When it comes to getting results from your digital marketing efforts, you must invest in more than simple tactics. Content marketing, SEO, and email are all powerful tools, but without purpose and strategy, you may not get the results you want. In the video below I share my many digital marketing campaign fails as well as how to set yourself up to get real results!
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We’re going to be talking about why a lot of strategies end up failing. For most businesses, when you want to grow, you know that marketing is essential, and you need marketing to generate leads, so then you can convert those leads into sales and ultimately grow your revenue, grow your business, and so on and so forth.
A lot of businesses, when they have this problem, either reach out to their friends to see what they’ve done, or go online. They start to research what’s going on. They go to Google, start asking questions, start to read some pieces of content, and then jump right into action. I know this feeling because I’ve done it myself. I want results, so I need to act.
What happens is you start to get very task-driven or you get kind of pigeonholed into just doing one-off campaigns, not really even campaigns, but marketing initiatives. (You read an article and think) Okay, I need to be on Facebook, be on Facebook more. I need to post on Twitter and be on Twitter more. I need to have a landing page and build a landing page. I need to have a content piece. You start to do these one-off little tasks but they never culminate into real results. The reason why is they’re separated. They’re little bits and pieces and they’re not synchronized.
This is where inbound marketing and effective inbound marketing and leveraging automation can help your campaign succeed. Before you ever start doing tasks, you need to know two main things. What do you want to promote? What do you want to achieve? Who do you need to reach in order to achieve that? You have to begin at the end. This is a very popular concept by Jim Collins. It’s been popular, Begin with the End in Mind. It’s one of the seven principles of highly effective people. If you want to be effective, you have to know where you’re going.
One of the quotes I love, it’s a Yogi Bear quote, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.” That’s absolutely true, so you have to begin with the end in mind. What do you want to achieve? What is your ultimate goal for executing the marketing strategy? Maybe it’s, “I want five SQLs.” Now, starting with five SQLs in what timeframe? In the next 90 days. Okay, now we’ve made it S.M.A.R.T., smart and specific, measurable, obtainable, relevant, and time-bound. We have a specific goal. I want to generate five new SQLs over the next 90 days. Now we have a specific goal that we want to achieve.
From there, we have to now step back, and consider who are we going to market to. For my business, we do digital marketing search engine optimization, and full-funnel inbound strategies for businesses specifically are more likely on the technology side of things. Now, what we would like to do then is say, “Okay, well, what can we do to attract them?” Something that’s been very, very powerful for us lately is SEO. Clients need search help, so we’ll talk about SEO. We can create an SEO eBook that could be a very good entry-level piece for our prospects. You can do this with whatever your business niche or your focus is. We could say, “I want to give these SEO leads because these SEO leads typically have more than just SEO needs.” A lot of times, when we have these conversations it starts out, “I need SEO,” but really turns out what they need is inbound. They need a full-funnel digital strategy.
From this starting point, I begin to build a relationship down to my goals, but as you can see, there’s nothing in the middle yet. What happens typically is businesses go, “Okay, I want five new SQLs. I read that blogging is really good, so I’m going to do a blog and at the end of my blog, I’m going to have a Contact Us form.”
The problem with that is it typically doesn’t work because in a blog, you can address somebody’s specific problem. Say, “Most of the time you have SEO problems, but really, you need an inbound strategy. Call us. We’ll learn more and we’ll give you a quote.” Now, if you’re reading my blog and you get to the bottom, are you going to do that? Just ask yourself. Most of the time, you’re going to say no, “Dude, I just wanted to learn a little bit more about my pain points.” Why? Because those people are too early in the funnel to start taking this relationship to the next level. It’s like, “Hey, you want to go out on a date?” And at the end of the date, you say, “It was really nice meeting you. How about getting married tomorrow?” Just way too fast. Step back, right?
