Making the best food requires the best ingredients. The same is true of the best Digital Marketing campaigns.
The best professionals can make a decent dish out of mediocre ingredients, but when they have access to the best ingredients is when they realize the fullest extent of their capabilities.
Whether you’re DIYing your digital marketing, or seeking out professionals to help you drive conversions, getting the most out of your digital marketing starts with making sure you have what you need to get the job done right.
Every technique, tool, strategy, and effort you combine to craft your recipe for success in the digital domain starts with these ingredients, so identify the the assets you’ve got, and how to establish the ones you don’t, with WebMarketer’s list of 10 crucial ingredients to success in the digital domain:
1) A Story People Can Care About
Why do you do what you do?
Ultimately, this consideration is the most important one online. Before anybody takes even a second to care about what you do or how it makes their life better, they need to know why they should give a damn about your business.
So why do you give a damn about your business?
If you can articulate it, in a way that someone other than yourself can relate to, you’ve taken care of the lion’s share of the real work of digital marketing. This is the work of determining the core of your story’s brand.
Simon Sinek said it best: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.
There is no better way to generate purchases from a customer’s than cementing the ‘purchase’ of your company vision in their mind and heart. Once they’ve bought your story, buying your product comes naturally.
Before customers open their wallets to your product or service, they must open their heart and mind to it. Storytelling speaks to the part of us that first needs to answer the question “why should I care?” before going on to assess costs and benefits.
If you aren’t sure what your story is, or how you can/should tell it, this is the first consideration you ought to make when approaching Digital Marketing for your business. Defining your story can be a very non-intuitive and difficult process, so consider this insight for help if you’re having trouble!
Your story is the platform your marketing stands on, and with a strong foundation will enhance the success of every marketing effort you make.
2) A Story To Make Them Care
You obviously know what makes your product or service special. But are you articulating it in such a way that that ‘specialness’ is obviously evident to anyone that comes to your website, sees your posts across social media, or reads your content?
It’s comparatively easy to focusing on ‘what’ makes your product or services better than others, instead of focusing on ‘why’ people should buy into what you do instead of your competition. Understanding ‘what’ you should do to solve a problem or meet a need only happens after the question of ‘why’ something ought to be seen as a problem worth solving, or a need worth meeting.
‘Why’ questions are difficult and inherently philosophical, but when you can answer them convincingly, have tremendous power in influencing human decision making.
For example, consider Eponym, a glasses manufacturer that used the power of storytelling to create a massively successful brand:
‘What’ Eponym does is make is glasses. The reason they have presented as to why they make sunglasses, however, is the cause of their tremendous success.
Eponym has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence, in a matter of years coming ‘eye-to-eye’ with one of the most entrenched fashion monopolies in human history because it presents itself not as a business, but as a cause. The glasses they make are not substantially different from anyone else, but why they make them is, and that’s why people buy them.
Their business is built around the idea of disrupting the ‘evil’ sunglasses monopoly Luxxotica, the manufacturer behind essentially every (other) major brand of glasses on earth. Luxxotica has been effectively the world’s only name in sunglasses for decades, leveraging their size and position to allegedly rig the sunglasses market and enjoy massive markups.
A story with characters we’ve all seen before, more than a couple times, and love! Eponym positions themselves as an underdog going head to head with a big, evil corporation. When you buy Eponym sunglasses, you’re participating in the story; showing your support for David, and your disdain for Goliath.
Its no accident that Eponym named themselves after the concept of an Eponymous hero, so don’t get the impression storytelling is anything but the very centre of Eponym’s brand and product differentiation strategy.
3) A Strategy That Can Scale With Your Business
Getting a good story out to the masses can make your business real busy, real fast. Sometimes too fast.
Therefore, it’s good to be prepared to accommodate the business good Digital Marketing campaigns can provide. If you aren’t ready to capitalize on the opportunity your efforts are liable to provide, you’re missing an ingredient critical to your recipe for success.
Fortunately, one of the great strengths of digital marketing is it capacity to scale up and down per your needs. Got a great story, but a business that is tough to scale quickly? Consider optimizing your use of digital marketing channels to fit your needs. If your business can accommodate slow-and-steady growth, consider sticking to slow-and-steady methods like cultivating an email marketing list, working on your SEO, etc. Need to bootstrap your business on a budget? Consider ‘viral’ techniques like Dollar Shave Club did with their famous video marketing:
One advantage of marketing digitally is the vast range of options and techniques available to mix-and-match to establish the perfect ‘recipe’ for the unique needs, wants, and expectations of any business. Educating yourself on what’s available, and which combination is right for you takes some time and energy, but of course there are always experts available to help.
4) The Right Balance of Expertise and Entertainment
Telling a good story is about entertainment and education. Every successful digital marketing campaign will position itself at some point on a spectrum between either side, but never at one extreme or the other. People don’t consume your content if it reads or views like a textbook, but it’s also important to remember that you visitors don’t convert if your content doesn’t provide anything substantive.
Jetblue Airlines demonstrates with its video content how a professional brand can educate an audience while also entertaining them. Nobody wants to watch a video concerning what you can and cannot bring on a plane, but when you inject it with humor and entertainment value, a simple informational asset turns into a powerful tool to spread and build your brand!
No matter what side of the spectrum you think you ought to fall on, always keep in mind that you should never be solely educational or entertaining. Establishing the trust of your audience requires you to bring them to your content, but also to leave them with something of value. Whether you prioritize entertainment or education, don’t neglect the value of each priority!
5) An Established Online Presence
When it comes to SEO and getting Google to recognize your website, the age of your domain is the bread-and-butter of your SEO efforts. If your site has been on Google for 2+ years, even with a bad ranking, you’ve got a fantastic platform on which to start rocketing up SERP’s.
