The Shine Bright Media Digital Marketing Guide

Welcome to our mini-guide to digital marketing!

This blog post is a small summary of our full digital marketing guide. If you found anything useful here then please pop over and check it out. The guide can be found here.

Please note, at the time of writing (10/11/2019) our digital marketing guide is still under construction and stands at about 20,000 words of juicy content. The official launch date of the full guide is January 1st 2020.

At this point, the guide will cover over 30 modern digital marketing techniques and strategies as well as a plethora of general information simply designed to offer comprehension.

1. THE FOUNDATIONS

1.A LOVE DATA AND SEO STYLE KNOWLEDGE

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is still considered optional by many business owners. If that's you, please bear with me.

It's important to know what it is we're talking about first. Different people have wildly different ideas on what SEO actually is in the first place. The most common view on SEO is that its all about keywords, content, meta and links. And fair play, that's exactly what SEO is. But, what most people don't realise is that this combination is just the tip of the iceberg. Modern SEO is an amazing thing.

Coming into 2020, Voice Search is consuming a huge chunk of the search market. At the same time, localised search results are becoming more and more sophisticated.

All these brilliant features take traffic away from the old organic Google listings that everybody strives to dominate. The result is that those good old Google organic listings are losing value. Fast.

This has led many to believe SEO doesn't have the value it used to have. And if you're talking specifically about SEO for the sake of traditional organic listings, then yes it has lost a lot of value and will continue to do so.

But the thing is, all those new features that are taking the traffic away from the traditional organic listings - that's modern SEO, and NOW is the time to be taking advantage of it. Modern SEO consists of on-page technical SEO, Microdata, JSON schema, voice behaviour considerations. Not many are yet on the bandwagon and rewards are there to be reaped.

And even if you arent interested in any of that early-days, low hanging fruit - you still need SEO knowledge!

The knowledge that can be garnered from modern SEO tools is completely invaluable even if you don't do SEO. DATA is brilliant stuff. DATA is a foundation to your success. In the digital marketing world, DATA is power. The best place to get it? SEO tools.

So what does DATA give you?

DATA helps you build a keyword strategy. Keyword strategy echoes in all areas of the web - even the social-sphere. Competitor research alone is worth its weight in gold. Social Media Listening helps you fine-tune your efforts and chip away the waste avenues for maximum results. The list of benefits from SEO style DATA is endless.

In short, SEO knowledge gives you much more than you might think. Forget organic listings and link building (for now anyway) we're looking into SEO to aid in the decision-making process in all areas of the web!

1.B. GET TO KNOW YOUR DIGITAL INDUSTRY LANDSCAPE

Every business, product or service has its most ideal place on the Internet. Researching your own industry will give you an invaluable amount of actionable information. There are various research tools to really dig deep into all sorts of data but to get started your best bet is to use the web in the same way as everyone else does.

Go to Facebook, Google, Instagram, Bing etc and search for your competitors. Search for the products you sell. Ask questions relative to your own industry, products or services.

Make plenty of notes. Some sites will keep popping up. Make a note. You will come across features and functions that surprise you or impress you. Make a note.

If you were to spend 5 hours solidly researching any industry on the Internet you would be surprised how fast you pick up the industry trends.

Once you have done the initial familiarisation it's time to dig a little deeper.

1.C. GET YOUR WEBSITE AND WEB PROPERTIES IN ORDER

Foundations first. Your website, social media profiles, search results and anything else online must all echo each other. This means your branding, company colours, logo, main company details and overall message must be coherent.

With your own website and your social media properties be as comprehensive as possible. If a social media profile has a field you can fill out, then fill it out. If you can think of a question for your FAQ page, add it.

But there are 2 rules to follow.

Rule 1 is that your basic information such as company name, telephone number, address, business opening hours should be identical across all web properties. That is more important than you might think and known as Citation SEO. For locally-based businesses with a small geographical radius, Citation SEO is very powerful. For national or global business, Citation SEO is still very important. Simply because it means you have your details in more places.

On the other hand, rule 2 is that all descriptions and descriptive information should be unique and created for each property.

I'll say that again. Basic information should be identical across properties while descriptive information is best created for each individual property or platform.

1.D. CREATE YOUR BUYER PERSONAS AND GET CLOSE

The second step (and this is another foundational step) is to figure out and create buyer personas.

Now every product or service out there has its most likely customer. That's the person who is most likely to be interested in your products or services.

The chances are you already have a good idea of what kind of people buy your products and services. It is essential information for any business owner. After all, if you don't know your own demographic, how are you going to reach them?

So while knowing your kind of demographic is a good thing and kind of something everybody knows anyway, creating a buyer persona is the act of purposefully really digging deep and creating a template of your kind of buyer.

