Going Digital: How To Do Business In The Age Of The Internet
10/4/2018 | By Kyle Edriel Tomagan
We live in a digital age that’s largely defined by our interactions online and how we use the Internet. This is especially relevant for businesses of all sizes, even your startup. Today, there are 4 billion people active Internet users, and you have the opportunity to attract and convert them into customers right now.
But with every opportunity comes a challenge. You need to develop a comprehensive digital strategy that covers both marketing and sales, all while taking an approach that’s similar to dating.
Treat Digital Marketing As Dating
Digital marketing (DM) and dating are similar in various ways. Gerald Castillo, CEO of Eight Media, describes an effective DM approach as “putting your best foot forward and getting your client’s number.” This includes creating a buyer’s journey funnel that combines your tactics to create a marketing and sales funnel.
- Awareness - you give valuable content to become the authority on a certain topic and distribute it to your customers
- Consideration - get potential clients’ email addresses/numbers and nurture them
- Decision - nudge a sale and close it
Basically, the marketing + sales funnel allows you to streamline your inbound marketing campaign to achieve long-term goals. The best way to create your funnel is to start with a niche and a buyer persona for your leads, as this allows you to understand your audience/potential clients’ needs and wants.
Once you begin to scale up, utilize email marketing and automated mailing software such as Mailchimp to keep your clients updated about new products and other promotions.
Context also plays a pivotal role in converting leads, especially when it comes to SEO and SEM. A critical mistake that most new entrepreneurs make when optimizing their websites is creating robotic meta descriptions and content that caters only to Google and not to the reader. While creating SEO-friendly content is advised, contextualizing your text also helps as Google’s algorithm now understands user intent.
DO: Plot out the positions of your keywords throughout your content, URL, title, and meta description. Create compelling copy that is easily understood. Optimize images and headers
DO NOT: Overstuff keywords
Leveraging Awareness To Measure Success
About a decade ago, it was difficult to quantify Internet data as there was a lack of specialist software for data analysis, with the only reliable sources being academic publications such as Lyman and Varian's "How Much Information?" Today, you have multiple tools to not only quantify data, but to experiment with it. Using the awareness you’re given through the data at your disposal, you can strategize and even model another marketing+sales funnel using your numbers.
Google is your best friend when it comes to data quantification and analysis. All of your campaign data is trackable through Google Analytics, and you can leverage these numbers by using Google Campaign URL Builder and Google Keyword Planner. Plotting out your keywords and building a crawlable URL is what gives you digital presence, so make sure that you have the resources ready to invest in these respective applications.
Finally, Google Ads lets you create an actionable plan using your keywords and URLs. Capturing your audience through ads and organic search lets your numbers grow, and as you gain more data to analyze, the cycle repeats: gather, quantify, leverage.
Maximizing Services For Consideration And Decision
Consideration is all about getting your clients to give your product/service a chance, and when they do, you should not let up. Using Instapages and sending them automated emails using MailChimp ensures that you keep them within your circle, and when they’re ready to make a buying decision, having them within your loop allows you to have the same clients around for the long-term instead of one-off purchases.
Essentially, doing business in an era where Google is king obligates you to create DM strategies that revolve around getting as much people into your audience as possible. Thinking of it like that, however, can be counter-productive. Instead, focus on dating your leads to get them into your funnel as early and efficiently as possible.