If you’re looking to invest in Digital Marketing for your business, and don’t have a website, then you’ll want to get one right now! While climbing SERP’s isn’t as easy for new websites, it’s not impossible, and every day you spend with one now is another indication value in Google’s eyes.
(Don’t have a website for your business? We can help.)
Whether your website is 40 years or 4 minutes old, there are some quick and easy SEO tricks you can perform to really boost your online presence to searchers. Going through the process of setting up your Google My Business account is an easy, free way to expose your business to a wealth of local mobile searches. Depending on your circumstances, this can give you immediate ‘back door access’ to the top of Google’s SERP’s for mobile searchers, and massively increase traffic right away!
If you’re interested in a more comprehensive analysis of these quick tips and tricks, consider signing up for our newsletter by filling in the form on the right of the page, and get notified when we release content concerning that topic!
6) Basic Front-End Optimizations and Tools
Is your website mobile friendly? Does it have quality content with established readers? Do you have a newsletter sign-up? Lead generation form?
If you’ve said no to any of these, you’ve just found a fantastic place, or places, to start optimizing your site for conversions.
Google, not to mention your viewers, appreciates websites that are easy to use across a variety of devices. It knows when a site works on desktop, tablet, and mobile; and will give your site a higher priority ranking if it does.
Frequent updates are another criterion that Google will use to assess your search ranking because they indicate that a site is cared for, suggesting a quality experience for visitors that Google wants to be associated with. A great way to show Google that you are updating your site is by consistently creating content for a blog. Not only will this indicate consistent updates and help you climb SERP’s, but sharing this content across a variety of channels is also liable to bring you significant traffic!
After this, site modules like lead generation forms and email sign-ups are a basic, but powerful, way to boost your conversion strategy. So long as you have the resources to take advantage of the information they send your way (sales for lead generation, email newsletters for sign-ups), placing these strategically throughout your site is a great way to get the most out of your online presence.
7) A Plan For Ongoing Refinement and Optimization
After you’ve done basic optimizations, it helps to get a little more fine-grained. Conversion Optimization is a domain within digital marketing that deals with making small and incremental changes to a site on-page experience, measuring the impact of those changes, and using that information to maximize conversion rate.
These changes, while small, can have a tremendous impact on the conversion rate of your online presence. Changing the copy on a page, changing the color of a sign-up button, including pictures of people; these are minor changes to a page that can have major changes to a business’s bottom line.
Requiring a rigorous and nuanced approach, like science, conversion optimization is something usually best left to the professionals. If you’re interested in learning more about Conversion Optimization, sign up to be notified on the right when we post an article on the topic, or feel free to get in touch about optimizing your site!
8) Strong Informational Assets and Resources
Sites convert better when they can demonstrate to a viewer what they get and who they get it from when doing business with a company.
This helps to explain the power that case studies and images have on conversion rates.
It may seem small, but having human faces placed throughout your site is a demonstrably powerful way to get the most out of your website. People like to do business with people, and investing in high-quality images of every member of your team helps to foster that human relationship. Kissmetrics demonstrates, in the case of Medalia Art, how changing their page from product-based pictures of their art, to maker-based pictures of their artists, increased conversions by 95%!
A similar story can be told of case studies, especially in the case where your product or service is highly variable from client to client. It can be difficult, if not downright impossible, to get a solid idea of process from an end-product. A case-study addresses this by taking a reader step-by-step through a client relationship with your business, demonstrating clearly exactly the value they can expect to get from doing business with you.
Approaching your Digital Marketer with these resources means you’re coming into the digital domain with the meat and potatoes you need to succeed online!
9) A Strong Off-Page Profile
Are people talking about you online? Google counts each time your site is linked on a different site as a vote of confidence in the quality of your site or business. The higher the votes, the higher Google’s impression of your quality, the higher your ranking on SERPs.
If you don’t have much of an off-page link profile, there are plenty of strategies to get things started. One of the most powerful, and most accessible, strategies to do this is through consistent content creation on your company blog. Creating content, broadcasting it across social media, and having that content shared by others is a surefire way to inexpensively boost your off-page profile.
Aside from blogging, it doesn’t take much time (and is generally free) to register a Houzz, Pinterest, Yahoo Directory, ZoomInfo account etc, and have each one link back to your website. Each profile you set up to link to your site helps Google recognize you as a valuable search result!
For a more definitive and comprehensive guide to boosting off-page links, keep your eye to the WebMarketers blog for more information on boosting off-page links!
10) Consistent Competitive Analysis
Differentiating yourself in the digital domain requires you to understand exactly who and what you want to be different from, in digital space. Most business owners and traditional marketers will take a geographic or market-based approach to finding out where you lie in each of those spaces. This information is useful, but it’s important to take a different approach when marketing digitally.
To launch your business off the strongest digital marketing platform you can, it’s important to establish your understanding of who you’re competing with in the digital space. This task can be non-intuitive to those who are unfamiliar with digital marketing, but there are a wealth of tools available to help you out! Keep your eye to the WebMarketer’s blog for an in-depth look at those at a later date!
Now Let’s Get Cooking!
Good recipe’s start with good ingredients, but they don’t end there!
Once you’ve got everything you need to establish a solid platform for digital marketing success, it comes time to use it! Just like cooking, there are thousands of tools, techniques, and strategies you can combine with your ingredients to concoct the perfect dish. Figuring out which combination that’s best for you boils down to learning the techniques yourself, or finding someone who does.
Whether you’re looking to DIY or get some professional help, you’ve got Webmarketers as a resource to ensure you get the most value out of your digital efforts. For the latest information on how to get the most out of your digital strategy, sign up for our newsletter, keep your eye on the Webmarketers Blog, or get in touch!