In any type of marketing (not just digital marketing), there are a few core concepts that will typically be true because of the permanent nature of human beings and the way our emotions and thought processes work.
That’s why it’s useful to be familiar with some of the basic marketing concepts that translate well to digital marketing as well.
Finding your target demographic
Before you start anything, you should figure out who are you trying to reach.
You will probably not get it 100% right on the first try, especially if you are a beginner. As time goes on, you will keep refining on your demographic and get closer to what works best.
Also, the more experienced you get, the faster this process will be.
The simplest way to start is to think who your product or service would help the most.
Who is it perfect for?
Get specific here. Think about one person.
Think everything about them that is relevant to your product. Their age, gender, profession, location, they can all be helpful.
Whatever you end up with will be a starting point to describing your target audience. This is often called your customer personna, or your buyer personna.
Your efforts will be focused on reaching this person. Because you have a better understanding of that person, you will be more successful in crafting a message that’s compelling for that person.
Reach your target audience
After you know who you are after, you should brainstorm about the best ways to reach them.
Where do your people hang out?
Are they more likely to read blogs, watch videos on Youtube, or scroll through social media?
When you have an idea about where you might find them, you should focus your attention on creating content for that medium or channel.
If they do a lot of Google searching, you should start a blog.
If they watch a lot of videos, start a Youtube channel.
The way you get their attention will largely vary based on the channel, but there will be some common marketing tricks you can use no matter the channel.
Create great content
As we already mentioned, there are two main ways to go about digital marketing. One of them is through creating lots of great content, and the other one is through paying for ads. They can (and should) be combined, but when starting out, choose one and direct all your energy to mastering it.
For most of the people I work with or advise, creating content is the preferred way to start.
Because it’s free, there’s no barrier to entry, it is much more powerful in the long run, and most importantly, it gets you closer to the wants and needs of your audience, since your research on the topic and the people interested in that topic will provide you with a lot of valuable knowledge and insight, not just about the products, but about the language and the way your audience speaks (which is crucial for establishing yourself as a trusted brand and authority).
The theory of creating lots of great content is very simple. In fact, there’s not much to think about, since it’s mostly execution.
If you are inexperienced, this will seem very hard at the beginning.
But there is a great principle at play here – the more content you create, the easier it gets, the less time it takes you, and the content is better and better.
Which means you only need to do two things: to start, and to keep going.
The content creation path takes longer to bear fruit, and it involves more work.
But it’s also free, and it creates a lot more momentum that keeps your business going for free after put into motion. Keep in mind that while it does take a lot of time and work, when done right, the results are incomparable with other strategies, and they keep bringing you results without requiring any additional effort or investment on your part.
All of the best marketers ever have two things in common: they have created tons of content, and they have learned how to make their content better by doing that.
A/B testing for advertising
If you choose to learn to advertise first, you will need some budget. It doesn’t have to be great, but at least a few hundred dollars spread over two to three months will be the minimum requirement, and several thousands of dollars are actually much more likely to give you enough time to learn and figure this game out.
The heart of advertising is measuring, testing and experimenting.
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.John Wanamaker
You come up with an idea, and you test it.
The best way to do this is through the core principle of marketing – the A/B testing process.
A/B testing is a fairly simple process, but getting it right takes a lot of practice, and we will be devoting a lot more time to it in other articles
Build a relationship with your audience
Reaching your audience is just the beginning.
Most successful businesses get their revenue through repeat purchases. That means they’ve built a relationship of trust with their buyers.
The relationship with your audience is another crucial pillar of digital marketing. Marketing gets a lot easier when your prospects know you, trust you, like or respect you, and have already bought something great from you.
The basic principles you need to remember for now are:
- you should listen to your audience and pay attention to their feedback, that is important information they are giving you for free about how to improve your product
- ideally, you only want to be selling to them about one third of the time, the rest of the time you should provide them with value (useful information, something interesting or cool, or some opportunity they might find useful)
- never abuse their trust, it is very hard to regain it if once lost