When it comes to your online marketing efforts, you probably have social media, sponsored ads, a website. That’s great! These are the key elements of success. But to really shine, you must consider how each of these digital marketing efforts work along the buyer’s journey. The buyer journey is often a zig-zagging path taken by your online customer through the four stages of your sales funnel. These four steps include:
Awareness: The customer becomes aware of brand identity, including who your brand is, what your brand is about, their problem (if they don’t already know), and how your brand is right to solve that problem.
Idea: The customer learns more about your brand, considers whether you are the best option to solve their problem, and compares your brand with other brands (based on factors that Motivate them like value, company value, etc.)
Verdict: The client chooses to commit to you, regardless of the relationship (from subscribing to your newsletter to hiring you to photograph their wedding)
Loyalty: Through quality products, quality service and constant engagement, you keep the customer loyal to your brand
Your digital marketing is the way you touch your customers as they move through this four part funnel. Travel through a funnel is not always a straight line. Online customers have a nearly infinite amount of information (dare we say a googol) at their fingertips at all times. Because of this, your customers will bounce back and forth between different stages of the sales funnel before converting. At each point in their journey, you want to use digital marketing to help propel them forward.
Types of Digital Marketing
Social media marketing
Social media touches on all aspects of digital marketing strategy. Social media marketing is everything you do on all your social platforms that brings visibility to your brand. This is all content, videos and posts that you create and share on your chosen platform. It’s sponsored ads and pay per click on Instagram and Facebook, it’s the IG stories you share, it’s the articles you write on LinkedIn, it’s the brand-aligned Pins you post on Pinterest, and many more.
The more important your content is, the more important is the engagement you maintain with your customers. This engagement happens on your pages, in your comments, in your online groups, and beyond. Your social media marketing also includes how you create and put in place a coherent visual identity that allows customers to easily recognize you and build a relationship with your brand.
Blog posts, YouTube videos, LinkedIn articles, infographics – all of these are classified as content marketing and are important parts of your digital marketing strategy. Your content helps you deliver value to your customers at all stages of their buyer journey.
You can create a video that teaches people unique ways to use your product, which you post to your Facebook business page. You can write a thought leadership piece about small business strategy that you share on your blog. Or you can write an article for LinkedIn about the growing popularity of calligraphy and then tweet a series of snackable quotes from the piece to Twitter to drive people to LinkedIn. Content can help you through all stages of the sales funnel.
Search Engine Optimization helps in bringing organic traffic to your website and social profiles. SEO is the use of key words (in your written content, in your metadata, and in your backlinks) that make your brand relevant in online searches. SEO tells the search engine algorithms that you are what your customers are looking for. Learn the basics of SEO from Google for a solid start. Want a killer website? Build a free, easy to customize landing page here. Hot tip, you can also use SEO for social media profile pages like Facebook and LinkedIn.
This is referral marketing where influencers or major customers promote your services to you on their websites, social media feeds or other online platforms. The affiliate earns a commission whenever a viewer clicks on your product or service based on the affiliate’s referrals.
For example, you might own a makeup brush company and a beauty vlogger reviews or uses your makeup brushes in their YouTube makeup tutorials. Then, they share a link to your product in their post. The beauty vlogger will earn a commission on any sales you receive through a single click from their site. As long as your brands align, everyone wins. Affiliate marketing is about knowing where your audience is, who they are, who they will trust and listen to, and then partner with that person. Alternatively you can also earn commission by promoting other people’s goods or services.