Over the last couple of years, I have met many business owners in the Greater Toronto Area. Most of them realize the changing buying behaviors of their prospects and consumers in favor of digital marketing, but they all share one common concern- “How do I approach it?”
Their concern is valid.
There is too much incomplete and biased information regarding online marketing. Examples of misinformation or incomplete information are:
- “Social media can help you generate 10x times the leads”
- But how? By doing what everyone else is doing? What if my customers don’t visit my social media channels to engage with my type of business? Think about it. How often do you engage with Facebook pages of other companies? Maybe you do, but it depends on WHY you do.
- “You can drive 1,000,000 visits a month to your website if you change these 7,876 things on your website.”
- The question is: How do I prioritize these things? What would be the quality of the traffic? What resources do I need in terms of money, time, and people, and what about the social media guy who said that SEO is dead?
The concern is not the effectiveness of any of the tactics mentioned above, but rather WHY you need this. You may still need social media, SEO, and AdWords but those tactics have to be specifically built around your goals and strategies.
Are there any other online marketing strategies you can use which could be more effective and more aligned with your business goals?
How do you determine those strategies?
It all depends on a having the right approach to digital marketing.
So, what approach should you choose?
First of all, you don’t have to learn all of the nuances of online marketing. All you need to do is think like a business owner. If you end up learning it all, you will spend your entire life and still not get a good understanding of it.
I’m an expert in online marketing and I still don’t believe that I’ve learned everything. As a matter of fact, no one has truly mastered online marketing. People like Neil Patel and who spend days and nights implementing digital marketing might be a thousand miles ahead of you in terms of knowledge, but they haven’t reached the finish line and will never reach the finish line in their lifetime.
That’s enough of being humble 🙂
Let’s get back to the approach.
When you think like a business owner, you should approach it like this:
- Set business goals
- Create a plan
- Figure out and allocate the required resources
- Measure all the time
- Continuously refine
Let’s dive into the details of these steps now.
Set business goals for digital marketing
You will need something like a measurement plan where you can marry all the moving parts of your tactics and strategies (we will discuss the plan in the next step) with business goals of increased revenue, goodwill, and branding.
Create a plan
It would take a week or so to do this. You would need to hire a digital marketing consultant or a company and engage the following members of your team:
- Yourself (the business owner, partners, founder, CEO, or the president who know by heart the purpose of the business)
- Sales/business development team
- Marketing team (if you have an in-house team)
- Account managers
Your plan should focus on the business development aspect. Think about:
- How many new people you can reach (e.g visits to website, social media interactions/followers etc., email contacts)
- How will you reach those people?
- Who qualifies as your targeted visitor?
- How will your marketing activities qualify leads?
- Where would the qualified leads go?
- How would your sales/marketing team nurture those leads?
- What will be your post-sales activities?
- How will you measure the different stages of the buying process?
The outcome of your plan will be the strategies aligned with your business objectives, target audience, and industry. This will give you clarity on what tactics you need to implement in a set timeline and budget. You will have clear goals of the entire business development cycle.
Your plan will include all of your tactics. Now it’s time to build the infrastructure. Infrastructure can include:
- Marrying CRM with the website
- Tools to measure marketing activities
Get the people resources
Now, who are the people you need to make this machine work? You may need to hire more than one person to make it happen unless you find a unicorn or you hire a digital marketing company. Your marketing team, whether in-house or outsourced, must have all or most of the following skill sets:
- Social media expertise
- Marketing automation
- CRM expertise
- Website development
You will need a budget for
- People or outsourced company
How much budget do you need?
It will be factored into your online marketing plan. As far as the implementation team is concerned, you will be looking anywhere from $40k to $90k per person. If you are looking at outsourcing, companies can charge you anywhere from $2000 to $7000 per month.
Measure and refine all the time
Never forget to measure
A successful business owner is always on top of where the money goes and from where it’s coming. So, as a smart business owner, you are already well-versed in this practice. Your leads, visits, and all the online actions are your dollars $$$ coming in and going out. It will definitely take time for the velocity of incoming dollars to increase versus the velocity of outgoing dollars, but you need to keep an eye on it, day and night.
If you are keeping it in-house, get an external audit done by a digital marketing consultant or hire them for occasional consulting to determine whether or not your strategies need further refinement, or to ensure the ship is sailing in the right direction.
Let us know if this makes sense. At Chhlin, we are always ready to help you at any step of your business.