Success with digital marketing is the result of sound strategy, not perfectly executed tactics.
Read that sentence a few times until it truly sinks in.
This is critical to understand for two reasons:
- You’ll generate better results using the right tactics executed poorly, than you will using the wrong tactics executed perfectly.
- You’ll invest months to even years perfecting digital marketing tactics, regardless of whether they are the right tactics for your business so the opportunity cost is enormous if you pursue the wrong tactics.
What does this all mean?
You Must Have a Digital Marketing Plan
I’ll be the first to admit that I dislike planning. It just feels so daunting like being assigned to write a thesis in college.
However, when you break it down into the most critical steps, it’s actually quite simple. It still requires real work, but the process is not complicated and can be fairly quick to complete.
It all starts by answering this one question…
Who Is Your Ideal Customer?
Before you roll your eyes and skip down to the next step, take some time to make sure you’ve really answered this question. At Main Street ROI, it’s easy to fall into the trap of saying our ideal customer is any “Main Street” business.
That’s helpful, but it’s not nearly enough detail.
That’s like saying you should go fishing in the sea. That’s technically correct, there are fish in the sea, but where exactly should you go if you want to find and catch fish? The sea is much too big so we need to identify more specifics to hone in on our target market.
Once you have a clear picture about exactly who you would like to target with your marketing, then you can move on to the next question…
Where Is Your Ideal Customer Online?
Where ever the fish are, that’s where we go ” ~ Richard Wagner
Put your self in your ideal customer’s shoes. Where does she go online? And, what is she doing when she goes online?
The answers to those questions are different based on your answers to the first question above. That’s why it’s so important to start by defining your ideal customer. If you skip that first step, then you will likely get the answer to this second question wrong…
Also, by focusing solely on your ideal customer, then you actually narrow down your options. For example, if you’re targeting men aged 50+, then you can immediately cross off Pinterest from your list. Pinterest users are predominantly younger women.
To get you started, here are the main categories for where your customers are and what they’re doing:
- Searching – Are your customers searching in Google? Use Google’s free Keyword Tool to discover if they are searching and what exactly they are looking for.
- Surfing – Are your customers surfing for information on various websites? Use Google’s free Display Planner Tool to discover which websites they are likely visiting based on their interests.
- Socializing – Are your customers using social media networks? Review the demographic breakdown of each social media network to see if it matches your ideal customer personas.
- Emailing – Are your customers using and subscribing to receive emails from businesses? Hint: Everyone uses email :)
Now that you know where your idea customers are and what they’re doing, then there is one final question to answer…
Which Tactics Will Get You In Front Of Your Ideal Customers?
At this point we know who we’re targeting…
We know where they are online…
It’s just a matter of matching the most appropriate tactic to get your business in front of your ideal customers.
See, this isn’t rocket science. The key is to go through this process step-by-step and do not skip ahead. That’s where a lot of businesses get tripped up. If you skip ahead and first consider all of the digital marketing options available, then you are bound to get overwhelmed and/or pick a tactic that is not a good fit.
If you find that your customers are searching in Google for highly relevant keywords, then SEO and Google AdWords search advertising make perfect sense for you.
If you find your customers are using a handful of websites, then display advertising is a good fit.
If they are heavy social media users, then guess what, social media marketing is a great way to get in front of them.
And I already mentioned everyone is using email so email marketing should be on every business’s list of top tactics.
Now that you know which tactics to use, I want to ensure you know how to get started implementing…
Get 21 Digital Marketing Guides for $1
It’s the 4th Anniversary of Main Street Inner Circle, our subscription service where we share our best marketing advice every month.
And to celebrate, we’ve put together a special offer for you…
When you sign up today, you’ll get 21 marketing guides for $1.
Click here to get 21 marketing guides for $1 when you try Main Street Inner Circle today.
Main Street ROI is a digital marketing agency based in New York City.
Our mission is to help small businesses thrive. With our services and training, we help small businesses succeed with marketing regardless of their budgets.
Since 2010, we’ve helped thousands of small businesses create profitable digital marketing campaigns.
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