The Most Common Digital Marketing Paradox for small businesses, and what to do about it
(Tap the photo to see the tip circles.)
Here’s the catch-22 of business blogging. Once you start doing it right, the attention brings you more business.
If you’re not careful to set aside time to keep marketing, whether with content or blogging, the time you would normally spend blogging is taken up by new business.
At first it will seem like it’s not that big of a deal.
After all, in the present moment, having too much business to keep up with blogging sounds like the perfect problem to have.
But what happens if you lose your biggest client? Even if your clients Love you, the company could be acquired, or shut down during a recession. Product sales could dip one month out of the blue.
So what’s the solution? Keep blogging at a slower but steady pace, so that you don’t have to wake your system of generating leads from a coma every week.
It’s pretty hard to keep a consistent blogging schedule and serve your customers or clients at the same time. But it’s not impossible.
What you need is a plan.
How a Digital Marketing Plan Can Help
Any given day if you read up on marketing, search, social media or PR, you’ll see dozens of tactics thrown at you. And many of them work.
The thing is, you need to make them part of a larger ongoing plan. Blindly following every tactic you read about could have you going in circles.
You could find yourself in the shoes of many of Facebook business page admins right now, seeing declining stats or exposure, and wondering why what you used to do doesn’t work. Or wondering why you ever pursued Facebook marketing if you don’t see an increase in leads and sales.
To avoid this, you want to start a plan with a clear objective, starting with your overall marketing goals for the month, quarter or year, then break that plan down into action steps.
With a plan you know:
- why you’re doing what you’re doing
- when you’re going off track
- whether you’re making significant progress
- and whether that progress is actually relevant to your intended goals.
Start Your Marketing Plan with The Numbers
The skeleton of the plan that I’ve put together in the deck below is incomplete without your own ideas of where you’re going– but following the full version to the letter would still work better than stringing tactics together at random.
The full plan is designed to generate 2000 email leads that convert at around 10% at each touch. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry about it for now. I’ll include the details in the course.
In the meantime, before you proceed, think about:
- What is an ideal increase in sales for your business? How much more business could you handle? Including the costs it would generate?
- How many leads would you need at your current conversion rate to generate those sales?
- How much traffic would you need to come to your site in order to hope for that many leads?
You might even find that if your traffic were more targeted, you’d need up to 90% less traffic to grow your business.
Now, you don’t need the answers to all of these to proceed. But you do need to start thinking about all these things.
Don’t Make It More Complicated Than It Is
It’s just as hard to connect with people who want to do business with you as it is doing business with them. But if you’re not found, your business dies.
A mentor of mine used to stress that just because a thing was simple in process did not mean it was easy to execute. He also used to tell me that what often makes things harder was our own disbelief that good things can come from simplicity- which causes us to complicate things.
I am the QUEEN of this. It’s awesome for my clients, because I always want everything to be perfect, and to create at the highest possible level. But it’s also the number one thing that makes me inconsistent as a marketer. Even my ongoing health issues are less of a problem than the complications I come up with in my head.
I’ll get an idea for something, like starting a podcast.
It’s starts out simple enough – I’ll think “record a tip a day, post it to one of my blogs. Promote the blogs’ RSS feed as a podcast, since every entry will have an audio enclosure.”
But then my mind starts making it complicated. Should I create a new graphic? Intro music. Gosh if I’m going to have an intro, I should have an outtro.
Shucks, if this is going to be a fancy podcast, I should embed links in the audio so iTunes users can click the link to come back to the site. But why would they do that? I better create some content….
And on and on until the idea of starting the podcast is way too overwhelming, and I’m so afraid not to do it right, I don’t want to do it at all.
And that, friend, is why I’m going to give you the core concept of this digital marketing plan, right now. You don’t have to look at the slides, or join the class, if you can fill in the blanks on your own. But it’s all available free if you could use the help.
Then I’ll go through a bit of an explanation of why this is one of the top skeleton plans I start with when I build a new business site.
Very Simple Digital Marketing Plan for Lead Generation and Sales
It need not be much more complicated than this.
- Pinpoint your audience online. What they want, where they gather- create buyer personas if it helps
- Listen to them and find overlaps between what your company can provide and what their pains, joys, interests, and problems are.
- Build a home base to operate from- people don’t buy from people they don’t trust, and they don’t trust businesses built on free or leased platforms.
- Tie every page of your site to either your lead capture, your sales pages or both.
- Create content focused on them that enriches their lives. It can solve a problem, entertain, help them gather – just make sure it provides value on THEIR terms, not yours.
- Publish your content primarily on your platform.
- Market your content. Do not skip this step- you must do organic marketing even if you use paid marketing like advertising and press releases.
- Measure everything that is happening
- Follow up with leads via your email updates, until they buy, become partners, or go away.
In the course, we’ll look at those again in more detail.
If you’d like to participate in our next free marketing challenge, you can either:
- reply to this blog post below,
- leave me a note using the “Get in Touch” link in the deck below,
- or sign up to our newsletter by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or you’re welcome to come back here every day. But it might be easier to just let me contact you when we’re ready to fly.