Digital Marketing For Business
Marketers in today’s world are constantly inundated with fresh ideas, new platforms for promoting their businesses, and new technologies to take advantage of. While these innovations are often exciting and beneficial, keeping up with the changes can quickly become overwhelming for marketers.
Although still viable, businesses can no longer rely on traditional marketing tactics alone. SEO and cold calling may have gotten you through the early 2000s, but two decades later, you have to market to people—not to search engines.
So how do you do that? Well, you need to implement a holistic digital marketing strategy, also known as inbound marketing. The right strategy not only makes your marketing more effective, but it also ensures you can get a return from your investment.
And the best part is, by implementing a process that includes the 4 Crucial Components of the GrowthStack (Clear Messaging, Marketing Automation, Sales Automation, and Campaigns), you're actually saving yourself from some of the headaches entrepreneurs face with traditional marketing.
Here are 10 obstacles business owners face with their marketing and how you can overcome them with digital marketing.
The Top 10 Challenges Entrepreneurs Face Today
1. Creating Consistent Branding
Branding is one of the most important aspects of marketing. With so many messages tossed in consumers’ faces day after day, it’s crucial to create a recognizable, relevant brand. Without consistent branding, your business becomes just another faceless name in a sea of ads.
How do you develop a strong brand? By paying attention to the details. Everything from font and colors to voice and style affects the way your business is perceived. Keep these factors the same across all platforms and in all messages, and you’re well on your way.
A Brand Guidelines document will help ensure all marketing agencies, contractors, or new employees know exactly what fonts, colors, and styles to use when designing for your brand.
Another good tool to consider is Patrick Hamlin's book, Primal Branding. This book breaks down the core components of branding and how they intertwine. It will change the way you think about big-name brands like Apple and Coca Cola, as well as the way you see your own business.
READ: 5 Proven Ways To Build A Powerful Brand For Your Business
2. Generating Traffic and Leads
The number one challenge for marketers, according to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2017 report, is that generating traffic and leads seems to get harder instead of easier as more platforms become available. Many business owners spend all their time focused on social media, sharing out dozens of posts a week without any kind of return. It's frustrating, especially when it seems to work for other brands.
To get people interested in what you have to say, you first need to create content your audience truly wants. Before you can do that, you must know your target audience. Develop buyer personas based on surveys with customers, market research, and any other information you can get your hands on.
Once you know your audience better, you can begin to take actions that truly speak to them, which leads to an increase in traffic and leads. That starts with a campaign. As one of the 4 Crucial Components of the Business GrowthStack, campaigns create the foundation for lead generation and conversion. It typically includes these pieces:
- A strong lead generating offer, like an infographic or digital guide, targeted to a specific buyer persona.
- A landing page where potential customers will fill out a form to download the offer.
- A follow-up email to provide them with the offer as soon as they need it.
- A lead nurturing email series to continue to engage with the lead and build trust so they're ready to purchase your product or service.
You can't do any of this without a buyer persona, so be sure you get your personas nailed down before you throw content together.
3. Managing Your Website
When done right, your website draws in visitors, converts them, and allows you to make sales — even while you sleep. It’s no surprise managing websites is one of the biggest obstacles modern marketers face. You need your website to attract, nurture, and convert leads. Otherwise, it's nothing more than a shiny golden toilet: a necessity you've thrown money into that's gone to waste and not serving its purpose.
Most entrepreneurs understand the importance of their website, but they still struggle with the execution of it. Website issues can range from creating the best content to designing an appealing site that is easy to navigate. Many companies, especially small businesses, simply don’t have the time or staff to dedicate to website management.
This doesn't mean you should settle for a website that doesn't do its job well. Find an agency or consultant to guide you through the process. Get feedback from customers on their problem areas with the site and where you have room for improvement. Then, use StoryBrand to create powerful website content that will keep visitors clicking your "Call Now" button.
For many companies, there’s just not much wiggle room in the budget. And more often than not, marketing isn’t deemed a major priority for which resources are provided. However, cutting your marketing budget is like turning off your open sign. Your business will never grow without it.
To justify spending money on marketing, you need to prove that what you’re doing works. Track your ROI and don’t be afraid to try new things when the old ones no longer deliver results. If you work with a marketing agency, ask for reports near the end of the year to demonstrate how your money is going to good use.
And if you're doing it yourself, don't throw all your money at shiny tactics (like SEO or boosted social media posts) when you could get more of a return from campaigns.
5. Understanding Tools and Technology
Deciding on the right tools, technology, and software for your business can be difficult, to say the least. With so many options available—and so many differing opinions on each one—there seems to be no right answer.
At ROI Online, we stick to HubSpot. HubSpot is the leading all-in-one sales and marketing platform, and it blends seamlessly with the components of the GrowthStack. You can use it to:
- Send emails automatically to potential customers depending on what forms they've filled out
- Keep a record of all leads' activity on your site
- Manage your deals and keep track of your sales year-round
- See exactly who has downloaded all lead generating offers on your website
- Create, post, and share out blogs
- And much, much more
There are other options available, and for some, the cost of HubSpot is out of their budget. Whatever you decide to go with, just be sure your team uses it consistently and takes advantage of all its uses.
