Everything you do, everything you say, everything you create needs to begin and end in the exact same place: with your audience.
This is especially true in terms of digital marketing, during a period where our collective attentions are more fractured than ever. You’re not only competing with countless ads and other advertisers on the Internet – we’re living in an era of on-demand content with a volume like never before.
If at any given moment you were just a few quick mouse clicks away from streaming the latest Hollywood blockbuster directly into your home in stunning 4K detail with Dolby Atmos sound, would you want to waste your time with marketing on the web?
Of course you wouldn’t – but that doesn’t change what your job is. This, ultimately, is why developing the right digital marketing strategy is so essential. It needs to do more than just pique someone’s interest. It needs to hook their attention in a way they won’t be able to get out of their minds.
So how do you do that? Simple – you start with your audience.
The Building Blocks of a Better Marketing Strategy
The kernel that is your marketing strategy involves the acknowledgement not of what you want to say, but what your audience wants you to say. What do they want to hear? What are the things they’re interested in? What do they hate?
Once you know as much about the people you’re talking to as possible, you’re then in a better position to identify where your interests and theirs overlap.
Don’t look at digital marketing as an argument or even a debate in your favor. Look at it like a conversation, because that’s exactly what it is. You have to find common ground with people and once that’s been established, then you can start pulling them over to your side (and in this case, talking about your products and services).
It All Comes Back to Your Collateral
Once you’ve identified what your message has in common with what your audience is looking for, you can start crafting the type of collateral that supports those ideas.
To put it another way, when you load up a poster maker like Visme (which I founded) to create that next poster for your brand, don’t create the image you want to see. What you want is, during the early stages of your marketing strategy, irrelevant. Create the poster that they want to see in a way that ties back into your business and its own long-term strategy.
Part of the reason this is difficult for so many people is because there’s no “one size fits all” approach to creating a marketing strategy. Anybody who tells you with a straight face that “all you have to do is X, Y and Z and you’ll have an incredibly effective marketing campaign” is almost certainly trying to sell you something.
There are certain “rules” you can follow – like leverage social media, make use of services like Respona to find influencers to partner with for brand awareness, update content regularly for SEO purposes, etc. – but they’re not guarantees that what you’re doing is going to pay off.
The only thing that will help cement the level of success you’re looking for is if you begin by asking yourself “what can I do for these people? What do they need? How can I give it to them?”
When you sit down with an Infographic maker, that’s what you ask yourself. When you start working on your next video, that’s what you ask yourself. The format doesn’t matter because the format isn’t what people are responding to.
They’re responding to your message. Because your message is responding to them.
That’s what gets people to pause that movie they’re watching or put away that book and pay attention to what you have to say. That’s what creates the type of emotional response in someone that will turn them from passive observer into active customer. That’s what will move them from point to point down the sales funnel until they’re finally ready to make a sale – and it’ll keep them coming back for more.
The foundation of the digital marketing strategy that will keep your audience hooked is and will always be your audience. Once your image of that is in place, everything else you should do – from the type of collateral you should create to where you should distribute it -will more or less fall into place.