We need to start thinking about this process. Begin with the end in mind, and then go back to the starting point. Now, our starting point, we said we want to generate some SEO leads. A good piece to do that, is an SEO book, checklist, whatever, a piece of really great, high-level, premium content.
A lot of people will tell you that forms don’t work, and getting content doesn’t work anymore. The reason a lot of it doesn’t work is because it’s not tied to a strategy and they’re building gated content pages, and the average user knows that there’s not a lot of value involved in that piece of content. They’re not going to be willing to give you more information.
I recently had this problem myself, trying to get a quote for insurance. I filled out a form. I haven’t stopped getting calls. I really wasn’t interested. I just wanted to see what a quote would be. Now I’m getting pursued like, “Hey, you asked for a quote. Let’s go out and let’s get married.” Whoa, man, I need you to fill in this gap for me. Take me through this process a little bit. I just want a quote. I want to know how much I have to pay. That’s what a lot of people are doing early in the funnel. They just want to know round about what is this going to take. What you have to do now is build a relationship through the entire process.
This could involve, and it typically would in a strategy, having high-level premium content that’s on a landing page, and we’re going to gate this. The reason we gate content, especially high-level content, is so we can collect some information. It’s like, “I’ve got a free piece of content for you. If you want to share a little bit of information with me, I’d love to take you on this journey together.”
Now, the content has to be valuable. It has to match what you’re asking. You could say, typically, “Here’s an eBook, and give me a down payment.” Not going to work. Most of the time its name and email. Today, we also deal with some GDPR, so you’ve got to make sure that you’re treating people’s data very delicately because it is personal data. When you’re doing this, make sure you’re adding value to them, and then they’re not going to mind getting an email from you because you’re providing value to the process.
We typically do a gated piece of content. We build blogs around that, as well, to begin to highlight that piece of content, so now and then we’re going to have right here, the next part, it’s going to be our content strategy. In that we’ve got things like SEO part of that, we’ve got social part of that, we’ve got a followup email campaign. There are a lot of things going around all this content that’s starting to promote this, but all of this is top of the funnel. All of this is just to get the wheel turning so we can start moving people down here.
Now, once they connect, what happens? We get a follow-up email, saying, “Hey, thank you for downloading our piece of content. This is how it’s going to help you. You can download it here. If you’d like more information, you can find it here on our blog page, our resources page,” or something of that level. We’re not asking them to do business with us yet. We’re educating them through the process.
Again, a lot of people stop here. They do a follow-up email, and they stop communication. Somebody starts to go in this flow, starts to come online, and then you just put a wall and you stop talking to them, and then you go, “Well, I generated 40 leads from that campaign. Not a single one of those converted into a sales qualified lead,” and it’s completely your fault because you didn’t take the steps to walk them towards that. You just expected them to do it on their own.
Another great quote I love is, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.” If you want them to do something, walk with them. Walk with them through that journey and take them from where they are to where they need to be, and this is how a campaign works, not just a one-off blast. Again, we do an event, boom, it’s a great event. We do one follow-up email. We never reach out to those people again. We wonder why nobody’s joined our community because we haven’t engaged with them. We haven’t built a relationship with them. The same thing goes for digital marketing. We send out an email blast once a month and we hope it’ll return tons of business for us. It’s not how the process works. It’s not really how a human processes.
Think about a time, any time in your relationships or any type of business you’ve done where somebody said, “Here’s a coupon,” and one second later, from a business you’ve never heard from, and then one second later you say, “All right, here’s $5000 to give you what you’re doing.” That’s not how it works. You have to build relationships. Be human. It’s extremely important in this whole process.
What we like to do after this is build a nurturing campaign or a sequence or a S.O.A.P. campaign, whatever you want to call it depending on where you come from, but the goal of this campaign is for them to get to know your business, show them how you’ve already solved the problem they’re looking to solve, give them more value, and then call them into action.
