Introduction To Digital Marketing Strategies
The world of digital media is changing at a phenomenal pace. Constantly evolving technologies are transforming not just how we access our information but how we interact and communicate with one another on a global scale.
Marketing is no longer thought of as arts and crafts in today’s digital landscape. We have to be analytic and results-driven if we want to impact our company’s bottom line. While content is the core of any inbound marketing strategy, it can also be the toughest to measure.
Companies that are successfully implementing digital marketing strategies are seeing an average increase in sales of 10 to 20% or more. By developing a digital marketing strategy and integrating the related tools with existing marketing processes, businesses can dramatically increase both leads and sales.
Unfortunately though, a lot of companies do not know where to start. Or they are making mistakes and misinformed about how to accomplish these goals, costing them time, money, and resources. And ignoring digital marketing is costly as well. You may not go out of business tomorrow if you are not being found on the Internet today, however you will be slowly losing business to more knowledgeable competitors.
In this post, we will understand as to how to plan & successfully implement digital marketing strategy using:
- Sales Funnel Strategies
- Social Media Strategy and Best Practices
- Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Periscope, Blab
- Social Media Automation
- Working with Affiliate Marketers
Creating A Sales Funnel
The most successful businesses have an effective sales funnel or marketing funnel in place. A marketing funnel is when you map out a customer’s journey from when a customer is a complete stranger to when they become a lead, and then put certain strategies in place that will encourage them to move through this funnel. Things like lead magnets, calls to action, opt-ins and offers are all effective pieces of a funnel. You can think of a marketing funnel in four parts: Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action.
- Awareness: The potential customer is aware of your product or service. They’re still a stranger, but they’ve come to your website for a reason. They’re looking for something they need. At this stage you want to attract the customer by showing them that you have something they’re looking for. Use a lead magnet or call-to-action to give the customer a valuable resource related to your product or service (i.e: what they need) in exchange for more information about them like their email address, phone number, profession and current needs. Find out who they are and why they came to your website.
- Interest: They are actively expressing interest in a certain type of your products or services. At this point you’ve given them some information and they’re interested in what you have to say or the services you provide. You’ve used your lead magnet or CTA in stage one to gather more information about them. At this stage it’s a good idea to supply them with further information that is more tailored to their specific needs. Showing them that you not only took the time to get to know them, but also have something that’s specific to their needs will show that you’re attentive to and care about your customer’s wants and needs.
- Desire: They’ve taken an interest in a specific product or service. Now that you’ve supplied them with information specific to what they’re looking for, they’ve found a product or service you provide that might be a good fit for them. Invite them to schedule a consultation using an email or a call-to-action. At this stage you want to tell them more about the product or service they’re interested in. Show them why they need it and exactly how it will benefit them.
- Action: Taking the next step towards purchasing. This is when you’re able to turn your potential customer into a lead. You’ve given them valuable information, shown them you pay attention to your customer’s needs, and shown them that you have something they need that will benefit them. All that’s left is discussing things like price, payment and other aspects of your product or service that are relevant to a buyer.
Having an effective marketing funnel won’t just get you more leads, it can also help you turn leads into repeat buyers. If the customer has a good experience they might return to purchase from you again or even tell others they know about your business. The elements of a marketing funnel can seem like a lot to put together, but they’re simple concepts when broken down. You’ll see that numbers 3,4 and 5 help to break down and explain the different aspects of having a marketing funnel in place on your site and how to put together some of the most important pieces of it.
3. Developing a call-to-action: We talked about using a call-to-action in the second step as a part of your marketing funnel, but what is a call-to-action exactly? A call-to-action (CTA) is an image or text that prompts visitors to take action, such as subscribe to a newsletter, view a webinar or request a product demo. CTAs should direct people to landing pages, where you can collect visitors’ contact information in exchange for a valuable marketing offer. In that sense, an effective CTA results in more leads and conversions for your website. This path, from a click on a CTA to a landing page, illustrates the much desired process of lead generation. In order to increase visitor-to-lead conversion opportunities, you need to create a lot of calls-to-action, distribute them across your web presence and optimize them. A good CTA should be attention grabbing and help lead a potential customer further into your marketing funnel.
How to use content for each stage of the sales funnel
According to ringDNA, one of the biggest mistakes marketers make is that they don’t align their content marketing efforts with their sales funnel stages so they can close more deals.
More often than not, they don’t go deep enough. As a result, they fail to move prospects to the next stage.
