How To Create a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy For Your Business in 5 Easy Steps

On this week’s episode of The Playbook, host Mark Collier, business consultant for the UGA Small Business Development Center, is joined by Kelly Biggs, principal consultant with WSI. The pandemic year of 2020 radically changed the way businesses prospect for new customers. Digital, contactless, and virtual are the new buzzwords on how everyday business is conducted. An effective digital marketing strategy is now critical if a business desires to remain relevant in our now post-COVID economy.

Transcription:

Mark Collier:
Hi, everyone. Welcome into The Playbook on ASBN. I’m your host, Mark Collier. Each week on The Playbook, I sit down with emerging entrepreneurs, seasoned business owners, and resource experts to deliver relevant information to the ASBN audience.

Mark Collier:
I am pleased to welcome back Kelly Biggs, principal consultant with WSI, the world’s largest digital network. Welcome back into The Playbook, Kelly.

Kelly Biggs:
Thanks, Mark. Thanks for having me.

Mark Collier:
All right. So for businesses which have not yet taken those very necessary steps, you’re going to share a very important kind of five step end-to-end digital process flow that companies can implement to digitally transform their marketing strategy. So kind of let’s begin with an overview of that process.

Kelly Biggs:
Yeah, absolutely. So just as you discussed, it is a digital marketing strategy and it’s five steps.

Mark Collier:
All right.

Kelly Biggs:
So what we do is we start with the customer in mind.

Mark Collier:
Customer experience is now front and center today.

Kelly Biggs:
That is absolutely right. So when you think about it, customers don’t know you, they don’t know your brand.

Mark Collier:
Right.

Kelly Biggs:
They’re really strangers to you.

Mark Collier:
Sure.

Kelly Biggs:
And so your first job is to attract them to your business. And then from there, what you want to do is once they are attracted to your business, you want to get them to your website or your own process or products out there. And then you want to convert those visitors into leads.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
And then the leads and prospects, and you want to just nurture them until they then become your customers.

Mark Collier:
All right.

Kelly Biggs:
And then the final step after they become your customers, you want to delight them so that they promote your business. You want to make sure that you measure that using analytics.

Mark Collier:
All right. Yeah. That part about delighting your customers is very important because then they become brand ambassadors for your business, and that type of word-of-mouth marketing doesn’t cost you one additional penny.

Kelly Biggs:
That’s exactly right.

Mark Collier:
All right. So your five-step system, is it exclusive to businesses who are new to digital marketing or businesses who are currently deploying some type of marketing that they can also benefit from this system?

Kelly Biggs:
That’s an excellent question.

Mark Collier:
All right.

Kelly Biggs:
So both can benefit.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
So if you are a existing business is where I’ll start, you can do an assessment and see where you’re doing well and where you’re maybe not doing quite as well, and decide where you want to start. And then you have a business that’s new to this and you want to begin the process.

Mark Collier:
All right. So kind of let’s peel back the layers on that first step. Give me some details around it.

Kelly Biggs:
Yeah. So if you remember, it’s just attracting strangers to your brand.

Mark Collier:
All right.

Kelly Biggs:
So you do that. The first step in that is something people don’t want to do, but it is critical, and that’s building your buyer persona. But basically, you want to be able to call your customer by name.

Mark Collier:
All right.

Kelly Biggs:
So what keeps them awake at night?

Mark Collier:
Sure.

Kelly Biggs:
How old are they?

Mark Collier:
Right.

Kelly Biggs:
How young are they?

Mark Collier:
Right.

Kelly Biggs:
Where do they hang out socially?

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
Are you selling B2B? Are you selling B2C? And just really assessing all of those things and going from there.

Mark Collier:
All right. So the business’s owners, they made the decision to begin this process, so what’s the very first step that they need to take to begin?

Kelly Biggs:
Yep. So after they build their persona, the next thing that they want to do is content, content, content, content.

Mark Collier:
All right.

