When talking marketing strategy, the digital attraction component is critical. Most of us—dare I say, all of us—need to have a very robust strategy when it comes to attracting people online.
As we know, online is the only real venue for finding unlimited number of customers, and we all need to be there. So, how do you attract people digitally? I want to share with you a new way to think about this strategy.
I was recently invited to speak at a worldwide conference on digital and social media marketing. The conference was based in Amsterdam and I was able to reach several thousand people through this virtual summit. In part, I shared my approach for how to market online and find those who self-identify as being interested in what you’re selling.
When you think of the digital universe, there’s a common misconception that if you build a great website, heavy and convertible traffic will generate automatically. One of the first concepts you come to understand is that, in fact, you are not at the center of the digital universe—or even close.
In actuality, Google is the center of the digital universe. It is around Google that everything else orbits. Those closest to Google are prominent social media outlets like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. That’s where quite literally all of the traffic is.
Your website, in most cases, is located at the far-reaching outskirts of this digital universe.
The trick with digital marketing is to find pathways to the center of the universe and to pull traffic out towards you. Once customers have landed on your website, you can interact with them and convert them into qualified leads and opportunities for your company.
I classify everyone in the digital universe into two buckets. In the first bucket are your search engines and in the second bucket are your social media outlets. I want to talk about these separately because each requires a different approach.
The best way to attract people is not necessarily to have a pretty website with lots of information. Google’s operating system, much like that of other search engines, is centered around the language and economics of keywords.
In any Google search, the engine’s algorithms are designed to pair up what the user is searching for with a right answer as efficiently as possible.
Search engines think and interpret information linearly like the artificially intelligent machines that they are. You need to make it easy for these machines to figure out what you’re good at and why people should go to your website, which is achieved by targeting keywords.
Let’s take this article for example (yes, the one you’re reading right now) where I’ve leveraged the keyword phrase “marketing strategy” with secondary keyword phrases “digital attraction” and “digital marketing.” How do I prove to Google that I have expertise on these topics and that my post deserves to be the one in ten million selected for display on the first page when a search for “marketing strategy” is initiated?
Google will first look to other pages of my website to see if the primary keyword is something I talk about often on my website (yes, it is). Next, they’ll check to see that I update my website regularly. Whether that’s once a week or once a month, search engines are looking for consistency. Finally, Google will look for backlinks from other websites with expertise on marketing strategy.
If I want this post to come up in the results for searches related to marketing strategy, I need to think through the process like a search engine. You’ll likely want to work with an expert to devise this keyword strategy. Competition for search engine rankings is fierce, especially now with so many companies coming online for the first time.
Once your keyword strategy is in place, attract people to your website in two ways. (I suggest utilizing both of them.)
The first method is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. In other words, buying ads. The benefit is that you can buy your way to the top of the list, but the downside is that it costs money. Often users will bypass these paid listings and go directly to the organic results, so PPC is usually deemed less effective than organic content marketing. Roughly 10 percent of users will click on these ads.
The other method is content marketing for organic traffic, which is also known as search engine optimization, or SEO. Again, this article is being leveraged with the keyword phrase “marketing strategy” in the hope that it will appear as a credible source in search engine results for this keyword phrase.
What about that second bucket? Remember that, besides Google, also in the center of the digital universe is social media bucket. It’s true that no digital marketing campaign is complete without social media. That’s because so many people use their social media outlets throughout the day, every single day. YouTube, owned by Google, is now the second largest search engine in the world. (Pro tip: having a presence on both Google and YouTube will boost your rankings.)
When you’re looking at social media, my approach is to look first at precisely whom your customer is and, second, to truly understand your customer and where they’re spending time on social media. Are they more apt to subscribe to a YouTube channel or to a podcast? Are you more likely to catch them on Facebook or LinkedIn?
People like to consume content in three different ways: they will either read it, watch it, or listen to it. All of these media have advantages and disadvantages from a marketing perspective.
Readable content includes social media posts, blog posts, articles, magazines. If people want to read your content, that’s great. Give it to them in the written form. Easy.
Some people choose to watch content. Videos achieve this well because they engage two of the five senses instead of just one. Shorter videos tend to be more effective because most users will not invest a significant amount of time watching a video from an unknown source. Pictures and infographics are another great way to “watch” content.
On the listening piece, don’t discount the effectiveness of audio content. You know, podcasts have actually been around for a very long time, but they’ve just gotten popular in recent years because people have realized they can listen to a podcast while working out or driving. It’s very convenient to consume. Personally, I love listening to audiobooks and podcasts.
There’s no one perfect answer for which of these, or which combination of these, is going to be effective in your digital marketing strategy. My suggestion is to first define your customer and to nail down where they’re congregating online. Then, pick your medium and stick with it for the long haul.
I’ve seen many clients soar to success because they stuck with their marketing strategy long term. Don’t give up just because you don’t see results right away. Customers will come. I’d be happy to book a 10-minute consultation to tell you more.