Choose Your Channels Wisely

“Jack of all trades, master of none.” Smart dude.

There’s often a disconnect between the way business people buy and the way they sell. When they buy a product for their own use, they ask a million questions, “How does this work?”, “What benefits does this offer?”, and all the rest. But when it comes to selling their own business through their marketing efforts, where are all those questions? Nowhere to be seen. This isn’t always the case, but it is something we and our fellow marketers pick up on.

As you would have noticed, digital marketing is complicated. There are so many parts whirring and whizzing about that it’s really easy to get taken in by all the noise. And there is a lot of noise in digital marketing with all those acronyms being thrown about, many of which most people outside the industry really don’t understand all that well.

We’re not saying this to belittle non-marketers, we’re saying this because we know just how complicated this machine is, as we have taken the time to get to know the parts. But not all the parts. The vast majority of us don’t have a clue what half of those acronyms mean. What most of us know is one or two of those parts. And we know them well. Really well.

That’s why we encourage you not to do everything in the digital marketing world but to ask yourself, “What am I trying to achieve with my marketing efforts?”, then choose the channel that best matches the outcome you’re aiming for. One of the many wonderful things about digital marketing is that there’s a strategy for every outcome. Once you’ve matched the outcome to a strategy, channel all your focus, attention and energy into that strategy.

If you want piping hot leads ready to convert right now, choose PPC. If you want a strategy that will deliver long-term online visibility, choose SEO. And if you want to target a particular demographic, then choose Social (particularly Facebook marketing). Naturally, as a business owner, there’s more than one outcome that you’re trying to achieve. We understand that.

But we do know from experience the dangers in spreading yourself too thin and how that will only damage your marketing efforts, waste valuable time and prevent you from really achieving anything. Ask yourself, “Am I trying to market a business with an ongoing concern or are am I trying to market a project with a finite life cycle?”

When you’ve answered this question, you’ll better understand the options you’re presented with — organic search (SEO) or paid search (PPC and SMM). Paid search is great for projects with a finite life cycle, seasonal promotions and startups that need to get clients right now or they’ll fail. SEO, on the other hand, is the best choice for managing ongoing concerns and strengthening the position of established businesses by maintaining a strong presence on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Sure, there are always exceptions to the rule, and some businesses do very well with a combination of channels, but what it really comes down to in digital marketing, is that the worst thing you can do is nothing and the second worst thing you can do is everything.

Many people have a fear of missing out, so they try to do it all. But they end up missing out anyway because by trying to do everything, they’ve missed the opportunity to do one thing well. To prevent yourself from missing out, choose the channel that’s going to give you the best returns and focus on that. To put it simply — do less, achieve more.

Things tend to be easier for those who simplify their digital marketing efforts. And not only because there’s much less to concern oneself with since there’s just one of everything — one budget, one campaign, one monthly report and one set of overheads. By doing one thing and doing it well, you have the time on your side to get it right.

“Do not try to do everything. Do one thing well.”

Steve Jobs, Apple guy

Save Money On Everything Except Design 

“Great design builds trust, and trust is and always has been why people buy things, online and off.”

Chris Smith, Author of The Conversion Code

As all businesses exist to make a profit, business owners, naturally, look for ways to increase revenue, with reducing expenditure a common way of achieving this. Looking for ways to save money is logical, but at the end of the day, you have to spend. The old adage, “You have to spend money to make money”, is especially relevant here.

If marketing was a one-month exercise, it would make sense to minimise your design budget. But marketing isn’t a short-term, finite exercise with a clear end in sight, it’s an ongoing activity that needs to be maintained. For as long as you have products and services to sell, you will need to invest in marketing. And that means you need to invest in design.

First impressions are crucially important in business. Fail to make a great impression the first opportunity you get, and you very well may not get another. For that very reason (and quite a few more), you just can’t skimp on design. Not the design of your website, your landing pages, your ads, your business logo, your marketing materials … and on the list goes.

Design sets the tone for how your business is perceived by its current and future customers. It creates expectations. Implement great design and your prospective customers will expect big things. Implement poor design, and they’ll expect less. In an era of digital transactions, an era in which design speaks volumes about a business, design can’t be left to chance.

