5 actions to step up your digital marketing in 2018

Ever heard of the 80/20 rule?

The premis is simple, around 20% of your business activities will produce around 80% of the result (orders, turnover, enquiries, etc).

If you think about it, that’s huge… that means that we spend 80% of our time chasing after the final 20% of our turnover. Surely it makes more sense to use that additional 80% to optimise, build and refine our businesses and processes to increase revenue and grow our businesses year on year?!

The same is true with our marketing. Without a plan, a strategy, a marketing process in place (call it what you like) our marketing will be 80% harder than it needs to be, potentially only showing 20% of the results.

Whilst a full plan will take some time to develop, here’s my top five actionable steps you can take NOW to make some progress with your digital marketing in 2018.

 

#1 – Write your customer avatar

OK, this might sound a bit weird, and it felt a bit weird the first time I did it, but it REALLY works.

There are hundreds of posts online about different ways of how to do it. I won’t go into them all now… but to be clear “business owners in the UK” is not an avatar.

Your avatar needs to be specific. Give it a name, gender, age, job title, family, hobbies, home, car. You can’t get too specific! Get to know this avatar on a personal level. Focus all your marketing to this person. When making decisions ask “what would my avatar think to this?”

In reality your target customers won’t fit your avatar completely, and that’s fine. The point is that it gives you a focus. You may have more than one avatar, but try to have no more than three or four unless there’s a business case for it.

For more on this check out John Lee Dumas “Who is your avatar?

 

#2 – Think about the consequences of your marketing

Every action causes a reaction. Every cause, an effect. It’s the same with all forms of marketing.

To really get to grips with this you need to identify your main selling / conversion platforms, and then the additional platforms that support them. For example, if you run an ecommerce business, you conversion platform will be your website (almost exclusively), so what is the role of your other media (adwords, social media, blog content, email marketing, etc) doing to drive traffic to your website and keep them returning?

Consequently, if sales happen on your website, don’t try to sell everywhere else. These other channels can be used to inform, educate and build trust. But “selling” happens where it can be completed.

 

#3 – Consistency, consistency, consistency

At the start of a new year it’s easy to say “I’ll generate a new blog everyday”, or “we need to create 30 videos in January”.

Whilst both of these are noble aims, in reality to keep up that level of production is unlikely. Stuff happens, and we need space within our schedule to deal with it. Instead, choose a schedule you know you can commit to. You can always increase the frequency later.

You may say “but you’re doing the 12 blogs of Christmas. That’s a piece of content everyday!” And you’d be right. But this is a particular short sprint of content I’ve chosen to commit to, and it’s only for 12 days (even if it is Christmas!).

The general rule here is, once you build an audience they need to know when you expect contact from you, and protecting this is protecting your reputation.

We use a good old excel sheet to manage our schedule – there are probably more exciting ways of doing it, but for us if it isn’t broken, we’re not fixing it!

 

#4 – Build your list!

It is amazing how many companies, even at the end of 2017, still don’t value the concept of building a list and emailing them regularly.

There’s two points on this.

  1. Your list is YOURS. You “own” it. That can’t be said for any other form of audience connection. Facebook followers are owned by Facebook. Twitter followers owned by Twitter. Adwords traffic is owned by Google, and so on.
  2. Email is still the highest converting form of digital marketing, with the best return on investment (ROI) by a long way!

To give you an example of the power of this, I’ve worked with an online golf retailer for a number of years. The owners have become friends as well as clients. They run an email list of around 250,000 subscribers. It took time for them to get to that number, but that’s where they’re playing at the moment. Due to the size of their list it costs approximately £5,000 to email their whole list (although they do have smaller segments). Quit thay cost they only commit to emailing their list once a month.

Their emails go out on the first Friday of the month, without fail. They include the months offers and news about upcoming products, tournaments, etc.

After two weeks the team look at their sales. Where are they in comparison to last year and their goals for this year. If they’re behind then the look at adding an additional email into their sequence. It’ll cost another £5,000, but could generate them another £70,000 to £100,000 in orders.

Why don’t they send two emails a month, I hear you ask… well they friend, but they found that their audience responded better to a single email as a regular schedule. If they expected the second email two weeks later, the audience would hang on for offers that may not be happening and their sales would suffer. Once a month worked for them and their audience with the occasional extra email dropped in for good measure.

 

#5 – Enjoy it!

Finally, it’s time to have some fun! Yes it can be a chore, but if your marketing bores you, how is it going to come across to your audience? This is another point where having an avatar helps – it feels a lot more like a conversation. Granted it’s a conversation you are driving, but a conversation none-the-less.

That’s the reason I’ve chosen to do the 12 blogs of Christmas – I enjoy it. It feels like I’m giving something back to the community at a time when gift giving and receiving is at the forefront of people’s minds.

 

So there you have it. Consider those five items in time for January and note the difference in your marketing and the relationship you have with your audience.

View the full series of the #12BlogsOfChristmas.