Why digital marketing is a never-ending chore.
I deal with successful businesses on a regular basis. Some of them were successful before engaging me and my company and the others have grown to success through Buzzbizz Creative’s marketing efforts. In both cases, I have found that a portion of successful businesses forget how fruitful marketing has been to their business. There are those who think you can just turn marketing off when you feel like it, then on at will and expect immediate results. Others conclude that they don’t need the marketing anymore because they get everything through referrals or some related source outside of marketing. Well, I disagree with most of them, most of the time; especially when it comes to digital marketing — and here’s why.
Digital marketing has varying levels of engagement. At the most superficial level, you have exposure. Once you get exposure, you start to working on converting that exposure into traffic to your website or one of your other digital properties. With this traffic, you then must focus on engaging those visitors to a point of converting them into a profitable transaction. Each type of product comes with its unique challenges at every level of engagement and the targets are forever moving. With that said, there can never be a simple on/off switch in the process.
A specific sector of digital marketing is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This focus is especially important when it comes to consistency. To be successful, we must remember that SEO is one of the long plays in the digital marketing realm that requires constant consideration. Keeping your SEO healthy is like keeping a puppy healthy. If you don’t feed, water, and pay attention to your puppy, it will either find a new home or die altogether. And once your puppy is all grown up, guess what, you still must feed, water, and pay it attention to keep it alive and healthy.
Another long play for many service-based companies is social media marketing. I have heard a lot of companies over the years tell me, “We never see any business, new or repeat, come from our social media marketing”. There are three main reasons for this statement.
1. They most likely don’t have their measurement process set up properly or at all. Without a way to measure your success, how do you know where your success comes from or what marketing tools worked? Sometimes it can be as simple as accurately identifying what success looks like in the social media realm.
2. They don’t understand the buying cycle of their best clients and thus don’t know how long to wait until they throw in the towel. Being impatient with your social media channels is like being impatient with a client while they are at your store. You can’t force someone to buy a car just because they happen to come onto the lot. They must be ready to say yes, see something they want or need, and be talking to someone they want to say yes to.
3. They fail to engage their potential and past clients. Remember that you are dealing with people, not numbers on a spreadsheet or dashboard. Just because you get in front of a million people doesn’t mean you have engaged anyone. Keep social media social and you will see results.
On the short side of the field, you have pay-to-play options like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. These can be deceptively misleading as platforms you just turn on and off as needed or tools that operate alone in a vacuum. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) are both wonderful throttling tools to a larger marketing engine. Operating in a silo is not how they work best. Rather, you should apply them in concert with their counterparts.
Think of your digital marketing, like any other sales funnel, just the names of sources are different. Think of social media management as the soft leads or future leads around the rim of the funnel. As you move downward you have social media marketing (i.e. Facebook ads) and search engine marketing (i.e. Google Adwords). Right above the bottom of the funnel you also have your search engine optimization (organic search). Each of your prospects will respond differently to each of these depending on where they are in the sales cycle, but in the end, none of them count if they don’t pass through the bottom of the funnel (convert to sales).
Paying attention to each phase of a conversion and developing strategies that appeal to prospects at each phase is necessary for a successful digital marketing plan. Using both short and long game methods will give you the best well-rounded approach to getting new customers and keeping your existing ones. Therefore, your short game will suffer if you improperly exercise the long game.
In many ways, digital marketing can be like taking Aspirin as a preventative measure to heart disease. Your doctor tells you to take one every day to keep your heart healthy. When you buy your first big bottle, you feel good about yourself and look forward to a healthy future. But as time goes on, it gets ever more strenuous to invest in those large bottles because you never give the Aspirin any credit for helping keep your heart healthy. Instead, you give other things in your life credit and start looking at better ways to spend your money then on Aspirin. Of course, when you do stop taking them every day, you don’t see the effects right away. It’s not until it’s too late that you realize how much each of those little Aspirin contributed to your long-term health. So, remember the measures you have taken to make your business successful and give credit where credit is due when it comes to your digital marketing.