The powers of digital marketing haven't been a secret for quite some time now. All the methods and techniques are more or less out in the open now. However, just like in the past with TV and print ads, the fortunes belong to those who use the mediums well. Simply put, the success comes not in spite of the competition, but because of doing things that make you stand out.
Do you want your business to get noticed? That's what these 3 key concepts of digital marketing are meant to do. If you can utilize them well, you'll become a force to be reckoned with.
First, it's important to understand that marketing is just as much a science as it is an art. Just like sales, there's a huge amount of psychology behind the successful tactics.
At its core, both are a type of social interaction, and they depend on successful interpersonal communication.
When it comes to the methods for doing this, you don't need to re-invent the wheel, you just need to use the wheel in a different way.
Take Pepsi as an example. Let's be honest, Pepsi is basically just Coca-Cola. So why does it rival Coca-Cola so well? Because they've told you it's different. It's in a different can with different coloring, there's different messaging in their advertisements. It's a different brand altogether. Pepsi, and every other similar example, has used the psychology of marketing to sell a product that is competitive despite being almost exactly identical to the original.
The world is full of examples like this: Uber and Lyft; Plum Guide and VRBO; UberEats, DoorDash, and PostMates; literally any sports team; Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype; Apple and Microsoft; and the many streaming services.
What this means for local businesses is that they can take the same approach despite being one of many in their town who provides their product or service.
With the advent of digital marketing, these local businesses can use the same tactics as the bigger brands. It starts with recognizing that sales and marketing are based on creativity, messaging, and visibility. Without these 3 concepts, you'll have a hard time figuring out how to appear different in the face of competition.
When it comes to using digital mediums, it's important to recognize that you're not the only business doing SEO, PPC, or social media. Lots of your competitors are using those platforms to try and reach customers. That means if you want to reach and benefit from those same customers, you need to get in front of them and make them want to buy from you over someone else. The 3 concepts below are meant to help you do that.
Distinguishing your business through marketing comes down to communicating well and in unique ways. In a lot of cases, people don't just buy a product or service, they buy the brand. The company is always important because whatever is purchased comes from them. That's why people want to wear Nike and Ralph Lauren, or drive a Bentley. The brand means something.
The same thing happens on a smaller scale with local business. People still buy from brands, it's just much less noticeable. It becomes noticeable though in the digital space, where you can see actual metrics and connect the dots to what's causing them.
Your website becomes #1 because of great SEO, but converts the visits it gets because of great content, calls to action, and well-built funnels.
Your PPC ad stands out and gets lots of calls or form submissions because of eye catching copy and images.
Your social media profile gets lots of followers and likes because you share great content that people want to engage with.
It works like this for everything in the digital marketing space. The methods for accomplishing it are all that changes.
You have to be present to be seen, but if you want to be heard or bought from, you have to coax it. People have to want to choose you over your competitors, and it's your job to make the choice easy for them.
Separating yourself in marketing then is equal parts creativity, messaging, and visibility- the 3 key concepts in digital marketing.
Getting creative in marketing isn't always coming up with some brand new, revolutionary idea for how to advertise. Often, it's simply using the existing mediums in a unique way. The creativity of digital marketing is not so much in the method as it is in the execution.
Creative digital marketing is about making your messaging and branding distinct from anyone else. This can be done with a website, an Instagram profile, or even with PPC ads and SEO. No matter where it is, the presentation must stand out.
Sometimes it can be about revolutionizing the space though, but only in terms doing something new.
In the restaurant space, do you see that no one else creating Snapchat geofilters? Make one.
No other retail shops in your town have a Pinterest account? Make one.
Can you create a Facebook group around your products or services? Make one.
There's plenty of goldmines like these that lots of local businesses are missing out on. The ones who take advantage of them are the ones who stand out. You know who they are. Everyone does. They've been heard and seen because creativity is boldness and boldness gets recognized.
Advertising in any form is all about telling people things. It's storytelling. People don't like making up the stories for themselves. It's the responsibility of the advertiser to tell it to them. Messaging is the telling.
Messaging happens consciously and unconsciously, which is why it can be hard to articulate for those who aren't marketing or sales professionals. To most people, messaging is noticed as a feeling or association. It's almost entirely unconscious, and felt and perceived rather than understood. People often buy from brands without even realizing why they actually like them- they couldn't tell you a good reason why.
Consciously constructed narratives are the most powerful and convincing. If you can take control of the message your business communicates then you control what gets perceived. That way what you want the customers to know about your business is deliberately told. Without that the message can run the risk of being wildly inconsistent, because no two people think and feel alike. A conscious narrative is one that s a business owner, it's always better to show and tell rather than make people guess.
Start by thinking of your business as a character or person. Branding is simply creating its personality through its logo, published content, product/service, advertising, interactions with customers, and the customer's experience. Messaging is about COMMUNICATING and CONTROLLING that brand by showing all of that to whoever is most likely to buy from you.
Of course, not much happens between creativity and messaging if both are not present to your customer. Boldness can create visibility, but sometimes you need to take direct actions to place yourself directly in the customer's line of sight.
Get in their news feed.
Show up on the first page of Google.
Be present where they can see you.
All the most powerful messaging and out of the box thinking won't do anything if no one can find it. To complete the picture you must figure out how to get visible.
In future posts, I'll share some methods you can start using today to maximize the effects of these three. These are digital marketing strategies perfect for 2020 that will help you stand out and create a distinct image for your business.
If your business is visible, creative with its content, and targeted and consistent with its messaging, you'll see success.
Digital marketing has presented a unique opportunity for local businesses. You can now utilize some of the most powerful and impactful mediums in advertising with extremely scaled costs and high return on your investment. The internet has truly transformed the world in more ways than one, and now it can be used to transform your business.
With the power of effective digital marketing, the sky is the limit.