Kelly Biggs:
Content is still king. So what you’re doing with this content is you know their pain, you know where they’re landing, you know where they’re living, and so you’re testing is really what you’re doing.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
So you’re putting posts out there on your social media.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
You might do a video, but you’re just attracting them. And I suggest you do it organically, meaning you’re not paying for it first.

Mark Collier:
Right. Right.

Kelly Biggs:
This is going to save you both time and money because you’re going to post something and you’re not going to be like, “Oh, I did this amazing creative,” and then say, “This is what I’m going to do from here on out.” No, you’re going to see how people react to that. And then the things that people react more to, you’ll double down on that, and that’s what you’ll want to use for your paid advertisement. All of this attracts people to other assets, whether they’re visiting your Facebook page, your Instagram page, or your website.

Mark Collier:
Okay. So you made an important point, once you start doing it organically, then you’ve got to begin to measure the results. Because I have an old adage, “What cannot be measured cannot be improved.”

Kelly Biggs:
That’s exactly right.

Mark Collier:
So you want to focus more of your energy and your resources on what’s working, and I guess dial back or eliminate things that are not working.

Kelly Biggs:
That’s exactly right.

Mark Collier:
All right.

Kelly Biggs:
Yeah.

Mark Collier:
So the second step, where do you go from there?

Kelly Biggs:
Yeah. So now you’ve attracted them, yay, to your website. You have them engaged. A lot of people want to go here and say, “Buy my product.”

Mark Collier:
Right.

Kelly Biggs:
Now, in e-commerce, yeah, that shortens for you.

Mark Collier:
Sure.

Kelly Biggs:
But in a traditional sales cycle, I know you, I came to your asset, and conversion is key here, and most people miss it.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
So when people go to your website, only 8% of them are probably ready to buy.

Mark Collier:
8%? That’s a very low number.

Kelly Biggs:
Very low number. So what you want to do is you want to convert, and that doesn’t mean sell, it means I want to move them to the next step of the process.

Mark Collier:
There you go.

Kelly Biggs:
So think about if you directed them to a blog post that you did, so I’m landing on your blog post page.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
I read it. A lot of people will just stop there, but there’s an opportunity for you to say, “What do you want them to do next?”

Mark Collier:
Sure.

Kelly Biggs:
And so maybe it’s, “Read this other white paper,” “Look at this video that goes more in depth on it,” and so you’re just nurturing them to engage. And I would say do a value exchange here.

Mark Collier:
Okay. Explain to me a little bit what you mean by value exchange.

Kelly Biggs:
Absolutely. So what I’m trying to get from you is your email so I can continue to talk to you.

Mark Collier:
All right.

Kelly Biggs:
And so, you know that, and you’ve got to decide whether or not you want to give it to me. You’ll give it to me if I’m giving you something valuable enough.

Mark Collier:
Got it. Got it.

Kelly Biggs:
So if your solution is touching on my pain, the thing I’m trying to solve for, I’m willing to give it to you. So just think about, again, leading with your client in mind, what are they thinking about when they got to the page, and what can you give them to move them along the process?

Mark Collier:
All right. So now I think we’ve reached step three, correct?

Kelly Biggs:
That’s correct.

Mark Collier:
All right. So let’s peel back a few layers on step three.

Kelly Biggs:
Okay. Step three is now where you’re going to take those leads. And now you’re turning them into prospects and making those prospects then … you’re nurturing them.

Mark Collier:
So you’re kind of teeing them up hopefully to make a purchase, is that kind of where we’re at?

Kelly Biggs:
That’s exactly right.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
We’re trying to close them.

Mark Collier:
All right.

Kelly Biggs:
And so the best way to do that is remember, we’re focusing on that 92%.

Mark Collier:
Yes.

Kelly Biggs:
They gave you their email.

Mark Collier:
That’s right.