You start with your story. You empathize with them. Empathy is huge, okay? Empathy can be learned. It’s not just a God-given gift. Now, some people have more than others, but you can learn empathy. You can step in their shoes, and say, “Man, I know when I was starting my business, I needed to grow my visibility online. I didn’t really know where to look, so I started digging into this thing called SEO. Here’s what I found and these are the results that I found, and tomorrow I’ll share with you a couple of the pitfalls that I experienced.” Now, what I did there is I started telling my story, but then I set up the next email. I even told them when it was coming. I said tomorrow.
Once you’ve engaged in your story, the next step in the process is to expose their pain. Now, a lot of people don’t like to talk about pain because why? Well, it’s painful, right? The problem is people aren’t going to change unless they feel pain. That’s what causes us to change, and as marketers, salespeople, business owners, and entrepreneurs, our job is to leverage that pain in order to help them to change their behavior. It’s a powerful technique and it’s not meant to be manipulative. It’s actually meant to push somebody toward where they need to go.
They’ve got pain, they need to solve it, but typically what we do is we get comfortable in our pain and we don’t take action because the devil I know is better than the devil I don’t. This is a phrase we come across, right? What we can do is say, “You don’t like where you’re at. You don’t like the fact that your business doesn’t have exposure in organic search. We know that frustration. We’ve been there. We’ve felt that pain because, without that visibility, we weren’t going anywhere. Here’s what we did about it, and tomorrow we’re going to give you some awesome, powerful tips so you can do the same thing.”
Again, what I did is I linked these two. Every email progresses, and it tells them what’s going to happen and it gives them an expectation for tomorrow. It sets the right expectations, because false expectations lead to resentment, because if you tell somebody you’re going to do something and you don’t do it, it can build resentment, so you want to build these expectations because if you don’t give them a clear expectation, they’re going to make something up on their own. They may expect more or less, and you don’t want to leave that out in the open. You want to be clear on what the expectation should be.
Now, here, we’re going to give them some more content. We’re going to give them some tools, some tips, ways to execute, things that they can do on their own, one to help to validate our knowledge of the industry, but also to give them more value and to show that hey, we’re giving. Again, it’s the rule of reciprocity, as well, where we’re giving, we’re giving, we’re giving.
Soon, people start giving so much, it starts to take their walls down. They’re not so, “Man, these guys just want my money.” It’s like, “No, these guys actually want to help me out and grow my business,” and you should feel that way. You should have that authenticity in everything that you’re doing through this entire funnel, anything that you’re doing in marketing and sales.
Again, you want to step this up. Tomorrow, we would just like to cap it off with an invitation to something really special, something that we want to give you for free. These are free consultations or something along those lines where they can have some time with you one on one, face-to-face, or maybe on a Zoom call. I think using digital media is really great for that, or if you’re a local business, having somebody come and meet you. Push that way into the last email so they can make that connection.
Now, what you can do there is you can start to either meet with people online or see how far somebody goes on the process. It’s going to help you qualify and disqualify leads a lot better than just generating a ton of leads at the top of the funnel. You’re going to walk people through this process, and hopefully, out of this, you’re going to get your goal, right? The goal was five SQLs in the next 90 days.
By building your campaign, having your end in mind, and attaching each one of these phases of the funnel into that process you can push people down the journey. That’s why they call it funnel, right? It’s a funnel because it works like this. You get a couple of people here at the top. You get a couple people that move down here, and then you get a couple people that are down here, that decide to do business with you.
It gets narrower through the whole process, but you can’t expect your funnel to work if you take out this part of it. If you’re just attracting people and hoping that they fall into the clothes bucket, it’s not going to work. What you need to do is begin to build out these processes in the middle that tie your campaign together and allow people to go naturally through this. You build that relationship with them through the entire process, which is what is going to pay dividends in the end and make your business a much better business.
I hope you learned a little bit more today about what works in digital marketing and the things that you need to do in the middle of the funnel that is extremely important in taking somebody from an early stage lead into somebody that’s going to meet your goals and help you grow your business
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