Consequently, businesses should treat design as a means to convey their understanding of the user experience (UX) and its importance, as well as how they manage customer information. The design of your website and digital marketing materials conveys all this and so much more. Including trust, which you can convey successfully through UX design.

What does trust mean for consumers? Trust can mean many things to consumers, but three things really stand out — honest values (the product does what the description says it will do), clear communication (straight talking, telling it like it is ) and user protection (their information is in safe hands). All of the above need to be represented on your website.

Your website is the cornerstone of your online presence. As such, it should anchor your marketing efforts and convey credibility — when your site looks good, you look good.

“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”

Milton Glaser, iconic graphic designer.

Build Content, Build Confidence

“The customer is not a moron. She’s your wife.”

David Ogilvy, legendary copywriter

Many business owners undervalue the importance of creating content that de-risks the decision-making process for customers. As marketers, we often find business owners are like Kevin Costner in ‘Field of Dreams’ with an “If you build it, they will come” approach, in that all it takes to sell their products like hotcakes is a website with some copy and photos on it.

But customers are not morons. They are, like Ogilvy says, your wife. Customers are real people with real lives to live and that means they also need to make real decisions. And just like you (and your other half), when contemplating a purchase, they have big decisions to make. This means many customers will have a lot of questions they’re seeking answers for.

As a business owner and an industry expert, you’re not only in a perfect position to answer those questions, you’re in a position in which you’re expected to answer those questions. And if you can’t answer the questions of prospective customers when they land on your site, they’re going to look for someone who can. But you can’t just answer prospects’ questions, you need to show that you can relate and that you have the solution they’re looking for.

Understanding the buyer’s journey is just as important as treating prospective buyers with the respect they deserve as real people with real decisions to make. When you understand the process that buyers go through when becoming aware of, evaluating and purchasing a product or service, you can create targeted content that speaks their language, answers their questions and provides solutions for their pain points.

The more questions you can answer, the more you’re de-risking their decision-making process by countering the perceived risk. As we all know from personal experience, it isn’t uncommon to perceive risk when contemplating a purchase, whether it’s financial risk (price and value), physical risk (potential dangers), psychological risk (ego and self-image) or social risk (what will others think?).

The amount of risk a buyer perceives depends on the product. For example, buying a home is a daunting process because of the size of the financial outlay, but buying earphones will generally entail less perceived risk because the financial outlay involved is much lower.

With the right design and content, any obstacles which stand in the way of customers taking your desired action will wash away like sandcastles at high tide. By speaking directly to the needs of customers with consistent, error-free content that showcases your expertise, you’ll effectively counter the risks customers perceive. This also has the effect of boosting your conversion rate and we’re all well aware of the benefits of that.

How difficult is creating content that converts? With the right technique, it’s a breeze. The skyscraper technique is an outstanding means of creating content that resonates with your audience and removes the perception of risk from the buyer’s journey. Starting by sourcing content that covers the topics relevant to your business field and performs well, you then create content which communicates a similar message, but in a better way. Whether that’s by making your content more engaging, more relevant, more in-depth, or by giving it a twist.

This isn’t a technique that only marketers and content creators can use, it’s a technique that everyone can leverage to produce content for their website, landing pages, blogs and social media posts that compel readers to act. It’s also a great way to get more exposure for your brand since there’s already demand for content on those subjects and you’re writing for an audience that’s receptive to the content you produce.

Establish a benchmark to beat by checking out the content that the crème de la crème of the competition is producing, think up ways to improve it or make it more accessible to your audience, and get it out there for your prospective customers. If it speaks their language and answers their questions, it will remove many of the obstacles potentially standing in the way of a purchase.

“If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think.”

David Ogilvy, the godfather of copywriting

What’s The Next Step?

Struggling to make the absolute most of your marketing budget?

If you recognise the importance of getting the very best results from every dollar you spend and you have at least $1000 per month to allocate to getting more exposure, more leads and more conversions, get in touch with us to arrange your free strategy workshop today.

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