’t have enough time to do all that. Plus, I don’t know how and wouldn’t know where to start.”
Basic Content Creation Solutions Exist:
- Hire a Content Creator – You can hire a content developer that will do this for you. That person can be an outside firm like ours or an internal employee. A content creator is someone that can focus on what your audience needs and provide it. A good provider should be able to provide analytics of effectiveness and change digital marketing strategies as necessary.
- Learn the Skill – Content creation is like any other skill. It can be learned. There is no magic here, just hard work and determination. We teach teams the skills of content development that want to do this themselves and there are a ton of great books and resources online that will also show you.
The important take away here is to focus on just doing it, doing it well and making it a regular and constant activity in your business.
eCommerce is another area that requires constant work. If you just sank a chunk of your retirement savings into a new retail store we doubt would show up on the first day and open the door and then leave for 6 months. Occasionally stop by to clean out the cash register. As ridiculous as this sounds this is exactly how many people who get started in the eCommerce act. They pay to create a nice store somewhere and then walk away and think people will simply find them and buy from them. Simply not true. A good eCommerce site is like a good store requiring constant marketing, testing products, testing copy, and pages, building an email marketing list, creating a social media presence etc. This is called digital marketing and it is a ongoing process. A journey. As you do this over and over eventually you tap into those strategies that are working.
Digital Marketing is Direct Marketing
Most marketing on the Internet falls into the category of what we call direct marketing. This means you are trying to get people to take some type of action right now as opposed to waiting until later. Direct marketing requires that you are always tweaking and changing your marketing strategy until it pulls better than anything else. Once that is done you start the process over again to improve it even further. You need to be trying new copy, sales page layouts, offers, technology, ads, lead magnets, strategies, graphics, etc. In direct marketing, we say test, test, test. That is how successful digital marketing is done.
Digital marketing is a journey that never ends. It is a process that requires constant and never-ending improvement like the Japanese term of Kaizen. If you aren’t willing to do this then you shouldn’t expect your marketing to produce good results, but to those businesses that are willing to take the time and effort to do it right, they will find the rewards far exceed the work.
If you would like to learn how your web site stacks up consider signing up for our free 45-minute consulting package. As part of this free package, you will receive a written evaluation of your web site. You will also get at least 3 actionable strategies you can apply today. You will get a nice return on your investment of 45 minutes.