And this gives you all sorts of great advantages.

A buyer persona helps you create the right kind of content. It then helps you place that content in the right places at the right times. It also gives you a great idea of how you should be talking to your demographic. It gives you the ability to find an insight into your so you can begin creating amazing content your demographic want to see by problem-solving.

Now creating a buyer persona is surprisingly simple. You're already halfway there knowing your own products and services.

I've had a load of links underneath this video in the buyer persona section. These will help you create your buyer personas with pre-built templates. There's also a few links if you'd like to go deeper into by personas and I highly recommend it.

You can have buyer personas for your entire brand or for each individual product or service within your Brand. How deep you go into buyer personas and how much you customise your content to a particular need for a particular person will have a direct effect on the success of your marketing campaigns.

Buyer personas combined with step 1 "getting your house in order" will give you a rock-solid foundation and a great start for your online marketing campaigns.

1.E. BUILD A CONTENT HUB & DISTRIBUTION CENTER. ALA LE BLOG!

Coming into 2020 there is much opinion against blogging. But don't confuse blogging with actually owning and managing a blog.

We don't want a blog for blogging in the traditional blogosphere sense. Instead, we want a blog as a hub for our content creation. It should be attached to your website and serve as a place for company news and announcements. Competitions, quizzes and giveaways. Coupon announcements. Industry news. The possibilities are endless.

Don't look at your blog as a blog, look at it as a content hub to repeatedly market your content. You no doubt have product pages or dedicated landing pages for your services. We'll your blog lets you talk about them, contextually and for different audiences.

A content hub, if managed correctly, can serve as the direct link between the various traffic sources online and your products and services. It is the buffer that turns your sales message into useful information.

It's also a very powerful SEO tool if you know how to wield it right.

1.F. BUILD A READY-WHEN-YOU-ARE CONTENT CREATION KIT

The Internet is happening all day every day. Your potential clients are scrolling through social media right now.

Constant fresh content creation is an essential part of a modern online marketing campaign. Your website, blog, newsletter list and social media channels are all constantly hungry for content.

It needs to be good, relevant content too.

Luckily there is a range of methods and fantastic tools to help with the content creation process. Otherwise, it can be a genuine pain in the backside.

Gathering an arsenal of content creation tools early on is your best friend. The following is a list of tools and methods we highly recommend.

A. Canva. Image and video tool. Canva is absolutely brilliant. It's a web-based content creation tool that works brilliant on desktop and also on mobile phone.

Not as sophisticated as a full-blown app such as Photoshop but still an amazing content creation tool. Thousands of ready-to-edit designs, stock images, typography layouts, video capabilities, illustrations. The list goes on.

B. A Good Dictation App. Typing text is difficult for many. Myself included. It's not the ability to type, it's more the ability to fluently flow some great content out. I personally start the same sentence over and over. I waste oodles of time when I try to type.

Using voice, on the other hand, brings a whole different angle. And with apps that can instantly convert your voice into text, as you speak, reeling off huge chunks of text has never been easier.

Of course, you need to fully understand your subject. A bullet point list is your friend.

But the absolute best thing about dictation apps is that the output can instantly be edited and punctuated using your mobile keyboard. This makes it a synch to create loads of content.

C. Feedly and aggregator sites. No matter what industry you are in there is already somebody chatting about it online. There will be industry-specific news. Related industry news. And so on.

You can feed into this using aggregator sites such as Feedly. This provides daily inspiration for content. Sharing is part of the modern web. Don't be afraid to do it. You never know, that article from the page with 1,000,000 followers might just earn you a nod and a rush of traffic.

Content aggregator sites give you a constant source of content ideas. Utilise them. No matter who you are there will be days when you simply don't have the creativity or just cannot be arsed. It happens. Don't fret. Just make sure you have a well-organised source of inspiration.

2. TAKING IT ALL TO MARKET

2.A. CREATE CONTENT MARKETING MARKETING CAMPAIGNS

Nearly all ads you see online are standalone adverts with a link to a product. Nearly all these ads fail at their primary objective.

The problem is that standalone adverts don't work on the internet. You have to build an audience, you have to warm them up, you have to convince them you are the business they trust. That isn't done via an advert. That's done by an advertising campaign.

An advertising campaign is much bigger than an advert because it does a lot more than just directly market a product or service. A We're not just talking about selling here either. Every marketing campaign you create should also have a purpose other than just selling a product or service.

It might be testing a new social networks ad system. It might be split testing and tweaking an advert that previously did well. It might just be that you've had an idea you think will work.

Whatever, make sure you make a campaign out of it. Something with a definite structure and pre-planned content. A start and end date with a predicted outcome.

