Everyone knows the internet is a place where a business can make a lot of money. But not everyone knows how to make money on the internet. And if you don’t know it can look incredibly confusing.
Do I need a website? Should I stick to Facebook? Or use Instagram? Actually what is Instagram? Should I spend money on all this? Do I have any money to spend on all this? How do I get to the top of the page when people look for my business on Google?
So it’s understandable that many businesses either try to survive without an internet presence, or create one and then abandon it after a few weeks when they don’t see any results.
But despite all the tools, techniques and strange jargon on the internet it all actually boils down to some old fashioned logic that your granny would have understood long before the world wide web was invented. Let’s take a look.
Digital Marketing Pillar 1 – Consistency
However brilliant your product or service is you need to be making noise about it on a regular basis. Having a great website with top notch content is of course important but in the early days of being online your priority has to be getting people to come and check you out.
If you do any sort of marketing courses they will talk about the “marketing funnel”. Things like social media and emails (like this one) are known as top of the funnel as they try and direct people to the end of the funnel which ultimately is your website and a conversation or email or a purchase.
There are lots of ways to make this happen. They range from paid advertising to the grunt work of creating content. Either way the content and messaging must show that people will get value from interacting with your company.
Value means different things to different people. Value may be a recipe for a vegetarian curry or a how to get cheap car insurance. We all love consistent quality information. If you have ever binge watched a Netflix series you will have done it as it was consistent and of decent quality.
Digital Marketing Pillar 2 – Quality
I’m not saying that your website needs to have the budget of a Netflix blockbuster. But it has to work. If a potential customer finds a website full of dead links, spelling mistakes and badly chosen images they’ll assume the business behind it is chaotic and incompetent.
The reason businesses give up on the internet is they don’t get into the habit of creating content. Content can be twitter messages, facebooks posts with images, links, video, YouTube, podcasts. When I list these things out to people who can barely use their phones and still want web success their eyes glaze over and they start looking frantically towards the door.
When you have a busy business and a day to day life getting the time to create content or arrange for someone to create it for you is often the last thing on your mind. I know it. Writing this for me takes an hour out of my day when I could be doing other things. I used to pound out poorly written emails but now take that extra time to get it edited and checked each time. This content goes to my newsletter and blog and is shared on social media 6-7 times through the year.
Does it yield any business for me? In some ways it does as I get calls regularly through direct and indirect contacts from these mediums (newsletter, website, Twitter and Facebook are my main areas). This email tells 120+ people every few weeks that I exist and am in “the web business”.
Whether you’re writing blogs, or reaching out through social media, or putting videos on YouTube you will never achieve overnight success. You try, fail, try again and get larger wins as time passes. You screw something up, write a crappy article, make a mess of an image but over time you will learn from the mistakes and soon stop making them.
Allocating the time to increasing your visibility online through delivering consistent, quality content that is relevant to your market is the backbone of digital marketing.
Digital Marketing Pillar 3 – Audience
Some businesses, and some online marketers, spend too much time obsessing over the size of their audience on social media. But the raw numbers don’t matter. Big is less important than loyal and interested. Loyal, interested AND big is the holy grail, but concentrate on the loyal and interested.
I tell people to not focus on numbers at all whether it be Likes, followers or visits to your website.
It will only keep you awake at night and once you follow the steps above you will over time begin to grow your reach and get more customers and make more money.