Taking the leap towards full-time entrepreneurship can feel a little like free-falling from a sky-dive without the safety harness in place. Once you decide to start a business, the first questions that pop-up into any newly minted entrepreneur’s mind are about how they are going to get enough revenue generated to keep the business engine running.
Even if you have a viable revenue-generating gig, just putting yourself out there and marketing your services boldly can be a very scary thing in itself! You may be constantly asking yourself:
- Am I doing the right things to grow my business?
- How do I grow my digital presence?
- Which social accounts should I focus on?
- How will I onboard enough customers to make this a profitable gig?
- How can I really get my product/service into the limelight?
The so-called experts keep talking about ‘influence’ and having powerful strategies. No one talks in any concrete terms about how you can execute these for your own business. There are a lot of myths surrounding the digital marketing world. We are here to bust these myths!
Myth #1 – Marketing is a DIY Job
Digital marketing is not like decorating your living room or creating a pamphlet for a highschool health fair. Activities like website development, content creation, email marketing and client retention require expert knowledge that takes years for any single individual to amass.
Marketing also requires a strong knowledge of industry practices and awareness of the latest trends. If you are still using SEO practices form 2012 to market your business, you are probably harming your web traffic!
A lot of our new clients are initially reluctant to shell out the money required to work with a digital marketing agency. They approach us to see what their options are, but a lot of clients that work with us over the long term realise that digital marketing, while lucrative, requires a lot of consistent effort – just like any other successful business activity.
Myth #2 – Just throw up a website
In 2001, you may have gotten away with the “If you build it, they will come” trope for attracting customers. That was nearly 20 years ago! Sure, you need a website for your business. Everyone does these days. However, web design has come a long way. Modern websites need to be super-functional, purposeful and mobile friendly in order to ‘sell’ your product or service successfully
Let’s talk about mobile friendly in particular. According to Statista, the mobile phone internet user penetration in the US alone will climb to over 92% by 2021. This does not even take into account the top mobile-first markets in the world including China, India, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.
Mobile optimization is not just about ‘beating the competition’ anymore – it is a bona fide survival tactic for the business that wants to survive the digital marketing landscape of the next decade. In order for businesses to stay visible to potential customers, digital transformations across the board will have to factor in mobile platforms as the primary touch-point for customer contact in the years to come.
Myth #3 – Content creation is the easy part
This is the one that trips up most business owners. Sure, anyone with a good idea can string a great blog together. However, will you be able to maintain an enthusiastic pace of content creation over a year? Two years? How about five years? Content marketing can give you easy wins. This much is true. However, there is one caveat. In order for content marketing to be effective, you will have to create a powerful content strategy.
In order for content to convert, you will have to build it within an ecosystem of relevant conversations. Pillar content, social content, visual content and even video content will be impactful only if it is placed within context. Your content will only be as relevant as the degree to which it relates to the larger conversations shaping your specific business niche. Customers buy your products if they are relevant – and building relevance requires professional expertise.
Ok, so tell me about effective digital marketing?
So, everybody and their second cousin work in the digital marketing business today! Nothing wrong with that. There is a growing need for marketing support across a wide range of industries. However, unlike the majority of regulated professions, the digital marketing you will receive from different types of providers will vary across the board. We will get into detailed analysis of what you can expect from a digital marketing agency in a little bit. Before that, let’s take a look at the current marketing situation for most small-medium businesses for context.
Today, there is rarely any business that doesn’t recognise the power of digital marketing. In all likelihood, most business owners you come across will have already devoted time and money towards their digital marketing at some point. Everyone wants to be a thought leader in their niche. However, getting noticed on the internet takes a lot more than a striking piece of content. With any content you publish, timing is essential.
Often, business owners struggle to tap into the latest online marketing strategies. The biggest challenge is publishing the right stuff at the right time. Marketing trends are finicky from the get-go. Without industry knowledge, it can be super-easy to miss the train on massive trends that have the potential to buoy your brand up towards success. Small business owners often end up spending huge amounts of money on fruitless marketing campaigns.
Consulting a brand management agency for strategy formation can not only increase your sales but also help you to create a strong identity. A competent digital branding expert can help you move a step closer to your business goals by working intensively with you to figure out the right messaging and content strategy for your brand.
Here is what you can expect from a great digital marketing team:
Affordable marketing for your business
Digital and mobile marketing is here to stay. Regardless of what naysayers say; platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and LinkedIn are still great channels to find the right audience for your brand.
Poorly executed campaigns can end up costing you a lot of money and still lead you nowhere with lead conversion. In contrast, well-executed content marketing can help you stretch even a small budget to convert pre-conditioned leads
Offline marketing requires large sums of money and offers very general targeting. In contrast, online marketing helps you focus on your core audience at affordable costs. The premise and popularity of online marketing is based on the advantage of pitching your product or service directly to your customers online.
A responsible digital marketing team will be able to help you isolate the right platforms, keywords, hashtags as well as content to help you reach and build relationships with the key players that will be interested in purchasing your services.
Uncomplicated, powerful analytics
Here is what digital marketing agencies will NOT tell you upfront. You don’t need fancy analytics when starting out with your marketing. Just a few relevant key performance indicators can help you measure your performance online.
Some of the most commonly used parameters include web traffic sources, incremental sales, SEO traffic and even customer churn rates. However, every business is different, so the metrics that apply to your business may be different. Just a few important metrics can keep your measurable simple, effective and help you meet monthly targets for lead nurturing and conversion. Later, as your business and marketing strategy matures, you can strategize for upcoming campaigns by referring to multiple metrics for detailed campaign crafting.
Instead of trying to tackle all audiences on all platforms, you will make a dent in your niche faster by picking the right platform. When looking for ways to reach new audiences on a new platform, there are a few questions you might want to consider. These questions can guide your customer acquisition strategy on any given platform:
- Is your product useful to the audience on this platform?
- Does it solve a problem for the people to interact with on this platform?
- Is your audience active on this platform?
- What kind of content do you want to post here?
- Will you be able to engage with your audience on this platform?
Look, everyone trips up over words like ‘high conversion’. Basically, high-conversion leads in layman terms refer to people who are already interested in your products of services. These people are easier to ‘sell’ to and also more likely to purchase from you. The challenge here is to find these people and start building relationships with them. Digital marketing teams can help you find these people by helping you:
- Understand who is most likely to benefit from your service
- Understand which service of yours is the most sought after
- Understand how your audience uses social media
- Pay attention to buyer behaviour
- Consider psychographics such as behaviour, attitude, personality, hobbies, etc
A digital marketing team can help you formulate a strong brand voice and keep your messaging consistent across platforms. So, no matter who is taking care of your digital marketing, your storytelling remains the same!
If you’re interested in figuring out an affordable content strategy for your brand, check out our free brand health assessment questionnaire – http://bit.ly/2yapEJM