It’s hard to write about the revolution in digital marketing today, when the revolution really started with the launch of Google over 20 years ago on September 4, 1998.
But, so many companies have simply missed the speeding train to this new world. Sure, they may have a website and publish a few social media posts here and there, or even send an occasional email.
But most are simply missing the massive opportunities available to them in the digital marketing world and they are not even in the same solar system when it comes to keeping up with the continuous rapid changes that occur almost daily.
It All Starts with Content
According to Smart Insights, in 2016 what happened online every 60 seconds included:
- 149,513 emails
- 3.3 million Facebook posts
- 3.8 million Google searches
- 65,972 Instagram photos uploaded
- 448,800 Twitter tweets
- 1,440 WordPress posts
- 29 million WhatsApp messages
- 500 hours of YouTube videos uploaded
The volume of content being published certainly didn’t slow down last year, nor will it slow down this year or in the foreseeable future. It appears our appetite for content is insatiable, but what are we really looking for?
Relevant, Remarkable Content
If you are going to join the Digital Marketing Revolution, you will need to accept responsibility for a second business.
You’ll continue to do all of the things you have always done for your current business – marketing, sales, operations, service, legal, finance, human resources – or whatever you call those functions in your business.
But you also have a second business you are responsible for running, your shiny new media company. Because in the digital marketing age, every business not only has a business to run, but they also have a publishing business to run too!
While that could feel like just too much to ask (don’t you have enough challenges?), the opportunities and benefits to your core business of running your new media company are extraordinary.
In addition, you really don’t have a choice, other than burying your head in the sand. If even one of your competitors jumps on the digital marketing train, they will leave you standing at the station at ludicrous speed as they quickly monopolize your market.
Why Your Website Matters
It doesn’t matter where you have first contact with a prospective customer, the next thing they are going to do is visit your website.
Once they get to your website, they will ask themselves every few seconds:
If they go before they convert at some level, even as simple as signing up for your email newsletter, they are most likely gone forever.
Your website needs to be technically solid. It needs to be visually appealing. But anyone, even someone with zero programming skills, can create a technically solid, visually appealing website today in a matter of days or even hours. It’s just that easy!
Creating remarkable content that compels visitors to stay on your website and convert? That is work best left to professionals who have mastered both content creation and website creation.
Your Work’s Not Done!
You have probably heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If SEO seems like voodoo or technical wizardry to you, that’s probably because someone promised you they would get your website on page one of Google. Well, caveat emptor – buyer beware – because those charlatans are selling snake oil – don’t buy it!
It is true that there is important technical work to do on your website. The tags, titles, descriptions, keywords and other technical structure aspects of your website have to be done right if you want Google (and other search engines) to index and rank your website pages. But those are just prerequisites to enter the game, they don’t get you to the Super Bowl.
But Google is way too smart to be manipulated by some tech wizard. Once again, it is your content that matters, even to Google.
Google’s Semantic Search methodology tests your website in four key areas:
Content Volume: How much content do you publish? Google has an insatiable appetite for more, more, more content.
Content Variety: How many different types of content do you publish, such as Blogs, White Papers, Infographics, Images and especially Video? Google wants all of its senses stimulated – see, hear and even touch. Who knows, the next algorithm update could have taste and smell!
Content Veracity: How well do people trust your content. Are you getting social signals from likes, shares and comments that demonstrate your content is relevant and remarkable? Google trusts you when others trust you, but not before.
Content Velocity: How frequently do you publish your content? Are you consistent or sporadic in your approach? Google loves content published at ludicrous speed. Is your media company up to the task?
What they are looking for is the most relevant quality content to present to people using Google to search for information. If you win for that particular search query, your content will be found, possibly on page one and as the first listing. But without relevant content based on the search query, your website will be buried many pages deep.
There are many other aspects of Google’s secret algorithms that none of us will ever know, but all we really need to know is relevant, remarkable content, published consistently, will bring your website content to page one and leave your competitors eating your dust.
Why Social Media Matters
Let’s tell the truth – social media is a nuisance for most businesses. You don’t know what to do, how to do it and most importantly, why you should bother.
Well, now you know why.
- Because Google says so! Google is looking for the social signals that your website is trusted.
- How does Google get those signals? When you content generates likes, shares and comments.
- How do you get likes, shares and comments? By producing relevant, remarkable content.
There is simply no escape from building a content marketing machine. Your new media company rules!
While you do need to play the game, that doesn’t mean you have to play with equal intensity on every field. Some businesses benefit from Facebook more than LinkedIn while others benefit more from LinkedIn than Facebook. Many other social media channels have their place in the mix as well. You could even tweet your way to the Presidency!
Email Marketing is potentially the most cost effective marketing method available to any business. You can reach your prospects and customers for fractions of pennies and get more of them to buy and buy more and buy more often.
Of course, that’s only when you do email marketing “right,” which means you never, ever get caught selling. You can lead people through processes where you help them buy with email marketing, just do not sell. Capisce?
Where do you start with email marketing?
List: You start by beginning to build quality lists of “opt-in” prospects and customers. That process never ends.
Content: You continue by, once again, creating relevant, remarkable content. That process never ends.
Design: You create email content that is appropriate for your lists.
That could mean a series of articles that pull them back to your website.
That could mean very tight copy, singularly focused, that drives your subscribers to a web page.
It could – maybe – even mean a long copy email that goes on and on and on, but it is usually best to get them to click through the email and get to your website.
Test: How do you know the best way for your subscribers? Test, test and test again!
Rhythm: You establish a rhythm – a frequency for sending email to your prospects. That frequency could be monthly, weekly, two to three times per week or even daily.
Measure: You measure your email performance. New subscriptions, opens, clicks, forwards, unsubscribes. Keep score and watch your trends!
No SPAM: You never, never, never SPAM and did we mention, don’t get caught selling?
Absolutely, positively make email marketing part of your digital marketing machine. You couldn’t make a better investment – if you do it “right.”
Your Digital Content Machine
Let’s tie a bow around the building blocks of digital marketing to architect your business for success:
- Relevant, remarkable content
- A technically solid, visually compelling website
- Executing a search marketing strategy that attracts visitors to your website
- Relevant, remarkable content on your website that engages visitors and compels them to stay on your website
- Relevant, remarkable content on your website that converts visitors to subscribe for more of your content
- Relevant, remarkable content that inspires likes, shares and comments on social media
- Relevant, remarkable content that you can use to execute email marketing campaigns
The “bad news” about digital marketing is your work is never done.
The “good news” is if you make the commitment to digital marketing and do it well, you will only see your competition in your rear view mirror.
Let’s architect your business digital marketing success together.