Let me start with a disclaimer: the digital marketing landscape changes by the minute. The tools and platforms in use change by the month, the consumer trends and fads in vogue change by the day and to stay ahead of the curve, our tactics and strategies must change by the click. (Maybe not that fast, but staying ahead of these subtle trends really helps!)
But despite these changes, there are enduring concepts, principles and tactics that can lead us to success in our journeys. There are also tools and platforms that have worked for many marketers out there, and that are specially suited for beginners to the industry.
The concept central to Digital Marketing and that is the lifeblood of any online venture is traffic. High-quality, high-converting and responsive traffic. The target audience and consequently, what good quality traffic means varies from niche to niche, be it Health and Wellness, Beauty, Entrepreneurship, Digital Lifestyle and so on. The natural first step for anyone wishing to start out is to choose your niche, ideally one that you are passionate and knowledgeable about. This will allow you to better understand your audience – their aspirations, interests, pain points – and better connect with them.
But traffic is just a word. It could very well just be jargon that we throw around to describe numbers on an analytics dashboard. These numbers represent a lot more than that. These are real people, with real lives and real perspectives. And the “traffic” we speak of is the attention that they dedicated to consuming content online. These could be people clicking to an online store to buy something they need, or a student browsing articles to find information for a project. Regardless, to really take advantage of this traffic online, we have to create real tangible value that the people on your content platforms can experience.
However, our job is made more difficult by the anonymity of the Internet, as well as the varied, never-ending options it provides. Everyone’s attention span is limited. To differentiate ourselves or a website from the vast universe of personalities and webpages out there, our job is to create an identifiable brand. We will have to work on profiling our core characteristics and being a relatable human being.
Let’s take the example of email newsletters. Newsletters are a powerful tool for people and brands to tell their story through the most common means of communication in the workplace – email. Emails offer a dedicated broadcasting channel through which we have the space and attention of about 3 minutes to pitch to our audiences. Browsing through an email could seem like too short a time to do much, but this is way more compared to social media advertisements, where we are talking about seconds of gaze time. Injecting a consistent presence in your audience’s lives through daily emails sent through an email marketing service or autoresponder is a tried and tested way for many online entrepreneurs to capture attention, while incurs a marginal cost of essentially zero per email. For beginners who do not have sufficient financial buffer to rake up the costs of paid social media or Google ads that may not pay off, this is a good place to start.
The best marketers however, do not simply interact with their subscribers through just any email. They spend time engaging their subscribers, and crafting tailored emails that will resonate with and speak to their subscribers on an individual and personal level. These emails will contain the products and offers that are best suited for the category of subscribers, who have indicated interest in certain areas, exhibited certain consumption habits or bought previous products that were promoted. And this is why consistent engagement with your customer base, no matter how small or large, is essential.
Still, consistent messages does not mean spam. As any of us would know, spam is a quick way to loose an audience and tarnish your reputation. Our audiences gives us their time and attention because of one thing – Value. That’s why it is super important that we give them just that. Every audience comes to a content creator for different reasons, and the success of the marketer depends on his or her ability to balance everyone’s expectations of what content they will release to the world.
Just like any type of marketing, this is an art. There is no fixed formula that will guarantee success. Nevertheless, there is still a ‘science’ behind this industry. There are systems and tactics that have been proven time and time again to work. Technology has enabled us to draw up metrics and analytics on almost every inch of our online presence, and social media has allowed us to reach thousands with a single post. But balancing our own attention between the numbers and the message we feel represents our brand the best lies at the heart of the issue.
Using jargon, if you would prefer, balancing performance marketing and brand marketing respectively. Performance marketing may have found that visitors preferred the blue button over the red one 53% of the time. Brand marketing guidelines could have identified that blue aligns better with your brand’s identity. Both could make sense. But, when making decisions, it is about walking the same path of your visitors, diving deep into their interests and patterns so much that it is almost an obsession. Then by giving people exactly what they came to you for – trust that you can deliver value, you can convert clicks into leads, leads into sales, and sales into income.
Accelerate your career in digital marketing by reaching out and joining GrowthFunnels on Facebook, where you can join a fast-growing and supportive community of next generation online entrepreneurs. We assume no prior knowledge or experience, except that you already have an interest in and are ready to delve into the world of digital marketing.