Kelly Biggs:
And so what you want to do if you have a big organization, you can start to focus on your sales or your CRM process.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
And that’s when your salespeople are saying, “Oh, we did a demo,” or, “Oh, we met with a client,” but most smaller businesses really want to focus on email automation. And email automation is basically setting up a sales funnel.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
So that you’ve set … it’s kind of a set and forget, really.

Mark Collier:
All right.

Kelly Biggs:
So they did some trigger event, so they downloaded the white paper.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
So immediately, I want to thank them for downloading the white paper.

Mark Collier:
All right.

Kelly Biggs:
Maybe three days later I want to just say, “Hey, did you have any questions?”

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
Try to get them to engage with you any further. But when you do it with email automation, you save yourself some time and money.

Mark Collier:
Oh, you do. Yeah.

Kelly Biggs:
Yeah.

Mark Collier:
Yeah.

Kelly Biggs:
Front end is harder because you’ve got to set out the flows of it.

Mark Collier:
Okay. All right.

Kelly Biggs:
But on the back end, now I don’t have to, “Okay, Mark visited and now I need to touch him.” No, you’ve set it up so whenever somebody does this trigger, these actions follow.

Mark Collier:
All right. So we’ve covered three steps so far. You’re investigating, you’ve developed prospects, you develop leads, and now you’re getting them almost to that precipice where they’re ready to purchase.

Kelly Biggs:
Yep.

Mark Collier:
So what’s the fourth step?

Kelly Biggs:
Exactly. So they are actually becoming your customers.

Mark Collier:
Very good. So they make a purchase.

Kelly Biggs:
They made the purchase.

Mark Collier:
All right.

Kelly Biggs:
And as what you alluded to earlier, we’ve got to delight these customers.

Mark Collier:
That’s right.

Kelly Biggs:
So the way to delight customers is simply by asking them about their experience. It’s something that most people don’t want to do and don’t do, because it’s the fear of rejection. “I don’t want to know that I did a bad job,” but you do.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
And the reason why it’s especially critical in digital, because you’re strangers might look at your reviews, for example. So you’re just wanting to set up a process by which you can evaluate what your customers are feeling with you.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
So you start the process just by saying, “How was your experience?”

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
If your experience was good, great. Nudge them to go ahead and give you a review.

Mark Collier:
Oh, I like that. Yeah.

Kelly Biggs:
And make it easy for them. Just say, “Hey, great. It would do a huge favor to us if you could just fill out a survey.”

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
And send them the link to your assets so that absolutely there’s no barriers for them doing it.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
If it’s a bad review, you want to know that too, and this is an opportunity for you and your business. So figure out, don’t argue, just, “What can I do better? What would have made this experience give you a five star? What were you expecting?”

Mark Collier:
Sure. Sure.

Kelly Biggs:
And see if you can use that to change your processes and obviously turn them into a delighted customer. Because as you’ve mentioned, you’ve just paid a lot of money to get them in your funnel.

Mark Collier:
You sure have. You sure have.

Kelly Biggs:
And so, how do we reduce the cost going forward is by delighting them and getting them to either be a repeat business if you have a repeatable business, or refer clients to you.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
Either way, they become your promoters.

Mark Collier:
So let’s talk about some specific digital strategies around that and what businesses need to do to kind of deploy those tactics in order to make the whole thing work.

Kelly Biggs:
Yeah. So there’s reputation management systems that you can buy, and those systems will put in place where you measure and monitor those things.

Mark Collier:
All right.

Kelly Biggs:
So for instance, you want to make sure that if somebody gives you a Google review, these systems, you put them in place, they’ll alert you, “Hey, you got a Google review.” Within 24 hours, you want to respond.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
Again, if it’s-

Mark Collier:
Now, are you responding whether it’s positive or negative?

Kelly Biggs:
Exactly.

Mark Collier:
Okay. Good.

Kelly Biggs:
That’s exactly right.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
So if it’s a negative review, respond, do not get in a cyber war with anybody.

