We've either done it before or know someone who has; but when it comes to digital marketing, most people don't have a plan. I have talked to hundreds of people throughout the years. Local business owners, franchise owners, and entrepreneurs who do their digital marketing. They are locked-in on their goals and know what they want from their digital marketing efforts. In fact, it's the same across the board - lead generation. They all want to grow and scale their businesses. Most of them are unwilling to listen or consider other options to what they are doing, not because they are successful at what they are doing but because they don't fully trust the process.
In all my years helping businesses grow, I have found that these business owners see leads as a crop that can be cultivated and picked from. They see leads as a group of thousands of flowers and that their rose is guaranteed to be among the weeds. With that mindset, these business owners are willing to the most convoluted methods of acquiring qualified leads and that hasn't yielded them much success. In their minds, this should work but reality manifests a much different outcome.
Most business owners decide they want to try digital marketing because they want to grow their business. The problem is they haven't thought it through when determining that digital marketing was right for them. I am not saying that no business owner should try it, but you need to be clear about your intentions that why you are using digital marketing. I have heard "I want to grow my revenue by $200k-$300 this year" or "I'm not afraid to spend money to make money". Those are all bold and ambitious goals and statements. I encourage that type of thinking but your ambition needs to be backed up with a reasonable plan. How will I get there? Most of these guys will respond to me that networking or email lists will be sufficient in delivering to them their goals. However, they are speechless when I ask them why they have no come close to arriving at their designated goals.
I in no way am declaring that I have all the answers or that my program offers easy success but it will offer you a plan. What these business owners lacked, along with so many others in their shoes, was a plan. They had a goal and a vehicle, but not much else.
The 3 Things You Need
Before you even decide SEO or PPC, AdWords or Facebook, you need to have a good idea of who are you and who you are reaching out to.
1. What are you selling?
This could be your product or main offering, whatever. Determine what brings in the majority of your business and lead off with that. The consumer has a short attention span until you have their full attention. Pick one or two (at the most) products or services and let that be what you're known for. Popeye's sells fish and shrimp, but they are known for their chicken. Let the consumer decide from your options when you make them your sole audience, but draw them in with your winner. If you are a cosmetic dentist, you can lead with "teeth whitening". If you are financial services agency you can promote "retirement IRAs". The most important idea to remember you have to offer that is worth their time. Remember the consumer will always have a "what's in it for me?" mindset. You need to acknowledge that and be able to take advantage of it.
2. Remove the weeds (select your audience)
This is as important as determining what your offering is. You are now narrowing down the audience pool and limiting it strictly to who you want to be marketing to. Simply instead of marketing to 20,000 people, you can find 1,500 people by name that could be interested in your offerings and only market to them. This processes is a little trickier but it is completely doable. (I will save ways to create your own audiences for another blog.) There are various ways to acquire this information. When you accomplish this you not only make your efforts more efficient, you will save ad spend in the long run. In any case, manipulating your audience greatly aids the immediate success of you campaigns.
3. Develop a process
Have a plan on how you want to reach out to your prospects. In most cases, you can't just expect a call to action that makes them reach out to you for a face-to-face appointment be the assumed outcome. Audiences need to find value and trust their potential vendor. Offer free content that is downloadable in exchange for their email or some information. This content has value and provides the audience with tangible proof your offerings. In some cases, you can host a webinar. This shows you off an expert in your field, giving them more reason to trust you and commit to a meeting or call.
Each business will be different in how it handles its process but develop one based on the business you bring in. Know the people you are selling to and know what it is they want. Mastering this process will keep you from advertising to the weeds and rather, leading you to pick from all the roses.