This guide is for someone who has a business idea and needs customers.
It outlines the approach to driving customers to your business. It will give you a good overview with references to key digital marketing concepts that you can explore further.
Knowing your audience is a-must. You have to know the group of people you sell to. Marketing personas and customer journeys will help you.
Marketing personas is a tool to help you visualize your customer. It will never be exactly your customer, but it will guide your communication efforts.
A few examples: https://www.google.com/search?q=marketing+persona+examples
Customer journey refers to steps your potential customers go through to buy your product or service. The most basic journey includes Awareness, Consideration, Decision and Post-Purchase stages.
A more detailed customer journey might include more stages such as…
However, more complex journeys are harder to plan and maintain.
Examples of customer journeys: https://www.google.com/search?q=customer+journey+examples
Often business owners lack the basic marketing understanding of the product. Knowing this will help you market better. Here are the questions you need to ask to gain that understanding:
What problem does my product or service solve? Identifying the specific problem you are addressing is the first step in defining your product.
What are the key features of my product or service? Outline the specific features or elements of your product that directly address the problem you’ve identified.
What benefits does my product offer? Beyond the features, what are the benefits customers will receive from your product? This can be emotional (e.g., peace of mind) or functional (e.g., saves time).
How is my product or service different from the competition? Identify your unique selling proposition (USP) – what makes your offering stand out in the marketplace?
What is the pricing model? Understand how you will price your product. This can be based on costs, competitive pricing, perceived value, or a combination of these.
What post-purchase service or support will I provide? Consider your customer service strategy for after the sale. This can be crucial for customer retention.
Goals are designed to keep you on track.
Create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound) goals.
Examples of goals:
- Achieve a monthly lead generation of 50 new customers within the next 6 months.
- Increase social media following by 30% in 6 months.
- Improve website traffic by 40% in the next quarter.
Having SMART goals will help you track your progress and be specific with your vendors.
Know what your competitors are doing. Unless there’s no competition in your niche, you’ll have to outperform others. Many established competitors already paid to learn. Now you can learn from them.
Search Google, Facebook, Linkedin for companies offering similar services in your area or niche. Compare how visible they are, how they educate, and what ads they run. Use tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs for competitive analytics.
There are four general categories of digital marketing tactics: awareness, traffic, conversion, sale. They make up a funnel with Awareness as the widest part at the top and Sales as the most narrow part at the bottom.
Be there when they look for you. Build a GBP, create an instagram account, facebook page. Sponsor your community newsletter. See what’s popular in your niche, check competitors. Keep your target audience in mind. There’s no point in creating a TikTok account if your audience is not there.
Create content to explain your business to customers. Create a list of customer questions, answer those on your site and social profiles. Use your website/blog (SEO), social media accounts and other profiles.
Capitalize on targeted advertising. Cost per click ranges from 10 cents on YouTube/Google Display Network, to $1+ on Facebook to $10+ on Google Ads. Each option meets customers at a different stage on the journey and therefore has different sales potential.
Convert to prospects
There’s no point in trying to convert at the awareness stage. You should convert those that are ready for it. Create offers for your existing audience via email marketing and your social following. Create remarketing campaigns to target people that know you.
Converts are the ones that are ready to buy. But now you need to close the deal and sell. It might be easy or hard, depending on the complexity of your product or service. But if you did things right at all the previous stages, the trust should be there and the sale should be easier.
Choose what makes sense for your business. Start small, then grow by adding other tactics to the mix. Always ensure that results are connected to your business through goals.
Test tactics and measure contribution to your business. Drop what doesn’t work and try something new.
One of the biggest advantages of digital marketing over traditional marketing is the ability to measure performance.
Key performance indicators or KPIs help you track results consistently. Examples of KPIs include website traffic, lead conversion rate, social media engagement, email open rates, etc.
There’s a lot of things to measure. Don’t overwhelm yourself, choose up to 3 metrics per tactic.
Experiment (plan, launch, analyze, optimize, re-launch).
You’ve got a business to run and you don’t have all the time in the world. So, here’s a few must-haves.
How do results compare to your goals?
Do current tactics drive results?
Should you try a new tactic?
How does each tactic perform?
Can you improve anything?
What content do you publish next week?
Is there an email campaign coming up?
Batch content producing and scheduling works well.
Monitor and reply to comments and reviews.
Adapt campaign mindset. Launch, learn, optimize, re-launch….
Keep learning because digital marketing is evolving fast. Find 2-3 sources and follow consistently. Success in digital marketing depends on finding what digital marketing tactics work for your specific business type, location and situation.