Mark Collier:
Sure. Oh, no. I’ve seen those, they’re not pretty.

Kelly Biggs:
It’s not going to go well for anybody. Because you buy on Amazon, right?

Mark Collier:
Sure. Oh yeah.

Kelly Biggs:
Me too. And very rarely is it five stars across the board.

Mark Collier:
Correct.

Kelly Biggs:
And actually, recent studies have shown that people either do a one star or a five star.

Mark Collier:
Wow.

Kelly Biggs:
There’s very little in-between.

Mark Collier:
I never knew that. Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
Yeah. So when they do that one star, all you’re trying to show to potential customers is that, “I acknowledge it. I’m ready. Customer service is important to me.”

Mark Collier:
Good deal.

Kelly Biggs:
“How can I fix it?”

Mark Collier:
Yeah. All right. So the final step in that process that you detailed is analytics. Can you talk to me a little bit more about what that is and why that’s so important?

Kelly Biggs:
Yeah. I am passionate about analytics. It’s where we start with our clients, to be quite honest with you. So the reason is, again, saves you some costs.

Mark Collier:
Yes.

Kelly Biggs:
So one of the ones that we love is Google Analytics and it’s free.

Mark Collier:
Oh yeah. Yeah.

Kelly Biggs:
So what happens with Google Analytics is, let’s just say you’re an e-commerce house, and so you’re selling your products online. One of the things Google Analytics will do for you is you can segment out by, “Who’s purchasing from me?”

Mark Collier:
Sure.

Kelly Biggs:
You can look and you can do … first, I would start with the demographics. So maybe I think I’m selling to 50-pluses. And I look, and I was like, “Well, hold on. The people who are actually buying are millennials.”

Mark Collier:
Oh, okay.

Kelly Biggs:
So it gives me some more information like, “Oh, wow. Well, let me then dig a little further. What pages are they landing on? What’s this experience like for them?” And then you double down on that and inform your marketing and save you money on that front end of the funnel.

Mark Collier:
Sure.

Kelly Biggs:
But analytics and measuring is the way to go about, just like you said, what you measure, you understand, and it saves you so much cost.

Mark Collier:
Yep. And it can be improved.

Kelly Biggs:
Absolutely. And it’s a never-ending process.

Mark Collier:
So are there any additional resources you can suggest for our viewers to get started? I would say the number one additional resource is to reach out to Kelly Biggs at WSI, right?

Kelly Biggs:
I appreciate that. Right. So yeah, actually go to our website, I’ve set up something for your viewers.

Mark Collier:
Okay. Perfect.

Kelly Biggs:
And that is a gap analysis.

Mark Collier:
Okay.

Kelly Biggs:
So if you’re just wondering where to start or maybe you’re having some trouble in the process, this will lay it out for you.

Mark Collier:
Fantastic.

Kelly Biggs:
So it’s an Excel file-

Mark Collier:
Okay, very good.

Kelly Biggs:
… that they can download. It’s pretty intensive, but they can just walk through it and really understand where they need to start. They can do it on their own.

Mark Collier:
Sure.

Kelly Biggs:
If they need a little help, we can do a free consultation with them and walk them through the process.

Mark Collier:
Okay. So once they’ve finished that process and they figure out, “Boy, I do need some help here,” then they can reach out to you, and you’ll engage them and kind of detail what your resource is and how you can best help them.

Kelly Biggs:
Absolutely, Mark. Be happy to.

Mark Collier:
All right. Kelly Biggs, Principal Consultant with WSI, always a pleasure having you come in and impart some very valuable information. Digital marketing is a core strategy nowadays for company success, so again, love to have you back in because the digital marketing space is always evolving, so I can always learn more from you.

Kelly Biggs:
Love to. Love to come back.

Mark Collier:
All right.

Kelly Biggs:
All right.

Mark Collier:
Have a good day.

Kelly Biggs:
Take care, Mark.


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