Digital marketing. We’re constantly told we being told that we need to get better at it.
“You need to build an email list”
“You need to be seen on Instagram”
“Your website needs to change to attract new customers”
Depending on your circumstances – what your business has to offer, who your potential customers actually are and how they use the internet to purchase your products or services – this may be true, but being told that you “need to build an email list” isn’t really helpful is it?
Explaining how you can build a good email list, how you’ll be seen on Instagram (or assessing if you even need to be on it in the first place) and how your website needs to be changed is a much more useful way to help you get better at digital marketing.
This is the part of the blog where I let you into a little secret …
We all need to get better at digital marketing. There, I said it. Even the most proficient digital marketer will admit that there are areas they’d like to improve. That’s because the digital landscape can change in an instant. Seriously. Digital marketing trends and social media channels can (and do) change on an almost daily basis and the only way to get better at it is to adapt to the changes in the best way to market your business.
So how can you get better at digital marketing? Here are 5 ways.
#1: Nail your persona
This is what will set you apart. It doesn’t matter what you have to offer, if you don’t have a personality that your online audience can relate to then you’re not going to build a rapport with them in a way that builds trust and encourages them to purchase from you.
To really nail your persona, you should ask yourself:
- What do I want my business to be known for?
- What are the key characteristics of my customers?
- How can I create an online persona that appeals to them but also reflects my brand?
- What personality traits and interests of mine am I happy to share publicly for my brand to build a human connection?
Answering these questions will help you find correlations between your brand and your customers.
Having a personality in your marketing is hugely important if you want to attract new customers. The main thing is to make sure it’s consistent both online and offline – don’t be a different person online to what you are offline – that makes you look fake and doesn’t make people want to trust you as a brand.
#2: Get creative with your content
Good high quality, sharable content is expected (and a must if you want to succeed in establishing a reputation in your field), but how creative are you with your content? Do you have fun or play it safe? Are you producing exactly the same content as your competition? These are all things you need to consider.
My advice to you is to do your research. Ask your audience want they want to learn from you, take a look at the content on page 1 of Google related to your products and services and start brainstorming ideas on how you can create the content your audience wants, but in your own unique way.
It could be that you share your sense of humour and add quirky aspects to your content that makes you instantly recognisable. Similarly you could tackle topics your competitors do, but you can do it so differently that it attracts the attention of your audiences.
The one caveat here is that your content needs to be believable. In other words, don’t create a persona that is sensible and reflects your brand then publish content so off the wall that no one believes it’s actually you. Your content should be informative, educational and reflect your brand.
#3: Consume other people’s content
This is so important. Listen to podcasts, watch videos and read blogs and books. I love doing this. Learning from others makes me better at my job because it allows me to see other perspectives that I might not have considered otherwise.
The only problem is that there is so much content out there that sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start. Does this sound familiar? If it does then here are some suggestions of some digital marketers whose website you can visit to begin learning:
There are so many more I could list here, but maybe that should be another blog. Over to you on this.
#4: Attend digital marketing events / conferences
If you want to learn how to do digital marketing in the right way for your business and customers, then attending digital marketing conferences will help you take your activity to the next level.
Hearing from those at the top of their game, who’ve experimented with their digital marketing and learned what they can, will really help you shape your strategy. You can learn from their successes and mistakes, find out more about trends and network with like-minded people who all deliver digital marketing in their own way.
My advice to you is to find some events and conferences near you and invest the time in attending to better your skills and widen your digital marketing outlook.
#5: Keep up to date with changes in your chosen channels.
I’ve been told by a number of business owners that this is the biggest challenge they face when it comes to digital marketing. How can you stay on top of channels when things change so quickly? My answer is always the same. Pick a maximum of two channels and conquer them. That will make your job a lot easier!
If your audience is on Facebook then you should be, if they’re on Twitter then you should be on there and so on. Try and avoid the temptation of creating profiles on every social media channel going while trying to build a mailing list, create content every week for your website as well as try to maintain a presence on all of your platforms – trust me, this won’t work (and will be very overwhelming).
Have a plan, stay focused and make an effort to keep on top of changes made to your chosen channels. This will help you deliver an effective digital marketing strategy that will directly impact on your revenue.
My final thoughts …
Some of what I’ve written in this blog may seem like common sense, but I see so many businesses struggle and feel overwhelmed by digital marketing because of the pressure we all face to earn money online.
It is possible, but you have to be patient, consistent in your activity and be present online as much as possible. You don’t need to be an expert but you do need to have a plan, understand your audiences and show a personality that will convert followers to paying customers.