Winning with the Fantastic Four of Digital Marketing
Winning in sport or business is imagined by almost everyone. What child hasn’t dreamed of being a star athlete or a millionaire.
Imagination is a powerful force that can motivate us to succeed in life.
Imagination is also one of the keys to enjoying a book as our mind takes us on journeys that suspend us from reality. Children are fabulous to watch as they save damsels in distress, leap tall buildings in a single bound or fly to faraway galaxies. All done while wearing pyjamas and from the safety and comfort of the family home.
As a child I constantly imagined my self as having super powers that bent and warped my world the way I wanted. Cartoon books helped maintain that illusion which provided constant entertainment for me without the iPad or Xbox to be seen. Flying was one of my favourites.
Magical and marvellous powers are something the comic series “Fantastic Four” had in abundance and were a dysfunctional yet loving family who possessed super powers that saved the world day in and day out.
The Fantastic Four received their powers after being exposed to cosmic rays during a scientific mission to outer space.
“Mister Fantastic” who is the leader of the “Fantastic Four”, is a scientific genius who can stretch his body to incredible lengths and shapes. The “Invisible Woman” can render herself invisible and project force fields. The “Human Torch” can generate flames and can fly. Monstrous “Thing” possesses superhuman strength and endurance.
Now as a marketer, who wouldn’t want magical powers that make your brand and ideas spread magically and strongly at lightning speed?
Maybe being invisible though, is not something that business owner would want to invoke.
Building the Online Assets
Before we summon the super powers of the “Fantastic Four” of digital marketing you need to have established the businesses online assets.
It is not hard to place value on our bricks and mortar assets whether it is your shop or office and all that is contained within those walls. A business has real physical objects and value that accountants love to count and stack. Things that you can see and touch are easier to place a value against. What is not often valued properly are the intangible online assets that are now vital to every business.
- How do you value a website that receives 300,000 page views a month and 170,000 unique visitors?
- What is the financial value of a Facebook page with 100,000 fans that provides customer feedback and crowd sourced research worth to a business?
- What is a Twitter tribe of 100,000 worth that allows you to spread an idea or a promotion in an instant?
These are assets that are hard to value but their importance is usually and “vastly underrated” because your accountant doesn’t know how to.
1. The Website Assets
Websites fall into three broad categories. The corporate content website, the online store and a blog. A well designed website that makes it easy for customers to navigate and use is worth gold.
2. Social Network Assets
Building a tribe and network of loyal customers on multiple social that you can engage and communicate with is now mandatory. These assets give your brand reach and leverage and should continually be built and invested in. How to do that efficiently and well is the challenge.
3. The Mobile Assets
Mobile “Apps”. Building mobile apps that make your content and products easy to view are starting to become an essential part of a businesses online presence. Also “optimizing for mobile viewing” requires building websites that are easy to read on a Tablet or smart phone and can now make a big difference to obtaining that lead or inquiry or sale for your online store. Last year nearly half a billion smart phones were purchased and their users are buying and sharing information in their billions every day with these little devices that are adictive and portable. There is now nothing to stop people buying on the bus or on the beach..and they do!
There are two addictive trends in digital. One is social media the other is smart mobile devices. Don’t ignore them. Build mobile assets.
The myth of “build it and they will come”
There is a myth about building your online brand circulating which spreads the fable that if you design and build a great website then traffic will just “turn up”. The reality is much starker. Once the online assets are built then the hard work begins. Marketing and promoting with email and social media marketing, writing contagious content and optimizing your online assets for search engines are all essential activities that need to be resourced.
This activity needs to be relentless and persistent. It is not “set and forget”
(Below is a presentation that covers in depth, the topic of the importance of building your online assets and how to market them and win in a digital economy)
The Fantastic Four of Digital Marketing
The digital marketing landscape can seem like a morass of noise and confusion. Essentially though there are 4 core types of digital marketing that will provide your business with digital marketing super powers if you are prepared to focus and apply the right resources.
1. Paid digital marketing
If you want to fast track being found online then paying for Google ads that appear when potential prospects perform a Google search is a great catalyst to accelerate your brand awareness when first establishing or launching an online store or website. If budget allows it can produce a ROI that pays for itself as part of the continual marketing of your business.
Also a Facebook ad that targets a city and audience demographic that suits your business can also work well.
These tactics can help you from achieving a super power that no business wants which is “invisibility”
2. Optimising your websites for search engines
Two things are important here. Firstly designing and building websites that make it easy for Google’s spiders to crawl and find, especially for the key words and phrases that customers will use to search for you online. These key words and phrases need to embedded in your website. This is called “Onsite SEO” (Search Engine Optimisation). There are also other important elements that a good web designer developer will implement to achieve this.
Secondly, the other important strategy to invest in that requires active SEO investment and resources usually by an SEO consultant and expert is “Offsite SEO” this includes researching and building inbound links and other tactics that makes your website appear on page one of a Google search.
3. Email marketing
Despite the shiny new toy of social media blinding everyone, email marketing is an absolutely vital part of a digital marketing strategy that should be invested in from day one by every savvy business. This includes B2B and B2C companies.
Do this well and you will build up a valuable “Optin” database of subscribers that are an asset that you own and control. This is a list you can email whenever you like and are usually looking forward to receiving your educational and inspiring content.
4. Social media marketing
Social Media marketing done well can provide your marketing with leverage and marketing velocity. Nothing like the many to many multiplying effect of social media where your brand receives exponential sharing as people share your businesses ideas and content with friends,family and colleagues on social networks. I like to call it “World of Mouth”
The real power of social media is that people can create more stories and share them online than you can ever hope to achieve on your own whether paid or not. Allow the crowd and tribes online to share your storys. This is crowd sourced marketing and it is free. To do that you have to have a presence on social media and do it well.
What About You?
How many of these four are you implementing in your business? Have you tried paid digital advertising. Is SEO in your marketing mix. Could you do email better?
What has been your experience with social media for your business?
Look forward to hearing your stories
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