6. Creating the Right Content
As we mentioned in our second point, generating traffic and leads comes from having awesome content. When brainstorming for your content calendar for blogs, offers, emails, or social media posts, ask yourself what problems your audience has that you can solve. Always gear your content toward a specific problem your customers have. This will make it more enticing and more beneficial.
Next, consider the type of content modern consumers want. Blog posts versus videos, for example. According to this HubSpot report, videos and social media posts are consumed more times than any other types of content. For even more success, consider working video into your other pieces of content. Writing a blog? Shoot a quick 30-second video on your phone and include it in the post. Creating an infographic? Add a teaser video to the landing page to explain what's included.
This preference does vary a bit depending on your audience, which is why those buyer personas are so important. But for the most part, people are much more likely to choose video over text or images. Just think about how many videos you've watched on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram over the last week. You can take advantage of this trend and use it to grow your business.
Additionally, it's essential to make your customer the hero of your content. You are solving their problems and you are making their lives better; however, think of yourself as the guide. If that sounds familiar, you've probably already looked into the StoryBrand marketing framework. You can learn more about how to frame the right message for your audience by signing up for a StoryBrand workshop.
ROI Online is a StoryBrand-Certified Agency. Learn more here.
7. Finding the Best Marketing Talent
A major problem for a lot of business owners and marketing managers is finding the right people to join their team. You want top-notch talent without breaking your budget. But often, hiring full-time marketing professionals simply isn’t feasible. So you hire the cheaper option.
Maybe it's a kid fresh out of college who doesn't know anything about your industry. Maybe it's your cousin's son, who is supposedly an Instagram influencer. Either way, you end up with someone who does well in one area of marketing but doesn't see the whole picture.
Just like with web design, the best bet for your business may be to partner with a marketing agency. These organizations employ the best pros for every area of marketing. From writing great content to managing social media and beyond, they’ve got you covered. If you do decide to go in-house, thoroughly vet your applicants. Choose someone with a bit of experience in content creation and design, as they'll be able to support your business more effectively than someone who only focuses on one area.
8. Determining Your Marketing ROI
Measuring the ROI (return on investment) of your marketing projects is the most efficient way to determine the effectiveness of each campaign you launch. It’s also a sure-fire way to obtain a larger marketing budget.
Yet it’s one of the hardest things to do. To best measure ROI, you need to close the loop between marketing activities and sales results. There are numerous tools available to help you do just that, from marketing software to CRM solutions. HubSpot is a great tool for this, and software like MailChimp and Infusionsoft can also be beneficial.
You can still do this to some extent without any software, however. When you speak to new customers, find out how they first heard of your business. Did they see a social media post? Did they download an offer? Did they hear about you from a friend? Then, keep track of their responses to determine where you're getting the most traffic.
Consider adding this question to a survey and sending it to all of your customers. That way, you'll know if your marketing campaign brought people to your door or failed to take off.
9. Training Your Team
Every employee you hire should be adequately trained, and your marketing team is no exception. If you choose to hire a full- or part-time marketing staff, it’s crucial to provide thorough training even if they’re experts in their field.
To do this, begin by evaluating the levels of expertise, strengths, and weaknesses of each team member. This gives you a starting point and lets you know where to invest your training time and money. The Kolbe test is an excellent resource for determining where your employees shine and where they may have room for improvement.
Next, have your team members set personal growth goals for each quarter. These goals might include getting certifications in their area of expertise, reading a new marketing book, or watching a webinar. If education is a priority at your workplace, it shows, and you're more likely to hire people interested in personal growth and development.
10. Facilitating Increased Customer Engagement
All too often, marketers are forced to spend so much time and energy on obtaining new leads that they accidentally neglect existing customers. This is a huge mistake since existing customers have the potential to provide additional sales and referrals.
So how do you keep people coming back for more? Devote specific resources to engaging current customers. Implement a customer engagement plan that can be easily automated while simultaneously providing perks for loyal customers.
Your plan could include a customer satisfaction survey that gets sent out every year, a thank-you bundle (with branded cups or t-shirts) for every new client, special discounts for loyal customers, or a rewards program.
The Takeaway: You Can Become A Marketing Pro
Marketing can be overwhelming. As an entrepreneur, you might feel overwhelmed and lost trying to navigate it on your own. Fortunately, even in today’s flooded marketplace, you can reach people and grow your business. All you need is a little bit of knowledge and the right tools.
Get in touch with the experts at ROI Online to learn more. Our digital marketing team has extensive experience in HubSpot and the StoryBrand marketing. We've created holistic marketing machines for 100+ businesses, and our systems address all four components of the Business GrowthStack.
Schedule a strategy session to get started.