That’s why we have decided to explain how you can use different content for each stage of your sales funnel:
Blogging (awareness and interest) – by blogging, you will generate awareness and interest for your solution.
It could be your main source of traffic for your website, and it’s also a good way to engage your list by sharing valuable content.
The way you bring awareness by blogging is to optimize your content with the right key words so you can attract your target customers from an organic search.
Another way is to promote your posts on social media by influencing other people to share them or by using promoted posts.
It’s important to state that blogging is not a “bottom of the funnel” activity.
In other words, it won’t lead to people making a decision to buy from you. For that, you will need to create other types of content or push people to go on a sales call with you.
Lead magnets (interest) – any type of lead magnet is used as a tool to generate interest toward your product.
You grow your email list by offering something of value to your audience that they’re already interested in, such as a guide or course.
Anything that can educate your prospects on how they can solve their problems and achieve their goals.
And during that time, you can start building the demand for your product.
Within the lead magnets itself, you can place call-to-actions to check out your products/services, call your sales department, etc.
Webinars (decision and action) – even though webinars can be used as lead magnets, they’re more focused on the decision stage and convincing people to take action and buy your products.
When people sign up for webinars, they’re already pretty interested in achieving a certain goal or solving a specific problem.
This could be growing their traffic, losing weight or finding the perfect soul mate.
Your goal with the webinar is not only to educate them, but to build their demand in order for them to take action.
At the end, you should always have a call-to-action to buy your product, start a free trial or request a consultation.
Videos (awareness, interest, decision, action) – they can be used in pretty much all the stages of the sales funnel.
YouTube is well-known as the second largest search engine, so by optimizing the videos for certain keywords, you can generate tons of awareness and traffic to your website.
Additionally, you can use services like Wistia to embed educational videos within your blog posts and your website to educate your audience on topics that interest them.
By creating explainer videos, you can build demand for your product or service.
Last, but not least, with sales videos you can entice people to make the final step and take action.
Creating your sales funnel
Now it’s time to create your sales funnel. For that, you can use the following step-by-step template:
Gather data and understand your customers – the best way to do that is to talk to them.
According to Matt Ackerson from Petovera by doing that, you will understand their needs and frustrations – and how well (or not) your offer helps to solve their problem.
That way you can adjust your funnel to focus on those key and most relevant selling points. You may also gain insights that lead you to adjust your product or service, and make it better.
The most important questions you should ask your customers are:
- What are your current challenges with [the area that you cover]?
- What are your current fears and frustrations? What are your goals and aspirations?
- What have you done to try to solve your problems/achieve your goals? How well did it work?
Based on your data, you can create content for each stage of your sales funnel and help prospects move down your pipeline.
Create buying personas – the truth is you can’t have the same sales funnel for all your customers.
- They have different reasons for buying your product
- They’re going to use it differently
- They make buying decisions in different ways
It’s a lot smarter to create different buyer personas for each customer type and create different sales funnels to better match their experience.
Traffic and lead generation strategies – there are three different directions you can go here – toward paid traffic, “free” traffic or cold outreach (or a combination of the three).
The paid traffic is the easiest way to bring traffic to your website. You pay for an ad and as soon as someone clicks on it, you will have a visitor to your website.
You can also use:
The disadvantage of paid traffic is that as soon as you stop paying, your traffic will stop and you won’t get any new leads.
Affiliate marketing is also a form of paid traffic. The only difference is that you don’t pay in advance. You only pay after a sale has been made.
“Free” traffic is the one you don’t pay for directly. However, this doesn’t mean it’s truly free.
You might need to spend money on paid tools and work really hard to optimize your site for Google and earn the attention of others so they start talking about you.
Free traffic includes:
- Social media traffic (non-paid)
- Referral traffic (from other sites linking to you)
- Direct traffic (from people who know about your brand and have visited your website before)
Cold outreach is a strategy that involves you sending cold emails or cold calling companies that might need your product or services.
It is the most time-consuming strategy among the three.
Engagement strategies – you need to constantly engage your leads, educate them on topics they are interested in and help them move down your pipeline.
That way, at some point, they will be ready to make a purchasing decision.
You can also engage them with:
Closing strategies – these are the strategies that you use to convert your prospects into customers.
For that, you can use:
- Sales calls and emails
- Sales and product pages
What’s important is to build the demand of your prospects in advance and turn their implied needs into explicit needs.
Then you can make a clear offer that targets the needs of your customers and closes the deal.
It’s important to explain to the user what he needs to do in order to buy from you.