Digital marketing. Ask anyone – they will know it. SEO, website, graphic design, content creation and social media. Everyone seems to know it all. From a marketing intern who is trying to get a freelance contract, to a big agency – they all know it, right?
I want to tell you something about digital marketing and I will be very honest. The secret about digital marketing is that there really is no difference between it and any other form of marketing. The approach is generally the same, the context and the form are changing, but everything else remains the same.
Selling is Selling
Next time, prior to telling someone you are a marketing guru, remember to specify the type of marketing – there are more than 50 different kinds. Later, I will create a separate article on said topic as even the most “experienced” people I have encountered, do not seem to know about the existence of some of the most popular marketing fields.
For me though, selling is selling. Stream it on the radio, put it on the internet, place it on the street, or hang it from door to door – selling is selling.
The difference between the good marketer and the bad one is that the good one can always tweak and adjust to the new forms of it. In the early 90s and 2000s, a lot of good marketers failed to adapt to the Internet, which proved they weren’t as good as they thought. Adjusting and adapting to the new environment is crucial for every good business person. Yes, being a good marketer and good businessman are very close. If you think about it, the most successful businesses 95 years ago were ran by the owners. There weren’t any marketing teams or social media managers – these responsibilities fell on a single person. The tactics – making the first approach, pitching the product and “connecting” with customers. still remain the same. Basics are basics – nothing has changed.
Take notes and memorize these points because these are keys to the game of selling.
So, if we are going to talk about “Learning Digital Marketing” that was the first clarification. Now, we are ready to move forward with a couple of tips and advice that helped me scale my business to $2M in gross revenue. By the way, I will be pulling a lot from my own experiences and what I have done to help me succeed – by no means am I showing off. Those who truly know me, know that I REALLY love my business more than the money, and that has made all the difference. Caring about the customer and the quality has always been the main metric.
Start with the Mainstream Tools
Before you start adjusting, you first have to figure out what’s out there. Find out the top 2-3 platforms for advertising and start studying them. As much as I am not a fan of education in it’s mainstream form, just take a step back to complete a couple of courses for Google Adwords, Facebook Advertising and Google Analytics. Those three will give you the basics.
Next – just go ahead and become an intern somewhere. A Marketing Agency is a perfect place for anyone to learn the Do’s and Don’ts. Go and work for FREE. My friends, I know it sucks not getting paid, but would you not rather take a huge opportunity to acquire a business skill that will last a lifetime to avoid working at a dead-end job? I think so.
Build a Blog
Not learning from an experience is very difficult. Not every one of you will become a great marketing person. The good news is that there are many different aspects of marketing. You can become a great web designer with a robust marketing skillset (that is how I started). Building a website may not be for everyone, but learning how to structure a web page in order for it to sell more is a very important part of today’s world. Give it a try.
Posting on social media is not what it looks like. If you are an individual with a creative skill for photography or fashion or design, it is much easier to build following on the mainstream social networks. However if you are a marketing person, trying to promote other people’s businesses on social media, it becomes more challenging for a few reasons.
- Number one – You don’t actually see the product and the creative concept as the owner of the brand. That’s going to be your first challenge when trying to make your services useful and business generating for someone else. Just like everything else though you can figure it out with trial and error, but again you will need to focus on the quality and communication with your customers as if you were the actual owner.
- Number two – Be a salesman without selling all the time. For instance, if you post on social media every day for an organic vegan chocolate company, but if the caption of each photo contains a call to action punch line, you will have very little engagement and success. The reason for that is simple. People have become very aware of the most popular sales tactics. They can see when you are truly trying to engage by bringing value vs just trying to sell them your chocolate. Try to give them something useful. Write about your ingredients or the benefits of the vegan foods on the skin. Something that people would prefer to read/watch and engage with.
- Number three – Each channel has it’s own way of presenting. Just like the marketing itself, the social media is a whole new sub level of the digital marketing realm. Are we still on the same page: Marketing -> Digital Marketing -> Social Media Marketing. Every single network has its own way of presenting and pitching. Because everyone is trying to exhaust 150% of their social media presence, the marketers kind of ruined it for everyone. That is why you have to get creative and figure out the context of each network. Don’t just blindly re-post the same thing everywhere. The same way the teenagers on Instagram are going to enjoy your 30 – 60 seconds video from the club, the same exact video will do not as good on LinkedIn. Why? Because the context and the audience is different. People on LinkedIn are presenting themselves as professionals and it’s not as acceptable. Even though LinkedIn is becoming more and more open to all kinds of content, you get the idea…
Generally speaking, being a successful marketer requires a curtain business skill. You cannot tackle any of the different channels and do the approaches I spoke about without figuring out the human behavior. You might have a potential of being a great door-to-door salesman, but if you don’t go and start interacting with people, you will never figure out the weak spots and the different approaches you can take. Now – if you already did that and you figured out that you are a great sales person and you can build a great relationship with people, bring value to their life/business AND then sell them your product – then you are on the right path. Once you figured it out, you can easily shift between the different types of marketing.
Digital marketers are nothing else, but sales people who figured out the new channel. Obviously my article is not a step-by-step tutorial on how to be a good digital marketer, but it’s a general guideline with tips which helped me become successful in my field.
Try, fail, optimize and repeat… until you succeed.