If you look at your digital marketing as campaigns, each with a definite purpose it becomes much easier to fine-tune the chances of success. If you had an idea of what you wanted to happen, you can compare it with what actually happened once the campaign has ended.

The first information in this guide asks you to learn to love data. When you create marketing campaigns, you give yourself a better chance of harvesting new, from your own efforts data you can actually use to fine-tune your conversions and overall success.

Many beginners to marketing fall down at this early step. It's very easy to think a quick social media graphic with a link to a web page will attract new business - and it might, it's certainly possible.

But a well-thought marketing campaign, forged to suit your buyer personas and placed strategically according to your research increases the chances of success exponentially.

2.B. OPTIMISE EVERYTHING FOR EVERYWHERE

Your customers are everywhere and on every device possible.

This step is a simple case of making sure that any campaign you ever run is always ready to be posted anywhere at any time. You want to make sure you have as many bases covered as possible.

2.C. THE ART OF SELLING WITHOUT SELLING

Few people understand this basic principle of your online marketing strategy.

Most online marketing consists of a few posts about an offer or some generic link to a website page. It very rarely produces any results.

You should always have your product available - of course, that is the end goal - but a successful marketing campaign hardly markets any products at all. Fact.

Seriously. When you put your marketing campaigns together. Don't sell your products and services. Demonstrate them instead.

Want proof? You're reading a marketing campaign right now. But what am I selling? Absolutely nothing at all. I haven't mentioned a single product or service of my own anywhere throughout this guide. And I won't. I don't need to.

I'm demonstrating my product instead.

And that's the key difference. It's not what you sell its how you sell it. The informative demonstration will always get more eyes and shares than any kind of direct advert. It's non-invasive. An advert requires a yes/no reaction. The information doesn't, it incites interaction. People appreciate it. It creates trust.

This philosophy should echo through your marketing campaigns and everything you do online. Simply be helpful and giving whenever possible.

But. Just be careful not to be patronising. There's a fine line between being helpful and just being a smart arse. The key is to be Humble at all times and don't be afraid to be corrected.

One last note on this.

It's actually a really good thing that you don't have to be a hard salesperson on the modern web. It's nice to be helpful. It's a really good thing that the better you are for your own particular industry the more you will be rewarded. The more quality content you bring to the table, the more you will eventually take away.

Just don't sell. Give.

2.D. CONSISTENCY VIA THE CALENDAR

OK so at this point we are doing really well. We have our foundations, we have our directions, we have our resources and we're making good headway into our online success story.

Consistency is now crucial.

Your output must be relentless. There is a genuine amount of effort required to keep creating quality content on a daily basis that constantly remains coherent and focused towards the final goal.

A great way to remain constant is to create a calendar and just roughly pop marketing campaign outlines on there. Is Christmas big for you? Then schedule a 6-week run-up campaign. Have a summer special? 2 months campaigning done. Are the any "World XXX Day" in your Industries? They can be campaigns. Black Friday. Easter. Industry landmark days.

The list goes on and on. If you start to plan a rough outline of marketing campaigns you could do throughout the year you will be surprised how quickly you can fill the year up.

If, on the other hand, you just try to create fresh content, on the fly every day, without really having specific goals you will quickly crash and burn.

A good calendar outline is your yearly blueprint and will help you keep consistent. Make it a feature in the office.

2.E. GAIN REPUTATION THEN PROMOTE IT

In the digital world, your reputation is everything. People stop at the door to check out your reputation. If it doesn't look good, most won't even bother looking in.

A solid online reputation isn't in itself going to guarantee you success on the Internet. Unfortunately, a bad reputation is a dead cert problem and will hinder success.

There are various ways to gain and manage your online reputation.

Review services are the best way to build a reputation. There are paid review systems such as Trust Pilot and Feefo and free alternatives such as Google's own review system.

Many people choose the paid systems because of an inferred level of control. In reality, you shouldn't be too controlling of your reviews. We don't recommend paying for a review service.

What's more important is simply growing and tending to your reviews. If you ever get a bad one you can use it to show how you deal with all sorts of reviews. Solve a customers problem publicly and that negative review becomes more valuable than a positive one.

There are a few ways to build your reviews.

Always reply to every reviewer with a humble reply. No matter what the review.

Your next job is to spread your reviews. Market them. Create social media posts with your reviews. It's possibly the best content you will ever have.

WANT MORE?



This blog post is a small summary of our full guide. If you found anything useful here then please pop over and check it out.

The guide can be found here.

Please note, at the time of writing (10/11/2019) our digital marketing guide is still under construction and stands at about 20,000 words of juicy content. The official launch date of the full guide is January 1st 2020.

At this point, the guide will cover over 30 modern digital marketing techniques and strategies as well as a plethora of general information simply designed to offer comprehension.

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