The biggest challenge I’ve seen most small business owners have is to move off the excel spreadsheet and accept that they need to create a solid Digital Marketing Plan.
Another major issue is to have digital marketing efforts in a consistent and sustained manner, rather than doing it sporadically. Most of the efforts I see are “random acts of marketing,” which means the company will suddenly start or stop their marketing efforts without any Digital Marketing Plan.
When the company wants leads it turns it on, and when it gets leads, it will turn it off.
There are several reasons for this. It could be due to the seasonality of the business, production capabilities, or availability of resources for marketing.
The single most potent advice I can give to a local business owner is to commit to a solid Digital Marketing Plan all year long.
Why commit to a solid Digital Marketing Plan all year long?
Because to leverage a Digital Marketing Plan you use content marketing with paid advertising and marketing automation systems, to create and build an active list of prospects.
These prospects will convert to customers at different times during the year giving you a continuous stream of business.
You can nurture the “fence-sitters” (this is a group of buyers doing research and not fully ready to buy) over a longer period by giving them answers to their queries. These buyers need time before making their purchase decision so you have to actively keep them engaged.
I understood the dynamics of this process and found that one can still market in the off-season months when sales fall and benefit from these prospects in “research mode” who would search out your solutions and then opt-in to our offers.
This is only possible if you stay connected with them consistently.
This is the real value of developing a consistent and sustained “digital marketing plan” rather than looking at marketing as just paying for and buying leads.
A prospect of your company acquired through your content is much more than a lead. When properly nurtured, a high percentage of these prospects would eventually become buyers.
Look at these sustained efforts from the perspective of a marketing funnel and start developing your first few pieces of content strategically designed for one purpose: getting their information.
Why will an online visitor to your site share his information?
Offer him something for Free!!
By free, I mean guides (white papers, lead magnets, or whatever you can offer to sample your product or service,
It should be relevant to your marketing target “avatar” or your core demographic group of potential buyers.
The guides can be titled: “The 7 Facts You Should Know” and “The 10 Questions You Should Ask.” These can be focused on common questions your prospects want answers to.
Most of the time, your sales team is going out or attending calls to answer questions. Whereas what you want them is to go out and close deals. Right !!!
So answer questions for your prospects using your marketing channels and deliver that content as part of your strategy (by building it in advance).
This will allow you to shrink the barrier of objections and close the sale more effortlessly. This way, you begin to create more qualified buyers.
How does one implement this as part of a Digital Marketing Plan?
Perform research around the keywords and phrases your prospects are searching for and begin to optimize your blog posts and create content on your website around these topics.
Once you are aware of what people were looking for when they were doing searches for the products and services, you offer, create free guides around those terms.
The content you create should lead the prospects to an opt-in landing page.
These pages should be connected to specific marketing funnels and designed to segment prospects into distinct buyer groups.
From here, let the marketing automation and lead-nurturing systems provide a steady drip of content, which is known as drip email marketing.
Have distinctly different marketing messages written for a specific avatar or persona around that particular product or service.
Not only will your prospects benefit from this content you create, but the business and local brand will also benefit.
Over time, your brand will be perceived as a subject matter expert or an authority in the market simply because you are becoming the go-to destination for answering prospects’ queries in the form of free guides and blog content.
You achieve all this by simply giving away your best content for free.
This info-marketing process, which addresses common questions, will reduce the stress from your sales team or call center significantly.
Since your guides have already addressed the common questions, over time, your sales team will interact with the prospect only to close the deal.
As you have already positioned your brand on value rather than price, you will be able to demand premium prices as well.
Once you focus on marketing using a Digital Marketing Plan, you will discover that the marketing automation and follow-up systems begin to create more qualified buyers automatically.